So you have started a blog and you are working on getting written content out there to the masses. Look there is no secret that long form content is still the big play right now.
We can go on about fancy new storytelling platforms and social media in 140 characters but if you want to boost your SEO, if you want to establish authority in your chosen field – blogging is the route we typically go for.
It helps with your SEO, content marketing is king and how we sell online in 2017. The days of shoving branding and marketing down the consumers throat is over.
I never want to discourage people from blogging, I love writing content and if you love it then you should do it to. However, have you ever stopped and thought “I don’t think I’m cut out to be a writer?” If you have then there is a solid chance that you are indeed not cut out for it, and thats okay!
People shouldn’t write because they feel like they have to write. Don’t beat yourself up, there are other options which I will talk about at the end of this piece but it all comes down to self awareness. If you feel like any of the following 8 points resonate with you then maybe its time to think about a change in approach.
1. You are stuck for ideas and it takes forever to write anything
Writers are creators, from creating stories to concepts, explaining how things work and persuading through words. Not everyone is going to have that creative flair for writing, maybe you are creative at some other area of life but struggle with writing.
You literally have no idea what to talk about, how you should convey it in words or where to even begin. I’m not talking about writers block here, we all get that and it is different. If you don’t know where to begin then maybe it is best not to start it at all and spend time creatively elsewhere.
On top of that, if it takes you an insanely long time to write anything then chances are you are being taken away from other more important tasks you could be doing instead. If it takes you the best part of a day to write a 500 word piece then maybe you should stop the pain. Slow writers can and do get faster but being so slow where it is agonisingly painful for you, well that is clearly not a good sign.
2. You struggle to network with fellow bloggers
If you are a blogger and you try to make it on your own then you are going to have a harder time reaching your goals. Chances are you won’t ever reach your goals because bloggers need each other. It takes time to start building this network, it won’t happen right out of the gate but you need to work on it from the get go.
I have a circle of bloggers who regularly share my content and give me feedback and who I am eternally grateful to. In return I share their content, we can cross promote, take part in joint ventures as they come up, and the options are open to guest blog on each others platforms.
Building a network is crucial in any industry, blogging is no different so don’t pretend it doesn’t concern you.
3. Nobody contacts you with freelance writing opportunities
If you are good, people will take notice. Sure, you are going to have to blog to poor numbers at the start and it will feel like nobody is watching (honestly the chances are nobody is watching at the start) but all you need is the right person to come along.
When I was offered a chance to write for Irish Tech News, that opportunity was offered because they liked my content. My numbers were poor at the time, I was blogging to a very very small audience but it was the content that ITN were interested in. Now I get offered freelance opportunities for businesses to write their blog content for them.
If you are good then people will take notice but if nobody takes notice after the first year then maybe you need to look at something new.
4. When you read it back it sounds like garbage
Your writing style tends to change and improve over time. When I look back on my early blog posts I cringe in horror, the best way to get better is to keep on writing. However if you are a horrible writer and you know it right from the start then maybe you just were not cut out to be a writer.
I never thought my content was garbage when I started out, I just kept writing so that I would improve. If you are writing blog posts and they read back like garbage when you are done you should probably stop.
A hallmark of a great writer is not stunning grammar, in fact my grammar sucks shit. English teachers probably read my posts rolling their eyes and tutting furiously at mistakes all over the place. But the hallmark of a great writer really is that your content is easy to understand.
You write in a compelling way and with a style that makes people want to read and keep reading more. The person who is most likely to understand your content the best is you – the person who wrote it. So if you can’t understand your own writing then you got a big problem.
As for the English teachers? Let them moan, I pull in the numbers consistently every week and thats what matters 🙂
5. You are afraid of the publish button
Have you got to the end of writing something and felt the insecurity wash over you? Its ready and now you just have to hit the publish button for the internet to see it but you are afraid of being judged, you are scared of being bashed, you don’t want abuse from the trolls online ect ect.
STOP! Fear has crippled a lot of bloggers but if you are lacking the confidence of hitting that button then you need to stop right there. Game over, we all feel this fear when we start out and the only way forward is to push through. However if you are feeling crippled in fear of what others may say about you and your content then this game is not for you.
6. You never had a burst of insight
I have had these so many times in years gone by, when it happens it is the most amazing feeling as a writer because you can feel your thoughts and ideas just flowing from your head onto the screen in front of you. You feel as if you could keep writing for days on end.
You have a burst of literary insight into a killer article topic, a way of expressing how you feeling around a certain topic, you need to start writing then and there. These bursts of inspiration are so intense that I need to stop what I am doing and start getting stuff down from my head and onto paper for fear I may lose the idea entirely.
If you have ever experienced this then you should write.
7. You turn out lazy content
A trap so many people fall into, you turn out low grade shit. Content which is just horrific and nobody wants to read.
It is becoming commonplace as people feel like they need to write and editorial standards slip from the high quality we once had. We want things to happen quicker, we have been writing for months are we are getting tired of it. We lack the passion and so start to churn out crap.
When this happens you lose. The only way you will maintain a high quality of writing is if you are really into it. The only kind of content that really matters online is high quality content, because that is what the people want.
8. You never read anything yourself!
You want to be a rockstar writer but you don’t read anything at all? It just won’t happen. There is so much you can learn by reading content, you have to read if you want to improve. You can learn about other peoples styles, you will be kept informed and gain deeper understanding about your industry or chosen field.
If you don’t read anything then you will never be a rockstar writer, sorry to drop this on you but there is no way it will happen.
So what can I do if I’m not cut out for it?
Really you got three options here. You could:
- Forget about blogging/written content completely
- Work hard at it if you feel passionate about writing and develop your style over time
- Hire someone to do it for you
The first option is completely up to you, we know that long form content is a big play but it is not crucial to your success. You could focus on your macro content only, your social media and make big gains there.
The second option is only really open if you feel that passion about writing yourself. It takes time and a lot of hard work. Blogging consistently over the course of years to develop your style, build your brand and grow your content library.
This is why the third option is becoming so popular to business owners and why people like me are getting hit up for more business. Hire someone to come in and look after your blog for you, you are hiring a blogger so there will be plenty of samples of their work online. If you like what you see then hit them up and make it happen, you pay them for the work and you get blog posts to help your SEO and grow content for you in return.
The biggest take home is don’t force it, if you know in your heart that writing is not for you then don’t try to make it happen against your will because you will end up losing.