Have you ever felt too scared to write?
Have you ever felt like the words are too much to carry? They want to come out, but there is fear holding them back.
I've been feeling a lot of that lately. Because of the discomfort, recently I've been laser focused on simplifying the way I approach writing and the way I blog.
There is so much advice out there about how to blog to make money. That is unfortunate. So many blogs that have good information are ruined by intrusive email sign up pop-ups and loudness. By loudness I mean, "SIGN UP FOR MY FREE EMAIL COURSE" emblazoned across the top.
I've seen blogs rendered unreadable by ads, and then they want you to subscribe to the blog for a fee to remove them. Some blogs make me feel attacked the moment I land on them.
Ok. I get that bloggers need to make money. What bothers me is that when looking up advice about blogging, all I get is, "Give away freebies to subscribers. Focus on SEO. Write killer headlines." Blah, blah, blah.
There needs to be more advice about how to create blogs that give readers a pleasant experience.
The truth is, blogging aggressively is not for everyone. And blogging that way is not the only way to be a successful blogger.
I feel that all of the blogging hustle advice can foster fear of writing because it focuses on writing as a means to an end, a way to "grab eyeballs" over self-expression. If what you write isn't "killer" or lacks views, it can make you feel a bit lacking. The truth is, it's not all about the views and reshares.
While I was creating my first webcomic, I decided to create a blog. It didn't have any social media at the start. I added Twitter later, but I didn't need social media to get traffic because people who were into my webcomic would visit my blog. In fact, it was my comic that built my blog audience, not the other way around. My comic help build my Twitter audience too.
I met people by putting what I create out into the world first. Then I used my blog to share the experience of creating.
I think most people who create stuff--stuff like books, pieces of art and projects--should focus on putting their projects out there first, and then use their blog to make people who already like what they do, like them even more.
The projects are the income. Not the blog.
I feel that blogs built mainly for income are for people who
1.Are NOT prolific project makers
When you are prolific, it is way more profitable to focus on the next project than on crafting that perfect, traffic grabbing blog post. I read a lot of blogs, and I've noticed that the ones covered in ads or endorsements, don't have much going on in the project area. They have few or no books published. For them the blog is the project.
Is the blog the main project for you? If so, by all means read up on email lists and SEO tricks. But if you're aiming to be a career fiction writer or artist or maker of some kind, the blog is NOT the main project for you.
Your blog is for those who love your work already. There's no need to hard sell to them and attack them with pop-ups. If you do, they may change their mind about you...
Blogs built for income are also made for people who...
2.Love teaching, coaching, and speaking.
Many successful bloggers fall into this category. Email courses, retreats, mastermind groups...these people are amazing. And the way they blog fits their goal of finding more clients, students, and speaking engagements.
The problem is that these are the same people who try to teach others how to blog. And in doing so, they forget that not everyone needs to blog the way that they do. Not everyone needs to offer freebies to nab clients. I'm a fiction creator and an artist. For me, focusing on the next project is more important than spending time trying to craft a freebie to get people to follow me.
If people like my projects, they will voluntarily come for the ride without any bribes. And as a thank you, I may spin out a free short story or piece of art to share.
However, if you are a writer or artist who loves teaching, then the blogging hustle could be for you.
I wish I would have known this earlier in my blogging journey. After wrapping up my webcomic, I was between projects. Instead of focusing on my next project, I got sucked into crafting immaculate blog posts, an email list I loathed updating, and freebies that no one wanted. And then there was the pressure to take perfect photos for each post...
I learned that no one wanted that stuff. What they wanted was my projects. My work.
So here I am today. I stripped my main blog of a lot of the stuff I was told I needed to be a "good blogger." There is still a privacy notice from my affiliate days I need to remove. My income never came from ads and endorsements. It came from people who enjoy what I create. Currently, I'm having fun designing special notebooks and planners for artists and writers and publishing them on Amazon.
My main website/blog is super peaceful now, because it simply shares with readers instead of demanding their attention.
The last step is feeling free to spill my words as they are, without plotting how to achieve the best SEO. That's why I've started this little blog of musings on Listed.
I've found that the best way for me to get over writing fears is to write.