The #1 Quality of All Successful Bloggers
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.
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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Finally catching up on my reading, and what a wonderful post! This is one that every blogger should read, more than once, on reminding themselves to be patient. It becomes hard at times to be patient, especially for those bloggers who have day jobs and are trying to balance their passion with their current position in life, and who eventually transition into their passion on a full-time basis. You become anxious to succeed so that you can do what you love full-time, but in rushing, the very thing you don't want to happen, happens: your traffic slows because you're not taking the time to provide quality information, or inconsistencies in your schedule causes your following to stagnate. Patience is so important, especially so when you are trying to build a following. You took the words right out of my mouth! :)
Thanks, Krissy, I wrote this after I realized how little I've done so far and how much more I have to learn about blogging. And there's no hurrying experience or learning. So if I want either I need to be patient. It was a "for what it's worth" post, and it helped me put things in perspective. Glad to be connected with a like-minded blogger!
Found your blog and this post via a little program I use for blogging called Zemanta. If you're not familiar, as you write your posts for your blog Zemanta offers suggestions for related content and pics you can link to in your post. The hope is that it adds value to your own blog and brings people back.
Anyway. I've blogged off and on for 5 years. Only have had some measure of success (in my eyes) with one I started back in November. I've actually fine tuned my goals for this blog and am relaunching it on 1/3/11. Also, I'm launching a second blog the same day which I just stared developing this week, however, I have a much more clearly defined goal for this one and am looking for it to connect with a lot of folks needs.
Anyway, I've said all that to say, I think you're definitely on to something in regards to patience. That's the one thing I've lacked previously. When I started the blog in November I just began writing with some general ideas and direction. Although I haven't had any comments yet, I've had more traffic on this one blog than I've had on all others in the last 5 years combined. Some of that is that I've learned some marketing along the way, I'm sure. But I think perhaps I've hit a nerve and made some kind of connection with some folks. I'm hoping the relaunch and more defined focus will bring even more traffic and people will start leaving comments. I'm hoping the same thing happens with the new one.
Thanks for your thoughts on this idea of patience and I'm sorry to take up so much room on your blog with my comment. :-)