This question has a two-fold approach. It is associated with those sceptics that either say there’s too much rubbish written on the net so why should they add to it, and with those filled with a lack of self-confidence who wonder why would anyone be interested in what they have to say.
Sceptics aren’t helping
The first group need to be made aware of the value of blogging and what it can do for their businesses and to make them realise that adding excellent content to override the rubbish that appears to be everywhere should be their main goal.
Remember that Google has adapted its algorithms to reward and give credibility to good writers, especially through its Authorship system.
Spiders are trained to crawl new content that provides excellent value for readers, with or without search engine optimisation (though that certainly helps). Subject matter, timing, following trends, being individual in your point of view and encompassing a conversational style that is thoroughly readable definitely needs to be taken into consideration.
Good content does help
Writing good quality online can build up credibility until you become a thought leader in your niche or industry. If you have lots of knowledge in your area, why not share it so that many people can become aware of your expertise?
If you’re worried about giving too much away, follow the 80/20 rule, such as giving away up to 80% of your material either for free or for a reduced amount, and retain the most valuable 20% you can charge big money for. Even though people buy from people, they like to ‘try before they buy’, especially if the resulting outcome may be large.
Lack of confidence isn’t helping
Now for those fading flowers who worry about other people think of them and what they write, this is mostly due to lack of confidence. The remedy can be built up over time with the right amount of encouragement, which can be gained by posting in places where there is a majority of nice people who will respond and reciprocate appropriately.
But if you are going to cultivate a thick skin blogging-wise, sometimes it’s necessary to grit your teeth and get on with it. The main thing to be aware of is that many people out there will want to read your stuff, content or comments, tweets or updates, and you’ll find that they will answer back telling you so. The resulting gratification should be taken advantage of: try stepping a little out of your comfort zone and see what happens!
A little every day does help
Start slowly by leaving a few comments to other people’s posts, continue a conversation on Facebook, or retweet something that appeals to you. Let that feeling of having accomplished something rush over you, and do it again! The more you practice, the better you’ll get, and soon you’ll be leaving your valuable content all over the web – and watching your web traffic stats rise!