How to Overcome Your Fears About Blogging: Blog Therapy from a Real Blogging Therapist

how to overcome your fears

Are you suffering from blogophobia?

Blogophobia is described as an extreme or irrational fear of blogging.

The most common symptom of blogophobia is avoidance of blogs. In severe cases, those suffering with blogophobia run away in terror from any encounter with a blog. Just the sight of a blog makes them panic.

In milder cases, people are able to blog, but they experience general feelings of anxiety or depression when thinking about blogging or performing a blogging related task.

Is this you? If yes, I have two pieces of good news: First, I made up the term “blogophobia.” It’s not a real disease.

Although this is not an actual diagnosis, that doesn’t mean you aren’t struggling with some very REAL fears when it comes to your blogging

I’ve experienced a few myself, and I know many other bloggers struggle with fear because I directly asked YOU awhile back to share your blogging fears with me.

Many responded.

I listened and collected all the fears you shared. I want to thank everyone who was brave enough to do this on social media.

My purpose with this exercise is to help you overcome these blogging fears without charging $90 an hour (that’s the low-end average cost for therapy. 🙂 )

Which leads to my other piece of good news: I’m not the one doing the counseling for this.

Real fear requires a trained professional, so I want to introduce you to Blair Glaser. She’s a real therapist and a real blogger. Her website speaks for itself. Be sure to grab her free e-book 4 ways to step into your authority NOW.

Her background is why I contacted Blair–who better to help us conquer our blogging fears than someone who blogs and is also a trained therapist?

Blair Glaser offers her expertise for us. There’s a wealth of insights here in this interview.

Thank you for sharing your gift with us, Blair.

Okay, now let’s get this therapeutic party started…

How to Overcome Your Fears About Blogging – Interview with Blogging Therapist Blair Glaser

Matthew Loomis: Hi Blair, before we dive in to the questions, why don’t you start by introducing yourself to the Build Your Own Blog audience. Give us a brief rundown of your background as a therapist and as a blogger.

Blair Glaser: Hi Matthew! I started my professional psychotherapy practice in 1998. My training was in drama therapy, but I took a number of other trainings and ended up being mostly a “talk” therapist. I guest lectured about drama therapy, taught graduate students, and in 2000, I created a women’s empowerment workshop based on a play called “The Vagina Monologues” that landed me many women clients dealing with sexual issues.

how to overcome your fears

How to overcome your fears about blogging? Listen to the advice of Blair Glaser.

From there I became interested in Women’s Leadership, and began to run trainings and courses for women.

Eventually, my work took a new turn, and now even though I have a license to practice therapy, I mostly coach, or as I prefer to say, mentor, other people: in life, business and love.

I have always loved writing and began to write articles for my newsletters as well as a column on Feminist.com, and eventually websites such as YourTango and The Good Men Project.

But when blogging became fashionable in the mid-part of last decade, I didn’t see the use for it as a therapist. I thought blogging was like a personal diary, and as a therapist, I had professional boundaries that limited what I could share. Eventually, in 2013, way after blogging had become more mainstream and included professional advice, I took to it. It was a little late in the game, but now I love blogging about leadership, relationship and personal authority.

And since I no longer work as a psychotherapist in the strict sense of the word, I do include personal stories in these teaching posts.

Matthew Loomis: Okay, so I’m thinking it would be fun to ask you some questions, as if you were in a therapy session, and each question represents a scared blogger lying on a couch in your office, looking up at the ceiling, sharing their blogging fears with you.

I figured that someone with your background could probably provide some good “online therapy” to those reading this who are struggling with fears.

I’ve asked many fellow bloggers through social media about the fears they struggle with, and several of them provided some honest answers. I’ve gathered the results and used the fears they shared to put together this list of questions.

I think your experience not only as a therapist but also as a prolific blogger makes you a great choice to provide some therapeutic counsel for any new blogger reading this.

Are you ready, Blair?

Blair Glaser:  YES. FUN!

Matthew Loomis: Alright, let’s begin.

Question 1: What if nobody reads my blog? What if I can’t learn WordPress? What if? What if?

