Have you thought about starting a blog but haven’t gotten around to it yet? Your blog could be anything from a writing portfolio to a platform ideal for sharing something you’re interested in, such as food recipes or local eats. Maybe you claim you’re busy with other projects, or maybe there’s a deeper reason why you haven’t taken the leap.
If you’re a perfectionist, this might be the reason why you keep putting off your dream. Perfectionists tend to labor over a task obsessively and never believe that it’s quite ready for others to see, but it’s their “all or nothing” approach to success that can keep them from ever getting started. As someone starting her own food blog, I know how relatable this is.
If you think there’s more to why you haven’t begun writing your first blog post, read on for some tips on how to recognize when the fear of failure is holding you back and how to put perfectionism in its place. While I’ll use my own experiences about writing a food blog, these tips apply to whatever content you want to write.
1. Don’t Make Mountains out of Molehills
Perfectionism often leads to procrastination. You build the task up to be more difficult and more painful than it will actually be, giving yourself even more reason to avoid it. You worry the end result will not live up to your expectations, so you talk yourself out of ever starting.
If you’ve been thinking about starting a blog, you’re likely anxious about content and whether you’ll be able to produce enough. But you’ll never know how much you’d actually be capable of if you don’t give it a try. Before you start posting, find a schedule that will work for you. Usually, one to three posts per week is best, but it’s more important to find a rhythm that is best for you. You don’t want to promise three posts a week and then find that you’re stressing out about what to post next after a few weeks.
Start an offline practice blog and see what feels comfortable for you. For example, if you want to start a food blog, check out a restaurant or a new recipe once a week, take some pictures, and write about the experience. If your schedule, budget, and creative process only allow for one quality post per week, then you’ll know what you can handle.
If you’re struggling to come up with something to write about, try adjusting your approach to focus on something that’s closer to your heart, or address a niche audience. For example, visiting restaurants that serve food from a certain part of the world or trying kid-friendly recipes might help you hone in on what you want to share with readers.
2. Don’t Wait for Lightning to Strike
Perfectionists are always waiting for the right time, the right feeling, or the right idea before they take action. If something isn’t perfect right from the start, then how could the finished product possibly be perfect? However, imagine turning down every interview for jobs that weren’t quite what you were looking for until you get an interview for your dream job. Instead of having several opportunities to practice your interview answers, you’re walking into the interview cold.
The same idea applies to blog writing. If you’re waiting for the perfect idea, then you’re passing up opportunities to practice and prepare to capitalize on that great idea when you discover it. Plus, you never know what topic will work until you give it a try. Many bloggers go for a general blog topic and end up discovering their true blogging passions down the road; the same could happen to you.
Perhaps your first food blog attempt was about up-and-coming restaurants serving only locally-sourced food, but another blogger was already covering that niche, so the blog didn’t attract many followers. But maybe a post about a chef cooking authentic Chilean meals resonated with readers. You could try shifting your approach to focus on restaurants serving authentic fare from around the world.
Just because your first idea didn’t gain traction doesn’t mean that you failed as a blogger. Look at it as a practice run or a learning experience that helped you discover what you’re passionate about and what your readers are interested in learning more about. The bumps along the way are integral to crafting a successful blog.
3. Don’t Compare Your First Post to Someone Else’s Hundredth
It’s important to check out other food bloggers’ work to get inspiration, to see what tactics might work for you, and to make sure you’re bringing something different to the table. However, you might be tempted to compare your first posts with these well-established blogs and bag the whole thing because your attempt doesn’t look as professional.
Remember that these bloggers you admire have had years of practice, and their first posts likely weren’t as engaging as their recent ones. They might even have a couple of blog posts that didn’t gain any traction before they became more popular.
When you’re feeling a bit jealous, think about the success iceberg. You may look at a successful blogger and see only the tip of the iceberg, not all the hard work, rejection, and false starts beneath. By continuing to practice writing and discovering what works and what doesn’t, they eventually are able to deliver consistent, polished, and engaging content. Some bloggers even offer writing and blogging tips, reminding their readers that everyone has to start somewhere.
Trust the Recipe
As a perfectionist, you care deeply about the finished product, but anxiety over the results can keep you from ever starting your blog. Remember that baby steps are better than no steps at all. Embrace the mistakes and the bumps in the road as learning experiences that will help you eventually perfect your blog.
Are you a new blogger? How do you keep the content coming? If this post resonates with you, share some of your own tips and experiences in the comments.