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11 Characteristics I Look for When Hiring Writers for My Blogs

Two months ago I went through the process of hiring a small group of writers to write weekly tutorials for Digital Photography School. I’ve written about the process of how I hire writers previously here on Problogger but today want to share some of the qualities I look for in the writers I hired this time around.

My hope is that it might both help those who are hiring bloggers but also those who are applying for blogging jobs.

Of course it is virtually impossible to find a blogger who is perfect in each of the following areas – however the more they have the higher the chances of me hiring them.

11 Characteristics I Look For When Hiring Bloggers

1. Expertise and Experience in the Blog’s Topic

This is fairly obvious but needs to be said. When I recently hired bloggers to write for my photography blog I of course needed them to show that they were experienced in the area of photography.

My blogs are ‘how to’ type blogs so in order to be able to teach one needs to understand their topic.

This does not mean I only hire highly experienced and trained experts – I have hired less experienced writers who bring other skills to the table – but expertise certainly helps.

When I invite applications to be submitted I always ask applicants to share their experience and to submit previously written work and to show their photographic portfolio. It is usually pretty evident from this as to whether the person understands what they are talking about.

2. Passion for the Topic

Experience is one thing – but being able to write with enthusiasm and passion for a topic is one thing that can add a lot to a blog post so I’m also keen to find writers who LOVE the topic.

In many ways I’d sooner hire someone with an intermediate experience level but who was very passionate than someone who was an expert who writes in a way that makes the reader wonder if the person cares about what they’re writing about.

Passion comes through in the way an applicant communicates in their application but also in previous work and also in the test posts that we have our applicants submit.

3. Quality of Posts

Another no brainer but you’d be amazed how many application I receive that show a lack of attention to detail in the actual application. If you’re applying for a writing job you need to demonstrate some quality control in what you submit and the examples that you give of your previous work.

Our hiring process invites short listed candidates to submit a ‘test post’ (which I pay for) which helps me to see if the person has the ability to write at a reasonably high quality.

I’m not so interested in the style of writing (we hire writers who write in a conversational tone, those who write more technically etc) but I’m looking for posts that communicate clearly and deliver value to readers.

4. Understanding of the Reader

The very best writers that I’ve hired have an incredible ability to understand, have empathy for and connect with readers.

This is a quality that is difficult to describe or teach – but it is something I’m always on the look out for.

I think part of it comes down to putting yourself in your readers shoes and understanding where they are coming from. I also think there’s a real skill in being able to show your reader that you know that they are there and that you want to help them in some way. Maybe it also comes down to writing with a more personal tone or in a way that injects a little of your own personality in your posts.

I’m not sure exactly what it is – but I know it when I see it – and so do readers!

5. Problem Solvers

This comes into a couple of the points above but I’m particularly looking for writers who solve readers problems. This again comes down to the fact that I have ‘how to’ blogs but every post that I write needs to solve a potential problem that someone reading might have.

Being able to teach and communicate in this way is no easy so when i see it I get excited!

6. Ability to Use WordPress

This one isn’t a deal breaker as it is relatively easy to train somebody to use most blogging tools but it certainly is an advantage when I get an application from someone who has experience with the blogging tool that I use – WordPress.org.

Again – it’s not going to stop me hiring you if you have other qualities listed here – but it does help a little!

7. Proven Track Record at Sticking at Projects

One problem that I’ve suffered from a couple of times now when hiring writers is that they start out hot but soon disappear – never to be heard of again.

A little digging into their history online in both of the cases that I’m thinking of reveals that they have a history of starting projects and not sticking at them (with a long string of inactive blogs, sites, social media accounts that started with a flurry but didn’t last.

Of course people chop and change what they do a lot these days but I’m particularly interested in hiring people who will be around for a while to develop relationships with my readers – so these days I do check to see if they’ve stuck at their own projects for long.

8. Applicants Agendas

I want the interactions that I have with those I hire to be win/win. This is why we pay those we hire but also why we give them generous bylines and allow them to do some promotion of their own projects to our audience in those bylines and occasionally in posts.

However every time we open up applications to hire writers there are a handful of people who see the job as an opportunity to promote themselves above anything else (and at the expense of the site and readers).

These are the applicants who use their test posts to link back to their own blogs, eBooks and social media accounts in every paragraph rather than using the post to showcase their expertise and helpfulness – which in turn will make our readers want to check them out.

