The Difference – The Successful Blogger Vs. The One Who Isn’t
Bloggers if you are ready to take your blogging to the next level, this article is for you!
Last year I did a mini-series on ways to grow your blog. Some tips I tried out I found very useful while others I tried that worked well for others did not match my vision for my work or blend well with my projects and goals at the time.
If you are just getting started blogging, you can begin the series here and read through the various tips and see if any might work well for you.
Then I did a back to back blogging tips article for those a little further into their blogging. In addition, I had published a related article called The Difference about writers who succeed vs. those who just quit after barely getting started. Turned out to be one of my most shared posts and because it became a favorite of readers and has been re-pinned again and again, l added a little to it in a later post called Landing That Agent.
Maybe I need to back up here for a moment. I have a very unusual approach to things in life and if I am going to invest my time, energy and resources into something I tend to walk full circle around it, zooming in and out and back in and out again. I make sure it will be a solid investment.
As an author and entrepreneur, amongst other things, my blog has and always will be just a small aspect of my platform. So while I played a beginner to regain the experience of being a beginner in terms of blogging, I initially had approached having a blog from a bigger picture and long term time frame. That is, I knew exactly what I wanted the purpose of my blog to be and what I wanted it to do for my overall writing, business and platform goals.
So now I’m ready to share more about The Difference – this time it I’m specializing it for bloggers – and it has nothing and everything to do with your social media and following.
Did you catch the first 9 tips in this article? Probably not. And this is why a lot of people struggle, why those who start out hot sizzle and fade and why some don’t even know where to begin.
If you don’t know where to begin, go back up the link up there for that mini-series on ways to grow your blog. That is a great place to get started.
Now I’m going to cover these 9 tips that are a little more advanced – the sweetness of these tips? You apply them to just about everything in your life to help you become more successful in those areas too.
Here we go with Tip #1
Always be willing to be a beginner! Whether it’s the first time you are trying something or the third or fourth time you return to the beginner stage – the key is willingness. As a beginner we are wide eyed, in awe, curious, and taking it all in – absorbing as much as we possibly can while doing our best to sort it out and make sense of overload of information.
Why is it important to return to the beginner stage from time to time – even if just for a brief visit? Because we don’t know what it is we need to know when we are beginning. In our eagerness we overlook a few things here and there – often because we simply didn’t know it was important or that how it played into the bigger picture. When we return back to beginner mode we suddenly find pieces to the missing puzzle or see how the pieces are supposed to fit together.
There is nothing wrong with being a beginner! Steer clear of those glossy, glamorous gurus who are too good to deal with beginner/baby level stuff. They’re too focused on dazzling instead of continuing to learn and improve themselves and their methods.
Tip # 2 A Little of This and A Little of That
Be willing to try new things out. Allow yourself time to understand what it is you are trying to implement, make a few adjustments to it and give it time to see just how effective and important it is.
I talk about the importance of being authentic in your work and listening to your own beat often, you can learn more about it here. This is where tip #2 comes into play. Have a learning and test it out mindset is important, and equally so is regularly asking yourself, “Is this action/method/what I am doing staying true to the vision I am wanting to build for myself and my work?”
What works great for some people will work terribly for others and vice versa. The things that are going to work great for you will also line up with the vision you have for your blog and future goals.
Tip #3 Let Your Content Flow
A great way to reach and connect with new and different followers is to tweak some of your best content and make it applicable to them. I often write content that I can also adjust to reach another portion of my readers who have different interests.
My example above I connected with fellow bloggers in my two-part article, then expanded upon it and leveled up to fellow authors and writers working towards getting published. These did so well, that I had to come back and add to it and level it up again, this time I did so in one article and made it applicable to both bloggers and authors.
A Bonus Tip – Building an Expanded Platform allows your content to flow through various formats. (Ex: videos, audiobooks, EBooks, podcasts, webinars etc.)
Tip #4 Your Approach is Everything
You need to have a vision for your blog. What is its purpose? What are you doing with it now? What do you want it to be doing in five years? This directly correlates with the way you approach your blog today.
Everything you do should be lining you up with that long term vision. Yes, you will be testing this and that out, but as you do, if you find that something you are doing is not lining up with that vision – stop doing it! Refocus and invest your time and energy and resources into creating the vision you want your work to be doing.
My approach to most things in life is quite different than most, with that long term vision in mind and my ability to see both little details and the big picture. With practice you can develop a decisive, empowered and resilient mindset that enables you to stay true to who you are, where you are going and who you want to become.
Tip #5 Circle It First
With our brief discussion about our vision for our work, anytime you are observing others to learn, especially if you are paying for their services or programs – walk full circle around it first. This saves you a lot of time, money and information overload.
