My #1 Tip for Hesitant Bloggers

Just Start

There it is. Two words and they worked for me.Just Start

I know there are business owners and insurance professionals who want to start a blog. They know it’s a good idea. They know it will help them build credibility, provide value, and help their business. So why don’t many ever take the blogging plunge?

They don’t know how to start.

I am currently reading Jon Acuff’s book aptly named, “Start” (review coming soon). As Jon states, sometimes we get so hung up on the finish line and want everything to be perfect, that we never start. I know this is what holds many people back when considering starting a blog.

Here’s a little secret. Blogs don’t have to be perfect to be valuable. Especially when you are just getting started.

Another secret. Not many people will read your blog when you start and that’s a good thing.

You need time to learn how to put your thoughts on paper or video. You need time to learn how to find your voice. You need time to learn how to write. Most importantly, you need time to get simply figure out what in the heck this blogging thing is all about.

That’s ok. Blogging is a marathon not a sprint.

I have had this blog for 2 years and I am still feel like an infant to blogging. I have come a long way, but know I still have a long way to go.  I am ok with that.  The only way to fail is to quit.

Even with some bad posts, grammar errors, and inconsistency  I have created amazing relationships with readers, business owners, and other insurance professionals. You can do the same.

So Where Should a New Blogger Even Begin?

I will not pretend to be an expert on setting up a blog, but let me give you some great resources.

  1. Go to www.michaelhyatt.com. This guy knows how to build a Platform and has tremendous resources for new bloggers. He even has a quick video that helps you set up your first self-hosted WordPress blog in 20 minutes.
  2. Stanford Smith @ www.pushingsocial.com. This guy knows blogging and is a great resource.
  3. Want to go a little deeper and learn more? Check out some of my favorite blogs (many are insurance peeps), but they are all great resources.  www.ryanhanley.com This guy knows content.  www.insurancegoddess.com She will make you think twice if you believe an insurance agent can’t create a brand.                                                   www.thesaleslion.com If you think blogging and content marketing are gimmicks, Marcus Sheridan has a slightly different story and he can back it up with facts.

Here is the most important resource I can suggest for you.  Fingers and a computer.

Write about anything you feel called to write about, but just write. People get so stuck on the right blogging platform or theme that they often forget the most important thing, which is actual content.

If you are a business professional and you are not sure what to write about let me provide one more tip to get you thinking. List your top ten questions that your customers ask you. We all have customers and they all ask questions. What do they want to know? Answer them in a blog post. You could probably go all the way to 100, but start with ten.

Help them! Provide them value. No more excuses.

Just start!

Do you have more questions? Shoot me an email at [email protected] or connect with me below on social media so we can discuss further.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • This is just what I needed today. I have my new domain just needed an avenue to start with it. Thanks for reading my mind! =) I appreciate the resourses.

    • brentmkelly

      Jamie, glad I could help. You are on you way to great things. Let me know if you ever need any help. Make sure you let me know the domain when it’s up so I can help spread the word.

      • Brent,

        Your roll as an agent in the internet age is awesome! I am so glad I get to read your blog and learn! I have my insurance page and blog now. Still working on it but getting it started and freeing myself to do it. To just have someone say it is ok not to be perfect just go for it really allows me to breath a bit easier.

        http://www.virtualsurance.com/
        http://www.jamiegustafson.com
        Now I just get to see what direction it starts going in. Thanks again!

        • brentmkelly

          Hey Jamie. I just checked out your site and blog. Awesome stuff. Have fun and keep going.

    • @facebook-100003007518930:disqus very happy for you… Look forward to seeing what you come up with. I’m happy to help as well. All the best!

      • Ryan,
        You help me all the time! How awesome is it to be able to follow and learn from so many of you! Thank you!

  • Raul Campa

    I read Jon’s book Quitter and just started reading his new Start book. I’m a big fan of Jon as well as Dave Ramsey. I agree with Jamie this was perfect timing. I’ve had my domain name for several weeks and have been researching WordPress themes. I just need to pull the trigger and get Started, as the book says.