Many of the readers here are first time bloggers. Whenever people start something new, they oftentimes struggle with fears that deal with the “unknowns.”

For example, some folks want to start, but they’re afraid that “nobody will read my blog.” Or, “I’m afraid my blog will be nonsense that nobody will find interesting.” This is only unknown speculation at this point.

Another unknown is the fear of using new technology and tools, like WordPress, or BlueHost…Fears like these could be classified as the “What ifs” that we all face at times…What would you say to someone hesitating to blog because of fearing the unknown?

Blair’s Blogger Therapy:

Let’s start with the first query, or should I say, feary, (my puns are just awful, forgive me). What if nobody reads my blog? Well, when you start out, very few people will.

Don’t forget to share it with all your friends, colleagues and your mother! But what helped me get through this phase, is remembering why I was doing it. What’s your why for starting a blog? Get really clear on that. And let me tell you, if your why is because you want to get more business from blogging, you have a LOOOONG ways to go.

You see, even if people are impressed by what you have to say, seeing something you’ve written on social media does not always make them want to work with or buy from you.

Often, sadly, they just want more free information. Eventually, a long time down the road, if a person who has followed you has a need or a problem they cannot solve on their own, you may come to mind, and that is good. So I recommend finding a better why.

Examples of whys: I have thoughts or information I want to share. I like writing. I enjoy spreading ideas that could help people feel better, etc. Know your why.

Then, if only 2 people read your blog, that’s two people who may be feeling better from something you have written.

One day, I was feeling particularly down about the small reach my blog had. I felt confident my ideas were unique, useful and well-written, so why weren’t more people interested?

I went to write in a local coffee shop, which always cheers me up. I saw a friend and he introduced me to a woman who was sitting next to him. She recognized my name. Turns out we’re Facebook friends. Within a heartbeat she told me that she reads everything I post. Who knew? She’s never clicked “like” — I didn’t even know we were friends. . . goes to show you, you never know who you may be impacting with your words. It got me back in touch with my why. I felt better.

Now for the second: Whenever we embark on something new, it’s scary! There are new things to learn. And sometimes that’s difficult. Just don’t let those fears run the show. Let your why be stronger than them.

Question 2: How do I overcome blogger insecurities?

Let’s take a closer look at the fear of writing…Bloggers can struggle for years after starting a blog with fears about their writing ability.

Insecurities might be a better description. These can range from struggling with fears about the quality of the writing: “Is it good enough?” Comparing themselves with other bloggers who have large followings only feeds their insecurity. Another fear could be “will I ever find my writing voice.”

What advice do you have on these types of writing insecurities?

Blair’s Blogger Therapy:

Keep writing. Keep seeing what people respond to. Do not read other people’s blogs if, when you do, you only compare yourself in negative ways.

The insecurities are there, but we authorize ourselves to take risks instead.

Question 3: What if my blogging results are disappointing?

What about someone who fears putting a lot of time and effort into their blog, only to be disappointed?

Blair’s Blogger Therapy:

Disappointment happens. As far as I know, no one has ever died from disappointment. If it turns out you’re a shitty blogger, you can find another way to share your wisdom or show people what you have to offer. Video, daily tweets, live workshops . . . these are just a few ways to influence others and create a following.

Question 4: What if I say something on my blog that offends someone?

How would you counsel a blogger who fears “offending someone?” Someone who fears the reaction of their readers, whether they have a small or large audience? One new blogger told me they feared upsetting someone they know, “like my mother.” Hmm. Sounds a little Freudian, Dr. Blair. What would be your therapy here?

Blair’s Blogger Therapy:

We all want to be liked and hope that our thoughts are appreciated, but the intention for blogging has to come from a deeper place, otherwise you will be tossed into a tizzy with each challenging comment. It is important to take other people into account. If you share a personal story with your mother and show her in a bad light, why would she be okay with that, unless you are both very evolved and have discussed it.

And if you are going to talk about your clients or other people in your life, you need to disguise them very well or talk to them first about it.

But as for your ideas, well, you need to find the strength to stand in those and share them boldly — whether mother approves or not. That’s what makes you unique.

