6 blogger worries and how to conquer them

Most bloggers, especially when they start a blog and are in the first few months of blogging, develop self-doubt about their capability and fears of myriad kind. Some bloggers keep worrying when despite their best efforts, the blog does not succeed the way they had envisioned.

Some fears and a bit of anxiety are acceptable as they prod you to remain alert and active. However, they pull you down when baseless and excessive. Or when they blunt your creativity or urge to grow.

We have grouped bloggers' worries into six groups as we found that most worries can be bundled in these groups. Let's see whether these are baseless or symptomatic of some serious problem.

1. Am I wasting my time in blogging? I am not earning enough in comparison to the effort I put in blogging. Is blogging helping me achieve my goal? Have I not spent too much time/ effort/ money on blogging, which would have given me much more than what I'm getting from it? Should I keep publishing on the blog or should I post my writing elsewhere for a better impact?

This group of worries question the very purpose of blogging and are dangerous if not tackled in time. If you have such doubts and worries, take a pen and paper and jot down answers to 'Why am I  blogging?' Don't leave this until you get an answer. The answer could show that you are worrying unnecessarily but are on the right blogging path. It might show that you have chosen a wrong niche (=subject/ area) or are not putting in enough effort or are doing blogging the wrong way. You might even find that blogging is not your cup of tea and you should quit it and utilize the time saved in more productive activities.

Occasional self-doubts are natural if your blog is not giving you great value in terms of money/  happiness/ recognition. You should do the 'Why am I  blogging?' exercise whenever this worry hits you. If it happens too often or you are not reaching anywhere even after great effort, take major decisions.

2. Will I be able to sustain another year of blogging? I am feeling fatigued. I often find deficient in writing. I have to work hard to think of a topic.

This group of symptoms show anxiety, and boredom added to it. Naturally, these have serious implications. If you are not passionate about your blog and its subject, and you are not expert/ knowledgeable/ creative enough to write regularly, you are bound to lose interest completely one day. Before that day comes, check where you stand in terms of passion and your capacity to keep writing for a long time. Also see that writing for long does not mean somehow filling pages; all writing must be meaningful.

You are a blessed blogger if you are in love with your blog after five years as much as you were when you created the blog. You can sometimes have this type of anxiety and/ or exhaustion even being passionate about your blog and the craft of blogging, but that should pass soon. If it lingers on, ask the same question, "Why am I blogging?"

3. Most of my acquaintances/ colleagues/ clients are on Facebook, LinkedIn etc; so blogging is no longer the platform of choice. Should I shift to social networking sites such as Facebook? Should I have a website rather than blog? Am I using an obsolete platform?

If you are a blogger who is not sure of the relevance of blogging in the face of social networking and chatting apps, you are not alone. In fact, during compilation of directories for ITB, we have noticed that many fantastic blogs of yesteryears are either left to decay or are closed altogether. As you would expect, this happens predominantly with hobby blogs, as bloggers quickly experiment with newer forms of social media which are more 'social' and easy too.

If you are one whose purpose of being on the web is better served through Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn etc, you should shift to these platforms. However, don't take that decision in a hurry. Yes, after FB and LI have introduced long-form posts, these platforms serve the purpose of blogging to some extent. Medium also is a good cross between social networks and plain blogging. All things considered, none of these can replace blogging when it comes to having a serious presence on the web. On these platforms, you can't customize the blog or individual posts, can't monetize them, can't have your way with promotion/ optimization.

If you feel that you are losing because your blog does not look like a standard website and therefore is seen inferior, go for the normal website design, by all means. Just have a look at this post before deciding that: website like design for the blog?

4. Do I write well? Is my language OK or it is boring or grammatically wrong? Do people laugh at my writing? Does my writing look professional/ well-researched? Are my facts OK? Does it get me respect or people feel I ramble without rhyme or reason? Does my writing look like copy-pasted from somewhere else? Are people reading my article or leaving it after headline or the first para?

This is a case of self-doubt and happens when you are not confident of (i) the subject you are dealing with or (ii) your writing skills.

You have many options to deal with such worries. Master the subject by reading and practicing. Over a period, your expertise and so the confidence will grow. If you already are a fairly good expert, get rid of the self-doubt right now. 

Regarding your language skills, you can improve these by practice and writing more and more. Some successful bloggers of today have admitted that they find their initial posts childish when they look at them now. Another option for non-English bloggers is to shift to their mother tongue if they find English a hindrance to their creativity. You can always hire freelance editors to edit your posts before you publish them; they are available at a very small fee on Fiverr. Alternatively, you can ask your colleagues or friends to edit and proof-read your posts.

5. Is my content legitimate, legal and acceptable? Is my writing controversial? Will my writing or photos not lead me into legal or other issues?

We have received some such questions from visitors to ITB. These seem to arise from press reports about bloggers being jailed or receiving threats. Some bloggers get trolls and abuses in their comment boxes or have got notices for having used others' music and videos on their blogs.

The best way to avoid legal or abusive social actions against you is to not pick up subjects that are likely to hurt sentiments/ reputation of individuals, ethnicities, faiths, races. Do not copy-paste others' content into your blog. If you take these precautions, you need not worry about getting hurt through the blog. For further guidance, you might like to refer to this ITB post on the importance of attributing and disclosure when using others' content.

Some blogging and SEO advisers ask bloggers to stroke controversy to get more traffic. If you are influenced by such advice, be sure you can handle that. Similar is the case with 'inappropriate' content such as nudity, child porn, gambling, etc.

6. Will people steal my content?

Many bloggers we meet are concerned about use or misuse of their content and its copyright. Some are worried that once they post their poems, content from book, research papers, photographs, videos or paintings on the web, they would lose earnings from their original creation.

Well, plagiarism and copyright-infringement are part of a creative blogger's life. In most cases, it hardly matters if people copy your content. But, yes, it hurts when a valuable creation is stolen - and it hurts financially too. If so, instead of worrying on this count, why not take some preventive actions? Why not take strong action when piracy hurts you badly?  We recently published a detailed post on what actions to take when you fear others stealing your content.

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