How to Overcome Your Fears About Blogging: Blog Therapy from a Real Blogging Therapist
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.
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.
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. I don’t think we overcome blogger insecurities. I think we get bigger than them.
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:If you are blogging for approval, that’s a problem.
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.
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:
Until next time,