What is preventing you from standing in your authority, that is, your knowing, your expertise and your view of the world? If you can’t find an answer, and feel really stuck, by all means, call me ;).

Question 5: What should I do if I’m afraid people will put me in a narrow box after reading my blog?

Then there are fears about being labeled. Virginia from Australia shared that she’s scared of being labeled “just another mummy blogger” when in fact she writes about other topics besides parenting. Any advice for those who fear being pigeon-holed into a niche, particularly the wrong niche? Or fears of being misunderstood about your blogging identity or purpose?

Blair’s Blogger Therapy:

I love this question.

I am a really good example of this. I write on my blog and for other sites about relationship. But I am not only a “relationship expert”. I write about leadership on my blog and elsewhere, but I am not just a leadership blogger. I also write some very personal stories that have made it around the web.

This is good for me as a writer, but not great for my some parts of audience. They may not know exactly what to do with me. This is why niches are actually good for brand and business. But if you are blogging just to share ideas, then you will not be able to control how other’s receive or categorize your information. Creating and getting to know your audience is a process.

Sadly, we cannot control how we are pigeon-holed, and sometimes we must fight it. But good business comes from knowing which audience resonates with you. If “mummy’s” love your work, you can cater to the types of things that interest them, or slant your writing slightly to include a maternal perspective. As your readers grow to trust you, you can include other topics to write about.

Of course, if you start writing about guns or hunting, and it doesn’t really connect to your audience or experience as a mother, you may want to publish those pieces elsewhere. Probably with another name!

There are certain types of post about dating (e.g. What to do if your boyfriend stops texting?) that I have published elsewhere but not on my blog because my audience is a little older and more sophisticated, and ultimately, more leadership focused.

Question 6: What if my blog isn’t perfect?

One blogger shared with me that she fears her blog is “not perfect.” She was fine tuning her blog, enjoying the creative process, was about to do a “virgin launch” as she put it (launch her new blog), yet she feared her new website wasn’t going to look “clean enough.” Another blogger agreed with her and talked about his own procrastination of starting because he kept obsessing over the “style and content” of the blog.

Any advice?

Blair’s Blogger Therapy:

Perfectionism is a bitch, isn’t it?

I’ve suffered from it at times as well. In fact, I’m in the midst of creating this online course for relationships and I think I’ve redone one of the module videos about seven times.

I get past my perfectionism with accountability. I out myself to a supportive colleague, friend, or accountability partner, and ask them to partner me in moving forward and allowing myself to express what I have to say, “warts” and all. They may sit with me as I press “publish.” They may just call or email and say, “how are you doing with your course?” (Or whatever I’m working on at the time.)

Experience helps build confidence. Although I occasionally get tripped up, I really do understand that perfection isn’t what’s required. Ever. All I need is to do my best and trust that I will be loved and received even with my imperfections.

Question 7: What if I can’t create good blog posts consistently?

Here we are talking about the common fear of “not being able to produce quality content on a regular basis…it’s a fear of not being able to produce. That one day the ideas will dry up.

What would you say to this?

Blair’s Blogger Therapy:

Your best hope is that 75 percent of your posts are good. The other 25, by necessity, will be mediocre at best.

Some will be outstanding. Most of those outstanding posts will be very well-received and even shared, but interestingly, some of them will not. Sometimes a post you think is your best work doesn’t get the recognition you anticipated it would. This is just how it goes. You do it long enough, you learn to accept that flow.

Question 8: What if a heckler verbally attacks me in the blog comments?

As a therapist and blogger, what’s your advice for dealing with trolls? Many new folks fear being ridiculed on their blog. They fear looking silly or being provoked by some harassing jerk. This can hamper a new blogger so much, they never fully reveal themselves or take chances. How can someone overcome this fear?

Blair’s Blogger Therapy:

Oye. Never fun.

When someone you love verbally attacks you, what do you do?

Some of you will remain quiet and let them speak, give them space to be heard. Or your style may be to defend your points and argue with what you feel is a misreading of your words. Some of you may apologize if you feel you have offended. But I bet all of you, all of you, will talk to a friend, confidant, colleague or supervisor.

