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Can you write a blog? Without knowing you, I can tell you the answer is probably yes.

Ever since their debut at the beginning of the millennium, blogs have been an integral part of what we consider as “the Internet”. Starting as a simple way to record and share your thoughts and experiences, blogs have developed into something much bigger: a full-blown alternative to printed newspapers and magazines.

Unlike newspapers, though, absolutely anyone can write a blog. Yes, even you. It takes almost no effort to set up your own blog, and once you do, you’re left with the really easy part: writing it. Think you can’t? Continue reading. When you’re done, consider again.

Why Should I Even Blog?

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Well, if you have absolutely no interest in writing anything, maybe you shouldn’t. If you’re reading this, though, you probably do. Everyone has something to say, and almost anything you have to say can benefit someone.

What do you do for a living? Are there many blogs out there that deal with this field? Whether you’re a mechanic, a car dealer, a florist, or even a programmer, there’s room for a blog about your profession. What’s more, your industry will benefit from this — sharing ideas with the community can contribute greatly to your field.

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This is true for hobbies as well. Love wood working? Horseback riding? Puzzle solving? Politics? No matter what it is you do, there’s a vast community out there that shares your interests, and just like you can learn from them, they can learn from you. Blogs and forums are part of what makes a community alive, and being an integral part of your community will benefit both you and the other members.

You don’t have to sit on the sidelines. You can take an active role and show others what you know. All you have to do is kick these fears aside.

I’m Not A Good Enough Writer

That may be the case, but there’s only one way to become a good writer: writing. If you think all the famous bloggers out there were incredible writers the moment they opened their first blog, you’re wrong. Take your favorite blog and try going back to the very first posts. Are they as good, as polished as the newer ones?

It’s true that you may not become super successful as long as your writing is not very good. You’d be surprised, however, at how little many people care about a mistake here and there as long as you keep providing  interesting and useful information. If your chosen subject is a visual one, you may not be required to write a whole lot, in which case your audience may not even notice an error here and there.

You should, of course, work on getting better. Listen to comments, read other blogs, and keep writing — your skills will improve along the way.

No One Cares About What I Have To Say

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The biggest fear (or excuse) any budding blogger has is that no one would read their blog. And you know what? In the beginning, no one will. Unlike writing for a big established blog or a newspaper, starting your own blog will not get you instant exposure. But that doesn’t mean no one cares about what you have to say. It only means no one knows you’re saying it yet.

The same rule applies here: as long as you keep providing interesting and useful information, no matter what you’re writing about, someone is going to care about it. After all, the Web is full of blogs about anything from being a waiter to Dr. Who. Somebody’s reading them.

If you’re planning on writing a personal blog, let your friends know about it. If what you have to say is interesting only to your family and friends, you have your readers right there. If it’s interesting to others as well, your friends will start sharing your posts and things will get rolling from there. If you’re writing about a certain subject, start connecting with others in the same community and show them your blog as a way of sharing ideas.

The most important thing is to keep going. No new blog is successful overnight. If you quit after a week or a month, don’t expect much. You have to keep at it. If you’re providing good content, someone will read it.

What’s So Special About Me?

What’s so special about me? Why are you reading this post right now? You’re not doing it because I’m special. You’re doing it because this post is online. Were you to write something I was interested in, I would probably be reading your post right now.

So the short answer to this question is: nothing. And yet, you’re the only you out there. You’re the only one with this exact mix of knowledge, expertise, opinions and thoughts. Yes, the really big names are really big for a reason — they know so much about their field, it becomes a privilege to learn from them. But trust me, even Seth Godin is not the only person in the world who knows what he knows. He’s just the only one sharing it in just that way.

Have something to write about? It’s already special enough. So why not do it?

I Might Make Mistakes

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Yes, you might. And everyone makes them. It doesn’t kill you. I’ve made mistakes. I’m still here. Yes, it can be embarrassing, but as long as you don’t make them in every single post (and if you do, you may want to switch to a topic you know more about — there’s bound to be one), and as long as you learn from them and don’t get angry and resent those who correct you, you’ll be fine.

Besides, not every blog is about conveying information to others. If you don’t feel like an expert in anything, just start writing about your personal experiences and thoughts. Who knows, you may actually gain that expertise along the way.

People Will Attack Me In The Comments

If people attack you, they must be reading your blog. And you know what? That’s a good thing. If people are reading your blog, there’s no way around angry and hurtful comments. They will come. And at first, they’ll get to you. They’ll make you doubt yourself. They’ll make you sad. They’ll make you want to quit writing. But you won’t.

The first rule about Internet trolls: ignore them. It’s also the second, third and fourth rule. Don’t argue with them. Don’t let them get to you. The more of these comments you get, the easier it will become. And don’t forget, comments mean you have an audience. And for every troll that comments, there are probably 50 other readers who don’t. Enjoy it!

If you’re having a really hard time with trolls, we’ve assembled a complete toolkit for dealing with them. It comes in three parts: part 1 The MakeUseOf Toolkit Against Online Trolls [Part 1] The MakeUseOf Toolkit Against Online Trolls [Part 1] How many Internet arguments have you witnessed? Or better yet, how many Internet arguments have you participated in? I visit a number of forums and communities on a daily basis, and I see arguments all... Read More , part 2 The MakeUseOf Toolkit Against Online Trolls [Part 2] The MakeUseOf Toolkit Against Online Trolls [Part 2] Welcome back to the 2nd article in this 3-post series all about defeating Internet trolls in Internet arguments. By using this toolkit, you’ll learn to detect when someone is trying to fool you with porous... Read More , part 3 The MakeUseOf Toolkit Against Online Trolls [Part 3] The MakeUseOf Toolkit Against Online Trolls [Part 3] Read More . Use it.

Are You Ready?

Ready to conquer your fears? It’s time to set up your own blog. Whether you choose to self-host your blog Setting Up A Blog Part 1: The DIY Self-Hosting Method Setting Up A Blog Part 1: The DIY Self-Hosting Method There are an abundance of quality free "sign-up" blogging services scattered across the Web, with big names like Tumblr, WordPress.com, Blogger and Posterous getting increasingly popular as their numbers grow. It wasn't always this way,... Read More or go for an easier solution such as WordPress, Blogger or Tumblr Setting Up A Blog Part 2: Tumblr, Blogger, And Other Services Setting Up A Blog Part 2: Tumblr, Blogger, And Other Services The hardest thing you'll have to do if you opt to not host your own blog is decide on the service you want to use. A few years ago this was easy - LiveJournal and... Read More , you can be done in no time. If you’ve decided to set up a blog following this post, I would love to get a link to it once it’s ready.

And don’t forget: do what you’re good at and keep doing it. Results will follow.

Have you been thinking about setting up your own blog? What’s been stopping you? What fears did you have to conquer to start your own blog? Share your thoughts below.

Image credit: Wesley Fryer, Why Blog image via Shutterstock, Thomas Hawk, Auntie P

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