Do you experience self-doubt as a new blogger? Hello, everyone. How are ya? Here’s another tough-to-tackle subject when you start a blog, how to overcome self-doubt.
Every time I create something “extraordinary”, I feel that the devil is on my shoulder whispering to my ear.
You’re not good enough.”
“People are gonna hate you.”
“You can’t protect yourself and your goals.”
Turns out, it’s not the devil, but me.
Yep, I am my worst critic.
Somehow, I find it easy to expect the worst and get my game face on.
Think Art of War by Sun Tzu.
Rather than be blinded with toxic positivity.
Somehow, there are instances when my self-doubt as a new blogger is killing my momentum, my vision, and everything that defines my blogging goals.
But I’m not here to talk about how much of a pessimist I am.
I am here to share the things I do to overcome self-doubt to achieve my long-term and short term goals.
But first, let’s talk about…
Reasons why you experience self-doubt as a new blogger
1. Past mistakes
Bringing Up Business is my 4th blog to date.
I started my first blog in college. Back then blogging was simply for the purpose of having an online diary. I used Blogger for this. I write music reviews, and essays to impress my favorite professor (grin).
My second blog was about teaching. I started this blog five years ago, I think. Here, I shared:
- Teaching materials and where to find them online
- Rubric for school projects
- School events
- Photos of my students and their projects
The third is a self-care blog is currently for sale. I am in the process of making improvements to increase its value. So, if you’re interested, message me and I’ll share the details.
Why did they fail?
I completely lost my interest in them.
When you start a blog, you are the first person to love and appreciate it. If not, what would you expect your readers to feel?
2. My content sucks
Does it bother you when you see a blogger creating better content than you?
Michelle Phan (my favorite beauty guru forever and ever) is a pioneer in the YouTube beauty industry.
She has steered away from YouTube (and is now back, yass).
On the other hand, I also love Denitslava, Jeffreestar, and Johnreyslife (yep, in that order).
Imagine, if it weren’t for these beauty gurus showing up after Michelle Phan, what would the beauty industry be like?
So going back to our question, does it bother you when you see a blogger creating better content than you?
Is that a VALID reason to give up?
Oh, hell no.
Sure, it will crush your self-esteem and motivation for a while.
But know that for every content you create, you are contributing to your niche.
Aaaand it doesn’t mean yours is the worst.
You’ll get there. Promise.
3. I am afraid to put my work out in the world
Do you consider yourself an introvert? Do you think being an introvert is a contributing factor why you experience self-doubt as a new blogger?
Anyway, I like to think that the internet can be anyone’s best friend, including introverts.
You can blog anonymously.
You can find introverts like you.
And, to be honest, you don’t need the whole world to pay attention to you.
The key is to target the right audience.
4. No one reads anymore
If you think that no one reads anymore, you’re mistaken. People still read. It’s only a matter of what kind of reading materials they’re into.
Some prefer audiobooks. Others like listening to podcasts.
We acquire information from the internet based on our interests and how we want to be entertained.
Therefore, blogs aren’t limited to the type of content that’s text-based.
You can utilize other forms like videos, audio, infographics, etc.
Related post: What is content marketing? How to get amazing results
5. I don’t have the time
Don’t be fooled by Facebook ads that say blogging is a get-rich-quick scheme.
Believe me, it’s not.
Starting a blogging business is a marathon. While some niches grow fast, others take time.
So, if it’s been a month since you started blogging and you’re not seeing a lot of progress yet, it’s normal to experience self-doubt. But if you were able to set proper expectations, and give yourself a realistic timeline to learn and grow, this will help you overcome self-doubt.
6. Blogging is against EVERYTHING that I believed in as a writer
I am a literature major. Blog writing is completely against what I was taught in college.
I am used to reading and writing long sentences and paragraphs. On the other hand, blog writing is the opposite.
- Blog posts are scannable and skimmable
- You need sub-headings to improve readability
- Long sentences and paragraphs are allowed, but not recommended
- Texts should be in bold and/or italicized for emphasis
- You need to write as if you’re talking to a grade school student
If you’re used to academic writing, you may have a bit of trouble adjusting.
However, if your target audience is professionals in your field, then use the format you’re used to (MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.).
However, if you are looking for a more friendly approach to your readers, you may have to tone down a bit. Write as if you’re having a conversation with a close friend.
Share your expertise, but be approachable, not overwhelming.
7. SEO, who?
When I first started offering freelance services as a content writer, I didn’t know what SEO means.
When I started Bringing Up Business, that’s when I realized how important SEO is for any type of online business.