I have no problem with our writers building their profile by writing for our site – but when that is the clear #1 agenda of an applicant and the usefulness of their submissions suffers as a result I’m unlikely to hire them.

9. Meeting Deadlines

I’m a little lenient with our writers on this one because I don’t want the quality of posts to suffer as a result of them being rushed – but it certainly helps your chances of getting hired if you submit your application and test posts when or before you say you will.

10. Proven Engagement

One thing that makes a writer stand out above the rest of those who submit applications is when you can see that they have a proven track record of community engagement on their own blog and when they answer the comments of those who interact with their test posts.

In this last round of hires there was a couple of great writers who submitted quite good posts who didn’t acknowledge any of the comments that they got. Contrast this with a writer who didn’t write a post that set the world on fire but who answered every single comment left and who showed a willingness to learn from the commenters. I hired this last writer because I could see he was genuinely interested in our readers.

On a similar note I also look to see if writers promote their own content to their own social networks. While writers don’t need to have a big social media following (although this can be a bonus) demonstrating that you’re willing to share what you write with the network you have helps.

11. An Understanding of Writing for the Web

The last thing that I’m looking for in applicants are those people who have an ability to write content for the web.

If you write content that can be scanned, that uses images well, that is well optimised for SEO, that uses great headlines, that is the kind of content that people will share on social media etc – then you’re going to be in with a better chance of being hired.

What Would You Add?

While I’ve never hired a writer that scored a 10 out of 10 in each of the above areas these are the types of characteristics I’m looking for when hiring a blogger.

What would you add to the list?

What Fears Have You Overcome as a Blogger?

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Many times when I speak to new bloggers (or Pre-Bloggers) and ask them what might be holding them back from taking their blogs to the next level (or holding them back from starting blogging) the response I get is around ‘fear’.

  • What if nobody reads?
  • What if I can’t write well?
  • What if people laugh… or worse… what if they attack me?
  • What if I say something stupid that might come back to bite me later?

The last goes on and on.

When I started blogging my own fears resembled those that I listed above pretty closely and over the decade of blogging since I’ve added quite a few more to the list at different points as I faced new challenges and obstacles.

One of the sessions I’m planning for this years ProBlogger Event is going to be on smashing through your fears as a blogger and in preparing for it I asked last week for my followers on Twitter to share some of the fears that they’d had that they’ve had to overcome.

The response was pretty amazing so I thought it might be a good discussion to have here on ProBlogger.

What fears have you overcome as a blogger?

Or – if you still have them – what fears are you currently facing as a blogger.

I’d love to hear not only the fears you’ve faced in your blogging – but also if you have a moment I’d love to hear your story of how you’ve overcome them (or attempted to).

Attend the ProBlogger Training Event Virtually

Are you looking for a little inspiration and guidance in your blogging as you head into the rest of 2013? The Problogger Training Event Virtual Pass could be just what you need.

In March this year when I announced the 2013 ProBlogger Event I did so quite nervously because we’d book a venue with 450 seats (up from 300 the previous year) in a new location.

I need not have been nervous – we sold 200 early bird seats in a matter of minutes and the remaining tickets to the Gold Coast (Australia) event sold out two months ago.

Since selling out I’ve had daily emails from people from around the world asking if there was a way that they could attend physically or get access to the training with some kind of a virtual pass.

Today I’m pleased to announce you can attend with the ProBlogger Training Event Virtual Pass. You can find out more about it here or pick up yours by clicking the button below.

What is the ProBlogger Training Event?

#PBEVENT (as it’s referred to by many) is held on the Gold Coast (Queensland, Australia) on 13-14 September. It is an event that is designed from the ground up to equip and inspire bloggers to build profitable blogs.

We fly in speakers from around the globe like Trey Ratcliff, Tsh Oxenreider and Amy Porterfield and add in some other great Aussie speakers like Shayne Tilley, Pip Lincolne and myself (see the full speaker list here) and then run 2 pretty intense days of training.

