Building a Blog: The Fear Factor

The Fear Factor and the Why Factor are opposites and at any given moment either one can creep over and tell you why you should or shouldn’t start a blog.

Mark Schaefer – blogger and marketing genius – has found that not starting a blog  generally has nothing to do with lack of time, ability or ideas … it has to do with confidence.

For me, the lack of confidence comes in two different forms – criticism and fear of the competition.

Even though I’ve started, BoomerangBeat still plays Jekyll and Hyde with me. In one second I can go from thinking it’s a great idea, to a ridiculous one. This is also the reason I wrote the first post, and I say this with shame, in 2011 and am just now picking it back up in 2013.

My Fear Factors

1. Identity crisis and criticism 

I’m still not sure how to explain BB with grace. It really started to click with me when I began composing The Why Factor post, but that was just yesterday. Before that, I had bits of reason, but no real organization to the pieces. This is my identity crisis.

I’m great at conceptualizing but fail (miserably) when it comes to articulation. The BB’s Why Factor is at the tip of my tongue but because of that lack of clarity, I was (am) afraid of criticism. I want the reason for BB to be very clear before I squander my attention-getting efforts with a broken elevator pitch.

2. Competition – they’re already doing it bigger and better   

If I want to move forward with BB (and I do) I need to use the competition as motivation, not discouragement. Use it to keep an eye on what they’re doing, what holes they’re leaving and what lessons can be learned. I have to constantly remind myself not to stare too long or too hard at them, though.

The ability to live in the question long enough for genius to emerge is a touchstone of creative success. – Jonathan Fields, 99u Writer

Successful people understand the abundance mentality – there are enough resources and successes to share with others. There is not a finite number and idea wells don’t just run dry.

Finding a “competitor” that has a stranglehold of the marketplace you want to get into only means one thing: they’ve proven there’s an audience. Now, you just need to take a piece of the pie.

On the contrary, the scarcity mindset (if someone else wins, you lose) is destructive and unnecessary. Get as far away from that as you can.

For me, I see BB’s competition as BuzzFeed and Upworthy. It might sound ridiculous to size them up right now, but they’re practicing similar tactics and reaching the audience I’m aiming for. I plan to write a post about evaluating the competition soon.

What have been your Fear Factors when building a blog?


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