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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?

why-blog

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

no-one

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

mistakes

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

  1. Jessica
    March 18, 2016 at 3:04 pm

    I have been thinking about starting a blog but I am so afraid. So afraid of what people will think about my thoughts and ideas, so afraid to really open up to the world on a personal basis, afraid to be known and maybe judged for what I think about or having an opinion. Also afraid about if anyone is REALLY listening. Like, who cares what I have to say? Am I that special? Deep down I know I have such a wealth of knowledge but fear is holding me back. I have just bought a domain name so I guess that's a good step but boy, am I second-guessing myself!

  2. S mburu
    October 29, 2013 at 9:13 am

    I started my blog sometime back about tech issues and then gave up due to some of the reasons listed in this articles. However, i was suprised the other day when i checked it out and found some of the articles were ranking high in google search. When i started the blog i want to share simple tech issues which i found problematic with most of my friends. One of the articles i wrote on setting a modem manually http://solista85.blogspot.com/2012/03/modemsettingkenya.html atttracted alot of traffic from all over the world. This has motivated me to even write more articles, they may be obvious but someone still needs them.

  3. Diane
    October 21, 2013 at 9:02 pm

    Thank you for writing this. I began a blog back in 2011. Stopped after a few posts, started again last year and stopped. Now, this year I seem to be blogging regularly. I had every one of those fears you spoke of. Now ,y readership is growing. I don't expect to be a famous blogger, but as long as I can help a few people and use the blog to share my passion for genealogy, then I'm ok with that.
    My blog can be found at http://www.michiganfamilytrails.com.
    Sincerely,
    Michigan Girl

  4. Bumferry H
    October 20, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    I've been blogging for just under 3 years. As it's name suggests it really is just a load of thoughtless gibberish. I have only got around 30 or s followers/readers but it's the interaction that keeps me going.
    I have even helped others with their work by providing voice work for podcasts and the like.
    It's a hobby that allows me to make friends with people I will probably never meet in real life.
    If anyone cares to take a look (at how NOT to make a successful blog) click the link and see what sort of rubbish I make. http://bumferry.blogspot.co.uk/ It does contain the occasional naughty swear word, so might not be suitable for sensitive eyes.

  5. dragonmouth
    October 20, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    Blogs have replaced Usenet as the vehicles for public bloviating.

  6. WorknMan
    October 20, 2013 at 2:39 am

    Personally, I think both blogs and forums have greatly contributed to the quality of information on the web taking a big step backwards over the years. This is especially true for forums. For example, maybe you need to know how to jailbreak a game console - in the days of old, you'd find a web page that would tell you how to do it, and as new information became known, the page would be updated with all the latest info.

    Now days, you might have a forum post that was created about 3 years ago, with 500 pages of replies, and unless the original poster was smart enough to put a 'last updated' in there, you have absolutely NO CLUE how up to date the info is and/or if the various questions/answers in the 500 pages of replies were ever incorporated into the original post.

    Blogs have a similar problem, in that they are a snapshot of information at a certain point in time. That's fine for news posts, but not exactly ideal for 'howtos' and things like that. My advice is if you're creating a news-related blog, well... don't. Whatever you think you're going to write about, there's probably 4,000 other blogs already on the subject, with many of them being just as lame as what you're going to create. A company makes a press release and 4,000 blogs get updated; its ridiculous. But if you're going to create an informational website, forget blogs, except for the 'what's new' section. Make a REAL website with information that's nicely organized and easy to find.

    • Peter Hood
      October 20, 2013 at 12:44 pm

      You should try posting in Usenet, where thousands (possibly hundreds of thousands) of kooks all know better, and have done for more than 20 years.

    • Yaara L
      October 20, 2013 at 3:29 pm

      I don't think there's such a big difference between blogs and websites nowadays. What's MakeUseOf? Is it a blog or a website? If you have am informational blog and you update it regularly, it's as good as any website if not better. If you're not going to update regularly, it doesn't matter if you have a blog or a website, it will be outdated.

      I tend to agree with what you're saying about forums, though.

  7. Dennis
    October 19, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    I started blogging in 2011 or so with my blog http://diaryofdennis.com/

    It´s my personal blog with broader topics. When I started, I had the fear somebody could laugh at me . Especially because my own mission was to write in english while my native language is german. That means there was for sure the fear that people would dislike my bad english.

    Today I am pretty happy about the decision that I started blogging. I guess it improved my english pretty much. I think I am still not perfect but it thaught me a lot as I constantly had to look for new vocabulary. It was like learning by doing and today I wonder where I got all that english words from. They are stored in my head now!

    I just can agree with the article here. Don´t let any fear stop you from blogging. Writing is a lot of fun and the socializing part of it will be very rewarding. Not only that you make new friendships.... you actually meet a lot of interesting people from all around the world!

    My opinion is... if you would like to blog but if fear stops you... put the fear aside. Blogging is a very interesting hobby and you can collect a lot of experience.

    Sure you will meet good but also bad people. But do bad people stop you in real life? No? Then they also can´t stop you if they leave a bad comment on your blog. Friendly critism will help you to improve. That kind of critism is not bad. And about offensive people... you will meet them everywhere. Not only on the own blog.

    Again. Like the article here states. If there is interest in blogging, then just start. The experience will be stronger than the fear you had before.

    • Peter Hood
      October 20, 2013 at 12:42 pm

      Thanks for the link to your blog. I'm on the road at the moment, so it's in my temporary storage area. I'll probably drop by every now and then. Everyone has some information that is useful. Another reason to write a blog.

    • Yaara L
      October 20, 2013 at 3:27 pm

      Thanks for the comment, Dennis! It's inspiring. :)

    • Dennis
      October 21, 2013 at 4:42 am

      Thank you both for your nice input on my comment. And thanks again for the great article. Best wishes.

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