I think I’m going to skip out on the norm, this time around. The list post… the how-to articles that I hope the entire world will someday search for… the review of a great product that has already been reviewed 7,438,213 times before… I’m staying away from all of it this time.
Though I’ve read many times before that a blogger has to write for his or her readers, I feel the need to be selfish, for once. It’s my blog and I’ll write for me if I want to.
Today, the rainiest day we’ve experienced in Oklahoma all year, I’m sitting at home trying to make good use of my time. Somehow, though, I always end up doing the same things:
- Making unnecessary changes to my blog design because my nonexistent readers didn’t like the other look
- Reading other blogs thinking that I must have missed something the last time I read that guide to blogging success
- Criticizing my own work, wondering if it’s good enough to grace your computer screen
What is this blogging crap all about? Sometimes I ask myself what the difference is between my work and someone else’s. Is there a difference? Maybe it’s the same and the difference is the exposure. Maybe they know something that I don’t know about keyword research and search engine optimization. That’s got to be it. Right?
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve questioned my own technical knowledge after reading someone else’s blogs about how to drive traffic. Are we talking about the same traffic? Is your blog conveniently located next to the information highway or something? Yup… that must be it.
Right about now, I’m sitting here looking at this sea of text and thinking to myself, “It’s about time I threw a couple of ‘headlines’ in the mix.” You know, an h2 here and an h3 there. I have to break up the text so you’ll be willing to read what I have to write. I’m really looking forward to going back through this post and adding some attention grabbing markups, like bold and italics. Wait… that’s bold and italics. There we go.
I wonder if you can feel the sarcasm. I’ve been working on my rhetoric a lot lately. It’s not enough to just say things, you know? Even if I first thought about blogging because I was a good speaker, and a good writer, it’s still not enough to just speak… and write.
I need to chop it up a little. I have to learn to turn it into something unnatural that feels natural to the reader. I have to take what’s pure, pollute it with formalities, and attempt to make it seem as pure as possible again.
I just want you all to read what I have to say.
Right now, I’m missing football. My Missouri Tigers are playing Kansas State, and it’s actually on TV in Oklahoma. That’s rare. I don’t care, though. I’m knee-deep in this blogging life and I have some sacrifices to make. Having a full-time job, I can’t always use my free time to do whatever I feel like doing. Sometimes, I have to think about my goals for this blog and prioritize my daily tasks.
I’m fine with that. It’s not supposed to be easy. Robert Kiyosaki said that everybody wants what they want, but very few people are willing to pay the price to have what they want. I think that’s true. So, I try to pay the price. Not right now, though. I don’t feel like finding the book he said that in and linking you to it. I just wanted to mention it.
My girlfriend sometimes falls asleep at night without me. I’m 10 feet away, staring at my dual computer screens. I have to put those finishing touches on my posts so that I can wake up to see that one of my blurbs has gone viral. It’s going to happen to me, I’m sure. That’s what the “share” options are for… to guarantee that everyone spreads my writing like a wildfire.
I’m going to skip out on the much needed h3 tag right here to ask a question.
When will my time come? How come we can research what people will search the internet for, what words they will use, where on the list they will click, how they will navigate through their site choice, what kind of button will convince them to buy, but we can’t predict when my time will come?
How about someone spend a couple of years studying me and my work? Then, they can publish a free Ebook revealing the details of my destiny online. Hell, I’d even pay for it… if they use the right button design. (Those italics are for me… not you.)
Today, I just want to write for me. It feels good to let things out without having to follow guidelines. Have you ever sat down in the midst of a crazy day and just exhaled? You know… it lasts about 10 seconds before you hop up and get back into the thick of things. That’s what this is. I’m chillin’ right now… exhaling on my blog. I’ll be back to doing things the right way in just a few.
When that time comes, I already know what I have to do. You see, I’ve known it this entire time. There’s no confusion, contrary to what you may believe as you read this.
Here’s the deal. It takes a special person to become successful online. The gurus will tell you that it doesn’t take a genius. That’s true. It doesn’t. They will also tell you that you don’t have to be internet savvy. Really, you don’t have to be. They aren’t lying to us about what kind of people can find success online. What they fail to mention, though, is that this (internet marketing) is not a question of smart or dumb. It’s not a matter of skilled or untalented. That’s not what it’s about.
This crazy quest to
make money make a living online has clear and concise rules and those rules will naturally weed out those that don’t belong. Natural selection and internet marketing go together like new bloggers and free WordPress themes.