This year we’ve got 31 sessions planned (we run 3 streams at once during most of the days) on topics including:

  • Monetization Where to Start
  • Designing Your Blog
  • Blogging and Creativity
  • Creating Your First eBook
  • Launching a Speaking Career off Your Blog
  • How to Sell Stuff from Your Blog
  • Blogging for Beginners
  • Facebook Marketing
  • SEO for WordPress
  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Building Community on Your Blog
  • How to Create Your Own Products to Sell
  • Video Creation on a Shoe String
  • DIY PR to Grow Your Blog and Brand
  • Creating a Professional Media Kit
  • Google Analytics for Bloggers
  • Growing Your Social Media Network

That’s just some of it! See the full schedule here.

What is the Virtual Pass?

Our Virtual Pass is designed to be the closest possible thing to actually being there live at this sold out event.

It gives you access to:

  • Over 30 hours of teaching about building a profitable blog. You get audio recordings of all 31 sessions of training (keynotes, workshops and Q&A lounge sessions). These recordings are yours to keep and listen to as many times as you like
  • Access to an exclusive one hour webinar after PBEVENT with the amazing Jonathan Fields
  • View all slides used in sessions at the live event (yours to keep).
  • Participate in a live and exclusive webinar with myself after the event for a post-event Q&A (and get access to the recording to listen to later)
  • A stunning, visual live social media feed, aggregating all Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ posts and more from live attendees and virtual participants in one place.

Audio files and slides will be available shortly after each session happens at the event on 13-14 September and will be yours to keep forever.

Grab Your Virtual Pass Today

Normally a package of teaching like this would be sold for upwards of $500 but thanks to our friends at Yellow Pages our Virtual Pass is available for you to purchase right now for the price of $249.99 USD. That’s just on $8 per session (plus you get access to the two webinars).

So don’t delay – take advantage of this special price and Pick Up Your Pass here.

Have You Ever Had a Blogging Mentor or Coach?

I’m regularly asked if I have a blogging mentor or coach – or if I’d consider being one for someone else.

I’ve never had a formal coach or mentor myself although there have been plenty of people who have given me advice along the way. I have not offered any kind of coaching service for many years  as I found I could be more helpful to more people by writing content here on ProBlogger than working 1 on 1 with people.

But that doesn’t mean it’s not an interesting discussion for us all!

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Have you had a Blogging Mentor or Coach?

If so – I’d love it if you could spare a moment or two to answer any or all of the following questions:

  1. How did you find them?
  2. Was it a paid experience or a free one?
  3. Was it an ongoing or short term experience?
  4. Was it to help you with a specific issue or more general in nature?
  5. What were the main benefits of the experience?

Over the years, I’ve come across quite a few bloggers who have had coaches and mentors and their experiences have been mixed.

Some of the best examples I’ve seen have been ‘peer’ mentoring experiences, where a group of bloggers band together – often around an email list or a private Facebook group – to share and learn from one another.

Also, I know of a number of bloggers who have used mentors/coaches to help them with specific problems/challenges and it’s been to great effect. For example, one blogger I know hired a coach to help them walk through creating and launching their first eBook and another who hired someone to help them design an editorial calendar.

I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this one!

20 Quick Tips on Writing Great Blog Posts

In preparation for an interview on writing great blog content, I jotted down some ‘quick tips’. While they are all short I hope that they might spark some ideas – enjoy!

    1. Tell your story – it is what makes your content unique
    2. Share how you feel – it will take your readers to a deeper place
    3. You’ll never please everyone – the sooner you come to peace with this, the better
    4. Write about things that matter to you – passion is infectious
    5. Inform, Inspire and Interact – aim to do these things every week!
    6. Experiment with different styles of writing – it will help you find your voice
    7. Mix up the length of your posts – short can be sweet but long can be epic!
    8. When an idea strikes – drop everything and capture it!
    9. Do everything you can to understand who is reading your blog – it will make you more useful to them
    10. Before you publish – ask what you want your reader to do after reading your post – and edit accordingly
    11. Become hyper aware of problems – and obsess over writing posts that solve them
    12. Put aside time to create quality content – it doesn’t just appear
    13. Put aside time to edit and polish your posts – it will take them to the next level
    14. Get a life – you’ll be a much more interesting writer if you’ve lived a little
    15. Ask your readers questions – it will make them feel like they belong and you’ll learn a lot too!
    16. Take your readers on a journey – posts that build from one to another can be powerful
    17. Brainstorm regularly – generating ideas for future posts now can save a lot of pain later
    18. Not every post needs to go viral – shareable content will help you grow but it may not serve your current readers best
    19. Write, Write Write – the more you write, the better you will get
    20. Publish selectively – you don’t need to publish everything you write

    What quick blog writing would you add?

