I get a lot of e-mails from people who see the mountains of bloggers ahead of them (more like the Mount Everest of bloggers) and do not even want to start blogging. They think they missed the boat. They are too far behind. They are starting in the ten millionth position of a race. What’s the use? Too late. Right? Wrong.
There are two major reasons why the Internet is always a great place to be THE NEW GUY ON THE BLOCK (and this applies to those of you who have been blogging for a while but just haven’t kicked things into gear yet):
1. Most people will quit in the first few weeks or months, so all you have to do is hang in there and you will rise to the top by attrition.
Every day I run across new blogs that are just getting started and announce all their grandiose plans to take over the blogosphere. Occasionally I will go back and visit them a few weeks or months later and most of the time they still have the same handful of posts they started with, followed by a post apologizing for not having posted for a while.
In my opinion, the single-most important and number-one key to successful blogging is perseverance. The longer you keep at it, the better chance you have to be successful at blogging. You have to realize the quantity of competition out there; and, that on average at this point in the life of the Internet, it will take you one to five years of consistent blogging to build up an audience.
Unless you get extremely lucky, or you are an extraordinary writer, you have to be patient and be in it for the long term to increase your chances of success but just the fact that most people WILL QUIT, means that you will rise to the top if you refuse to quit and hang in there.
2. Most blogs range from ho-hum to terrible. There is no polite way to say it, so I will just be blunt. Very few people launch well- written, interesting, and consistent blogs. Most of them are BAD, destined for the dump yard of forgotten blogs.
Perseverance, discipline, and consistency over time will automatically elevate you into the top 10% of bloggers, giving you a huge chance of success just by the sheer merit of sticking with your blog. Beyond that, of course it depends on you creating quality content and high value for your readers. But quality content and high value will be of no use if you cannot do it consistently over a long period of time.
Lots of bloggers start out on fire with the greatest content on the planet but they fade away quickly if they do not have the mental fortitude and commitment levels needed to be successful. This is true in any kind of business and is no less true for an online business or a successful blog.
One of the ways you can make sure that your blog continues to interest people is to pay attention to what works for other successful websites and do the same thing. Notice what other people are doing and apply those methods to your own business (I am not saying to COPY their content, but to use similar tactics/methods on your own blog). Notice what works and what doesn’t work. Try to figure out why. Pay attention.
It also helps if you have a list of “blog post ideas” you can reference. I expound on this list in my EPIC BOOK (find it here), but I’ll publish it here for you to use:
- Question & Answer: Someone poses a question and then you answer it. Readers might ask questions… in fact, you should INVITE your readers to ask questions. They are a great source of content ideas.
- Tips and Tricks: Start with a couple paragraphs of explanation about the topic followed by a list of tips. People love to know time saving or cool tips and tricks. What is your blog about? What are you good at? Write some tips. You don’t have to be an expert… you just have to know more than your readers, generally speaking.
- A Story: Once upon a time something happened to me, I learned something from it, and now I’m telling you. People love personal stories… they can either be pure entertainment or perhaps a lesson learned.
- “A” List: This is the BEST of something… best websites about a topic, best writers on a subject, best restaurants in Dallas, best blogs about adoption, best free graphics tools on the web.
- Quiz or Test: Pose a series of questions or offer a checklist that allows the reader to figure something out. The purpose can be to test someone and show them their current level of knowlegde, or to teach something.
- Informational: Explain something, define something, expound on something. What are your readers interested in? Do little research on the internet and write and informational post about it. You don’t have to be an expert on the topic, go research it.
- Lists: This might be a list of great websites, great books, or great people to follow on Twitter. A top ten list of something. Think about what YOU know… make a list of the five best, or the twenty great.
- Problems & Solutions: Present a problem, offer a solution. If you are an expert on a certain topic, then their will always be common problems. Use your experience to offer solutions. This is a great way to become popular in your niche. Or, if not an expert on something specific, pick common problems people have, and research solutions on the Internet. You don’t have to come up with original solutions, you just have to communicate them to readers who don’t know the information.
