Right now, hundreds of entrepreneurs, business owners and designated bloggers are trembling beside their keyboards, unable to type a single word, for fear that the results will be terrible.
And perhaps the kindest thing would be for me to soothe and reassure and gently rub their backs while telling them that once they get started they are sure to create an engaging, compelling blog post that will become an instant viral sensation.
But 30 minutes later they would realise this reassurance was, in fact, utter nonsense, and they’d never believe another word I wrote.
So instead I’m going for brutal, blunt honesty. Your first blog post will be crap.
Let me soften the blow with a self-berating story.
When I was seven years old, I joined the Brownies. My first badge was ‘Hostess’. It required me to make my first cup of tea. With an unsteady hand I shoved the tea bag into a cup, then waited impatiently for the kettle to boil. Fearful that the water might get too hot, I flicked the switch off just as the water began to bubble, and gingerly poured it over the bag, before slopping in a ridiculous quantity of milk. Of how my mother beamed with pride as I served up the lukewarm, pale brown liquid that could in no way be compared to tea. And bless her loving heart, she drank the whole lot down.
That was my first cup of tea. And it was crap. And the second one was pretty poor too. In my haste to bring my mother tea in bed, I decided to speed up the preparation process by using water from the hot tap instead of the kettle. The third wasn’t much better, and the fourth was probably rank too. But with time, and patience and practice, I learned how to make a good cup of tea.
And so it is with blogging. You’re first post may be a bit rubbish. But your tenth post will be awesome. And soon you will be cranking out engaging blog posts week after week, as you build a loyal following of fans, who hover around your Facebook page, excitedly waiting for your next bit of content. But you can’t get to that tenth blog post, without writing your first.