What they didn't tell you about blogging – #41 – #50

The links to the earlier posts in the same series are here

Here are the next ten:

41. Your blog can change who you are

Blogging is transformational. Ask any serious blogger if they have changed since they started blogging and I am sure most of them will concur.

When you know that you need to be writing, you start observing more and thinking more. When you start getting serious traffic, you start worrying (in a good way) about your identity and start doing something about it.

If you are serious about blogging, be ready to get transformed.

42. Your blog can change who your readers are

If you write a quality blog, your long-term readers are bound to change in some way. I have been fortunate to follow the blogs of my heroes and I have been transformed. I owe it to them and they know that.

I have been blogging for more than 30 months now and have posted about 850 articles on variety of topics. Whenever I get an email or phone call about what my blog means to someone, it re-energizes me to blog more. I have thought of quitting blogging several times in the last thirty months. Just when I was about to pull the plug, I get an email or a phone call or someone somewhere writes about my blog and I quit my thoughts about quitting blogging 🙂

Remember that you may be transforming lives of strangers that you may never meet in your lifetime. Not all the people that benefitted from your blog may reach out to you. You don’t have to expect it either. Just know that it may be happening and it’s a good thing.

43. Blogging can make a serious impact on your personal brand

I didn’t say that blogging will make a positive impact on your personal brand. Whether it makes positive or negative impact depends on what assessments people make when reading your blog.

I have written about this before. Your blog is not your BRAND. It is only a part of it. It is hard to be a thought leader in the blogosphere and be a jerk in real life. Word somehow gets out about such inconsistencies in life. You can’t make up for your shortcomings in real life with your blog.

Think about the blog as an amplifier of who you are. Good or bad – whatever it is, it gets amplified!

44. Not everyone who should be blogging is blogging

I have met bloggers who think they are special because they are blogging. I can honestly say that most of these bloggers are in a fantasy world.

A large majority of people who should be blogging are not blogging today. They are no less than you. In fact, there are really super smart people who have not got into blogging. We should be fortunate that at least some of them are blogging.

Blogging in itself does not provide you an elevated status.  Just like a typical MBA does not automatically provide you an edge. What you do with your blog is what provides the value.

45. Not everyone who is blogging should be blogging

Blogging is not everyone and it can be a distraction to some. If you are someone who started blogging because it is “cool” and are struggling or suffering, you can re-visit your decision and see if blogging is really for you. There may be other ways you can achieve your objectives without the suffering.

They say any kind of publicity is good. Not for someone who is wanting to create an identity of power for the rest of his or her lifetime. In most cases, you are out with one strike – unless you are dealing only with your family members.

My $.02: Treat your blog with respect. It may take you only ten minutes to post something and you can probably write it off. If you have 100,000 readers reading that post spending five minutes each, serious damage is done!

46. There is no one secret recipe to make your blog successful

If I have to pick one, it will be the rule of 3R.

Rule of 3R

Recurrently provide Relevant and Remarkable content.

Even with that strategy, it is hard to win. It is always a combination. So if someone sells a book that is providing you a sure-fire strategy to succeed with your blog, you know what to do.

Your key is to find out what is that combination (currently) in your world. With some trial and error and help, you will be able to figure it out. However, this combination changes as the marketplace changes. So, please be willing to re-design your strategy and evolve.

47. Not all the blogging tips are applicable to everyone

Sometimes “experts” get carried away too. Their personal preferences show up as “tips” for everyone else. Every time you see tips (actually, be it for blogging or for anything else) just think for a moment about the applicability of this advice for your personal case.

The second reason why you should be careful for about “tips” are that “what works for them” may not work for you even when the “tips” are right.

Some tips are applicable at the time when they were first published. They run out of their relevance after some time. In other words, not all tips are timeless. So check out whether those “tips” are applicable “today”. In the world of blogging, things move very fast and you don’t want to be following yesterday’s advice to succeed tomorrow 🙂

48. You can make your blog the ultimate leverage engine

Your blog can be an outlet of your thoughts at a particular time or it can be something more.  Here are a few examples of what you can do:

* If you are an aspiring author, you can plan, design and author a book using the blog (blook = blog + book)

* If you want to start small, you can first start by publishing an eBook based on a series of your blog posts.

* You can plan your blog to a portal to your life – linking to other places on the web where you have presence.

* You can conduct a blog carnival and invite participation from bloggers around the world for articles on a particular topic.

* You can generate leads to your other businesses or get speaking requests via the blog

Whatever you are getting out of your blog today, you can get more with some effort online (doing things on your blog) and offline (doing something about your identity)

49. Blogging can seem like a thankless job

Imagine the scenario:

* You have been blogging for a while.
* You are recurrently provide remarkable and relevant content (follow the 3R rule)
* You post regularly.
* Your subscriber base is growing
* The traffic on your blog is increasing steadily

However, you feel like there is no tangible benefit or “progress” that you can touch and feel.  In other words, you feel like you are doing a “thankless” job.  

I have heard such comments from many bloggers who wanted to give up just as they didn’t get any “feedback” to justify continue blogging.

Here are a few things to remember:

* Not all of your readers will write an email or comment on your blog. Want proof? Just think about how many blogs and books you have read and how many emails have you sent to those authors even when you liked the book or blog?

* Good content or interesting content is not what gets thanked. It has to be outstanding or remarkable and way above the market standards for such content out there. It may be your best piece of writing but in the blogosphere, it gets compared with writings from several bloggers in the same category.

* Until you reach the tipping point, the returns from your blog is not something that you can count in. Once your blog tips, returns can be huge.

Last but not the least, remember this:

With your blog, you may have infinite reach. That may mean nothing as the readers out there have an infinite choice. Naturally, superior returns are reserved for outstanding works only!

50. Blogging will increase your capacity to do more good

Imagine you are running a newspaper. Would you be willing to give some real estate on the newspaper to a charitable cause once in a while. You probably would. Well, your blog is a media asset – whatever be the readership. A simple way to do good is to reserve some real estate on your blog to a charitable cause. Here are a few more ways to do something good and meaningful:

* Provide a voice to people who are trying to spread a good message (eg: global warming)
* Dedicate part of the proceeds from your blog to your favorite charity
* Invite people with great messages to write guest posts
* Announce your own affiliations to charitable causes. Some of your fans may decide to support it too.
* Announce your own participation in events for important causes.

To summarize it simply, if you have to remember only three things, here they are:

1. Your blog can change who you are
2. Your blog can change who your readers are
3. Your blog can change the world!

Enjoy your weekend!