You can't do that, someone else has already done it

Let’s talk about those things that well meaning people tell you when you launch a new ebook or blogging project. You can spend a lot of time and energy into a project and then have someone come and talk to your inner dragons, they have the express purpose of making you feel small or wanting you to give up.

In this post I am going to be brutally honest and share the things that are said to me on a regular basis.

You can’t write an ebook, you are not a writer

You either write or you don’t. If you write by definition you are a writer. That makes me one, you one and the next door neighbours kid one.

I am sick of people thinking that blogging is the sole domain of writers. There are heaps (130+ million) blogs out there and you don’t have to be the worlds most perfect writer to write a blog post. As an average writer I do rather well. I have seen blog posts that are poorly written but express a lot of personality get a whole heap of comments as well as posts that are lovingly written and don’t even get a tweet let alone a comment. You don’t have to be a writer to blog and by the same token you don’t need to be a writer to create an ebook.  You are not inferior and you can try as often as you like to do something; it’s how you get better.

An Ebook? But that’s not a real book is it?

Of course it isn’t, you can print it, write notes all over it, read it in the bath, drop it in the bath (after you have printed it of course) and you can read it on your laptop screen. Ebooks outsell real books. Seth Godin is sticking to ebooks. Publishers are doing more ebooks. Define real book for me please :)

Ah but Sarah, who are you to write an ebook about blogging?

I would like to think as someone who has blogged the last 5 years constantly, learned a heap, created a blog that got in the top 100 websites for women when it was 6 months old (twice), generated a million page views in 5.5 months and made a packet blogging might have something worth knowing. But then again I could be wrong.

If your perception is I know nothing please don’t tweet me to help you with something; obviously I will have no idea of the answer… I mean why do people do that? Run you down and then ask for your help? Is it a new sales tactic? One that I should be aware of?  Perhaps I should give it a go myself? ;)

Problogger has a book about blogging, it’s very good you know

Yep, I know. I have read it. I advertise it.

Yeah but Problogger has a great ebook about blogging, so why bother?

Did I mention I know Darren Rowse has a great ebook on blogging? No, well if you missed that, and you think I have missed that – thanks for letting me know. It’s a great ebook but that doesn’t mean I can’t write an ebook about blogging. Heck I won’t sell as many but that won’t stop me from trying. Thanks for the encouragement, I’ll assume it was encouragement…

“Phew, thank God Sarah Arrow hasn’t written any romance novels, I may lose my market share if she does….”

Mills and Boon and Jackie Collins write about romance, I doubt anyone would ever confuse the two of them. There is room enough in the market place for both of them, and a whole heap of others.

I doubt Jackie Collins wakes up and checks her Google Alerts and think “Phew, thank God Sarah Arrow hasn’t written any romance novels, I may lose my market share if she does….”. Everything in proportion, everything in it’s place – mine is blogging in my transport business niche and over here on Birds.

Yes I have plans for world domination but you know what, they don’t affect Jackie Collins, Mills and Boon or any other writer/blogger/publisher out there. They are not worried about me and do you know what, I won’t apologise for doing something I enjoy. In fact I refuse to apologise for doing something I enjoy. You should refuse too.

I don’t understand a word you said.

Brilliant, you are not my target audience. Thrilled it was lost on you. No, I won’t be simplifying it.

How can you be so flip? Surely you want my money?

You know those clients who come in, humm and haaaarr over a purchase?

  • Can’t make up their mind,
  • Not sure if it’s the right product for them?
  • Asks a whole heap of non-product related questions and then…
  • …Comes back and haggles on the price

… you know who I mean? OK, this is could be you. You are not sure and a money back guarantee isn’t of interest as you know in your heart this isn’t right for you. But you think it could be for you. So you hesitate. You waffle. You shuffle about for a few days. I’ll help you… it’s not for you, move on.

It’s not being flip-  it’s helping you make a decision. If something isn’t speaking to you, yelling buy me then don’t buy it. It will just be the inbox equivalent of the turquoise trousers you bought last summer. Lovely to have, but never used.

I love my Dyson. Am so glad James Dyson didn’t get bothered by people telling him there is a perfectly good Hoover already made.

There are lots of nice, friendly well meaning people out there. They’ll do their best to derail you. Often they don’t mean it and don’t understand that their well-intentioned advice has had you drop a project or put it on hold. Block your ears. Revisit your advisers after you have published your ebook or blogging project – don’t let them talk you out of trying.



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Sarah Arrow

Blogging an issue for you? Social media not quite working how it should be?That's okay I understand. I started blogging back in 2006 and grew into a kick-ass blog coach as well as creator of Birds on the Blog (listed 3 times by Forbes as a top 100 website for women), I'm frequently listed as both a top content marketing expert and as an influential marketer.
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  1. Thanks for the great post. Needed that reminder that there is plenty of room for more than one of something (or someone), especially if you have a different and unique view on it. Good luck with the book.

    • Hi Doug, thanks for stopping by. The ebooks I have sold have done well, better than I expected. I am stopping doing them though and moving into new pastures

  2. Great post Sarah. Thanks for the encouragement. I love how you presented both sides of the coin and just powered through. Progress is always made on the backs of others, isn’t that where inspiration comes from?

    • Hi Heather thanks for the comment and the tweet, welcome :)
      I agree, progress is made on the backs of others, we need to make more progress and not listen to those that are perhaps voicing their fears about something else and projecting it onto our hopes, dreams and ambitions.

  3. Hi Sarah, this is my first time on your site. Thanks for the encouragement but honestly I love the way you write your articles. Thank you once again!

    • Hi Candice, thanks for stopping by and am thrilled that you like what you read. No matter what, we have to keep on trying :)

      • It’s my pleasure Sarah, thanks for welcoming on your site. Keep it up!

  4. Great post Sarah. I can get all the stuff on your blog from other sources (Or I’m assuming – the internet’s a BIG place!) but I choose to listen to YOU because HOW you say it amuses and interests me.

    We’re all after a bigger slice of whatever pie it is that interests us, but as I always say to clients – “There are NO new ideas – just improvements on old ones”


    • Hey Richard, thanks for stopping by – am thrilled that I amuse you :)
      Always room for improvement is my husband’s mantra… although that may be about my culinary skills


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