Responding to angry commenters isn’t that different. Trust yourself to handle it. And by all means, if you feel triggered and don’t know what to do or how to react, talk to a blogging colleague, mentor, or coach

Question 9: What if my blog succeeds beyond my wildest dreams?

Some people fear success…do you think many folks can have this fear and not realize it on the conscious level? Don’t you think many are self-sabotaging themselves because of it? What do you suggest for the blogger who fears success?

Blair’s Blogger Therapy:

Let’s play it out. So your blog get’s picked up by the Huffington Post. It gets 10,000 shares in two days. Your website crashes. Your phone is ringing off the hook. It’s chaos.

How do you feel? How are you handling it? How is it impacting your personal relationships? In your fantasy, what is fun and exciting about it?

Fantasy is actually what helps you prepare for the unsettling experience of success.

Let’s go further. You write more. Your inbox is flooded daily. You hire an assistant. One day, business is out of control. You are writing and speaking . . . if that’s what you want. And then, eventually, many months or even years later, you find yourself sitting across from Oprah.

My questions for you is this: Do you know what you’ll wear?

My advice is this: If the answer is NO, go out and buy something, NOW. Because by that time, you’ll be so busy, it’ll be one more thing you won’t have to add to your to-do list.

This Therapy Session Has Ended

Please see Rochelle on your way out to schedule your next appointment. (Just having a little fun there.)

How Do You Feel Now?

Did you enjoy this interview as much as I did?

I want to hear from you below. Can you relate to any of these fears? What did you find helpful? If you could ask Blair anything else, what would you say?

Let’s help each other down in the comments. I’ll bet Blair herself will join in the conversation.

Consider these blog comments “group therapy.”

And speaking of Blair Glaser, thanks again for sharing your insights with us!

If you would like to follow her on social media, here’s where you can find Blair:

Twitter: @blairglaser
Linked In: Linkedin.com/in/blairglaser

 

Until next time,

Matthew

Author Bio:

Matthew Kaboomis Loomis is the owner of Build Your Own Blog. Connect with him on Google+ and Twitter

37 comments

  1. Rin Porter   •  

    Blair and Matt, this was a great post! I am impressed by how Blair applied good solid therapy techniques to blogging situations that many of us face. I especially liked the one about what if nobody reads your blog, and then you happen to meet a person who was helped by your blog, so then you don’t care that only two people read it, because you helped someone! That was something I needed to hear.

    Thanks, guys! Matt, this was a great idea. More genius from you.

    • Matthew Loomis   •     Author

      Awe, thanks Rin. This was fun. Blair provided some great answers for us all.

    • Blair   •  

      Yay! So glad it resonated with you, Rin.

    • Anthony Zarillo   •  

      Hi Matt. Just read what Blair had to say. As a person who is new to the blogging world I gained insight from what she had to say. I do certainly agree with her implications that you shouldn’t necessarily be in it for the money. And I’m not. But let’s face it. If we are somewhat successful financially with our blogs and websites, we are free to continue the things that drive our passions. When you’re working for others the only thing you drive is to work. About perfection. My site is not where it should be with functionality and looks, but if I waited to get everything right, I wouldn’t have published a word. It’s through sites like yours, and helpful comments from people like Blair that I remain confident that I will learn the necessary tools that will help me be a successful blogger. Thank you. Anthony

      • Blair   •  

        Woo hoo, Anthony! Go for it.

  2. Adrienne   •  

    Hey Matt and Blair,

    I think great minds think alike Matt, this is going to be an upcoming topic over at my blog too. Of course I’m not a therapist so my responses will be from my own experience and those that have shared their fears as well.

    I appreciate this post and what Blair had to share with your readers who were eager to ask these specific questions.

    Fear holds us back from so many things and with all the blogs that are online today I know why someone new just venturing into this would have these issues. Even what Blair shared herself as to why she wasn’t getting any more visitors on her own blog until she learned others were reading it too.

    I love this spin on this and thanks to you both for sharing this with us. Love these responses and will be sure to share as well.