How to Get Dreams Out of Your Head [And a Video of Me Wearing Tights]

Watch it with your Tweeple: Tweet that you’re watching this video

Last month I had the honour of speaking at the World Domination Summit in Portland.

Conference founder, Chris Guillebeau, gave me the brief of sharing my story and to share some tips and ideas for helping people to lead remarkable lives in a conventional world. He also said he didn’t want me to just talk about blogging – a task I found very refreshing!

I spoke on the topic of ‘Getting Dreams out of Your Head‘ and covered quite a bit of ground. In this video you’ll see my full keynote and hear about:
[Read more...]

5 Tips for Launching a Product On Your Blog Without Annoying Your Readers

“Darren, I have written an eBook but am struggling with how ‘pushy’ to be with my readers in my marketing of it. I want to sell some but don’t want to annoy my readers. Any tips?”

This question hit my inbox today and I thought I’d share some of my reply here.

Great question – I remember these feelings vividly when I launched the first eBooks on ProBlogger and dPS.

On one hand, you want to sell as many copies as possible to make the long writing process worthwhile. You know that to sell those copies you need to let your readers know you’ve got something to sell….

But on the other hand, you don’t want your readers to all disappear because you never talk about anything else than what you’ve got to sell.

The answer is annoyingly… ‘it’s a balancing act’. There is no right or wrong answer but here’s what I’ve learned:

1. If you don’t promote it – nobody else will (at least in the beginning)

Most of us have the fantasy that we’ll release our eBook and that before we know it, word of mouth will make it viral across the internet and we haven’t had to much more than tweet that it’s available.

The harsh reality is that unless you’re Oprah (or you have access to Oprah’s Twitter account) – this is highly unlikely! While things do go viral and word of mouth can be an important factor online, the sooner you face the reality that you are going to be the one who will be needing to spread word of your new product … at least initially (and probably longer than that).

Down the track you might find that the people who buy your product begin to tell others about it but you need to be the one to seed that and to do so you’ll almost certainly need to promote it to the readers you’ve already got.

2. Make it an Event

When I first launched ‘31 Days to Build a Better Blog‘ I remember being really concerned about a reader rebellion taking place. Not so much because I was going to annoy readers by promoting the eBook but because I was selling them something for the first time – after years of providing free content.

What amazed me was the good will of my readership. The first time I mentioned I was developing something to sell on my blog (about a month before I launched it) the news was actually celebrated by some of my readers.

There were many congratulations and lots of requests for more information about when it would launch – how much it would be, what would it include etc.

There was no real strategy in mentioning it, except perhaps softening the blow with my readership. However, by doing so I inadvertently created some anticipation among my readers about the launch of the product.

As I got closer to launching the eBook, I began to talk about it more and more and in doing so the anticipation of the launch grew. I realised that I was not only not annoying my readers – they were actually enjoying the process.

The launch of the eBook became something of an event on ProBlogger. It was celebrated by my readership rather than something I had to convince my readers to put up with as a necessary evil.

I realised the eBook was something my readers be part of. That fact that it was very practical and useful helped in this but for me, I learned the power of bringing readers along on a journey of releasing your product.

3. Develop a Multi-pronged Launch Campaign

When we release an eBook on Digital Photography School we generally launch over a 3-4 week period and take a fairly multi-pronged approach.

During that period we map out a series of communications that will go out.

For example, we’re currently launching our brand new Landscape Photography eBook (as I write this we’re about to enter week #2 of our launch) and the launch will probably play out like this:

Prelaunch: we use social media to build a little buzz before launch by showing the cover, running some competitions to get readers guessing the topic etc. We send a few key affiliates advanced copies of the eBook for them to review.

Launch Day: on launch day we email our full list with a sales email, post an announcement on the blog and do a series of status updates on social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest). We also typically email our affiliates about the eBook and our eBook author promotes it to their own network. The strong message in the email, blog post etc is about an Early Bird special.

Week 1: Over the first week we promote the eBook a number of times on social media but don’t write about it again on the blog unless it is a ‘by the way’ type mention when we touch on a relevant topic. We also mention the eBook in our weekly newsletter.

Also during week 1 (and sometimes each week during the launch) I’ll run a ‘challenge’ with readers to get them taking photos on a theme related to the eBook and showing those photos (here’s an example from this last week).

