Overcome Your Fear of the Blogosphere
by Zoe M. McCarthy
|Image courtesy of Stuart Miles |
What’s a platform? How can I, a person resistant to social media, break in and raise my public image? Do I want to stand out? Why can’t I write good novels that publishers propel into the market place without all the fanfare? My name in small print is fine. Who has time to plug into social networks and write blogs, anyway? What do I have to say to people?
I think that’s fear speaking of the new and unfamiliar. It was for me. Step through my journey with me and maybe your anxiety will dissipate.
- I determined to do it.
For me, keeping in contact with God gives me courage and perseverance. God is bigger than unfamiliar words, codes, and confusing how-tos. He’s stronger than obstacles. When He calls me to do something new, He always does his part when I do mine.
- I attended social media workshops.
Author Stacy Hawkins Adams explained platforms in our writers’ group. Later, I attended the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers’ Conference and scheduled social media workshops. From author Gina Holmes’s class, I learned writers must start building their platforms well before they’re published. In Edie Melson’s workshop, she stepped us through creating a blog. Creating a blog still seemed scary but not foreign.
- I read books and subscribed to social media blogs.
Platform by Michael Hyatt and Selling Your Book Like Wildfire by Rob Eagar chiseled off more of my fear. Through subscribing to blogs, such as Copyblogger, Jeff Goins, Writer, and Author Media, blogging tips and processes became familiar. Familiar calmed me.
- I perused others’ blogs.
I noted their similarities and differences, what I liked and what I didn’t.
- I determined what type of blog fit me. Hyatt’s Platform listed three basic types of blogs: “web journals,” single-theme sites, and those focusing on a theme with occasional deviations. The latter two appealed to me.
- I mind-mapped what I could share and sustain over time. After petitioning God and brainstorming, I realized I needed to choose from my passions: creativity, the Bible, and writing. My mind map showed I had many life experiences using my creativity to engage people. I could help others do the same in their workplace, home, and volunteer activities. Creative in Everything was born.
Taking the plunge:
- I chose a service. As a novice, I’ve started with a web-hosted site. I chose WordPress because most of my research materials mentioned it.
- I muddled through the setup. Creative in Everything is a work in progress. The precious gem I’ve learned is: Quit freaking out over the many obstacles. Stop, pray, and persevere. God will work ways around hindrances. Now, I view roadblocks as challenges. I’m curious to see what God’s going to do.
- I wrote the best post I could, took a deep breath, and hit publish. My marketing strategy in a book proposal promised I’d have a blog by 10/1/2012. That deadline prevented me from endlessly pursuing perfection.
- I emailed a paragraph introducing my blog to family, friends, Facebook, and Twitter. I included Creative in Everything’s benefits to readers and my every-Thursday schedule, which I’ve honored. I’ve enjoyed reconnecting with people.
- I receive encouraging testimonies. Every time someone comments or emails me how a post has helped them, I praise God for guiding me on my blogging journey.
QUESTION OF THE DAY: What tips could you add to help others overcome blogging fears?
Through Creative in Everything, Zoe M. McCarthy enjoys helping others find imaginative ways to engage people in their daily responsibilities. Zoe’s depended on her creative juices to grab the attention of corporate colleagues, middle school students, Sunday school and Bible Study Fellowship preschoolers, and male prisoners. She’s a retired actuary turned full-time writer. Represented by Hartline Literary Agency, she spins contemporary Christian romances and short stories with splashes of humor. A self-publisher of two books of contemporary Christian short stories, she’s also published stories with Christian Fiction Online Magazine. Zoe and her husband live in mountainous Southwestern Virginia. They’ve raised two sons and enjoy playing with their five grandchildren. Creatively, of course.
Creative in Everything: http://zoemmccarthyblog.wordpress.com
Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/ZoeMMcCarthyAuthor;
Hi Zoe, welcome to the Inkwell and thanks for stopping by.ReplyDelete
Well, as you can see here, team blogging is a great way to overcome your fears. The synergy of the team keeps you going and adds to your audience. Meanwhile, it also means less posts that you have to write yourself. Of course, most of us have personal blogs too, but for me, the team got me started.
Another thing that helped me in platform building, I learned from Jim Rubart. Just be yourself. Figure out your own stand out, even quirky qualities, and those will attract the right audience for you.
Dina, I agree team blogging is more enjoyable for me. Not just having friends to share the posting, but I so utterly value the relationships and intimacy we have with one another.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Zoe, for sharing. I need to do a better job building my platform.
I just want to add another plug for team blogging. It also provides accountability. It's easier to put things off when we don't have that outside accountability.ReplyDelete
Thanks for stopping by, Zoe!
What CJ said! With team blogging, I don't have as much to worry about and they keep me on track. It's wonderful! Especially with such great co-bloggers. :DReplyDelete
I guess it's unanimous. Team blogging rocks. Unless you have a LOT to say! Platform is really important for new and wannabe authors, thanks Zoe for stopping by to help us all out with this often tough issue!ReplyDelete
I am in total agreement with my Inksters. A nd I love that Dina mentioned quirky qualities. ;-)ReplyDelete
Thanks for visiting, Zoe.
I don't have a personal blog, so this is 'my blog'. I have to admit, I really love learning about social media and how to best use it, but I often think how glad I am that I am not under pressure yet to use it.ReplyDelete
Right now, it's the enjoyment of hanging out with the Inkies.
THanks so much for all the great links, Zoe!
Great tips--thank you!ReplyDelete
Zoe M. McCarthy here. I'm having trouble leaving a comment through Wordpress.ReplyDelete
Thank you Inkwell Inspirations and company for inviting me to guest blog, my first experience, and for all the wisdom on team blogging. I've learned guest blogging is also a good way to share the load and bring in fresh ideas for readers.
Thanks Zoe. Glad you got something out of my class!ReplyDelete