How to be an Assertive Blogger

Many people believe that confidence is something you either have or have not. Perhaps it is something you are born with, or something that magically appears after a certain age. Thankfully this is not the case.

Confidence is a learned behavior and anyone can acquire it. By the same logic, anyone can lose confidence or have it knocked out of them.

Why is confidence important in blogging?

A great deal of blogging happens on the surface. When we happen across a new blog we do not give it much time before making assumptions. It is like non-verbal communication, we look for cues and skim impressions rather than investing time to dig deep.

If you, and therefore your blog, lacks confidence, then your reader will not have confidence in you or your blog.

The danger with giving this advice is people tend to swing like a pendulum from confidence-lack to aggressive arrogance. We all know that dialing down to zero or up to 11 is not the right approach but getting the balance right can be tricky.

Happily the middle-ground is something you can cultivate with practice. This middle ground is what I describe as blogging assertively. You do not have to come across as an ass to be confident, it is not even about having all the answers, telling people they are wrong or winning awards.

What are the traits of assertive bloggers?

  • Accept feedback – Being confident does not mean being an island
  • Are generous – Think about it. What does generosity demonstrate?
  • Look good – Take care over your blog, design and comments, make your confidence visible
  • Share wisdom – This isn’t about beating people with your opinions. Offer advice while accepting differing opinions
  • Are polite – Say please and thank you, while accepting thanks and compliments graciously
  • Achieve and praise – Do not minimize or boast your own achievements, be generous with your praise of others success and news.
  • Say their piece – Speak up when necessary while accepting others right to do the same. Do not rant, stay calm and outline your thoughts rationally.
  • Know – Have faith in own abilities. If you do not, who else will?
  • Succeed – Decide on goals and work towards them. If you do not have goals, how will you know what success means for you? If you are directionless, how will you know you have arrived?
  • Ask for help – It is not wimpy to ask for help, it actually shows confidence and courage
  • Are not doormats – Value your own time and the time of others. Do not give in to time leaches and freebie hunters. Do not feel guilty about saying no.
  • Succinct – Do not waffle, get to the point. If you believe something is true, say it without qualification.

You can be confident now. You owe it to yourself. This is not something you are “allowed” only after a threshold of visitors or technorati ranking.

If you feel like you are not getting respect show that you deserve it! Keep blogging assertively and see the change reflected in others. It works!

12 thoughts on “How to be an Assertive Blogger

  1. This post rightly strikes the cord that one must have confidance and conviction along with solid research and fundamentals in order to command respect and faith among it’s users/viewrs/buyers.
    Confidance is indeed an essential part about blogging.

  2. I have issues asking for help. If I’m up past my eyeballs in work, my son and I are both sick, and the house floods I’ll do it all myself and then guest post too. That’s my biggest issue as a blogger. I’m practicing (ok, thinking about) asking for help when I really need it. Also, good point about the succinct issue. I use words like, “actually, sometimes, just and maybe” too often but am working on cutting that out. I read a post the other day and this person said something like, “It’s always good to do this some of the time” — this kind of non-committed writing drives me nuts. Yet, I know I do it once in a while. One of my goals this year is to always say what I think and get on with it. Good post.

  3. Just further proof that they don’t have anyone in their circle whos job it is to scream WTF when necessary 😉 It’s like my parents used to say “If your friends jumped off a bridge, would you do that too?” … I think these folks really would, and without bungee cords …

  4. they could also be surrounded by people who wear no underwear – monkey see, monkey do and all that…

  5. Both can be dicey, being overly critical is taking a good trait (self awareness) to a dangerous extreme, and being arrogant is taking the good trait of confidence to an irrational extreme. In both cases it helps to have friends support.

    We all need checks and balances and our peers are a great source of that. You see lack of balances in celebrities all the time, it is not enough to get attention for the good stuff (like making hit records/films), they have to make asses of themselves or appear in public with no underwear yada yada. This says to me they are both addicted to attention AND surrounded by yes-men entourage.

    Having friends who will tell it like it is, both good and bad, are priceless.

  6. Great topic, Chris. I think much of having confidence is just really knowing your stuff. If you know you have quality content, then you’re much more likely to be confident.

    For some of us who are more self-critical, it definitely helps to have other bloggers encourage you. For some of us who are way too confident to the point of being arrogant, it helps to have other bloggers warn us before our pride gets us in trouble.

  7. Ahmed, I understand now. Yes, there is a feedback loop between emotion and mind, creating a confidence mode in either can trigger “being” confident

  8. Yes, confidence is a skill that you need to practice at. So Ahmed, I wholeheartedly agree. Especially those of us who are prone to be paralyzed by self-criticism need to learn the art of confident, truthful assertion.

  9. Confidence is definitely key. Being truthful about failure, while maintaining confidence and authority, is an art.

  10. chris – to be fair, i was talking about acting confident until you start feeling confident

  11. That’s the thing though, you can be confident without faking anything. Actually being truthful is more confident than trying to mislead. “This is how it is” and “This is what I believe” work equally well.

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