By Shyam Bhardwaj
Let’s face it. Most blogs will fail. But yours won’t. Why? Because your blog is different. You have a unique voice (yes, you do), and the more you use it, the more it takes form.
Other bloggers tell you a lot of things to help you out. They tell you to:
- Concentrate on building your RSS subscriber count
- Build an email list
- Focus on SEO
- Build quality incoming links
- Engage your audience on Twitter
- Be active on Facebook
- Do guest posts
- Post once daily
- Only post when you have something essential to say
- Create your own product
- Sell other people’s products
- Run ads
- Don’t run ads
- Encourage your readers to leave comments
- Don’t worry about comments
- Turn comments off
- Write about your passion
- Find your topics by doing keyword research
You read all their advice, and you realize these are awesome people, simply sharing what’s worked for them. You appreciate their help, but you don’t read their words as gospel. You understand that just because something worked for someone else five years ago doesn’t necessarily mean it works all the time, and it doesn’t mean it will work for you.
But, do you know the hack? The reality is, without having meaningful content, your readers won’t stick to your site. If they do find your site, they won’t stay for long, if there is nothing to read that interests them. This is why the approach you take with your blog matters. If these four statements are true for you, your blog is likely not destined to fail.
1. You write honestly so your posts reflect your real thought process.
It is a conversational piece of writing that expands on thoughts, views and feelings that the writer wants to share with the world. This should be the scenario whether you are writing for a business, writing about the course of true love, or about the Hollywood flicks you like to watch over and over again.
The thing that brings the real deal with your blog is that writing should be honest and comes from the real you, ignoring the possibilities of trying to convey a false personality to the community. Unless you are a very good actor and can write in a form that is not true to who you, eventually you will be “found out.”
And this is the right way it should be done. When you try to engage in a conversation in a room (politicians aside!), you project your passion, thinking, and personality through what you say and how you say it. The blog is there to emulate you in that situation. It is designed to drive debate and conversation and does this successfully by being fluid in nature and by matching your personality and verbal communication style.
So, whenever you write for the blog, please write it with your own unique voice. Don’t let anyone else tell you what that is.
2. You’re not trying to find the “trick” to success in blogging.
You’re simply doing research. You get ideas, and you pick and choose which advice to follow based on what you think will work best for you. You don’t wait to “figure it all out” before you take action. You execute on what you learn immediately. You test. You retest, and then you test again. Every time you test a new idea, you learn more about what your audience likes, who they are and what they value. How to write masterpieces for your audience? How to optimize the posts for good SEO score? How to leverage social media platforms? You use what you learn to continually improve your approach.
Your blog won’t fail, because your focus is on building your business, not achieving arbitrary milestones you’ve adopted from others, like “10,000 email subscribers” or “10,000 RSS subscribers.” You realize that while these numbers have a certain amount of value, they’re meaningless outside the context of your own goals. You set your own goals, and you form your own approach to achieving them.
3. You realize that running a blog isn’t a specific strategy.
Your blog is simply a tool. Like any tool, you can use it however the heck you choose to use it. There is no right way or wrong way to write a blog, but setting up a blog, configuring SEO and doing marketing require extensive effort. While being genuine and passionate in your approach to engaging your audience, you find that it is sometimes necessary to break some “rules.” When this is the case, you break those rules unflinchingly and without apology.
You find that it is in these moments, when you defy convention with authenticity, that you experience your greatest successes. You don’t break rules simply to break them. You just respect your own voice more than you heed boundaries set by others. You find repeatedly that your readers respect this kind of fortitude.
4. You never even consider quitting.
Because you realize that blogging isn’t some magic get-rich-quick scheme. It’s greatest value is that it gives you a truly unique and powerful way of engaging and learning from your audience, and why the heck would you ever want to quit doing that?
Most importantly of all, you realize that by following your own voice, picking and choosing your own rules, thoughtfully choosing whose advice to follow and whose advice to ignore, you automatically create a one-of-a-kind blog…one worth reading. You automatically create a blog worth talking about. You automatically create a blog that achieves the EXACT number of subscribers, inbound links and other metrics that you need in your business. You don’t have to pursue these things after all; they happen by themselves.
All you do is focus on your business and talk to your people. You really are that good, and blogging really is that simple.
For me, the fourth point is the hardest one. Especially at the beginning I was several times to give up. It was just frustrating to see that no one cares about my writing. Later I learned that there is so much more about blogging. E.g. I didn’t know anything about backlink building which is very important to show up in Google’s search results.
So my experience showed me that the fourth point is the most important.