• Zoe Barnett

Why you feel the fear - but you should publish your content anyway!

Writing content for your small business can be nerve-racking stuff. Believe me, I'm a copywriter by profession and I still get the pre-hitting-publish fear! In fact, I can guarantee that most of us feel like this. And if we don't - well firstly, what!? How?! Are you human?!

(I'm just jealous - tell me your secret!)

Today I wanted to write a post to help small businesses understand their content-publishing fear, feel okay with it, accept it even... and post it anyway.

Mobile phone reading "feel the fear and do it anyway" with plant pots in the background to demonstrate content marketing publishing doubts
It's common that we overanalyse things that we care about. To a certain extent this is good. But when does it become counter-productive to your content marketing plan?


Well, I've had a few clients mention this fear to me recently. So, it's time to get to the bottom of it.

Because the worst thing you can do?

Feel the fear and let it get to you... and not publish that blog post you've been working on over the past few days.

No way! You can't go on like that - that's content marketing doom!

Why do you feel the fear when publishing content?

Now like all great problems in life, it's always a good place to start by answering "why!?"

Why do you feel the way you do when you are about to post content for your small business?

Here are some of the most common reasons...

You care a lot about your small businesses

Putting content out there can feel like a very big deal.

And your small business is your absolute little (business) baby.

Much like a doting parent, you want to nurture it, care for it, and give it the very best opportunities in life.

So when you write content it's natural to question, "Is this the very best for my business?"

And then question it again. And again. And again.

Until you get yourself in such a faff that you doubt yourself. And don't post it.

The reality is you, as the owner of your small business, care too much. And that can be harmful to just getting content out there - efficiently.

Girl looking at laptop discussing content marketing fear and doubt with friends
You love what you do - but maybe too much? Sometimes it's a good idea to get an outsider's perspective when it comes to checking your content marketing.

Related: learn how to write Instagram captions for your small business - and feel more confident with what you post!

You get imposter syndrome

No one likes to be called out for being a fake, a fraud, someone that does not know their stuff.


You're the expert in your field though, right?

You know your stuff, right?

In fact, there aren't many others that know it as well as you do?


But annoyingly we have this little "Negative Nancy" voice that tells us the total opposite.

Rationally, of course, you are the expert.

But listening to this voice can soon squash any ambition you had to share your wonderful knowledge with the world.

And sadly, squash those content marketing goals with it.

woman feeling stressed and nervous about publishing a blog post for her small business
The mind is powerful! Sometimes wonderfully. Sometimes scarily! And it can have a habit at being very unkind to YOU - yourself. Before berating yourself with your content marketing Negative Nancy voice, ask yourself: would I speak to someone else like this?

You fear content commitment

Publishing content is like saying, "hey world, I got some interesting stuff to share with you..."

And it's likely that you know that consistency is key (like most things in life, really).

So publishing a blog post once tells you that YES you are going to have to do it again... and again... in the near future.

And when you've got that kind of responsibility hanging over your already-very-busy head, it's easier to not press the big ol' "publish" button.

You worry no one will read your content

Ah well, maybe they won't.

At first.

I remember posting my first ever blog post on zoconnected.com and watching my Google Analytics - I think I got a grand total of 4 site views on my first day of blogging.

And let's face it - they were probably all from my lovely mum.

The truth is though people will read it.

It may take time, a lot of consistency and engagement but producing content for your small business cannot be a bad thing.

And well, what's the worst that can happen?

Oh, maybe this... (see next point - ARGH!)...

woman at laptop blogging for her small business as part of her content marketing strategy as a Cheshire small business owner
I've heard this many many times, "We spend so much time on a blog post and it does nothing for us." Well yes, one blog post won't. You need to be consistent and work on the readership - PUT. THAT. WORK. IN.

Related: Should a small business owner be blogging? Learn how blogging can BOOST your small business.

You worry someone will read your content, and hate it

Okay, yes. I admit it - I worry about this too. It's natural as a copywriter.

But then I read this great quote on Wordfetti's Instagram account (LOVE THESE GUYS - based in Brisbane, Australia and they are absolute content whizzes).

It says, "You can be the ripest peach in the world but there will always be someone who doesn't like peaches".



So, forget those silly doubts. And just think that if someone doesn't like it, they are just one person.

And if they tell you they don't like it... then don't they have better things to do?

(Oh wait I just realised I kind of do that for my job but in a nice way to help small businesses - but that doesn't count - I make a living doing it!)

Edit: if someone tells you they don't like your content in a constructive way - by saying they disagree or they believe otherwise then FINE! But telling you in an internet troll way and just being mean is just stupid. And pathetic. And just not very kind. (Always be kind!)

Top tips to get over the fear & publish your content anyway

  • Focus your energy - I don't mean this in an airy-fairy way. I mean genuinely give yourself deadlines when writing your content. Say 3 hours to write a blog post. 1 hour to edit. 1 hour to publish & distribute. Don't go over and be strict with yourself. It will get the job done and although it may still feel scary it will STOP you not posting that blog post because you are giving yourself time limits.

  • Make yourself accountable - Following on from the above, if you block time off in your diary (i.e. no customer time, no client time) to get content marketing done it will make you do it. Because essentially these are no-money-earning hours, so you need to make that time work work work. It will make you click that "publish" button because if you don't... well, you are essentially costing your business money.

  • Ignore your negativity - Really! We all have self-doubt and sometimes you really just have to switch it off to be productive. Rationalise and give yourself 5 minutes to think about why you doubt yourself. Even note it down and when you see the words "I don't know anything about SEO really" written down, trust me - you'll realise what nonsense that is. You do know your stuff. So, STOP doubting yourself.

Related: I do know my stuff about SEO, honest! Take a look at my SEO blog posts for hints & tips that are easy-to-follow & jargon-free especially for the busy small business owner.

  • Ask for a second opinion - There's no harm in asking a friend or family member to read through something and give you their thoughts. My advice though? Take everything with a pinch of salt. Yes, listen to any grammar experts but don't worry if your dad says he doesn't like you using the word "crap" - because if it's in your brand baby, it's in your brand!

chair with coffee and books on about content marketing nerves and how to get over them as a small business owner
And relax. Be content in the knowledge you've done it. At the very least you've pressed that "publish" button - you're getting started and it can only be up from here!

And remember...

Creating content marketing is a learning curve

Trust the process!

Love the process, in fact!

You might not get it straight away, but so what!?

Let's get really cliché and say: all experts were beginners at some point!

So true!

So get typing, creating and publishing your content.

Wonderful or not-so, it will get you into a good habit and you will learn through it what works, what doesn't and how to make it absolutely fabulous.

You've got to start somewhere. So PUSH THAT BUTTON!

How about starting here? Read my guide on writing blog posts for your small business.

But also remember, you don't have to go it alone...

Get help with content creation

Having said all this, I do understand that creating content is just not some people's cup of tea.

And if that's you, I'd love to help you.

Working with a content marketer or copywriter (whatever you want to call us) doesn't have to be a huge scary commitment where you are now outsourcing all your content to someone else.

No, no, no. It can just be a helping hand.

Someone to steer you in the right direction and take the pressure off you.

As a copywriter, I take time to understand your audience (your potential & existing customers), your goals (why are you writing) and your brand (who you are and how you want to come across) to simply put together words that work.

And sometimes you can learn a lot from this approach.

I have some clients that I write for and then they use my style as a template for their posts - this is just one way that you can work with someone in a flexible way and within budget (especially as a small business owner).

Anyway, what do you think?

Are you feeling more confident about pressing that sometimes-super-scary publish button?

Or would you like some confidence-boosting content-publishing help?

Get in touch and let me know.