Copywriter, Journalist, and Content Coach

I Can’t Do This! Ack!

Photo by Don J:

Here’s a note from one of my correspondents, telling me about a problem he’s having that many new blog developers will relate to (edited for length):

“I have a lot of knowledge I feel I can share. While I feel the urge to share my message, I am somehow held back. I want to produce more content, I want to keep putting myself out there, but don’t know how to go about it.”

Well, I can certainly relate. What blocks me is the knowledge that I’m going to have to keep producing blogs, and that means coming up with new ideas several times a week. What’s that, 156, 200, each year? I can’t write 156 blogs! It’s never going to happen!

So, don’t tell yourself you have to write 156 blogs. Tell yourself you have to write one. And it only has to be one or two paragraphs.

“NO! NO! NO! It has to be the best idea! Which idea is the very best? I can’t decide!”

So that tactic’s out, too.

Here’s how you start: Make a random list of possible blogs. Don’t try to build a theme or create structure at this point, and don’t be critical of your ideas. Don’t try to build articles, just paragraphs. Get as many down on paper (or screen) as you can. Then set your list aside for at least a day and stop worrying. You’ve made progress, right?

When you return to review your list, see if there are any unifying themes. Then make a list of themes, and a list of possible posts for each theme. As you do this, you’ll find that new ideas will come up for your themes and posts. It’s getting going, getting moving, that makes your brain kick into action.

Now set yourself the task of writing one blog every other day. But you won’t. Because once you get started, you’ll see that it’s not so hard and you’ll find you’re doing three or four.

Now you need a critic. Post a note to your network that you’re looking for a blog buddy. Someone who will read your posts and give you comments. You’ll do the same for them. Give each other deadlines: we have to complete at least 4 posts by Monday. This will make you accountable to someone, and give you much-needed feedback and edits.

When you’ve got a few dozen posts, you’re ready to start posting. But before you post anything, anything at all, re-read it and look for typos, misspellings, and awkward language or logic. Run spell check, too, even if you’ve run it before. Posting copy with errors is very embarrassing, and makes you look unprofessional.

Now you can post. You might plan to post in a particular sequence, which is fine, but remember that people will log into your network or discover your posts randomly, so don’t get too wedded to your sequence. Once you have a body of posts out there, you can begin re-posting older items, maybe changing things up a little as you go.

Keep track of what gets read, what gets liked, and what gets commented on. This will tell you what kinds of content your network is looking for. And that will give you more ideas for posts.

Be sure to respond to comments. Also be sure to check your LinkedIn message board and notifications every day, and respond to each message that comes in.

Pretty soon, you’ll start having conversations—and getting more ideas for new posts. Like this one.