Blog fearlessly. That's a huge step without confidence, belief in oneself, and authority.
You can't blog with authority if you don't believe in your own expertise. If you don't believe in your own expertise, why should your readers?
Owning my expertise took a lot longer than it should have. For years, I just blogged for passion without understanding that readers wanted information from people who knew what they were talking about. A lot of my posts were speculative, apologetic and in a sense, timid. It really took talking with self-proclaimed “experts” to understand that I did have expertise, should really stop with the self-doubt and blog with authority. It's not cute and it doesn't help anyone.
Blogging with authority doesn't mean blogging like a “know it all” or “egomaniac.” It means blogging with confidence, without planting seeds of doubt in your reader's minds. It means owning your intelligence and expertise. It means believing in yourself.
7 Self-sabotage traps to avoid:
If you don't really believe in your expertise yet, you can put a stop to the little seeds of doubt on your blog. These self-sabotaging traps may seem small, but they're actually validating a destructive belief system… a system that makes growth and confidence building difficult.
“Think” too much
Edit out language that causes doubt:
- “I think…”
- “I believe…”
Make a statement instead. “Emerald green is a hot trend this season.” is more powerful than “I think emerald green will be a hot trend this season.”
Don't provide specific examples
If you are making a case in your post, whether it be a trend post or a controversial post, you will need specific examples to clarify with your readers what you are talking about. When I wrote the rebuttal to the Suzy Menkes “Fashion Circus” post, I was sure to include several examples on why I thought her observation was tired and not appropriate for that particular fashion week. Otherwise my observation would not have weight.
Forget about fact checking
Google isn't flawless when it comes to fact checking, but it's at least something. Sometimes you have to email a source to double check a source to make sure your post's facts are true. A statement like “Chanel No. 5 came out in the mid-20th century” could easily be discredited (by your readers) with a quick Wikipedia search to find the release date of May 5th, 1921.
Apologize for your opinion
There is a time and place for apologies: hurting others, getting the facts wrong, but opinions?
If you have an opinion and someone disagrees with that opinion, you do not owe an apology. It would be appropriate to acknowledge the other person's point of view, but you do not have to go back on your opinion because someone disagrees with you. Someone will always disagree with you, so stand by your beliefs.
Dumb down your points
My favorite quote from the IFB Conference, was when Leandra Medine shared Stacy London's advice: Don't dumb down to your readers, bring them up with you.
You may have to practice writing with clarity, using tricks to illustrate your point, but don't dumb your point down.
Rant in a stream of consciousness
You're upset, you're heated, you have to share your upset with your readers. Or do you? It's ok to take the time to cool down and collect your thoughts. If you want your readers to understand your point, compose it with care and clarity, be passionate, but don't rant.
Say, “I don't take blogging seriously.”
It bewilders me when I hear bloggers say this. Especially the ones looking to grow their blogs and work with brands. It devalues your efforts, undermines your expertise, and how are your readers (or brands) going to take your blog seriously if you don't? If you blog is a hobby, or a digital doodle, fine… but communicating to your readers that you do not take your blog seriously also implies that you're not taking the time they spend on your blog seriously.
Have fun with your blog, but treat it (and your hard work) with respect and take it seriously.
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