That's every blogger's greatest fear isn't it?
So often when you hit that publish button there's a little voice in your head saying the post sucks.
So often when you go online you're wondering if your post has been read, enjoyed and shared, or it's been widely ignored because it was no good.
So often you worry that people will unsubscribe in droves because your latest blog post was so bad.
All that fear means you fall prey to perfectionism.
Just think about all the people who want to start a blog, write a book or create something but don't. It's perfectionism which stops them. Perfectionism or setting unattainable goals makes us worry that our writing, our blog posts or our work aren't good enough.
Of course if you're a blogger then you've overcome that fear to a certain extent. You do hit the publish button regularly don't you?
But would you like to write more posts? Do you have ideas for posts that never get published? Is your blog cluttered with half-written draft blog posts?
If you answered yes to any of those questions read on.
I heard Gideon Shalwick talk recently. He's a video blogging and YouTube expert who's brilliant for vlogging tips, but a lot of the tips he shared were great for all bloggers or even creativity in general.
One thing Gideon shared made me sit up and listen closely. Then I suddenly saw the light. I probably slumped back in my chair with relief when I heard because Gideon suddenly gave me permission to write average blog posts.
He didn' t actually use those words and, of course, I won't be aiming to write blog posts that are just average or good.
Like you, I'm always aiming to write something great but often I share what I think is a great post like this Andrew Warner interview and no one cares. Then other times I dash off something quickly like this about being a misfit and it gets a huge reaction.
The point is that you can never really tell what's going to be a hit and what will bomb until you publish your post.
Secondly the more you publish the more chance of your blog being found by new readers and the more chance that you'll write something great which does go viral.
So what's the great idea?
I called Gideon's idea the suck line but he calls it the threshold concept.
What is the suck line or threshold concept?
Here's a little diagram to explain it:
Great blog posts
Good blog posts
Blog posts that suck
See that red line? That's the suck line. Just make sure you don't write any posts that suck.
But most of your posts don't suck. Think about it – how often have you even read a blog post that sucks? Sure, there are plenty of them around but the majority of blog posts are actually okay. They're good enough to make it over the suck line and most of your posts probably are too. If they're not then don't publish them.
The takeaway here is that it's fine to write blog post that are good because you can't expect greatness every single time.
As long as your posts don't suck you should publish and share them. Every now and then you can will write a great post – maybe some pillar content, a new idea, or something controversial that everyone will bookmark or share and which goes viral.
Then here's another question for you:
What will happen if you do publish a blog post that sucks? What's the worst thing that will happen?
Well, probably a few people will unsubscribe but that happens anyway, even when you write a great post there will be unsubscribers.
But if you really write a post that sucks most people won't unsubscribe from your list. A few might but most people just won't read the post and they'll stick around to see what you come up with next because they subscribed for a reason. Once they read a post on your blog which was great, or good enough to make them subscribe, and they know you can do it again.
So there you go. I hope you feel as liberated as I do and will use this opportunity to write more, publish more and feel more confident in your blogging skills.
Successful Blogging News Flash
I'm going to use this tip to step up my output and I've already scheduled at least two blog posts per week for Successful Blogging right up until September 2012. Usually I only post once a week so I'll be doubling my output thanks to Gideon Shalwick and his hot tip.
I'll be sharing more tips on content strategy over the coming months and launching a new series called Blogging A-Z. Subscribe now by email so you don't miss out.
I'm also off on a press junket to Japan for a week. Lucky me! And in case you're wondering I was chosen because they wanted to take an Australian travel writer and they found me through my blog.
So keep blogging and never fear, I've got posts scheduled while I'm away and I'm also taking guest posts, especially for the Blogging Success stories section. So if you have a success story to share check out the submission guidelines and send it to me. I'd love to feature some of my loyal readers right here.
How to Take Your Blog Posts From Suck to Super
Now just take one last look at the suck line diagram above and remember:
Red means it sucks so stop, don't publish.
But amber and green both mean GO.
So give fear the finger, stop worrying that your blog posts suck and go write a post now.
Chances are it'll be a good one and, who knows, maybe this time it will even be great.