7 Days After Launch: We typically email our list again and post on the blog with a 2nd communication about the blog. This week we’re launching a competition for buyers of the eBook but other times we’ve emailed other messaging.

Week 2: we try to post some posts on the blog during week 2 that are guest posts on the same topic as the eBook, often by the same authors. It is important to me that these posts don’t just promote the eBook but they also deliver value whether people buy the eBook or not.

We also again mention the eBook in the weekly newsletter.

14/21 Days After Launch: Depending how the launch goes we may send a ’1 week to go’ email at this point to let readers know that the Early Bird Special is coming to an end. We might also include some testimonials from readers at this point and might also link to the posts that the author has done on the blog.

Week 3: often we’ll post more guest posts on the blog this week and will continue to pepper social media with occasional messages.

Last Chance Email: with 48-24 hours to go until the early bird offers end we send a very short ‘last chance’ reminder email. This is usually just a few lines.

Every launch is different and we’ve done a variety of other things for different launches like posting interviews with authors, running webinars, giving away excerpts from the eBooks, running competitions in the lead up to launches and much more.

The key here is to think about what messaging you’ll do through out the launch and not just to send the same message out each day over and over.

You’ll see in the above that each week has its own theme that helps take readers on a journey.

We also make sure that a fair few of the blog posts that mention the eBook during the campaign are actually valuable to readers whether they buy the eBook or not. My goal is not just to sell readers eBooks but also to equip ALL of my readers in the topic we’re exploring during the launch.

4. Keep Delivering Value Outside of the Launch Communications

A key objective for me during all our launches is to continue to deliver high value to readers during the launch period that is outside of the launch. So while we’re certainly promoting the eBook during the above launch there’s also the normal level of blog posts going up on the blog about other topics.

On a typical week on dPS I publish 14 tutorials – during a launch week it remains at this level. The same thing is true on social media – we continue to share great content on social that is not related to the launch.

So anyone who doesn’t want to buy the eBook still is getting other value out of the site during the launch.

This takes concerted effort as you get excited about the launch and tired from creating all the messaging for the launch – but it is very important. I’ve seen many bloggers fall into the trap of only ever talking about their products on their blog for a month while they launch something and in doing so the momentum of their actual blog stops.

Don’t let this happen or you might just find that after your product launch you have no readers left!

5. Listen to Your Readers

During your launch sequence, pay a lot of attention to any feedback you are getting from readers.

If they begin to complain about the launch, this might be a signal to take the foot off the pedal slightly. If they’re excited it’s a signal that you’re hitting the mark.

Also watch your sales numbers. Generally, there comes a point during a launch when your communication starts to be less effective. This is a signal that you might want to draw the campaign to a close.

When we launch an eBook we never quite know how long the launch will go. We may put aside 4 weeks but if things slow we might cut it back to 3. If there is momentum we can always extend it.

Over time as you release more products you can also compare one launch to another to help identify whether you are onto a big launch or one that might be worth calling to an end sooner than later.

What Would You Add?

The above process does involve promoting your eBook and the reality is that any promotion will annoy some of your readers. You are likely to get some pushback every time.

But I’ve found if you make your launches relevant to readers in terms of topic, you promote something of high value and you work hard to deliver value during a launch that most readers will not only put up with your launch – but many will celebrate it and participate in it with you!

I’d love to hear your tips and experiences with launching products. What have you done to launch without annoying your readers?

7 Reasons I LOVE Running Webinars for My Blog Readers

Over the last couple of years I’ve run semi-regular webinars for ProBlogger readers (sign up to get invitations to these free webinars here).

These webinars have not only received a lot of positive feedback, they’ve also been among the most energising things I’ve done on this site.

Here’s a few quick thoughts on why I love doing webinars:

1. Real time Interactions

When I first discovered blogging, one of the things I loved was that it opened up the potential to have almost immediate reactions and feedback from readers. You can have a post up and then 10-25 minutes later there might be a comment or two there.

A webinar speeds up this interaction to the point where it is virtually instantaneous. I can ask webinar attendees a question and within seconds, see a stream of responses.

Someone can submit a question and I can ask for clarification and get it immediately.

I can share what I’m thinking on a topic and get a gauge on whether it is resonating with those listening very quickly.

