Performancing Metrics

Bloggers, Do You Suffer From “Performance Anxiety”?

It happens to the best of us. We start our blogs with childlike enthusiasm, super geeked to have our own online “space” that is totally ours and where we can finally be heard and uncensored.

Let’s face it, in real life our words of wisdom often fall upon deaf ears. Our mates have us on “mute” buttons, our kids think we’re from a different world, and our families know too much about us to care.

But on line we can strut our stuff, be the divas we dare to be. We can even take on a whole new personality if we choose.

So you start this blog thing, and actually find that some folks are digging what you have to say. Okay, so maybe it’s just the creepy guy with stalker tendencies that lives in your building, and your Avon rep, but still, it’s somebody.
Because practice often makes perfect, you find that the more you blog the better you become. Then 2 “fans” become 5, 5 become 10, and 10 become 20. You hit your stride and then people start talking. Before you know it, you’ve actually built a little “following” along the way.

Then comes the pressure…

At least that’s how it was for me. In the beginning I blogged for me. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to share with others and make connections, but it was the one type of writing that was not subjected to editors’ scrutiny or writers’ guidelines, or politically correct protocol. My motto was “love me or leave me.”

Somewhere along the line, and much to my amazement, I was drawing the attention of some folks and fans that were a bit intimidating. Through the “Google Connect” feature, I could see the profiles of teachers and professional journalists, men and women, Blacks and Whites, and people from other countries, oh my!

And I accidentally started to love it.

That’s the upside.

The down side? I started to suffer from online “stage fright”.

I began to over think things…

What if I run out of interesting things to say? Or piss somebody off? Or don’t hit a home run each time I come up to the plate? These questions plagued my mind and kept me up way past my bed time. And perhaps they’re questions that you entertain too.

If so, here’s how to relieve the pressure and increase readers’ pleasure.

  1. Relax- It’s not a do or die proposition if you misuse a preposition or use an expression that baffles someone, or misspell an occasional word. Have fun! The more in the moment you are, and the more you enjoy yourself the more others can enjoy you.
  2. Don’t compare – Sure other blogs may have more fans or more comments, or more Ads, but so what? It’s not a contest.
  3. Never apologize for who you are or what you say – That’s the beauty of blogs – your words, your views, your vision. Have people to accept you on your own terms.
  4. Be playful – Even professional blogs benefit from a little humor and fun poking (as long as it’s not malicious).
  5. Don’t get bogged in the blog – If you’re feeling overwhelmed and under pressure, consider having guest bloggers to periodically post to your site to give you a needed break without losing your audience.

    Follow these five tips to enhance your readers’ blog experience and to reduce episodes of performance anxiety. In the words of a popular commercial, “Never let ‘em see you sweat.”

    Categories: Blogging Tips
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Comments

  1. clara54 ) says: 3/19/2010

    Great tips Jennifer & awesome post! I tend to use the very same methos in times of questioning my creative blogging/writing abilities-It’s good to “wonder”… makes the fruits of ” perseverance” taste that much sweeter…

    Clara

    Reply

  2. Steve ) says: 3/19/2010

    Jennifer:

    #s 1 thru 5 are excellent points. A blog (for me) is — while, yes, a way or promotion — but also to show I’m “human.”

    I guess that makes sense.

    Great post,

    Steve

    Reply

  3. Rachael ) says: 3/19/2010

    Great blog post…I get this all the time. I often get it in my head that I have to write how other people would want to see me write rather than just blooging what I feel. There are times when I want to blog about goings on and then there are times when I want to just post videos and images – I often stop and start analyzing whether I should perhaps have two separate blogs just in case some readers stop reading – but why!!! The whole purpose of my blog is that it’s MY blog!!
    Something which I often have to remind myself of!

    Rachael

    Reply

    • Jennifer Brown Banks ) says: 3/19/2010

      Rachael,

      You’re right; it is your Blog, so do your own thing! There’s only one you. Thanks for sharing your comments. I value your time and input.

      Reply

  4. Dee Barizo says: 3/19/2010

    Great post. I regularly feel the emotions you talked about. One thing that’s helped me is to look back at my previous successes for encouragement.

    Also, I remind myself that the rough draft can be really bad but it’s a great stepping stone to a good post once I edit it. This puts less pressure on me since I don’t have to get everything right on the first try.

    Reply

    • Jennifer Brown Banks ) says: 3/19/2010

      Thanks so much, Franky and Dee for your comments and support. I’m tickled pink to be a part of such a fine team. :-)

      Reply

  5. Franky Branckaute ) says: 3/19/2010

    Great first post, Jennifer. Welcome to the team. :)

    Reply

  6. Nikola ) says: 3/19/2010

    Jennifer,

    Your posts are always so timely and spot on! Tip No.1 resonates with me; spelling is not my friend. Congrats on your new blog home; I’ll be a frequent visitor!

    Reply

    • Jennifer Brown Banks ) says: 3/19/2010

      Nikola,

      Glad to see you stop by. You are such a treasure to have as a “fan”.
      Look for me to do another guest post for Living Well in April or May. I have a few good ideas that I’ve been toying with!

      Reply

  7. Jennifer Brown Banks ) says: 3/19/2010

    Steve and Clara,

    To quote a popular book, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” We’re all human and it’s impossible to please everybody all the time. Thanks for your comments here and your time. Much success on your Blogs!

    Reply

  8. David Krug ) says: 3/19/2010

    This is a truly great post I appreciate your insights and I often suffer from anxiety to hit the publish button. So yeah this really hits home with me. Look forward to reading more gems like this one.

    Reply

    • Jennifer Brown Banks ) says: 3/20/2010

      David, thanks much! Do visit next week where I’ll have more tips, tools and techniques on blogging.

      Reply

  9. Cynthia says: 3/20/2010

    Great observations. Nice to be reminded that our frailties are shared by others. I liked the tips — and I think I need to remember those when I’m doing presentations, too, as well as blog entries. Thanks.

    Reply

    • Jennifer Brown Banks ) says: 3/20/2010

      Cynthia,

      I appreciate your thoughts. Thanks for sharing. Yep, these tips can apply to presentations as well. Good luck with those, too.:-)

      Reply

  10. Marcie Hill ) says: 3/23/2010

    When I suffer from performance anxiety, I just work on another blog. I have several just to release my frustrations. However, I must say that I was worried offending people on one of my blogs, but I’ve moved passed that. A wise person told me to “Make no small moves.” I’m ready to create a wave on one of my blogs!

    Reply

  11. Jennifer Brown Banks ) says: 3/23/2010

    I really appreciate all the positive feedback and “online love” folks. And all the lessons I’ve learned from you as well. Keep Blogging, baby!

    Reply

  12. Ryan says: 8/22/2012

    “relax and have fun”

    Great advice! Often times for me, easier said than done. However I’m getting better the more I blog and the more I just relax and enjoy the fact that folks are reading my stuff.

    Of course the stray negative comment on a blog post I spent a lot of time writing can sometimes still spur some anxiety and doubt about what I’m doing. Yet with practice it gets a lot easier to overcome these little challenges!

    Nice article and thanks for posting,

    Ryan

    Reply