To Blog or Not to Blog?

I’ve been at this blogging thing, very sporadically, for almost a year. Why, you ask? Because all the marketing gurus or successful private practice owners say it’s a good marketing tool.  That’s the main reason I started blogging.  But the it became more about sharing my voice with others, which I think is more important.

It took me a long time and a lot of self talk to get here, and I’m still working on being more consistent.  I have always loved to write.  Many people who know me well, don’t really know this about me.  This is because very early on my dreams of writing were pretty much murdered by different teachers in my life.  My writing career started off pretty well, in elementary school! By the time I got to high school, it was all over.

When I learned that blogging was a good way to get clients to find me, I was dead set against it.  All of my fears and self doubt flooded me.  What will I say? What do I write about? No one wants to hear what I have to say. What if I say too much? What if I don’t say enough? What if I offend people? or worse bore them?  When I was doing my research on blogging, everything pretty much said it does not have to be perfect, it is not a book.  That was hard for me to believe. It took me 2 weeks to write my first blog post and it took me two more weeks to edit it.  I was in a panic as I was getting ready to push the publish button. I finally pushed it, and guess what, nothing bad happened.  People actually read it and liked it. Not many people, but enough!

Blogging has helped me overcome all of the negative things said about my writing by those insensitive teachers.  I am not saying I am a great writer, but I do feel more comfortable sharing my thoughts, even if only one person reads them.  I continue to work on being more consistent with my blogs.  The more I write the more comfortable I feel.  If I can help one person overcome their fear of writing or anything else, it is all worth it!

Here are a few tips to help you not go through the panic I went through when I started this process:

Your writing does not have to be perfect

If you are like me, you worry if your writing makes sense, if it will be interesting or if it is grammatically correct.  When I decided to start blogging, I had to let all of those worries go, well maybe not the grammatically correct thing.  It really annoys me when people do not use grammar well.  I am not an expert by any means but there are just some simple things that many people get wrong.  Like using irrigardless, it’s not a word people! Or writing women when they really mean woman, single tense, don’t do that! I’m talking about being picky about commas or trying to sound professional.  Blogging is about connecting with people. Most people do not want to read something that sounds like a text book.  They want to relate, and that means forgetting everything you learned in school about writing.  You should edit though, but don’t over think it. Write from the heart.

Something is better than nothing

Consistency is the key but when it comes to blogging something is better than nothing. You can only get to consistency if you start doing something. The more you do it the easier it will become and if it gets easier you will enjoy it and want to be more consistent.  I’m still working on consistency!

Keep it short

You don’t have to write a novel.  The best blogs I’ve read usually are short and sweet.  This format that I am using works best for most people.  With the fast pace, overstimulating world we live in, short and to the point works best for more people.  It is ok to write something that is long, but keep in mind you may be more likely to lose your audience.  People often want to learn something quickly.

It does not have to be a unique topic

People want to read about things the can relate to. If your topic is too unique many people may not be able to relate. I’m not saying don’t write about unique things. I’m sure your topic will resonate with someone, somewhere. What I am saying is don’t stop yourself from writing because someone has already written about it. It is ok to write about what others have already written, your perspective is unique.  This blog is a great example! There have been many before me who have written about blogging, as you can see, that didn’t stop me! What matters is that your perspective can be different or dare I say unique.

Have fun

Don’t put so much pressure on yourself. So, only five people read your blog. Hey, at least five people read it. You are stepping out of your comfort zone, putting yourself out there and helping someone.  Maybe those five people will tell five more people about your blog. When you come from a genuine place, things happen, have fun with it!

 

Love and Light,

Jessica Alejandro, LMFT

 

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