In late 2008, I started blogging as a personal hobby. I wrote one blog every day for a year. Then I did it again for another year after that.
Then an interesting thing occurred in late 2010… A mutual contact reached out to see if I would like to write a weekly blog post for their company blog. I thought I’d give it a shot. And it went pretty well.
Since that time, over a decade now, I’ve come across a lot of business owners and operators that have struggled to maintain their business blog. There have been a few recurring reasons for this.
One that has been a constant is perfectionism.
Perfectionism = The Fear Of Being Judged
My daughter is three years old. I’ve learned a lot about life in those three years. One of the things that’s been amazing to learn from her is the art of not caring about what others think of you.
My daughter isn’t afraid to try many things. She didn’t worry about her form when she was learning to walk. She just tried and tried until she was walking. Then she got pretty good really fast. And shortly after that she was running around like crazy.
It seems that as we age we start to pay attention to judgment. Perhaps this is amplified if we share content in public on a platform like a blog or on YouTube or on a social media challenge. We may get criticism for what we publish. It may even come in stealth form. One item gets a certain amount of engagement. Another gets less and that can feel like harsh criticism.
For some, the fear of being judged holds them back from creating new things. I see this often in the business blogging world. And often the folks behind the scenes will use perfectionism as the cloak for the fear of judgment. They will tell themselves that they can’t publish until something is perfect.
The reality is that if you approach blogging this way (or anything in life) you’re not going to create perfect content and you’re certainly not going to create enough good content to see results.
A podcast I enjoy is the Bobbycast by country music radio hot, Bobby Bones. He often interviews songwriters. And he often asks about their origin stories and how they built their careers. These stories almost always share the common theme of writing a high quantity of songs. It’s never about writing the perfect song.
Give Yourself A Break
We are often our own worst critics. The funny thing is that we’re often very encouraging of others that we care about. When friends or family comes to us with criticism about themselves we often list a large number of amazing things we admire about them. Reasons for them to feel proud.
But we struggle to do the same for ourselves. It’s easy to fall into negativity bias with ourselves. We really feel the pain of doing something poorly. Or we get so caught up in something that we can’t effectively judge the work we’re doing.
The great thing about blogging is that it is subjective. There is no perfect way to do it. There is no perfect blog post. Not every post will be something that hits home with a large number of readers. One of the greatest things I learned early on was that you can’t predict what posts will be good and which will be poor.
This allowed me to focus on a regular schedule. I do cringe at a poor one, but I also smile when something connects with a lot of people.
And focusing on the consistent schedule has allowed me to improve over time and see more of those winners.
Pay Attention Only To The Most Important People
When it comes to business, you want to create content that your audience values. In some cases you also want to create content that your boss values. These are opinions that matter. And we all want to create content that we can feel good about.
It’s not easy finding places where all three of those intersect. But you might be surprised. Mostly, your boss wants your audience to feel satisfied. So that usually eliminates that aspect. And an interesting thing about your customers is you can usually tell when they like and don’t like something. So you can learn and continue to hone in on the good.
Another interesting thing is that criticism often comes from non-customers. It’s not that these people don’t matter. You just don’t necessarily want to build a content strategy about what they are looking for.
Focus on the most important people. Keep your circle of feedback small. This allows you to really focus on improving in a way that will make the most difference in your blogging.
Perfectionism often builds up over time in the blogging world. I’ve found that it usually covers up something else that is going on with the business owner of marketer. And that’s okay. Figuring out why you’re trying to be perfect can often lead you to a place where you’re more comfortable with publishing content on a regular schedule. It allows you to learn what your audience appreciates most and build on that.