I find this live interaction is very energising. It keeps me on my feet and thinking fast too!

On the other side of this interaction is that after a webinar I notice that those who attended are more interactive with me. For example, I often see webinar attendees leaving more comments on blog posts, tweeting and even writing blog posts that link to mine on their blogs.

I guess a webinar has the benefit of opening the flood gates of interaction with some people – a very valuable thing.

2. It is personal

Quite often, the reactions I get after a webinar are readers telling me that they felt like they ‘know’ me more as a result of listening to my voice for an hour – as opposed to reading words on a page.

While I try to write as I speak, something often gets lost in the written word. A webinar allows me  to more easily convey emotion, humour, tone – all of which has a big impact upon those listening.

Webinars have the ability to humanise your brand and break down false perceptions of you.

3. Verbalising your ideas has benefits

Verbalising your ideas in a webinar type situation also forces you to think about your topic in a different way. As a result, I quite often get moments of clarity on issues I’ve been struggling with in the preparation or running of a webinar. I’m not sure exactly what happens but something about ‘hearing’ myself rather than reading myself seems to crystallise my thinking.

4. ideas for content

One of the biggest benefits for me about doing a webinar is that I ALWAYS come away from running them with ideas for things to write about here on the blog.

Quite often, as you’re speaking, you get ideas but the ideas also come from questions and responses from your audience.

One of the things I do every time we run a webinar is include an option on the signup form to submit a question for us to answer on the webinar. These questions are GOLD!

I also like to run purely Q&A webinars at times which are great for this too.

Earlier this week we ran one of these Q&A sessions and had 600 questions submitted! While we could only get through a fraction of them I read each question and many of the posts I write in the coming weeks will come directly from those questions.

5. They scale ‘you’

One of the challenges that bloggers face when their audience begins to grow is that there is a ceiling on how accessible you can be to all of your readers.

While you start out responding to every question, email and tweet there comes a point where the incoming messages get beyond what you can respond to while still maintaining creating content and managing other aspects of your blog and business.

I’ve grappled with this for years now and find that webinars go a long way making yourself more accessible to readers.

6. Webinars Lend Themselves to Different Types of Communication

I’ve tried a variety of different styles of webinar over the last few years including:

Interviews/Story Telling – where I interview a blogger about their story and what they’ve learned. This story telling approach has been very well received. A couple of popular ones include webinars with Tsh Oxenreider and Ana White.

Teaching – in these webinars I almost ‘lecture’ on a topic. I use slides and take attendees on a journey through a topic from A-B. For example recent webinars on Finding Readers for a Blog and Monetizing Blogs

Q&A – in these webinars I’ve either had open Q&A sessions on any topic or have named a topic and made attendees focus their questions on exploring more narrow areas. For example here’s last weeks open Q&A session in which we covered a heap of topics.

Selling – I’ve not done much selling in webinars (I like to keep mine pitch free) but occasionally have run webinars with a pitch at the end (I warn attendees that there will be). I still make sure that these webinars are high in value/usefulness so that even if they don’t respond to the pitch that they come away satisfied.

7. Great Practice for Public Speaking

Lastly, webinars are a great way to get practice and experience for public speaking.

One of my favourite things to do is to speak at events. However, due to my location in Australia and the fact that the majority of speaking invitations I get come from overseas, I’m not able to accept the vast majority of them.

Webinars are a great way for me to get a ‘fix’ of speaking but I’ve also noticed that they’re a great place to hone my presenting skills. They’re also a good place to showcase what you can do and land you presenting gigs too!

What is Your Experience with Webinars?

I’d love to hear your experience with webinars.

Have you run them? How did they go?

Do you attend them? If so – what makes a good webinar in your experience?

When You Have Nothing Unique to Say…

I’ve got nothing unique to say.
It has all been said before.
There are so many people who are smarter than me.
Why would anyone listen to me?

Have you ever found yourself thinking like this?

If so – you’re not alone. At one point or another most bloggers do, and many would be bloggers have been stopped in their tracks by them.

Here’s the deal:

Nobody has lived your life before.
Nobody has your story.
Nobody has faced and overcome what you’ve overcome.
Nobody thinks in exactly the same way that you do.

So write – but infuse what you write with your story.

Your story is what makes it unique.
Your story is what’s never been said before.
Your story is something nobody else could ever know better than you.
Your story is why anyone would listen to you.