This is a blog about about writing a blog. I am going to come straight out with the fact that it took me quite a long time to actually get to writing this. The irony is not lost on me.
I get it. It’s easy to put aside writing content when you have 1 million other things on your plate. So let’s kick that thinking right in the guts. It’s about #priorities. It’s easy to put things we’d rather not do to the back of a list. Let me set the right tone here by explaining that I actually LOVE writing. Rather than taking the time to empower people with my words to write content for themselves, I’ve been busy, writing content for them. My mistake.
I don’t want you to wait for a quiet day to write a blog, nor do I want to have to write everyone’s content for them. “Ain’t nobody got time for that”. So let’s remind ourselves of the old proverb about feeding a person fish for a day vs. teaching them to fish and feeding them for a lifetime … along with giving them a severe dose of mercury poisoning.
So let’s dive into the fishpond and see what surfaces?
EXCUSE #1: BUT I SUCK AT WRITING!
I don’t believe you! Can you write an email? Can you write a birthday message to your mum? A scathing message on a facebook article you disagree with? Chances are you can write and you have opinions too, it’s all about getting the words down.
Even if your grammar is terrible and your spelling comes out looking like some sort of long lost dead sea scroll, we have tools like spell checker, google translate and other people who can read and edit for you. Don’t worry about being judged, chances are you’re an awesome founder or business person who has great info to impart to the world, and it’s no good swimming around your head for no one to benefit from.
EXCUSE #2: I GET WRITER’S BLOCK!
Verbal diarrhea isn’t just something people suffer from when talking anxiously in groups. Chances are your thoughts are running faster than you can type and you’re stumbling over what you have to say. Or is that just me at the end of a long week?
Get those thoughts down! Write write write and don’t read what you’ve written. Like Dory says “just keep writing” … or something along those lines. The biggest block you’ll come up against is wanting to nitpick what you’ve written and correct it, you’ll find reasons to stop. Do that later, just get everything typed, written or recorded first. Write first, edit later.
EXCUSE #3: BUT I’M NOT FUNNY OR AMUSING!
Look … I’m pretty funny. But don’t beat yourself up if you can’t come up with 5 fish related puns within the first few paragraphs of a blog. Be yourself. Write from an authentic place, with your own voice. People can tell pretty quickly if you’re authentic.
The bullshit meter for inauthenticity these days online is pretty high. I absolutely suck at writing white-papers and academic articles. So you know what? I write what I know, not what I don’t. I get help from others to help me out with tone and format for articles and documents I’m not as good at. Like anything else in life, practice makes perfect but you’ve got to start by kicking against the stream till you get stronger at it.
EXCUSE #4: BUT I DON’T HAVE ANYTHING INTERESTING TO SAY!
Nonsense! Of course you do! You wouldn’t be in business if you didn’t have a good idea and chances are you are the subject matter expert we need. As I said before, write what you know. I can tell you that I know nothing about how to navigate the murky waters of the international stock exchange, but I can google articles to find out. If you’re in that industry where are your articles?
Not knowing about something and writing about the journey to finding out is one way to tackle the content Kraken. Writing a list of how to get from A to B in a particular process of your day could be interesting to your audience. Don’t assume that everyone knows what you know. They don’t, I guarantee it.
EXCUSE #5: BUT I’M SCARED OF THE MEAN AND NASTY INTERNETS
Yes the internet is a dark and scary place full of sharks who will bite your opinions off as soon as you dip your toe in. Everyone has an opinion and isn’t afraid to use it. Don’t feed the sharks and trolls.
You don’t have to go out hard with controversial opinions. You can start with factual information about your products or services. You can write about processes and situations where you offer a solution to a problem. If you’re not ready to handle social media and internet backlash due to your commentary, it’ll be like trying to hold an octopus within a string bag. You don’t have to have be aggressive and opinionated!
EXCUSE #6: I’M NOT GOOD AT THE ENGLISH
Write in your own language. Then translate it the best you can into English or other required language. Basically, don’t make the writing part of the struggle. You want the flow of words to be natural to you. We have the technology so why not use it! Google translate may miss some of the syntax, but it isn’t the only product out there.
Why not publish your content in your native language? Chances are it’s interesting to other people who don’t have English as a first language. You might have double the avenues to share your thoughts with!
If in doubt just fill it with cat pictures, that’s how the internet works right?
So there we have it … full disclosure, it took me less than an hour to write this all out, including a once over summary, before flicking it to a team member for a proof read. I didn’t really need “a quiet day” to do it, that excuse ended up being a little fishy.
So no more! How many blogs, articles, videos or graphs are you going to publish this month?