I’ve been there a hundred times before. Amazing things come to my brain all the time– business ideas, stories, life-changing inspiration. Unfortunately, it usually ends up going something like this:
6:30 AM. In the shower. The most brilliant idea strikes me, so I quickly and excitedly race around the house (in a towel) looking for a place to sketch down what I’m thinking.
6:37 AM. The pitch. This is the part where I disclose my magnificent plans to my wife. If I can get her buy-off, international success is a sure bet.
6:39 AM. My incredible idea is added to the pile of awesome ideas with the priority of “someday”.
So what is it that stops us from moving forward? Why is that someday pile so full of expired possibilities? There are probably a thousand reasons why we’re too busy, overwhelmed or afraid to share. We don’t need to narrow down all of the exact reasons, but I have a few thoughts on how you can pull those concepts from the idea drawer and turn them into something really useful and tangible.
Write your ideas down.
Ideas that aren’t well documented get lost and become someone else’s property. Ideas have a very short shelf-life. If you don’t use them quickly, you’ll lose them. Someone else is bound to think of something very similar. Think about it, have you ever been watching Shark Tank and thought, “that is exactly what I was going to do?” “I wish I would have thought of that” shouldn’t be your mantra. The fact is, ideas come to everybody. Whether we do something with those ideas is where most of us go terribly wrong.
Share your ideas.
Ideas need to be shared. Letting them out into the open is the best way to make something happen with them. Don’t hide them. People who are interested in your ideas become your loyal fan-base, and you will gain credibility on the subject-matter. It doesn’t really matter what the subject is, your interactions with the subject are what people really care about and love to read. Do you love it? Do you hate it? How can it possibly be better?
So what does all of this have to do with running a blog?
Blogging makes it possible to publish your ideas, pictures, or anything with an extremely small amount of effort. You just write, and save. The software takes care of the rest. If you’ve heard the saying “content is king,” then you’ll understand that it’s the content that really matters. The technology will keep getting better, gain more advanced features, and open doors to new possibilities over time. Your job is to, plain and simple, share your ideas.
If you still feel disinclined to get started with your own blog, consider the following answers to some common
1. “I don’t know what to write about.”
If you are struggling to find something to write about, then you are starving for a creative outlet. You creative mind has checked out for the rest of the season. According to the National Science Foundation, the average person processes as many as 12,000 to 50,000 thoughts per day. There has to be a blog post –or two– hiding somewhere in that much thinking. Right?
2. “How do I know people will actually read what I have to say?”
There’s only one thing I know that’s certain. If you never write it, people really won’t read it. Once you begin writing and publishing, you will have lots of ways to let people know about your new content. You could share your content over the social channels. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Google Plus each have content sharing tools. You can watch the numbers using free tools like Google Analytics. You will know very quickly if people are reading what you have to say. And, there’s nothing quite as exhilarating as the feeling you get knowing you have lots of people reading and commenting on your published works.
3. “I don’t have enough time to start a blog.”
How much time do you think it takes to “start a blog” anyway? Getting started is the fast and easy part. I used this excuse myself for a really long time, until I recently had an incredible epiphany. I was holding off, waiting until I had designed and built the perfect platform for publishing my yet-to-be-written content. I was putting the cart before the horse! An excellent design or website is a by-product of the content it supports. I enjoyed the creative process that led to each revision, but all I was really doing was designing the coolest “Lorem-Ipsum” page in the world. I could have used the default WordPress template or subscribed to SquareSpace or something… my attempts to do everything was preventing me from sharing my value with a world-wide audience. Well, lesson learned. My highest priority is my content. I will save the tinkering for another rainy day.
4. “If I start a blog, will it be worth my time to keep it up?”
I guess that depends on what your time is worth. Unless you’re one of the Kardashian sisters, you probably don’t charge $3,500 per tweet. And if you are, you probably don’t actually handle that stuff anyway.
If you do decide to keep a blog, you will become a producer. Instead of only consuming content, you will be among the adding knowledge and value to society. When you produce value, society has a way of paying you back. Interpret that how you will, but aside from being an expert in some topic, bloggers are known for their ability to make legit incomes. Sponsored posts, affiliate commissions, and pay-per-click ads all make keeping a blog a worthwhile endeavor.
But please, do not keep a blog just so you can make money. Keep a blog because you are passionate about something. Become an authority on some topic and share what you know. Make sure keeping a blog is worth my time as well.
Since we’ve defunct all the possible excuses for why you haven’t already started a blog, why not try your hand at writing an article or two. You don’t need to have a dedicated place to publish when you’re first getting started. LinkedIn Pulse is a great place to publish articles if you are writing a business-y type article. Utah Creative welcomes guest authors if you are looking to express your creative side. Or, why not just start a blog now? We’d be happy to guide you though the process of setting everything up. Just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us about your cool ideas.
Authors note: This article reflects my personal experience as an aspiring blogger. I am really curious to hear other people’s stories and hesitations. Please feel free to contact me to share your story. -Dan