It can be hard to put yourself out there as a blogger, especially when you’re just starting out. It’s something I struggled with a lot at the start. I’d love to say I’m over it and life’s a breeze, but I do still find it hard.
Why do you need to put yourself out there as a blogger?
When it comes to blogging, you need to develop a certain level of comfort in making the first move. This is important to build relationships with other bloggers and, of course, to approach brands.
As I mentioned in this post, I don’t think most of us start blogging because we want our work to sit on the internet, gathering dust. We want it to be seen, and we want to connect. To make that happen, you need to do some work.
The blogging community is amazing. They will welcome you, but they need to know where to find you. This involves you putting yourself forward. If you want to find your tribe, you’ve got to let them know you’re there.
In an ideal world, your inbox would be bursting with opportunities from brands. In the real world, you often have to take the leap. Approaching brands feels intimidating, but can be very rewarding! As the saying goes, “stop thinking about what could go wrong, and think about what could go right.”
I know, that’s much easier said than done. Truthfully, this is an area of weakness of mine, and something I hope to work on in the coming months.
Why is it so hard to put yourself out there as a blogger?
From the outside, it looks terrifying. There’s a huge community of bloggers, and finding your place in that seems impossible. But, I promise you, it’s not.
It all comes down to the fear of rejection, both of ourselves and of our work. There is always a chance we will be ignored. Equally, there’s a chance people won’t like what you create. You’re creating content which you’re enthusiastic about, but what if others don’t feel the same?
It’s hard to get past that, because nobody wants to have something they’re proud of come up against criticism. There’s no easy fix, but there are some things you can try…
So, how can you put yourself out there as a blogger?
Remember why you started blogging.
Keep your goal in mind at all times.
If it’s genuinely an outlet for yourself, then why does it matter? Keep writing for you!
If, however, you want to reach an audience, you need to do the work to build one. When it comes to interacting with other bloggers, take little steps. I started by seeking out other bloggers and replying to a few of them each day.
Follow people first. Keep an eye out for questions you can answer. Let other bloggers know if you’ve liked their post. Share their work. Ask questions. All of these are little ways you can give them a little wave and say “hey, I’m here.”
If the direct approach makes you feel uneasy, try Twitter chats (more about them here). The reason I suggest this is it’s an opportunity to put yourself out there, in a more general sense. There are questions put forward for you to respond to. Others will see your responses and often interact with you on that basis.
Similarly, you can see other people’s responses so there are opportunities to approach them. They are involved in a Twitter chat because they want to network and interact. Keeping that in mind makes it a little less scary to send them a reply.
Keep things in perspective.
I recently had a discussion with my counsellor about not letting one negative comment take away from the positive ones. So, if you’ve had lots of people saying they like your blog, then one person is unpleasant, do your best to let it go.
If you’re very new, you may not have had any feedback yet. In this case, you need to stand strong and firm in your beliefs about your own work. You took the time to create it and to publish it on a public platform. Be proud of it.
As things stand, all of these other bloggers are strangers on the internet. They have the potential to become your friends but, if they don’t, what have you lost? Not a great deal. There are still plenty of others to approach!
Accept the fact not everyone is going to be a fan of your work.
I was absolutely heartbroken when I received my first nasty message. Picking myself up and carrying on was tough, but I had to remind myself I can’t please everyone. Nobody can.
This is an unavoidable truth. There will be people who adore your blog, and others who don’t. It’s the same with anything in life. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Try not to take it to heart.
Don’t be too hard on yourself.
Miracles aren’t going to happen overnight. Go at your own pace. There will be days when you don’t feel up to putting yourself out there. That’s okay! Use those days to focus on creating and improving your content.
Pushing yourself too much results in you feeling overwhelmed. You need to give yourself gentle nudges.
It might feel like you’re the only one struggling sometimes, but you’re not. A lot of bloggers experience this. Others might make it look easy, but we know how hard it can be.
Be resilient and don’t give up.
I’m not going to sugarcoat it. You will get ignored sometimes. I did, and still do. Don’t give up! You will also get some lovely responses, and your confidence will grow.
In terms of working with brands, it’s a similar situation. You have to be resilient. There will brands which reject you, some who ignore you and some who will be keen to work with you. It’s a mixed bag. If you want the highs, you’re going to have to tackle the lows.
As I said at the start, my experience in working with brands is almost non-existent. I don’t want to pretend I’ve got it all figured out when I have no idea so I’m going to direct you to these posts for some useful tips!
You can do this.