Put the FEAR Into Your Blogging 28


I joined the International Bloggers Association several months ago, and I wrote this article on blogging as a part of the process, but I have changed and added to it and wanted to repost it on my site.  

The IBA is a group of bloggers who have gathered together to support each other.  Blogging can be an overwhelming task, but there are some great women that I have interacted with there that have supported me.  They visit my blog and make comments, and even the smallest comment can make a difference.  If you are interested in learning about the IBA, you can check them out here. If you are interested in joining, you can do so here.

IBA

I have never written an article on blogging before…ever.  But as I thought about what I have learned over the past several months, I do see that there are some things I have learned about blogging. Starting a blog was a huge endeavor for me. I felt overwhelmed at learning html, providing great visual content, choosing a host and setting everything up.  For some reason, I just thought I needed to start typing.  Wrong!! Here are four steps that have helped me as I started my blog using the acronym FEAR.

F: Face the Fear

I felt so strongly impressed to start a blog, but was also terrified!!  I knew that I didn’t know anything about blogging.  I worried that others would think I was silly or misunderstand my purpose. I wondered if they would see it as a ploy to get attention. I worried that others would disagree and possibly say cruel things. But, the thoughts and promptings about starting a blog wouldn’t go away. It kept me up at night. I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

I decided to face my fear.  I went ahead anyway.  I spend hours late at night setting up my domain, deciding on my blog name, and developing blog post ideas. I had pages and pages of notes and the ideas kept coming. I still didn’t have a clue. I began looking into social media and setting up my accounts.  I still remember the first day I put my blog out there.  I had articles, a question of the week, and two blog posts up before I published.  I had to push “post” on Facebook and let my friends and followers know I was now a blogger.

Courage Twain

Courage means facing the fear.  Go ahead.  Face it.  Be vulnerable.  We can do this together.

E: Extend

I truly didn’t get this at first.  I thought if I wrote great content that magically the people would come to me. Yep…waiting…hoping…writing.

Waiting some more.

 

Yep, still waiting.

I soon realized that blogging is a lot more than writing.  Blogging is truly about connecting.  You have to read other blogs.  You need to reach out to others.  You need to be gracious.  You need to seek out others blogs that are doing well and take notes.  Make changes.  Go to link parties.  Connect on social media.  Leave messages about other bloggers.  Blogging cannot be self-centered.  

I have found some great blogger friends, but that only started happening once I extended myself.  I had to put myself out there, start reading and commenting on their sites and then I got some great responses back.  I have really enjoyed meeting and interacting with some of these ladies online!

connection empty

A: Assess

Another lesson learned: I believed once my site was set up, I had it made!! All I needed was some great posts and people reading them!!  Very quickly I learned that I need to constantly assess and evaluate my site.  Change.  Change.  Adjust.  The only way I can do this effectively is by assessing regularly.  I need to update.  I need to add.  I need to learn.

As I learn from other blogs, I find that most bloggers want to share.  They are willing to share their knowledge for free!! Wow!  If only I had more hours to do it all!  I have set a goal to assess my blog once a week, read an article on blogging from another blogger and apply it. As I do this, I add widgets, make adjustments, get ideas for future posts, and learn about photography, SEO, html, etc.  All of these things will only add to my blog.  But, it takes a conscious effort to be willing to assess and change.

The biggest problem I am running into is the time. I struggle to find enough time in the day to work, be a mom, be a wife, be a friend, clean my house, and still blog.  It is a balance. I have found that I have to do it at my pace.  Some days I cannot blog.  Some days I cannot do it all.  I have to pick and choose and things fall through the cracks.  Part of assessing is realizing that we cannot do it all at once. There are some great bloggers out there that hit it big immediately, but the truth is that most bloggers grow slowly.  It takes consistency and effort.  So assess your time and don’t burn the candle so brightly from both ends that you end up burning out!

R: Risk

Not only do I have to face my fear, but I have to continue to risk. This article, for example, is a risk. I know that I am a newbie. I know that my knowledge of blogging is limited, but I am taking a risk. I am putting myself out there to share what I have learned so far and how it has helped me.

I risked when I posted on Facebook that day months ago.  I risk when I share personal, heart-felt stories that make my heart cringe. I risk every time I share a post, but without risk, nothing would change. I could stay in my comfort zone, not stretching, growing, or learning.  I am sure that my blog wouldn’t change, grow, or develop either.

risk quote,jpg

Are you ready to use FEAR?  Can you be brave with me and take some risks in your life?

Whether in blogging or life in general, I think these four basic steps apply: face your fear, extend yourself, assess, and risk.

Let me know what risks have paid out for you!

 

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Elizabeth

Wife, mother of twins, speaker, and creator of Balm to My Soul.I love to write, speak, sleep, snuggle and, if I really get lucky, inspire and help others. I am clearly imperfect but determined to be a little better every day. Some days are better than others! Thanks for stopping by!
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About Elizabeth

Wife, mother of twins, speaker, and creator of Balm to My Soul. I love to write, speak, sleep, snuggle and, if I really get lucky, inspire and help others. I am clearly imperfect but determined to be a little better every day. Some days are better than others! Thanks for stopping by!


