Relax, you're as famous as an Elvis impersonator

Sometimes when I first tell someone they should start a blog I can see fear overtaking them.  First comes the blank facial expression, then the stuttering, and then the worrying about self promotion.  

I compare it to an Elvis impersonator, like our boy pictured above, who believes he has the exact same fan following as Elvis.  He says "Uh-huh" just right, "You ain't nothing but a hound dog" with that southern draw, and he can work the eyebrow.  After all, he's Elvis.  Wrong, he just has a pair of sideburns, but in his mind, he has as many fans and as much pressure on him as the actual Elvis. 

Just because you decide to write a blog  on the internet, doesn't mean all 6.8 billion people will read your blog.  Just like being an Elvis impersonator doesn't mean you have the same amount of fans as the real Elvis.  To be honest, your friends probably won't even read your blog.  So, remind me again why you feel so much pressure about writing a blog?  

Calm down there sideburns.

A blog should be a self expression of your creativity and interest, not a popularity contest.  So relax, you're not famous.  Have fun writing, or vlogging (video blog), or taking pictures...whatever it is you love to do.


Where's your blog?

Everyone around you is waiting for you to write it.

The idea has been rolling around in your head, you have an idea to write a blog.  As soon as the idea comes to your mind, your lizard brain sneaks up and halts your progress.  The lizard brain is your amygdala, the oldest part of your brain, and it fights for survival.  It doesn't want you to take the risk, because you might have to change or work harder.  

BUT, shrug that feeling off.  Write a blog.  You have something to offer that no one else has to offer.  Plus, the blog is going to replace your job resume'.  When you apply for a job you can put something you have done on a piece of paper or you can can show what you are doing online.  That's a big difference to a possible employer.  

Here's my starter kit to blogging once you've gotten over the fear of failure:

1.  Research - The best resource I've found is www.bloggingwithamy.com.  If you have any questions about establishing a blog and how to make it your own, start there.  I've also emailed Amy to ask her a question and her response time was amazing!  

2.  Wordpress.com/Wordpress.org - Any pro blogger will say that consistency is critical to develop an audience.  Decide how often you will post.  I post Monday, Wednesday, Friday for leadership entries, and every Tuesday for Things BIG men don't understand.  So start with "Free."  That's the difference between Wordpress.com and Wordpress.org, Wordpress.com is free and easy to manage.  Try being consistant for six months to a year.  If you pull it off and are still excited about blogging then it's time to get a host and move over to Wordpress.org.

3.  Hosting - Having a host means that you are paying a company to put your writing on their server.  Your written material has a home address on a host.  It's like putting your money in the bank.  Except now you are putting your intellectual property on someone else's hard drive.  I love, LOVE, BlueHost.com.  Their customer service is outstanding.  I have a button on the right side of this page that will link you to their site.  

4.  Evernote - Evernote is a note taking system that operates on your smart phone and computer.  The best part about it is that regardless of how many devices you have it on (in my case iPhone, iPad, and Mac) Evernote syncs the notes across all the devices.  If I'm driving down the road and I have a blog entry idea I get out my phone and I can leave myself an audio recording describing the idea.  Then when I sit down to write I can play the recording on my computer.  Go to www.evernote.com to get started and gather your ideas.

At some point you have to stop waiting for that one specific moment where someone will notice your talent and sky rocket you to success.  Instead, be proactive and start sharing your ideas and talents, create a conversation we haven't had yet and you will create opportunities for yourself.