Have you ever hovered over the “Publish” button while your stomach churned?
Have you hesitated to make your website live because you’d rather stay invisible?
Does putting your content out there make you feel exposed and insecure?
Hitting “publish” means becoming vulnerable
People will know what I’m thinking and feeling.
It’s true: when you create content that’s a product of your own thoughts, experiences, and knowledge, it’s a little like opening a window to your brain and heart.
Even if you don’t explicitly write about personal experiences, over time your readers will get to know how you think and how you approach the world.
That’s a product of a good writing voice, by the way, and it’s something to aim for.
But it will make you feel vulnerable in a way nothing else has.
Hitting “publish” leads to exposure
People will see what I’m doing.
Once you hit publish, there’s no hiding. Your work is out in the world where anyone with an accurate link can find it.
That topic you have strong opinions about? It will creep its way into your post, your video, your podcast, and before you know it, the whole world will know how you feel.
Getting nervous yet?
Hitting “publish” creates insecurity
People will be able to comment on my work.
Once your work is out there, people will be able to comment on it.
Even if you remove comments from your blog, you can’t stop people from weighing in on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or any other social media platform that allows people to share a link and add a comment (which is all of them).
The threat to your personal sense of safety is real.
You will be more vulnerable, more exposed, and less secure the moment you hit publish.
And yet, millions of us do it every day.
More importantly, how can you get past that initial wave of dread and nausea and resolve to hit publish on a regular basis?
Remember: there’s safety in numbers
More than a million blog posts are published each day. There’s safety in those numbers. Chances are, in the early days of your site, your work won’t make a dent in the grand universe that is the Internet.
And that’s a good thing.
It’s the web equivalent of anonymity. With so many other sites competing for attention, your early efforts can hum along practically unnoticed.
Sure, you can send a link to friends, family, and coworkers.
But unless you manage to create a viral sensation right out of the gate, you’ll be able to toil away in happy web obscurity while you become more comfortable with creating great content.
Later, when the recognition begins to come your way, you’ll be more experienced.
You’ll be ready.
Remember: there’s safety in a small audience
I’ve done some business coaching, and one question I often hear sounds something like this:
“I only have 300 people on my mailing list. Is it worth it to begin ___?”
My answer is always, “Yes, do it!”
It’s easier (and safer) to begin with a small audience and let momentum build naturally.
You’ll be interacting with real people, and that will give you invaluable insight into their needs and challenges. You can “practice” in front of a smaller crowd.
Getting your work in front of people will help inform what you should do next and how you can improve.
Remember: there’s safety in a schedule
There’s something reassuring about setting up a publication schedule, building a habit, and sticking to it over time.
Decide what schedule works for you, commit to it, and start producing content on a regular basis.
Just showing up is half the battle, and showing up on a regular schedule will increase the chance that you’ll produce great work over time.
It all starts when you hit publish
Our online marketing journeys start the day we hit publish on our first piece of content. And we build our online presence every time we hit publish.
That’s why I decided to call my new podcast “Hit Publish.”
I’d like to invite you to join me as I begin a new content journey.
I’ll be hitting publish on a weekly podcast episode that will help you understand how online marketing works. We’ll cover the basics, and we’ll delve into some more advanced ideas, too.
Listen to a few episodes, and you’ll begin to see how the pieces of the online marketing puzzle fit together.
My guests on Hit Publish will be some of the smartest people I know — my coworkers on the Copyblogger Media team. I’ll be tapping their expertise to answer your most-pressing questions about online marketing topics.
Hitting publish doesn’t have to make you nauseous.
There’s beauty in starting small.
So take a deep breath, and … hit publish.