By Vidas Pinkevicius (get free updates of new posts here)
I'm struggling right now. It feels painful. Painful in my stomach, actually.
I'm about to start a new blog. I don't even know what it will be about.
I know I want to help people by teaching them what I have learned.
The only thing more painful than starting a blog for me is to walk around and meet people from all walks of life who are enslaved by their job, by their boss, who think it’s the way it’s always been and it’s the way it will always have to be.
Who think they have no choice but to obediently follow instructions until they die.
But the world has changed and those middle men are losing their power (many of them still don’t understand this).
With the changes that technology has brought about, the power has been given to an individual, to a person who is no longer satisfied to be an anonymous cog in the machine.
For the first time in history, it’s possible for a person to do the things that truly matter.
So that’s what I’m going to help people with - to change their lives for the better with their blog by creating their own rules instead of following the rules of someone else.
There are many challenges and many uncertainties on my way, I know that.
The only thing I'm sure is I have to start now.
So here are other things that I'm struggling with right now:
1. Choosing the Right Domain Name
What’s the best domain name of my blog? Should I use my first name and last name (vidaspinkevicius.com)? Should I use the keywords of the general niche I will be writing about? Should I use something more mysterious so that people would have to ask me what does my domain name mean?
These are all the questions I’m struggling right now about the domain name. For now I try to not worry about that. The important thing for me is to write. I can decide later on the domain name.
2. Choosing the Niche
Of course, if I don’t know what I’m going to write about, it’s difficult to choose a general area of my blog. This is important because in the future hopefully when I’ll have some readers I don’t want to write about everything and about anything.
I have to satisfy my readers. And the readers will come to me (hopefully) based on what type of posts I will be writing and what their expectations are.
I know this: I’m not for everyone. So my writing will reflect my thinking and it will attract certain people who can relate to my life experiences.
Therefore I know that the niche is crucial to choose.
Here’s the thing: it’s possible to decide on the niche later when I have more clarity about my writing.
Right now my only worry is to write about the things that I’m struggling with because there might be other people who will be struggling with the similar issues.
3. Not Knowing, If the Niche Is Right For Me
Great. Once I have decided that I have to focus only on writing I still feel a problem - will my niche be interesting to me or should I write about something else?
That’s hard to know at the beginning. I can’t see the future so the only thing I can do is to focus on the now.
Right now I’m writing about blogging and I’ve been a blogger for 5 years in the niche of successfully teaching people how to play the organ so I feel like I have something valuable to say for people who want to write a blog for a living.
Specifically, for people who have a job and want to do it on the side.
Yes, I’ve decided. My niche will be blogging at least for now.
But will it be relevant to me in the future?
I don’t care.
Future should not be my worry.
4. Not Knowing, If I Have What It Takes
Will I survive the hard moments that this blog will bring about?
Will I keep going through the darkest hours of the night?
Will I have hope that the the darkest hour is always before the dawn?
I think so, because I’ve been doing this for more than 5 years in organ playing niche. But again, these are the worries about the future.
I don’t have to worry about this.
All I have is today.
And today I can write.
One step at a time.
5. Not Knowing, If I’m Qualified
Do I have the necessary qualification as a blogger to teach others about how to do it?
If I don’t, then people won’t believe me with what I have to say, they won’t trust me.
It’s a good thing I will be teaching from experience.
I hit highs and lows, ups and downs. But I don’t pretend to be a guru or anything.
I will only write what works for me so that hopefully people can choose whether or not it will work for them.
I will not write about how to make millions from a blog because I don’t have this kind of experience.
But I can write about how to make some extra income on the side, if someone has a job and wants to start thinking independently, grow this blog, be more secure about the future as a result, and no longer feel enslaved by their job or their boss.
It worked for me. I started from scratch in the niche of organ playing 5 years ago. And I can show people how they can do something similar in their own niche using the skills and interests they already have.
6. Not Knowing, If the Readers Will Come
I’m very hopeful. I’ll try to stick to my writing and hope that over time the readers will find me. Still it’s scary in this oversaturated blogosphere to hope that with time people will notice me.
But hope is not a good strategy. Maybe they’ll come, maybe they won’t. I think I’ll have to do some sharing too. Sharing my posts on various social media platforms. Even reposting them there.
Still nobody can predict if my blog will be found. For now I have to prove it’s valuable and helpful to people by writing quality content.
