I don’t know about you, but when I started blogging I found the whole thing more than a little intimidating. And on many levels.
First off, the requisite software seemed like rocket science. I’ve come to appreciate it, but my online survival – dare I say, sanity – depends on the close proximity of a techie who I happily pay to keep me from blowing up my WordPress page.
The language of blogging itself was – and remains – intimidating. I don’t understand half of the headlines on this very site, in fact. I have no clue what “bitly” means. Or how to leverage the latest-greatest mobile phone app to gain more subscribers. Not a clue.
I get a new term thrown at me daily. Which is good, this is how we learn. My learning curve looks like the sales figures for The DaVinci Code.
Can I Have Your Autograph?
Then there are the so-called Big Name Superstars of the blogging world, those who send us tweets from BlogCon in Las Vegas and the beaches of southern France. We aspire to blog with and for them, and we wonder why they don’t answer our emails or respond to our clever commentary on their sites.
And so we don’t send those emails or comments at all.
It’s intimidating. Enough to make you wonder if you belong in this space.
Beware the Lowest Common Denominator
And then, because we’re told we must, we find ourselves being vulnerable by doing just that, by commenting on other people’s blogs. Or even scoring a guest post or two on one of those bigger blogs. Which leads to the most intimidating aspect of all.
Assholes. The naysayers, nit-pickers and argumentative blockheads who seem to have read only half of what you’ve written before dashing off an insulting counterpoint, or if they read it all they intellectually failed at comprehending any part of it.
The kind of person who still argues that Bill Clinton was on solid ground when he tried to debate the contextual meaning of the word “is.”
None of this stuff is going away. If you want to play on this team, if you want to carve your name in a little corner of the blogospheric map, you’ve got to learn to deal with it.
Relief on This Front Comes in Two Forms
First, pretty much everybody has been there, felt that. Trust in the learning curve. I know I do… I’m confident that somebody, someday, will tell me what “bitly” means and what difference it makes to me.
Then, get over yourself and trust in what you have to offer. You wouldn’t be here if you didn’t have value to impart, wisdom to share and something interesting to launch into the digital world. Say it loud and proud, with courage and with confidence.
And when the assholes surface, do what I’m still trying to do – ignore them. Or, kill them with kindness as you brilliantly dismantle their contrarian view.
And those unapproachable Big Guys out there? The fallacy of that perception begins right here. Kevin Muldoon, our gracious host here on Bloggingtips.com, has been the most patient, helpful and downright positive person I’ve met online.
He’s not alone. Brian at Copyblogger reads everything, and when he gets back to you (not a sure thing; afterall, the guy has nearly 70,000 subscribers) it’s always encouraging and positive. I’ve done two guest blogs for him (one ran just yesterday), two on another major writing site and five on yet another.
All by just asking.
And, dare I say, by having something of value to offer. That is, and always will be, the trump card for any feelings of insecurity borne of intimidation. The presence of which, by the way, simply signals a recognition that you’re engaged in something important.
So hang in there and write your butt off. Because the most intimidating prospect of all is to let the intimidating distractions, and our self-imposed insecurities, drag us down.