    ~Adrienne

    • Matthew Loomis   •     Author

      Looking forward to reading your upcoming article about blogging fears, Adrienne!

  3. Blair   •  

    Sweet! So nice that you will be sharing the gifts of your experience with others. Isn’t that what it’s all about?

  4. Chiu-An Lo   •  

    Hi Blair and Matt,
    Thank you for sharing this interview. I especially like question 6 about the disaster of perfectionism. Indeed, the seek for perfection is all over our daily life. As a student, we want our course reports to be perfect, our graduate school application to be impeccable, our plan for an event to be wonderful, etc. These types of sentiment get lots of people stuck and cannot advance to pursue their goals.

    I remember when I was deciding to study abroad, I got quite a few negatives comments such as I was not as competitive as others from elite universities, scholarship was scarce and often not available to foreigners, etc. Fortunately, a voice in my ear saying “the best way to overcome this hurdle is to ignore them and take action right away”. As we say in French “Fait est mieux que parfait”, literally means ” to do now is better than waiting for being perfect”. I ignored all those discouragement and moved forward and eventually achieved my dream.

    Now as a new blogger, I am sure the same principle holds that
    trying is better than hesitating and panicking. Thank you guys again and I look forward to hearing more interesting advices from you.

    Chiu-An

    • Matthew Loomis   •     Author

      Love your story, Chiu-An! You have helped me see how action can break someone free from perfectionism. Good luck with your new blog.

  5. Palma Minnich   •  

    I enjoyed reading this post and have, at one time or another, felt all of these. Well, except for the last one. Although I never EVER know what to wear, I am definitely not afraid of success! But my biggest fear is number 6 – What if my blog isn’t perfect. This is why my blog is not live yet. I am still struggling with the format and was wondering, if I click “publish” now, and there are still things that I don’t like about how it looks, will any future changes I make to the appearance be reflected in these earlier posts? I am talking about title appearance, background color, font style, or even if I choose another template? Or will only the posts going forward show these changes? If I can make everything “gel”, appearance-wise, somewhere down the road, I will press “publish” now. If I will always be stuck with ugly posts listed in my archives I do not want to publish until these issues are corrected.

    • Matthew Loomis   •     Author

      Hi Palma,
      Your WordPress theme determines the look with title, background, font, etc….whatever theme you are using, your posts will reflect that theme, even the older archived posts. Many themes enable you to do some tweaks, while others are limited. Sometimes, changing the theme is the answer, which isn’t that hard at all. Check out my videos on this page in the “Appearance and Design” category: http://www.buildyourownblog.net/learning-wordpress/?utmx=blgfeerspost
      Best,
      Matt

  6. Linda   •  

    Thank you Matt and Blair, you have no idea how much I needed to read this article this morning. It has been 5 months of blogging for me now and I had nearly paralyzed myself with these fears over the past week. I think I can make a comeback now…
    Thank you again!

    • Blair   •  

      Makes me so happy to hear it helped, too!

  7. Rev. Suzanne   •  

    Thank you for inviting me to read this post, Matthew.

    I don’t have fear about what others think abut the blog because I know it’s something the Lord wants me doing. My trouble is perfectionism, not for others, but for myself. Until I can get the front page looking good, I will not go public with this blog.

    Hope you do more of these kinds of Q&A’s. They are helpful.

  8. Ashley   •  

    Matt I can’t tell you how much I needed to read this, especially the perfectionist part. That is exactly where I am at. I changed my design and layout so many times because it just didn’t look right. It’s hard getting past that point!

  9. Ingo   •  

    Hi Matthew,
    You have always encouraged me to move forward.
    We all have fears.
    This post has really made me realise am not alone.
    I am a new blogger on parenting (#parentinggist) and some of these fears makes me worried.
    Thanks I feel better.

    • Blair   •  

      You are definitely not alone, Ingo. So glad you found your way to this post!

  10. victor thomas   •  

    hey i enjoyed it although i still have not started my site yet listening to the degree of challenges has my blood pumping . i am looking forward tc working with you in the near future.

