Meera Kothand sent out an amazing email the other day; it got me to thinking about confidence and vulnerability in blogging. (If you aren’t on her email list, check it out she is the queen of email!) Her email was all about the importance of having your elevator pitch. She started the email with a scenario that was all too common for me, having someone ask you “What do you blog about?”
It has happened to me before… The thing is, in an online forum I could tell you in a second what my blog was about, what my goal was, who my target audience was…but the second I’m in real life, it’s like, “I write the words on the page about the things and the stuff. I like it,” haha seriously I have been that awkward.
I was having a photo shoot at a beautiful local shopping center when my amazing photographer insisted he gets some shots inside of a restaurant. After what felt like the most awkward ten minutes, of my life he finished. Two older ladies stopped me and asked, “Are you going to be on T.V.?”
I laughed, “No it’s a photoshoot for my website. I’m a blogger.”
“Oh, my daughter in law is a blogger in Dallas. She blogs about food. What do you blog about?”
Then something happened that doesn’t happen to me very often I was at a loss for word. I seriously do something for my blog every day, and I just stumbled on my words, “My blog is about blogging.”
She looked at me like I had stopped speaking English. I excused myself and pushed the awkwardness out of my mind.
But after reading Meera’s email I got to thinking, it was very true, you need to be able to talk about what you do with ease. Then I realized that anytime I’ve been at a conference I had my elevator pitch down packed. I was in my element I was with my people; there was no need to worry that other bloggers would judge me or not get it. So why did I seem to lose that ability when talking to people not apart of the online community. Even when my friends ask me about it I respond short and get embarrassed when they tell other people I’m a blogger.
So I started thinking why?
Why am I ashamed of such a big part of my life?
Blogging probably takes up more of my mind space than anything else in my life. Hell, I’m writing this post at 11 p.m. because I was inspired by the email. One thing I’ve gotten really well at over the past few years is understanding the vulnerability that comes with blogging. Then I realized that as important as the vulnerability is for making connections as a blogger, confidence was as significant for being successful as a blogger.
That’s when it hit me; it wasn’t about shame. It was about confidence. I have seen a lot of people create careers online and not just the big six-figure bloggers but people who have created an amazing online business based on services and products, digital and otherwise. I have no doubt that it is a viable business model. The reason I was shying away probably had more to do with the fact that I didn’t feel like I had the right to be a badass online business owner. I work hard, and I know I do. So I need to own it and be proud of it!
5 Tips For Being a More Confident Blogger Offline
One of the most important ways to be more confident in what you’re doing is to know your end goal. Why are you blogging? What is it that you hope to get out of it? In your ideal world, what does your blog/online business look like? Setting clear and attainable goals is a great way see your blog as more than a hobby.
I love to paint. I don’t do it often, and most of the time I paint quotes or songs lyrics as a therapeutic practice. I don’t too much share my paintings with others or post them on social media. It’s just a nice hobby that’s for me. I don’t have an interest in selling my art or even taking professional classes. On the opposite side, my blog and freelancing is a source of income, a passion project and potentially one day my primary source of income. I set goals for each month and plan how to reach them.It's important to be able to talk about your blog offline. Here are tips to stay confident when you aren't behind the keyboard. Click To Tweet
Create a Game Plan
Anyone will tell you that goals are great, but actions are better. If you have a goal, you need to develop a strategy to get that goal accomplished. Having a plan and system in place to reach your goals will keep you on track.
When I paint, I don’t say, “Okay, I want to have this done by next Tuesday and am going to work on it this Wednesday and Saturday.” No, I’ll find that I am feeling, sad or happy or inspired and I have some free time. I might say, “I think I might get some painting done while I watch Jane the Virgin.”
When I have a guest post or sponsored post due I say, “Okay that post needs to be done by Tuesday so I’m going to finish up the draft Saturday and work on the graphics afterward.”
See the difference? When you make a serious plan for how you plan to get goals accomplished, you can track your progress and feel more confident on your path.
Be Vocal About It
Stop being shy about your goals. I won’t lie to you and say that everyone will hear the words, “I’m a blogger,” or “I’m an online business owner,” rave and totally understand it. In fact talking to anyone who doesn’t blog or doesn’t know any other bloggers will probably ask you, “What exactly does that mean?” So you raise your head high and tell them what it means.
Most people won’t know what you’re talking about and will have questions just out of sheer curiosity, don’t think that it’s because they don’t take you seriously but remember that they probably genuinely don’t know about it. Enlighten them.
Also remember that you never know who you’re talking to, they might be your next dream client.
“Oh, you do social media management? I have wanted to start a page on The Facebook for my store. How much would something like that be?”
I seriously recommend practicing answering this question out loud in front of the mirror at least once a day to get in the habit of saying it naturally and confidently.
“I have a finance blog. I teach college students how to balance their budgets and save for the future.”
Find Your Support Systems
You need people in your inbox telling you how much your post meant to them just as much as you need a friend to sit on your couch when you get down because of a negative comment or rejection for a submission and tell you to close the laptop and have some fun.
You need to find your online tribe but also your offline support system. It’s important to have people in your life to vent to and bounce ideas off of that get what you’re trying to do. It’s important to have people in the real world who can see things from the outside in and offer you love and support when you have so much going on.
Find Your Mentors and Keep Learning.
So imagine if someone asked you 15 years ago if you could create a MySpace page for them you could probably have hopped online and created it in a few minutes but if someone asked you how to create one today you might not be too confident since you probably haven’t used MySpace since 2007.
Think of blogging and business like that; things are always evolving and changing. What was popular yesterday might be irrelevant tomorrow. Large companies roll out system wide changes overnight on consumers all the time.
Always be willing to listen and learn. Find trustful sources to look to for advice and to learn from.
When you know that you are staying up to date on the industry, then you can feel more confident talking about it.
Note: On the opposite side of this don’t try to consume and learn EVERYTHING. You will just burn out. I wasn’t able to start new projects in my blog and business because I was trying to follow the advice of every different professional I could find. I was in information overload and spinning my tail.
Confidence isn’t something you wake up with overnight. Confidence is something you develop over time as you grow your skills and abilities.
How do you handle the, “What do you blog about,” question? How do you stay confident when blogging? Do you have your elevator pitch? Tell me in the comments.