The #1 Quality of All Successful Bloggers - Deliberate Ink

So. I read a few blog posts. No big deal. They were just the most informative, instructive, and inspiring blog posts I’d read in a while. Which is to say, better than a lot of my own posts. No big deal. I commented with thanks on one, was  left completely wordless by the genius of another, and stalled for awhile, although I knew exactly what my next blog post would be about. Successful bloggers.

This will not be a post about how to make your blog like theirs. You will fail spectacularly at that, which won’t matter because in the end you won’t have an audience anyway. This will not be an “excuse-the-newbie” post. You know better than that. It won’t be a “power-of-you” post, except in essence. What I want to talk about is patience.

Everyone producing content and media is doing it to be read, and heard, and viewed, over and over. This is what defines media greatness on and offline. But it takes a surfeit of accumulated servings of greatness to keep people sharing post after post–to finally, eventually, be considered “great”–at least in the eyes of People Who Matter.

Every single day since I began this blog, I’ve asked myself the question, “Who are the People Who Matter to me?” I’ve learned it’s not one I could ask myself once and be done with in an instant, because I wanted to meet people and talk to them. I wanted to learn from them and benefit them. I wanted to contribute to and be excited for their successes, help them over their difficult hurdles, and have them do the same for me, via my blog and other media. That takes time.

I’ve read that phrase over and over in various improve-your-writing/improve-your-business articles as I developed the focus on this blog: “It takes time.” I tended to skip over suggestions that included those words because I’d convinced myself I didn’t have time. But after a while, I began to see that the phrase should really read, “It takes patience.” Because it wasn’t time I lacked. It was patience. Click, went something inside.

The blogs I admire resonate with me by satisfying something; be it a need to see my own opinion reflected in their words; a need for an instructive step-by-step series on how to improve myself, my business, or my blog; a need for intelligent debate; or a need for a little mind candy. And they do it in spades, let me tell you. Every time I visit I expect to be wowed by their insights, information, and personality. But it took patience. Patience as they blogged, patience as they listened and waited for responses, patience as they learned (quickly or slowly), patience as they focused and adjusted and honed both their writing and their audience.

I tightened my focus. I noted who liked what content, what they knew already and didn’t need any more of, whose attention I wanted versus whose attention I was getting, their passions versus my own, and which audiences and topics I needed to simply let go. Hours of focus. Single-minded determination, ruthless exclusion of irrelevance, and a courage I’m just learning I have simply to bide my time as I discover what makes my blog “great” for People Who Matter to me.

It just takes… yep, I almost said “time.”

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