Blogging is most often a solitary pursuit and as a result our success will often come down to whether we are able maintain our momentum and motivation. This means we have to be careful about letting our own thoughts get in the way. Here are five things I hear from bloggers all the time (myself included!) which hold them back and what you should be asking yourself instead.
I’ll never be as big as…
We all know there are some huge parent blogs (although they might not actually be as big as you imagine, that’s another story). The first thing to bare in mind is that, for them, blogging is very much a full time job (many even have staff) so you’re not necessarily comparing like with like but, setting that aside, it’s also important to remember that being ‘big’ is not an end in itself. Ask yourself How big does my blog actually need to be to achieve my goals? There are plenty of bloggers making money, working with brands and getting great opportunities without getting 250k views a month and winning loads of awards.
I’m not a good enough writer
Some bloggers write beautifully. Their flowing, imaginative, descriptive prose entrances their readers and more power to them, I say. For most of us though, a basic grasp of the English language and the ability to coordinate two fingers for typing will be sufficient. People read blogs to hear from real people in their own words and as time goes on we all improve and develop our own style. Ask yourself Do my posts communicate what I want them to? and if you’re really struggling with writing consider using more video or images instead.
Noone will want to read my posts
When I first started blogging there was a lady who wrote an entire blog about the Victorian trend of photographing dead bodies as if they were alive to act as a keepsake. If she can find readers then a blog about family life, be it activities, recipes or where you go at the weekend, has nothing to worry about! Ask yourself How can I find readers who share my interests? because they are out there and then set about getting your posts in front of them.
If I share my posts people will think I’m pushy
I’m assuming you didn’t strong arm anyone into following you. You’re not holding anyone’s loved ones hostage, right? Then people are following you because they want to. They are interested in what you do and say. Noone is going to be remotely surprised if a blogger shares their posts on their social media channels, in their newsletter etc. Of course, it’s best not to go over the top so mix it up a bit. Ask yourself What is the best way for me to share my posts? and use the right channels in the right way to give your readers what they want.
Brands never want to work with me
When you hear other bloggers talking about the approaches they’ve had from brands it’s easy to think ‘why not me?’ but you can’t forget how many parent bloggers there are now. Brands and PRs can’t undertake a review of all of them when they select a blog to work with. It often comes down to a combination of word of mouth, contacts and being in the right place at the right time which means if you’re a newer blogger and you sit around waiting for brands to get in touch then you could be waiting a long time. Instead grasp the bull by the horns and ask yourself How shall I go about pitching to brands I’m interested in? Make sure your blog and media kit are looking good and contact several brands with a well thought out proposal. They won’t all say yes but even those that say no will then have you on their radar next time they’re looking so a few days work now can pay dividends for a long time to come.
Resilience when you’re having a bad day will be just as important a part of your blog being successful in the long term as mastering SEO or networking at conferences so don’t let these thoughts hold you back.