15 March 2013, 10:58
Photo by Brooke Davis.
Hey, blogger babe: this is part eight of a ten-part series all about this crazy thing we call the blogosphere. You can read the others by clicking on the blogging tag! Enjoy!
Hello! Good morning. I’d like to start off today’s column with a multiple choice question.
How do you think the A-list bloggers got to the top of the game?
A) They asked everyone around them for their opinion and advice all the time;
B) They met a blogger guru who told them the secret to SEO and passive income;
C) They watched what everyone else did and copied them;
D) They hustled their ass off. They tried plenty of things and made plenty of mistakes. They didn’t ask people silly questions — they used Google, instead. They listened to other people’s opinions selectively. They did what they felt to be right.
Hopefully, you picked D. You did pick D, didn’t you?!
In life, a lot of people want to be spoonfed; they can’t do anything for themselves. These people will never be successful at their chosen pursuit because they are too afraid to strike out and make their own moves.
Being successful is not about following the rules, being politically correct and kissing everyone’s ass. It’s about making hard choices and being unpopular sometimes. It’s tough, and that’s why most people straggle along, never rising to the top of their game.
Sure, as a blogger, you could do what everyone else is doing. You could try to put your spin on someone else’s advice; you could imitate someone else’s street style. You could rip off someone else’s video format, or knock together a trendy blog design.
All of that stuff is a waste of time.
Of course, there is always plenty to learn: new ideas, tips and tricks; writing skills to improve; networking to do and tactics to brush up on. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel — there is a wealth of information out there which you can absorb and use to your advantage. But you can ask all the right questions, take all the classes and sign up for all the e-courses, and it doesn’t amount to anything unless you take some real, decisive action.
There is one crucial element that no one can teach you: to take initiative. You are either a self-starter or you aren’t.
If you want to be successful, you have to make people sit up and take notice of you. If you’re not comfortable in the spotlight, it’s safe to say that blogging is probably not for you. With attention comes scrutiny, and it takes the thickest of skins to deal with that on a daily basis. But if you love the limelight? Dive on in, the water’s fine.
If you really want to thrive in this environment, you have to relentlessly push the envelope. You have to try new things. You have to post pieces that make you feel a little nervous or sick to the stomach. You have to be prepared to take it where no one else will.
When it comes to blogging, you have to embrace your weirdness! Click to tweet!
Photo by Lisa Devlin.
Remember what I said a couple of weeks ago? You have to go your own way. As proof of concept, my site is not like anyone else’s, and I love that. I am often imitated, but never duplicated, and I cannot be pigeonholed. I march to my own fabulous drum, and I dance to my disco beats, and I put sparkles on that shit and I make it my own.
I change things all the time. I try new tactics. I experiment by writing about different topics in different ways. Some of it doesn’t work, but some of it does. In any industry, you have to be constantly innovating in order to stay fresh and relevant. Don’t be fooled into thinking blogging is any different.
You will never make a name for yourself by pretending to be someone else. You will never carve out a niche by playing it safe. You will never make the grade if you never try anything new.
Get out there and rip the pants off the internet! Shock us stupid! Do something devastatingly brilliant. Give us what we didn’t even know we needed.