7. Not Knowing, If the Readers Will Like My Writing
I’ve written over 1000 posts over the last 5 years and I can say with certainty that some people don’t like my posts.
It’s a fact. Some will hate but some will also love them to the extent they will print them out and set up a separate folder for my posts and even give them to read for their friends.
It would be foolish to hope to be likable by everyone.
Actually, that would be a direct path to mediocrity.
The best thing I can do is to write from my heart.
If some people will be offended, so be it. But I also know that some readers will find this content helpful to the extent that they can relate to my life experiences.
It’s more than that. A small part will be inspired to take action and change their lifes for the better the way I changed my life with my blog.
8. Not Knowing, If the Readers Will Like My Drawings
About one and a half years ago I started drawing again to illustrate my posts. I liked to draw as a child but later in life other interests led me into a different direction. But today I feel refreshed when I can draw, when I can doodle some silly things.
I’m not a professional at drawing though. I don’t know if my readers will find my style appealing. Most likely some of them won’t. But as I’ve been doing this, I’ve met some people who look forward to my drawings every day.
As with everything I practice, drawing regularly will only help get my skills stronger.
And I’m quite sure there will be others in the future who can relate to my drawings.
This is for them.
9. Not Knowing, If I Can Help My Readers
But of course, I don’t know if my writing will really be helpful to my audience.
Everyone is so unique and different from me that it’s quite difficult to predict, if I can help change people’s lives.
Here’s the thing: words don’t change people. People change people.
Only people who are ready and willing to change will take my words to heart and apply them in practice.
10. Not Knowing, What to Write About
Writer’s block. It’s a dreadful word for a lot of writers and bloggers. I also feel intimidated with the blank screen. But ever since I started writing this post in a way I help my brain to forget writer’s block even exists.
The rule that works for me is to write about my own experiences in the way I talk.
Like today, I’m writing about my own fears and challenges.
Since this is my life, I know the material well and will not stare at the blank screen for a longer period of time.
The problem is of course when I’m afraid of all the previous things and tend to stall. Tend to freeze in fear that people will make fun of my writing and of me personally.
It’s here where it gets very interesting.
This feeling of fear can be something I can flee from in search for a safe path, in search of a silver bullet, in search of a shortcut.
But this feeling can be something I can also embrace and look forward to because it will show that I’m about to do something important, something that truly matters.
At this moment my Amygdala part of the brain is activated which was useful for millions of years to protect my ancestors from getting eating by wild beasts.
But now, when I don’t encounter physical threats every day, especially when I write, this fear is useless.
Actually, not useless.
I use it as a compass. Whenever this fear, shame, and vulnerability arises, I feel I’m on the right track.
So I just keep going.
11. Not Knowing, If a Year From Now This Blog Will Be Around
Today, when I’m starting this blog, I feel very optimistic about it. Like every new project, it may bring many positive changes into my life.
But I will most certainly meet some challenges which will be quite difficult to overcome.
And I’m not sure if those challenges will not be too strenuous to me. That I’ll be able to keep swimming when another shore isn’t visible anymore.
Again, this is the fear of the unknown.
It means that I’m on the right path touching souls one word at a time.
In a year from now my blog might not be around. But it is today.
That’s all it matters.
12. Not Knowing, If I'll Have the Time to Write
Life is unpredictable. I can make some plans to write tomorrow but I don’t know, if something won’t come up that will postpone my writing.
I started typing around 10 am, after practicing for some time on the organ. Words didn’t come easily to me and soon I found myself having to stop and go to class to teach.
I’ve promised to myself I will continue writing around noon when I’ll have a break but I met a colleague who needed my help with some technology.
So there went my writing break.
But I kept writing after lunch.
It’s not an ideal environment, people are around me now talking but I keep going.
Sooner or later, this article is going to be finished and then I’ll need to edit it, check my grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
Later tonight I plan to buy my new domain name, actually start a blog and publish it.
It’s not everything I’ll need to do, of course. I’ll have to set up a newsletter with Mailchimp so that my email subscribers would start receiving my articles I post automatically.
I’m not sure if I’m qualified for this, if I’m prepared, if I have what it takes.
But I know this:
I want to help people to start to live their lives independently and without fear.
The longer I wait, the harder it will be for me to start.
I hope you will do the same.