    • brentmkelly

      Raul, I have about every Dave Ramsey book and all of Jon’s book. They are great. Glad I could provide a little motivation. Good luck!

  • @brentmkelly:disqus love this article dude. Great work. You’ve really become a great content creator.

    • brentmkelly

      Thanks man. Just trying to learn from people like you. Have a great weekend.

  • carriereynolds

    Brent- I am tremendously humbled to be included with the likes of Ryan and Marcus. You absolutely made my day 🙂 My writing is tremendously important to me and thank you for being a loyal reader.

    I think the biggest issue for bloggers is the fact that there is no instant gratification. It takes time, energy and solid content for people to become aware of what you’re doing and excited to spread the word. It took me a solid 2 1/2 years of plugging along in virtual obscurity before I started getting genuine interest and a decent amount of subscribers.

    Another point which I think is often overlooked- depending on your subject matter, you may never get a million subscribers. I write primarily about insurance. Ryan & Marcus write about content marketing. That topic is infinitely more “sexy” and applicable to more people. I try not to get discouraged and realize that the more limited your topic, the more limited your audience.

    I wrote a post with a similar theme- http://insurancegoddess.com/how-to-write-a-successful-blog/. Perhaps it will give others the inspiration and motivation they need to move forward.

    There’s also a post I read earlier this year called “Blogger Don’t Give Up.” I can’t remember the author though. Anyone out there know what post I’m talking about.? It was a beautifully written post.

    You are turning into a wonderful writer. I can feel the passion. I can feel the emotion. So excited to see what’s around the bend. Love my insurance friends!

    • brentmkelly

      Carrie, thanks much for your comment. I think you are 100% correct about the # of subscribers. While numbers are important, I think it much more about value. You can provide as much value to 10 as you can 1,000. Especially if those 10 are engaged in your content. The fact that you run an agency and put out great content is a huge testament to you and I know great things are coming.

  • Brent, really good stuff here. Agents I work with are stuck on getting basic content into their website. They really can’t see how to blog. I will be sharing this with them. Thanks for sharing your tips.

    • brentmkelly

      Thanks Pat. Tom Petty says “waiting is the hardest part.” I say so is starting. Sometimes we need to just get started even if the product is far from perfect.

      • For those of us that were taught perfection is the most important thing it is really difficult to get past that. I continue to work on that every day. I think may are stopped by thinking they are not writers. Don’t need to be one in my opinion. Just write what you tell you clients.

  • @brentmkelly:disqus really good stuff here dude… I love the advice of “Just Write.” There are positives and negatives to this strategy but for early and/or inexperienced bloggers it’s the best strategy by far.

    You’re doing great work!

    Hanley

    • brentmkelly

      Thanks Hanley! Have a great weekend.

  • Keith Laskey

    Your point about how no one reads a young blog and how that is OK reminded me of something. I think it was in “The Dip” when Godin was talking about how the founders of Google were happy that nobody was aware of them for a long time because that allowed them the chance to develop the site. Something along those lines.

    WE NEED THE PRACTICE!! If they did, we sure as hell do too.

    Also, great point by Acuff about getting hung up thinking about the finish line. This holds me back constantly. Focus should be on the engagement and relationship, not the results.

    Thanks Brent.

    • brentmkelly

      Keith, I have read several of Seth Godin’s books, but not “The Dip.” That’s one of many on my wish list. Glad you enjoyed the post.

  • Claudio

    This was excellent. Simple but effective message. I am not an agent nor in the insurance industry, but these principles certainly apply to anyone trying to get started. I for one fall into this category and can appreciate this advice.

    Thanks again!

    • brentmkelly

      Glad you enjoyed it Claudio. It doesn’t matter the type of business. The reality is that any business with a product or service to sell needs to start blogging.