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28 thoughts on “Put the FEAR Into Your Blogging

    • Reply
      balmtomysoul Post author

      Yes, risk kills me sometimes (as I truly am sort of a wimp) but it is very rewarding! Thanks for stopping over!! Have a great day!

  • Reply
    Daphne

    Good Afternoon Elizabeth, When I read your thumbnail at Cathy’s Wake Up Wednesday party…. I thought ‘Put the FEAR into your blog’ I wonder what that is about…. and I am so glad I popped over to visit you, because a lot of what you have said I can relate to.
    I grant you I do not update my blog as you do…. but I realise that is a good idea…. .but I am comfortable, maybe a little too comfortable as my blog is not all bells and whistles.
    I shall take your advice, and look at my blog and make a change…. for instance I need to add social media buttons…. I will find out how to do that and make a change in the next week…. fingers crossed.
    Thank you for such an brilliant post.
    Best Wishes to you.
    Daphne
    Daphne

    • Reply
      balmtomysoul Post author

      Thanks, Daphne. I am so glad you relate. It is a job to keep up a blog and I think many don’t realize that! Good luck in your blogging adventure and I hope you do add social media buttons. It is a fun addition.

  • Reply
    Ana Lynn

    Very insightful post and hitting the nail on the head. It took 4 years of having private blogs before I finally took the plunge. It doesn’t matter how long you have been blogging before you start handing out advice – even a new blogger’s perspective can help those who still haven’t started blogging but are thinking about it!

  • Reply
    Brittany Bullen

    Elizabeth,

    I’m so glad you decided to face the fear! I love your writing and I think your blog has a very bright future. You’re building a great network for yourself and your messages always inspire.

    I totally agree with you on the assessment side of things. I’m always tweaking one thing or another on one of my sites, so much so that I have to rein myself in from time to time so I don’t get too carried away!

    You’re lovely. So is this post. Thanks for sharing!
    Brittany

    • Reply
      balmtomysoul Post author

      I know. I just wish for more time, but I know that doesn’t happen, so I have to plan better (maybe stay up later and get up earlier…). Your support is really meaningful, Brittany. Thank you for all you do!!

    • Reply
      balmtomysoul Post author

      Hi Heather! I am happy to meet you and glad you stopped over. It is so nice to meet and connect with other bloggers like you. That is another reason why extending has been so important to me!

  • Reply
    Judy

    Very good points! I was so nervous to hit that publish button for the first time! Now I love it and look forward to coming up with new ideas, and challenging myself.

    • Reply
      balmtomysoul Post author

      It does get exciting when you have spent time on something and then are able to put it out there for others. That is a huge part of why I continue to blog!

  • Reply
    Lauren Tamm

    As a new blogger, I am learned all about conquering fears, assessing the need for change and taking risk too! Risk is really the hardest part. When we put our thoughts and feelings on a public platform we open ourselves to criticism: the good, the bad, and the downright mean. One of the most important things as bloggers, I think, is to stay true to ourselves and know that we cannot please everyone. Thanks for such an encouraging post. You are doing a great job!

    • Reply
      balmtomysoul Post author

      Thank you, Lauren. I agree totally. I think that we must stay true, and not fall prey to pleasing everyone else. Then we aren’t happy and it is an impossible task to please everyone. Thanks for your sweet support!!

  • Reply
    Miki English

    What a great acronym! So fitting and so true. I’ve been blogging on and off for about a year and I still cringe every time I hit the publish button. It’s comforting to know I’m not the only one!

    • Reply
      balmtomysoul Post author

      Thanks, Nicole. What a wonderful step you took! It does feel good to stand up to fear. It always teaches me something. Thanks for stopping over!

  • Reply
    Alli

    I remember the first time I hovered over the “publish” button. It was overwhelming and I felt some of the same fears as you did. I was out of my comfort zone big time! That was almost 2 years ago and I’m so glad I did! Bloggers are some of the best people in the world and I’ve made many cyber friends and found an outlet for my writing, etc.

    Thanks for sharing at the Pretty Pintastic Party!

    • Reply
      balmtomysoul Post author

      Bloggers are amazing people. I am meeting so many great people and am so glad I took the first step!! Love it.

  • Reply
    Kathy@Smile For No Reason

    Fear is so true. I was so afraid to put myself out there when I started my blog that I published my posts private. Today, I am having so much fun blogging that I would not care if someone left an unkind remark. I learn something new everyday and I do not want to stop learning. Blogging has taught me much about myself that I am willing now to take the risk!

    • Reply
      balmtomysoul Post author

      Kathy, thank you! I agree that blogging teaches you so much about yourself. I am so glad that I took that first step!!

  • Reply
    Karen Goodman

    I’ve been blogging for 7 years now, and I agree completely with your comments. I find that you can’t do it all, so you focus on what you can do and improve a little at a time. Currently I’m working on that connection thing with other bloggers…and promoting my posts where I can. I can definitely see a difference when I’m doing it vs when I’m not. Not only in traffic, but in the please I get from my blogging.

    • Reply
      balmtomysoul Post author

      Thanks Karen. I agree. At first, I was trying to do it all, and I started to lose a little joy in the blogging. Now, I am working on the balance. It is slower than I would like, but I must do it that way so I don’t lose the joy. That is the reason I started…to find and share joy. Thanks for coming by!