The rules to this game are perfectly clear. As a blogger, you’re on a straight and narrow path. Sure, you can be creative and digress from time to time, but you can never forget where you’re going. There’s only one road to get there, and that road is called dedication.
Blogging is a case study with proven results
As much as I don’t like it sometimes, I’ve chosen to be a blogger… a damn good blogger. I don’t want to be average. I don’t want to supplement my income. I want to replace my current income with a new income. I’d like for it to be passive, too. Pat Flynn of SmartPassiveIncome.com taught me that.
I have goose bumps right now because I truly believe what I am saying here. Not only that, I’m in the process of hopping back up off of my seat and getting back into the action. I intended to rant for a while and simply publish my thoughts. I don’t know, though. I don’t feel the same as I did when I first started this post.
I feel like I am the writer and the reader.
What would I say to someone if they felt the way I do right now?
Blogging takes dedication. It’s not an overnight process that happens with little to no effort. Everything you do matters. Everything you don’t do matters.
Every break in the sea of text… every emphasized key point… every short sentence, single-lined punchline…
It all matters.
What is dedication and how does it apply?
Someone told me, some time ago, that dedication was doing what you said you would do long after the mood you said it in had passed.
Let me use the proper quotation markup so that this truth really stands out to you (and me).
Dedication is doing what you said you would do long after the mood you said it in has passed.
When I first started blogging, I was as hopeful as a brand new freshman in college. The future was so bright. It doesn’t always stay that way, though.
This is where natural selection kicks in. The gurus were right, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to make money online. They weren’t lying at all. You can be an absolute idiot and make a fortune from your living room.
You cannot, however, find success online if you aren’t dedicated to doing so. Bloggers, in my opinion, have it the worst. There’s so much pressure to…
- Create a product to sell your readers (Ebooks, courses, coaching, etc.),
- Write for the reader and study how they interact with your site… without even knowing them,
- Conduct keyword research which is the most annoying task in the history of the Earth,
- Participate in everyone else’s quest for success just to move your journey along,
- Pay for services every month that easily counter your measly AdSense earnings,
- and do everything else we don’t feel like doing.
None of this complaining matters, though. Just like the 9 to 5 we are trying to get away from, there’s work to be done here. The difference in the two is the desired results they’ll bring. And the difference between those who will succeed online and those who won’t is the willingness to pay the price to turn those desires into reality.
Stick with the process that is becoming a “problogger”
We’ve seen what they look like. The quoted reference above (in my resurrected h3 tags) rings a bell to all who have made it this far in my post.
Blogging success is not impossible to achieve and it’s not extremely difficult to get there. You just have to decide where you’re headed and keep on moving in that direction.
When I’m done with this post, I’m not going back to the top to add markup. It’s going to stay just like it is. It’s how I felt at the time and I want to be as real as possible. Was I really writing for me? I’m not sure. I thought I was, but look at me now. It looks like I’m back on course, huh?
I’m here for the long haul. I’m a blogger… and that means more than just typing and publishing. People do that on Facebook with little to no thought.
I write the way I write because I am good at writing the way I write. I am also good at writing the way you like to read. So, that’s what I’m going to do.
Regardless of whether or not I have success online, I will always find a medium for speaking to the world. Indeed, if I shut this blog down today, I would be back in a year or two trying to bring it back to life.
I’ve done it before. This time, though, I’m refusing to do it again.
Blogging is an art.
Blogging is a process.
Blogging is a way of life… if you intend to make it the financial foundation of your life.
Listen to what the gurus and professionals tell you
They have made it to your computer screen because they followed the road you’re on right now… and they’re not done. I’m willing to bet that they don’t plan on stopping either.
They continue to grow not because they already have traffic. They continue to grow because humans are creatures of habit. They dedicated themselves to the process early in the game. It’s a part of them now, no matter how much success they have.
Develop the same habits that they have.
Do what Darren Rowse suggests in 31 Days to Build A Better Blog:
- Write List Posts
- Pay attention to other blogs in your niche
- Take the time to go back and interconnect your own blog posts
- Plan your writing ahead of time and write on a specific schedule
- Engage your readers, even if you only have one
- Find someone on the journey with you and become blogging buddies
- Solve problems for people
- Constantly scan your blog and look for ways to improve it
- Write reviews on the products and services you’ve used
- Monitor your progress and adjust accordingly
These professional bloggers are giving us all of the answers we need. The only question left to ask is…
Do we really want success?
If the answer is yes, embrace tunnel vision like you never have before. Look straight ahead, start walking, and don’t stop.
If not… well… what more can I say?
You’re either a blogger or you’re not. You decide.