Your lack of knowledge with SEO can be a huge factor why you experience self-doubt as a new blogger.
But this shouldn’t stop you from curating quality content for your readers.
Related post: 5 Simple SEO Tips for Bloggers to Rank #1 on Google
8. I’m scared of what will people say
I think of my blog as a business. Therefore, I don’t share anything “business-related” to my personal Facebook account.
Besides, my Facebook friends aren’t my target audience. Honestly, I don’t think they have any idea what I’m up to (wink).
Yes, I’m still scared about what others will say, especially those that matter most.
But if I will allow this feeling to get to me, I won’t be able to overcome self-doubt.
How to overcome self-doubt as a new blogger
1. Take a break
How often do you publish a blog post? If you are posting 3 to 5 times a week, hold your horses, gurl. You need a break.
I know blogging excites you.
Be careful though.
As soon as you become overwhelmed with the amount of work that needs to be done, chances are you will experience blogger burnout which can possibly lead to self-doubt as a new blogger.
Also, blogging isn’t just about creating content. You still need to promote, create products, offer services, etc.
Cut yourself some slack.
Related post: Simple and Practical Tips to Pursue Smart Blogging Goals
2. STOP comparing yourself to other bloggers
This, for me is the toughest.
It’s super hard not to compare yourself to other bloggers.
But to overcome self-doubt, you need to see your strength as a blogger. And that is, to acknowledge your uniqueness.
For example, there are thousands of food blogs around the world. What makes yours different?
3. Focus on what you can give
Blogging is the business of helping others.
For me, I help new bloggers get unstuck in the learning phase.
How about you?
A colleague once told me,
“Cherrie, you cannot give what you do not have.”
Once you know what your target audience wants from you, that’s your cue to create quality content for them.
You will overcome self-doubt as soon as you get positive responses from your readers. Know what kind of help they want from you, and deliver.
4. Choose to be brave
You’re just getting started.
This isn’t the time to expect that you will fail.
Which leads us to my next tip.
5. Have a plan A, B, and C
A goal without a plan is just a wish.Antoine de Saint-Exupery
A solid plan will allow you to overcome self-doubt and help you find the direction you need to achieve your blogging goals.
Related post: How to create a 12-month blog plan and crush it
6. Practice self-affirmations
Today is gonna be a good day.”
I have been recently attracted to the law of attraction. I know, there’s no scientific basis to it. But when you allow positive energy to attract you and your goals, it will happen.
So, aside from waking up at 6 AM every day, I made it a habit to tell myself that, “Today is gonna be a good day.”
Honestly, this simple statement is so powerful, that it allows me to overcome self-doubt and spend the rest of my day on a positive note. It’s amazing.
7. Ignore Mr/Ms. Know-it-all
Bashers? Trolls? Online critics?
I know it’s hard to not care.
For me, it is important to surround yourself with people who understand you and your goals.
8. Forgive yourself
Accept that not everything is under your control.
People will unfollow you Instagram.
Pinterest will steal your monthly views.
Facebook will restrict your URL in Facebook groups.
But, you know what? It doesn’t matter.
Focus on things you can control.
- Publish at least once a week.
- Create fresh pins every day.
- Share your blog post in Facebook groups
- Write guest posts
The list goes on.
Choose to be brave.
Related post: 35 Must-join Facebook groups for bloggers: Blogging tips, promotion, and growth
9. Make friends
When I started joining Facebook groups for bloggers, I was a little intimidated.
You see, there are members who have 5 blogs, and earn thousands per month.
I, on the other hand, is just getting started and my income is from offering freelance services and affiliate marketing.
But when I started participating in daily threads, and receive compliments about how “pretty” my blog is, I realized, I’m in the right place.
You see, it’s ironic that we get support from “strangers.” But that’s the beauty of starting a blogging business. You’ll never know how much support you can get from people who can relate to you.
Related post: 15 Highly-profitable freelance services new bloggers can offer
10. Get help
Would you rather have someone take care of the techie side of WordPress, so you can focus your time and energy creating awesome content?
How about Pinterest? Would you rather spend more time on your business rather than spend days (or months) knowing the ins and outs of a new platform?
Related post: Flying solo: Can I start my blogging business alone?
It’s okay to experience self-doubt as a new blogger.
What’s not okay, is to succumb to it and let it defeat you and your blogging goals.
You see, not everything will turn out as planned. In the end, it’s your grit and your persistence to overcome obstacles that will pave the way for your success.
To overcome self-doubt, the trick is to keep breathing.
Always, always remember your “why”.