In my time blogging I have been relatively guarded about much of my offline life. Its something that I’ve done somewhat unintentionally, but intentionally as well. The thing is that when I first started back blogging since the time I’d done it in college, it was merely to chronicle my pregnancy. I had no idea that you could blog as a job or that there were so many opportunities with it. I worked full time at the time, so making money blogging wasn’t even a thought, much less being an entrepreneur.
To be honest, I literally had no idea you could make money blogging or use it to promote a business. Now that times have changed in my life, becoming a mother, SAHM, and business owner, I realize that with blogging, that I need to open up. There is absolutely no way I can build my brand, grow my business, and establish trust with a readership and potential clients if I don’t overcome holding back, and if you struggle with this you won’t be able to either.
I’m laying out a few of the ways in this post that I’m working through holding back, and also what you can do if you find yourself in a similar situation as me.
In order to truly establish trust with people, they have to get to know you. This was a slightly weird pill for me to swallow, since blogging and running my business is all online. Personally, I’m that person that always wants to know more about someone when I land on their site, and so it would make sense that people want to do the same when it comes to me.
People want to know the person behind the words, which is why video and even podcasts are so popular right now. They want to connect with you, hear your voice, see your mannerisms, and really get an idea of who you are. This also allows people to see consistency, in that the same person you appear to be in your writing is the same person they see on camera or hear on the podcast.
Establishing trust is the cornerstone of building and growing any brand, because people don’t like risk and by trusting you its less risk they’re taking. Certainty goes a long when it comes to establishing relationships and trust with people, the more certain they are the more they will trust you.
[Tweet “Certainty goes a long when it comes to establishing relationships and trust with people.”]
[Tweet “The more certain people are about your brand, the more they will trust you.”]
Being My Brand
As an entrepreneur everything that is my brand is me. Its an interesting reality, because until I truly understood this, I had no brand. In my previous blogging, it was all very surface level. I struggled with how to connect with my readership, because I was so busy being careful not to share too much. This resulted in my blog being all over the place and having no real focus, hence the no brand issue.
Even as just a blogger, you should have a brand. When visitors come to your site they should be able to immediately get a sense of who you are without even diving into your content. Your content should give them the back story of who you are in detail, but the visual should give them a sense of who you are overall.
No matter how many times I redesigned my site, added elements, and wrote about an array of topics, I could never properly connect with and build my readership because I lacked consistency, and so did my “brand”. My brand has to be an extension of me, and that took some time and work to realize. “As an entrepreneur, you will no doubt be handling the shape of your company’s brand. So where better to start than with you?” (source)
The Business Side of Things
I’m honestly still adjusting to blogging for my business, but it is something that is so essential to growing my business and being successful. In blogging for my business, I can accomplish so many things I need to do for it in once place, a hub, so to say. My blog serves as a place to share my thoughts, work, and experiences when it comes to running a business.
It also allows me to connect with and market to a large number of people at once, in turn building my audience and potential clientele. It doesn’t come completely natural, because it is work, and not just random writings just meant to entertain readers. I’m providing high quality content, valuable business insight, and teaching all at the same time. I want to make it worth visitor’s whiles when they land on my sight and read my content.
Its my goal with every post for them to walk away learning something new, being inspiring, and feeling motivated. If you are running a business like I am, especially one online, you want to ensure you keep these factors in mind. Its important that people see you as a resource, because that is in essence what every business is…a resource.
[Tweet “My goal for readers is for them to learn something new, be inspiring, and feel motivated.”]
Adding To & Taking Away
While in my previous blogging I struggled with being worried about sharing too much, I never really worried about what I should take away. Now, having a blog that’s focus around business and supporting mines, there’s a lot of things I have to keep in mind to take away. Blogging as a business owner means that posting on certain topics and issues just aren’t appropriate.
I can promise you that you will never hear my specific thoughts on politics, race, and religion. My blog isn’t the place for that, and I reserve conversations about those topics to a very limited group of people (them being family). This doesn’t mean you won’t hear me refer to being a Christian or even speaking about blessings in my life, but what it does mean is that you won’t hear me state my point of view on anyone else’s religion or spiritual relationship.
In adding to my content, its also caused me to take away a lot of what I used to post about. For example, I used to blog on everything from movies to tv to recipes to mom & baby things, as a business owner of a branding, social media management, and design boutique those things no longer fit into this space.
I’ve made the decision to take to other platforms, separate from my business, to share on those topics when and if I feel the need to. Of course me being a wife and mom is infused in everything that I do, because that’s what I am, but I’m also so much more. I came to the realization prior to my rebrand that it was just as okay to write about some of the other things I’m passionate about in my life, which is business, branding, and design.
Don’t get me wrong, one of the main reasons I even became a business owner was to support my family. They are my motivation behind why I do what I do and they are the ones that keep me from giving up when I get discouraged. Before I felt obligated to write about my personal and home life, being a wife and mom, because I thought that was what I should be doing.
Now, I’m confident and know that being a businesswoman and writing and sharing about that is what I should be doing, its what’s in my heart. You have to write about not only what you’re passionate about, but what you’re comfortable with writing about. If you try to force yourself to write about something that your not, it will show through and your readers will get a sense this.
This entire process of not holding back is a learned and on-going one. I will continue to position myself as an expert in my industry and as someone relatable that people want to get to know. I feel like I have absolutely no problem coming across this way in real life, but the online world is a whole other ball game.
Its twice as hard to prove who you are when your limited to words or only coming across on a computer screen. It takes double the work, but I know in the end that it will pay huge dividends. If you’ve ever found yourself in a similar situation as me, remember than everyone is the rookie at some point. The fun part is learning, so if you’re ever feeling discouraged keep your sights set high and know that its just a season, and it will soon pass!
[Tweet “Want to be more open on your blog and in your business? Here’s how to work through it!”]
I’d love to hear from you on this topic! Any tips, tricks, or methods you have to share are greatly appreciated in advance.
Do you struggle with holding back? – What are some of the ways you work through it?
That’s a great story to tell! I’m kinda like you too! Although I’m not really blogging for business because of my full time job, I still accept business-related blogging opportunities from time to time. It took me some time too to share my blog to the rest of the world. Like you, I was holding back and was too afraid to share. I’ve learned to be more open now though. But still, we do have control over what we want to share to the public. 🙂
I often struggle with the opposite – with keeping some to myself. I’ve only ever been a very personal blogger and I think in my line of work (photography, but also blogging), it somewhat works for me. It’s still very thoughtful to think about what we control to the public.
[…] Related: Best Practices for Blogging for Your Business | Why I Hold Back & How I’m Working Through It […]