When you first hit the publish button, your work is no longer limited to the select few people you choose to show it to. It’s out there on the world wide web for anyone to see and potentially stumble on. Anyone, even with the dodgiest WiFi connection, can view and critique your work: your boss, your ex, even your mum! That’s when you need to think about gaining blogging confidence!
Recently I recently received my first ever hate comment*: “If Netflix is the best thing since sliced bread, then you’re definitely the worst and I hate you. Go crawl into a cave and never re-emerge you stupid idiot“.
*Comment edited by me with poetic license. In truth, this hater probably hates everything, including Netflix. But my point here is still valid: in order to blog, you need blogging confidence. Confidence to write in spite of potential criticism.
You’d think that with time, hitting the ‘publish‘ button on a new post would become easier and easier, the more you do it. But you know what? Newsflash: this just isn’t the case- that fear never goes away. Somehow, it’s often harder. Maybe it’s knowing that there are actually people out there in the real world reading the post. Perhaps it’s just knowing who exactly is reading the post.
Luckily, though, everyone’s in the same boat! Here are some techniques on how to ‘fake’ blogging confidence, how to deal with critics and how to be an all round #girlboss:
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes:
First things first: don’t be afraid to make mistakes. When Thomas Edison discovered the lightbulb, he was asked how he kept motivation, despite failing countless times. His reply? “I’ve not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”.
Sure, you’re going to make mistakes, tread on a few toes along the way… but isn’t it better to live with a couple of minor blogging mistakes than the regret of never trying?
[Tweet “”Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game” – A Cinderella Story”]
Start small and work your way up:
When I first got Facebook as a spotty brace face teen, never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that some day I would end up sharing my most personal thoughts with my best friend, let alone on the internet!
But I didn’t just up and start a blog. No, I’m too much of a scaredy-cat to do that! I started off by posting smartphone photos on Instagram with a little caption about the history or some quirky info on the places I was posting about.
Within a couple of months, I’d bought my first camera and started this site to share extra quirky travel information and camera tips. It wasn’t until at least six months after that initial Instagram post that I felt comfortable enough to share my age, let alone any personal thoughts! Do what feels comfortable for you.
Hit publish and fake it ’til you make it:
The first time you hit publish, you will feel nervous. It’s only natural!
Here’s the secret: everyone feels nervous! If you want to say something, there’s never been a better time to make yourself heard: more people than ever before in history are able to connect with people from all of the world. Besides, if you don’t publish something, then you’ll always be wondering ‘what if?‘.
How to deal with negative comments (because *spoiler alert* they will come):
‘Negative’ comments generally fall into two categories: constructive criticism and unnecessary rudeness. I accept the former and reject the latter. Other bloggers I know accept them all, while others decline them all. To be honest, what you do is completely up to you! Your blog is your own personal home on the internet and you should feel comfortable there!
[Tweet “Your Blog is your own personal home on the Internet & you should feel comfortable there!”]
See criticism as a positive thing:
Just to clarify, I’m talking about constructive criticism here! So why should you see criticism as a positive thing?
A) the person has spent the time reading your work and feels strongly enough to comment on it. Congratulations! Isn’t that why you’re writing, to make people feel something? Just because you think something, doesn’t mean that everyone has to agree with you.
B) If the criticism is constructive, then listening to it will help you improve your work in the future. Plus, listening to what your readers want will most likely make them happier too- win win!