Writing on Wordful.com feels great, but every now and then I get discouraged. I wonder if what I’m doing is really what it takes to become an A-list blogger. What do I really need to do to break the barriers of small-time personal blogging thru to mainstream success?
Is it true that if we really work hard and smart that something great is bound to happen? Is there really a future in blogging?
Successful first-generation bloggers are enjoying the rewards of their hard work and savvy from a time when blogging wasn’t considered profitable. Now they’ve got the loyalty and following of thousands — even millions — of fledgling bloggers trying to emulate their success. This exclusive bunch shares a few key things in common which we wanna-bes are striving for: experience, influence, brand equity and great pay.
So here I am, a second-generation blogger, working hard and hoping something great will come out of it. I am one of many: we all follow the same RSS feeds, look up to the same top bloggers and diligently follow their same advice. But I ask you: is it enough to follow the wisdom of bloggers who got their start during a time when blogging was fresh and unsaturated? Aren’t the days of low competition and less content long gone?
If new bloggers really want to make it big nowadays, we’ll have to think and act far above and beyond what the experts are telling us to do (experts like Copyblogger, ProBlogger, Blog Mastermind and John Chow). Don’t get me wrong — they’re full of excellent advice and motivation, but there’s more to it than that. The future of blogging will evolve to the next level, just like everything else on the web.
There will be new opportunities for humble fledgling bloggers like me (you, too?) to reshape the blogosphere. Stuff we’re learning now — like how to write headlines and use Twitter and attract 100 subscribers in one day — will merely serve as the foundation of what’s to come.
Yes, There is a Future in Blogging
If you’re shooting for the stars like me, it’s time to think of where blogging is headed and how we can shape it. I’ve come up with a few ideas:
- Expand your definition of blogging. It’s not just about writing or social networking or traffic. Remember that you’re also editor and publisher. Treat your blog more like a publication than a linear repository of posts and articles. Never get too comfortable or complacent with your blog, or people will lose interest.
- Offer value beyond belief, every time. Take the extra time and effort to ensure everything you publish is worthy of publication, worthy of attention. Don’t just write something because you have to. Always choose quality over quantity.
- Spend your spare time building your brand. Always be thinking about and refining your brand. Make sure it becomes a natural (not forced) extension of who you are and what you stand for. This can be acheived with little effort if you’re true to yourself.
- Be current. Try to stay one step ahead of the masses by following the news, other blogs and the top people in your niche. It’s always best if you can write that magic post before someone else does, then quickly move on to the next one while the rest are still talking about your idea.
- Be different. No pressure here, just be different from everyone else. Especially those who are most similar to you and your interests. If you find yourself copying other people more often than not — step back and ask yourself if you’re striving to be a leader or a follower. I think we know which of the two prevail.