- Lesson Learned: Explain a problem, bad result or unexpected difficulty and follow it with the lesson you learned from the experience.
- Rants: Everyone has a gripe, something that annoys them or a soap box. Sound off and let your readers know your opinion. CAUTION: use this one sparingly. It’s easy to become a ranter that constantly rags about everything but offers nothing constructive. Griping or complaining is EASY… it’s only useful on a rare occasion if you established yourself as a positive problem solver too. You have to earn the right to gripe or get on a soap box.
- Inspirational: something that lifts the spirit, motivates, tugs at the heart strings, makes you love life and restores your hope in life again. This could be a story of an overcomer, some victory in life, a heartwarming tale.
- Prediction: Predict the future of some topic, some event, some time period. My predictions for 2011; what I think will happen to the blogging industry; I predict the following for our economy; my predictions for the adoption community.
- Hypothetical “What If”: write a post about a change, event or circumstance that has not happened. What if we really did have total personal freedom and responsibility? What if we got rid of all welfare and hand outs? What if we tossed out humanism in parenting and education? What would happen if we could never buy something we didn’t have the cash in hand for? What if our industry removed all the regulations?
- Debate: Present a pro and con on a topic. Cover both sides objectively, let the reader decide. Or, blatantly take one position, then invite the readers to debate you.
- Reviews: Review books, writers, other blogs, products or anything that your readers would appreciate an honest evaluation on.
- Interviews: Interview someone interesting, notable, history making, wise or an expert on something. Ask questions, let them answer. TIP: let them have input on the questions. They know what they know, and they can help you come up with questions that bring out their expertise or story.
- Case Studies: A case study where you write about something that happened when a technique, solution, product or idea was tried out. Pick a person or company who applied a solution or idea and examine the results and lessons learned.
- Profiles: Profile a notable or interesting person. This is not the same as an interview. A profile specifically gives information, facts and history about the person specifically.
- Excerpt and Link To Another Post: most blogger read alot of other blogs and websites. Pick out good posts and articles. Write some comments about it, include and excerpt and link back to the original. I often do this with news stories.
- Comparison: A vs. B; choose this or that. Compare two products, two choices, two solutions, two problems, two people, two points of view. Unlike a debate, a comparison points out the differences in two or more things usually without presenting a “winner” or “preference” although there is no rule that says you can’t.
- Research: Compile information and resources on a topic, problem, person, hobby, skill or industry. Research does the work of gathering up information and putting it one place, which readers appreciate.
- Compilation: unlike research, this is more like a reference list of links, sites, blogs and resources about a topic, event or something specific. For instance, I might compile a list on Christian history websites, or “personal finance” blogs.
- Satire: well, satire is… satire. Here’s the definition:
- sarcasm: witty language used to convey insults or scorn; “he used sarcasm to upset his opponent”; “irony is wasted on the stupid”; “Satire is a …wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn
- A literary technique of writing or art which principally ridicules its subject often as an intended means of provoking or preventing change. …en.wiktionary.org/wiki/satire
- satiric – satirical: exposing human folly to ridicule; “a persistent campaign of mockery by the satirical fortnightly magazine” wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn
- satirist – a humorist who uses ridicule and irony and sarcasm wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn
A statistic I recently heard is that something like 55 million new users a day are hopping on the Internet. You only have to capture a tiny sliver of the reading market to have a fabulously successful blog.
If you can do that, you will be one of the best in short order! So get busy, it is never too late. It’s a great time to be THE NEW GUY in the blogging world!
PS: WHAT ARE YOUR QUESTIONS FOR ME? Ask here. Want to book me for training, speaking or business consulting? Go here. If you benefitted from this post, would you be so kind to share this post with others by clicking one of the SHARE buttons?
Have you seen the EPIC BOOK? Over 400 big pages packed with tips, tricks, instruction and lessons learned from 15+ of blogging and being online. Click here for some more information...