I recently had a client come to me for advice. We were building her a gorgeous new website, complete with a blog so she can share her expertise. However, in order to publish her site we needed a few posts to start off with. She’d been agonizing over what to write for a few weeks and seemed anxious to start. I could relate all too well. It wasn’t the lack of knowledge holding her back, it was the fear around it.
From Personal Experience
I told her:
“The fear of judgement is something we all go through. Isn't it awful?! I blank on blog posts ALL the time, too, and barely ever write them anymore for fear of not sounding smart or polished enough, and then I also doubt my knowledge.”
So, the best advice I gave her (and myself) was this: Just start.
Too many of us don’t put ourselves out there for fear of judgement, or because of the anxiety caused by putting pen to paper.
When I’m overwhelmed or struggling to get words on the page, I just take the first step and start by writing an outline. It usually looks something like this:
Closing remarks, and
Next, I go to whatever one of those sections feels easiest and start jotting down notes. If you're making a tutorial, for example, "Point 2" might just be the step-by-step instructions. For others, the CTA (call to action) might be the easiest place to begin, because you know what action you want your audience to take next; whether it be signing up for a free webinar, or scheduling a discovery call.
Starting with the easiest piece will build momentum, making it easier for your thoughts to come to life, and eventually translate to the page.
The Beginning and the End
Intros and conclusions are what usually stop me in my tracks. When writing, I like to get to the point and without much fluff. So, when I’m stalled, I take a mental break to look for images to use in my post and sometimes even research what other people have written on the topic. This can help spark ideas and enhance the points I’m making in my post.
If you’re experiencing fear of judgement, remember this: Most people are skimming blog posts, looking for the juicy takeaways so they can quickly get on with their day. Most people are not reading your work word-for-word (except maybe your mom). If you worry that your grammar or literary style isn’t up to snuff, *insert faux Cher voice* snap out of it!
I tell myself all the time to stop making it harder than it needs to be. Write your outline, pick away at what feels easiest to write, and remind yourself that you’re the expert on your chosen topic, so you already have the knowledge needed to complete this blog post.
Inside the (Video) Box
If you’re still having trouble putting words on paper, don’t! Record a video blog instead. You might be a better speaker than writer, and that’s great! You’re still transferring the information to your audience and setting yourself up as the expert. Many people prefer to listen rather than read. If you’re struggling to write that blog post, feel free to reach out! We love brainstorming and having a second opinion can make things much clearer.