If you're not yet blogging as a way to build your personal brand, do any of these excuses ring true?
You're not a very technical person
A blog is a website, and those are hard to set up, so the same must be true for blogging, right?
Well, no. There are lots of websites or blog platforms like WordPress.com that let you create a blog so quickly, you'll probably spend more time deciding what to call the blog. In less than 5 minutes you can be up and writing your first blog post.
No technical knowledge needed whatsoever.
As you blog more and more, you will (hopefully!) get ideas for ways to improve your blog that may require someone who is a technical expert. Ask a friend, start a thread in relevant forums, or if you can afford it- pay a freelancer to implement what you need done.
You don't like writing
I used to hate writing, or so I thought.
It took years of schooling before I realized that it wasn't so much the writing I hated, it was the part about being forced to write that I hated. I liked expressing myself and didn't mind responding to letters or email, but writing a book report about a book I didn't choose for a deadline? Feh.
A funny thing happened when I originally started my career as a web developer. Being part of multinational teams set up in multiple locations around the world made clear, regular communication a necessity but that didn't mean we couldn't add in stories or jokes to personalize the otherwise dry documentation.
Spend a little bit of time thinking about whether it's really the writing you don't like, or if it's actually something related to it instead. Then you'll be able to search for the most appropriate solution. At work over time I discovered which kinds of writing I was prepared to do, and that gave me the feeling that blogging might be worth a try.
You don't write well
What is ‘well' in this case? Not well enough for the brand you're growing?
What is your judgment based on?
No matter how well you write at the beginning, over time you will only get better at blogging, and that includes your writing skills. You'll get better because you'll improve your understanding of what specifically needs improving with your writing and how to go about improving it. When I look back on my first blog posts here on JobMob, it's tempting to delete them because they're so bad, but instead I've left them as a reminder both to myself and anyone else that's thinking of blogging their way to success.
You're worried about going public
Many people hesitate to start blogging because they're self-conscious. If you don't like being criticized in private, imagine what it's like in public, and cached online for a long, long time! Ultimately this is an issue of self-confidence that needs to be tackled head-on. The more you blog, the less you'll worry, especially after you realize that criticism is one of the quickest stimuli for growth.
The notion of lack of control of the published content was something that bothered me initially until I realized that I'd been emailing for years, and the same lack of control was there all along. Similarly, if you're already active on social media, blogging is just one step away.
Blogging takes too much time
This is arguably the most common excuse people give me for not blogging, and I hear you. Even today after more than 3 years of steady blogging, I find that actual blog post writing takes me longer than I'd like sometimes. Like anything, there are good days and bad days.
If you're concerned about typing speed, there are free lessons and exercises that will increase how many words per minute you pound out on the keyboard.
If your typing speed is fine but it takes time to organize your thoughts, get into the habit of first outlining your blog posts and then filling in each section.
Either way, you will get faster as you develop a blogging style and routine, but you will eventually plateau. If you're still not satisfied at that point, consider dictating your blog posts and hiring a freelance transcriber, or avoid text as much as possible by creating audio or video podcasts. Incidentally, these ideas are also useful for people who prefer speaking to writing, such as Gary Vaynerchuk.
Finally, if the effort of having your own blog is what's bothering you and not just the writing aspect, one option to get a taste of the benefits of blogging is by guest posting i.e. submitting individual blog posts to existing, industry-leading blogs in your profession.
I originally published a version of this article on the terrific Personal Branding Blog.
What's stopping you from using blogging to build a successful personal brand? Tell us in the comments.
If you liked this article, you'll also enjoy How To Use Blogging To Attract Job Offers and Other Benefits.