  11. Nicole   •  

    Hi Mathew,
    i had the good fortune to stumble across your blog a few days ago and it has made such a huge difference already! You share so much free information and I have already been applying your tips to my blog.

    The interview with Blair was great and I totally identify with the perfectionism thing. I don’t have traffic yet but I still publish as I feel that I can learn as I go and tweak things as needed and eventually there will be an audience.

    Thank you so much for this awesome resource!

    • Blair   •  

      “Eventually there will be an audience” — most definitely! Keep posting, Nicole. Warmly, Blair

  12. Brittany   •  

    First off, I just wanted to say how great not only this article is, but the website in general. I am in the process of building mine and plan on launching it soon. However, after reading all of these tips and tricks you find on the internet I have a lot of fears. My original concept was to write posts that make a person stop and think. Now that I am understanding this is a broad concept and it is better to be more precise, I would like to narrow it down. I would like to not only write about hot topics/current events, but to also include some great simple living/life improvement tricks I have picked up throughout my life. I am having a hard time narrowing it down and fear that if I go in both directions it will prevent me from gaining and keeping readers. On the other hand, if I don’t write about things I enjoy, why even have a blog?

    • Matthew Loomis   •     Author

      Hi Brittany,

      The best thing you can do to help solve your current conundrum is to start posting articles, then observe what people like, don’t like, and adjust accordingly. Start out writing what you enjoy. That will be evident to the reader. Your blog, like everything else, is a process. Not an overnight sensation. If you need any help with the setup, I’m here to help.

      • Brittany   •  

        Wow, I know this is a simple, seemingly obvious solution, but honestly I had never thought of doing it this way. I think my brain is reading too much into everything! Thanks a ton, can’t wait for my website to go live, now!

  13. Luqman   •  

    Matt & Blair, you did a great job with my blog intention. I really provide solutions to alley my fear. I enjoyed everything you said.

  14. Laura   •  

    Thank you so much for this. I’m just starting to research setting up my own blog, and all of these fears hit so close to home; from the “mommy” to “success” fear, it all rang true. I really appreciated the therapeutic approach because it was logical and realistic. Here’s to starting the pre-launch process 🙂 Thanks again.

    • Matthew Loomis   •     Author

      Hi Laura,

      This post was a lot of fun for me because of my long interest in psychology and how it applies to blogging here.

      I know firsthand how fear affects bloggers. Just knowing this happens to everyone is the first step to recovery and healing. In other words, we can overcome our fears about blogging by learning from others.

      Blair was a great choice here. She has the therapist background and knows a lot about online marketing and blogging. Logical and realistic was my intent. Glad you found this helpful.

      Keep me posted on how your new blog is doing.

      Matthew

  15. Shirley de Gannes   •  

    My biggest concern in blogging is copyright. I think I understand the basics, however it becomes complicated and confusing. I would like to have a successful blog but I am very cautious and hold back because of the governing laws of copyright which I do not fully understand. I would appreciate some clarity on this topic.

    • Matthew Loomis   •     Author

      Shirley,
      Good idea. I’ll cover the topic of copyrights for bloggers in the near future.
      Stay in touch,

      Matthew

  16. fatma   •  

    Hi Matt and Blair,

    If you are not professional just challenge yourself sometimes difficult to enter some
    area…For example English, my second language and I have lived very long time UK.
    But still “struggling with language” I decided to do my blog English even when I shared my intention I have a lot of reaction from my friends. The worst one was “my inner voice”.
    I like your sharing and I am happy to meet you (please don’t say improve your English I will..I will 🙂 )

    • Matthew Loomis   •     Author

      Hi Fatma,

      I can totally understand your English. 🙂 You’re doing great.

      Keep me posted on how your blog is doing.

      Best,

      Matthew

  17. madeline lozada   •  

    That was great and very practical! It allowed me to confront my fears…. made me feel much better. thank you!

    • Matthew Loomis   •     Author

      Madeline, I’m really pleased to hear how helpful this was for you. That’s why I did it! And why I asked Blair to help us!

      Keep me posted on your progress,

      Matthew

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