When you know what your vision is, and have goals in place to get your there, you have greater clarity in what is you need to learn how to do so you can begin implementing it.
Every time I find myself with sparkly eyes over a new course, or product or handy dandy magic factor, I pause. And then I walk all around it. I ask myself questions like,
- Who is this person?
- Do they really know what they are showcasing?
- What are others saying about it and them?
- Do I really need this? (research it a little more.)
- Can I learn this on my own?
- Where does it fit into my goals/vision?
- Will I actually use it?
- What else can I gain from participating in or buying this? (What other things can I observe and learn?)
If this product/program is not going to teach me something directly related to my goals/vision, I pass. If I really think I’d benefit from it, I take an extra 10-15 minutes and research similar products/programs to make sure I’m investing my time/money wisely. I ask the support email people questions to see if I can use it the way I want it to work with my content.
Tip #6 Place + Perspective
Know the place your blog has in your life. For some bloggers it is all they do and it provides wonderful full time income. For others, it’s just a fun outlet. And beyond that, some people use a blog an extension of their small business or profession.
When you know the place your blog has in your life you keep perspective. If your blog is everything and the only thing you have and do – it will consume most of your time and resources and focus.
If your blog is a smaller aspect of a larger picture, you know how much of your focus, time and resources to put into it.
Tip #7 Connecting the Dots
As you are reading through these tips hopefully you are beginning to connect some important aspects of blogging together. Your vision combined with a purpose for your blog enables the content for it to be created with ease and focus. A willing to learn, long term, big picture mindset keeps your future growth and investing lined up with that vision. It all connects together and will work cohesively once you implement these concepts.
Everything you do with your blog and related work should connect together! Keep it all aligned with that vision and purpose and all expanding upon itself to connect with readers and peers.
Tip #8 Build Serious Energy
I have to emphasize some of those lessons in The Difference article geared towards authors, here because they very much apply to bloggers too.
The first big tip is that you must begin building yourself into a great writer, a thinker and doer – someone who walks full circle around decisions quickly and takes action with a little risk from time to time.
The second BIG tip is to take your work seriously! Think of your writing and blogging as a business. When you take yourself seriously, act professionally, and are investing in yourself, others will notice this difference!
Third – The energy you put into your work and your name is just that – Energy! And it will be received by others. You can tell when someone is on to something, when they are shaking things up, making things happen and are climbing up. You can tell when someone is only halfheartedly involved, wandering and really has no focus or purpose.
If you are going to be putting time and energy and likely money into something (your blog) you need to be decisive about the energy you are bringing to it! If you are excited share your excitement. If you are getting burnt out – take a break. Literally walk away from it for a preset time frame and just let it all be.
Good focused energy will build momentum and it will expand outwards. Your energy will be felt by others and in a subconscious way people will be drawn to you and your work. They will naturally be drawn to that which is growing and expanding.
Tip # 9 Everything and Nothing To-Do With Social Media
A lot of bloggers get lost in social media. They don’t know where to begin, how to stay organized, how to be consistent or where, how to connect, how to get reach or how to gain new fans.
Yes, of course, we want following that continues to grow! Yes, we want our work to reach current fans and new ones! Yes, we want to connect with readers and make a positive difference in their lives!
No, we do not want to be overwhelmed by the chaos that social media can be or drown trying to keep up with it all.
This tip is very important. The size of your social media following doesn’t mean much. There are people with hundreds of thousands of followers who only get a few hundred people engaged. There are people with only 500 followers total, and 250 of them are interacting with your social sharing.
What is important is this:
1.You are able to stay focused on your vision, your goals and the content you want to be providing.
2. The time you do give to social media needs to be regulated – you don’t need to spend countless hours scheduling and organizing and pinning and responding to every comment. You don’t. Fans are humans and 99% of them do not expect people to respond to their comments that they leave on 50 different posts during their daily zone out time. Yes, it’s good to respond consistently, but you don’t need to drop everything the second your phone beeps that you have a new comment.
3. You need to do what works well for you! This might mean giving one day each week to FB, one day to twitter, one day to pinterest etc. It might mean spending 10 minutes scheduling the entire week because your real life is crazy bonkers that week. It might mean you preschedule the entire month out because you are focused on a really big project/goal and you don’t want to get distracted by lovely social media. You might be able to have a five person social media team to do it all for you. You must do what works well for you. There will be seasons when you have plenty of time for extra social media and there will seasons when you are completely content with 3 social media postings for the whole week across all of your social accounts. Relax.
4. Relax some more. Fans just want to see more of what you are cooking up and on a regular basis. They already like you and your work. They are human too. They know if they get busy, they know exactly where to go to find stuff you shared they may have missed. They really do. When you see everyone talking about being consistent, it works best when you do what works for you.
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