Q&A: How to Achieve Clarity and Avoid Imposter Syndrome For Bloggers

Coming up with awesome blog posts is a cinch now that you've tapped the endless well of ideas, but let's face it — there's more work ahead.  You know, the work of actually producing the blog post. And while the ideas may come easy now, working then out and making them something worth reading (and more importantly — sharing), can make you sweat a little bit. 

Especially if you're a bit of a perfectionist and get yourself all wound up like Angie from Gluten Free Running

"I have a perfectionist issue where I can't stop editing the post that I'm working on. I guess I'm concerned that I won't get my point across effectively, or I'll offend someone, or that the reader will feel like they have not learned anything new, or are not inspired and will feel like they have wasted their time reading it. I feel like every single post has to be life-changing and that's a LOT of pressure!" 

The weight of that pressure, combined with no knowing what to write about is probably the biggest reason for blogger burnout. It's a lot to handle, especially when you are trying to really push yourself — and your blog — to new heights and create a business.

I've gone through this myself, and have felt like I'm trying to blog through a really thick soupy fog. You know what I mean? Like when you've decided on a topic but don't feel like you're being very clear or the details are getting all muddied up.

Maybe we could call this a flog . . .?  I dunno, that's my attempt at being funny. But I digress.

OK. So Angie, and everyone else who has suffered with "flog," here are three things that helped me get clarity on each of my blog posts: 

  1. Writing down my central focus
  2. Writing down the emotion
  3. Writing down the action

Let's take a deeper dive into each of these. 

1. Write down the central focus of your blog post at the top of the page. What is this post ultimately about? If you're a fitness blogger and you want to write about your newfound love of Crossfit, maybe your central focus is "helping others overcome fear of trying Crossfit."

From there, you can start to outline your thoughts that ladder up to that central focus. Don't veer off that path. Keep it clean. Keep it very simple. If you feel like you have lots more to say about Crossfit, then break it up into a series or — even better — a "beginners guide."

But for THIS post, stay specific to overcoming fears of trying Crossfit. For me, that might mean something like "10 Crossfit myths beginners fear" or "how your fear of Crossfit is keeping you from the best workout of your life." With a list of common fears and how (and why!) to overcome them.

2. Write down the central emotion you want someone to feel while, or after they've finished reading your post. The key to creating content that begs to be shared is emotion. Whether that is joy or sadness or anger or frustration or inspiration or hope - whatever it is, identify it and use it as your guidepost.

3. Write down the action you want them to take after they've finished your post. If someone isn't doing something after they've finished reading your post, you've wasted an opportunity to engage or learn more about them or capture their email.

An action could be to download a free guide, to comment or to share. Just make sure your readers have something to do after they've taken your post in.

This should keep you in line, and super clear on what your post is about. If you find yourself veering off of these three points, you probably need to break up your post into a series, or, simply reel yourself in and stay focused on what you're trying to really say.

That takes care of the clarity issue. 

As far as the "epic post" issue? Let me just say that not EVERY SINGLE POST has to be groundbreaking, earth-shattering, and life-changing. Being inable to move forward because you feel like you're not doing enough (or you're not knowledgeable enough or good enough) is a classic sign of Imposter Syndrome — where you feel like you're not "expert" enough to be giving out advice, or that you don't have anything new to bring to the table. 

Imposter Syndrome is fear wrapped up in a trenchcoat. But here's the thing: there are no new ideas out there, just new voices. 

Once you realize and accept this, you'll be set free. 

People will follow you because of YOU. They're drawn to your perspective. Your experiences. Your delivery. Your personality. 

So instead of feeling defeated, have a plan to feel accomplished without drowning under the weight of your own self-imposed pressure. 

Here's one idea: you could plan to write one epic blog post a month, an in-depth guide, or more substantial than the rest of your posts. This will give you the satisfaction of knowing that you just blew someone's skirt up with your content, while rest of your calendar can be packed with more bite-sized and snackable content that's just as valuable, but in other, more immediate ways. 

The other benefit to doing one epic blog post a month is that you could turn it into a checklist, PDF guide, or printable that people can take away to reference later in exchange for an email address. This way, you're also building your list every single time you publish one of these big, sizeable, "epic" blog posts. 

How do YOU deal with "flog" or imposter syndrome? Tell me in the comments!