I want to be painfully honest with you for a moment. I assure you I’m going to be up front and in your face. It’s going to get ugly and unexpected.
I assure you this is NOT something you will enjoy.
So here it is.
You’ve been struggling to drive traffic to your Blog for months now. You’ve tried everything and nothing seems to drive focused readers to your site.
It’s not because you haven’t:
- Found the right traffic strategy
- Have a really crappy domain name
- Google has put a curse upon you so that you remain unknown forever
It’s because you are not Blogging – Smart.
If you ever want site visitors reading / engaging with you, this had better change.
Okay, okay you certainly could be part of a minority who are getting tons of traffic, making tons of money and who are truly awesome. In that case consider yourself excused for reading this Blog post.
Oh! BTW, I’ll be coming across to worship at your alter in a flash.
For all the rest:
- Who have learned the best writing tips
- Who have listened to all the very best – Pep Talk – podcasts
- Who believe they really ought to be the next Blogging superstar . . . BUT . . .
Here’s the one thing no one has been talking about.
Popular bloggers are smarter than you are
No, it’s not IQ I’m talking about. Definitely not.
What I’m talking about is – when you have a conversation with someone and they walk away thinking – Wow! this guy (or gal) is amazing.
Every popular Blogger I’ve spoken to for more than 10 minutes has had that effect on me. I’ve always come away with a point of view I just did not have before.
Well okay you might think, Hey!, they’re not necessarily smart. They just speak well, but I believe that’s just not it at all. I think their easy, engaging, articulation is just one piece of a much larger set of characteristics.
This has been my experiences (do share yours in the comments please):
- Know pretty much everything there is to know in their vertical. If they don’t know something, you can take a bet it’s already on their to-do, read up list
- They take complex ideas and transliterate these into simple language concepts everyone can understand
- At least some of what they say is truly original. You’ve never heard it anywhere before. Ever.
- Even if you have no interest whatsoever in their topic, they quite spookily, find a way to captivate and engage you without boring you to death
- You find yourself thinking about something they wrote or said weeks (or more) later
Popular Bloggers are:
- Constantly publishing awesome content
- Building relationships with the right people
- Employing the right traffic strategies seemingly effortlessly
Popular Bloggers are really wicked smart people who deserve all the attention they’re getting. They are truly special people.
Now, on the flipside
There’s everyone else who is some combination of ignorant, obtuse, unoriginal, boring, or just forgettable.
You read their Blog posts, and come away thinking boy! I really wasted my time here.
So, it’s time to ask yourself the question…
- Which group do you belong to?
OR – (even more importantly)
- Which group do you want to belong to?.
About building a popular blog – The plain truth
It’s not only about what you publish. It’s also about who you are.
If you’re smart, it’s relatively easy.
- You publish an idea that’s both brilliant and useful
- It blows people’s minds
- Everyone starts talking about your Blog post content
- Like a gazillion people link to your blog post
- Influencers line up to become your friends and help you out because… well… your content is really so worth it
What If you’re not smart?
Then none of the above happens. You can do everything all the blogging authorities tell you to do, AND you can do it absolutely correctly, yet you will still fail – that’s guaranteed.
So, does that mean you’re doomed? Not necessarily.
Here’s why – Being a popular Blogger:
Isn’t about genetics
Isn’t about inborn talent
Isn’t about fate
It’s definitely about deciding who you want to be and then making yourself into that person.
You just have to decide you want it, and then take the necessary steps to get there.
#1 – Replace your friends
Hey, I wasn’t kidding when I said this was going to be painful.
The absolute truth is that if you want to grow you almost always have to replace your friends. You most certainly do not have to push them away BUT you must stop spending as much time with them as you are doing now.
Well, basically it’s because YOU are the average value of the five people you spend the most time with.
Okay, okay there’s no scientific evidence to support this theory, but pretty much every successful Blogger will tell you it’s true, if you specifically ask.
Want to become a better writer?
Find a few writers a better than you are, wherever. Become friends with them. Exchange work, give each other feedback. Find ways to hang out and do absolutely nothing related to writing with them as well.
Go to a movie, meet at a coffee shop, whatever. Talk to them. If they’re online, message them every day or two, share a YouTube video, rant about the stupidity of politicians, or just ask about their day.
At first, talking to them might be painful, maybe it will make you feel a little stupid. Eventually though, you’ll get smarter, just by hanging around with them.
You won’t be able to help it.
That’s what the right friends do. They help YOU grow.
#2 – Become a know-it-all
Well, popular bloggers are sort of like that.
Ah well, they don’t know everything, but conversations with them could easily go from the latest trends in social media, to the pope visiting the US and chatting up Obama, to how to cook the perfect Hungarian goulash.
All in a few minutes, AND they’re not bullshitting.
They really know a lot about all of those subjects (and tons more).
Here’s why – They’re constantly learning.
Amongst popular bloggers, this is perfectly normal.
Everyone has different routines, but each and every popular blogger I know spends at least three or four hours a day consuming new information. It’s not an idiosyncrasy, it’s required.
In today’s world, going to school, learning a few things, and then coasting through life without reading another book is – a death wish. You’ll be obsolete in a few years.
If you’re a blogger, with that attitude, you’ll be obsolete in a few weeks.
The opposite is also true.
If you spend more time learning than anyone else, before you know it, everyone thinks you’re a genius.
Not only can you quote from the work of other important people, but you connect the dots between totally unrelated subjects, creating new ideas nobody has even considered before.
It’s not because you were born with a high IQ.
It’s simply because you know so much.
Spend at least two hours a day learning something new. I don’t care how or when you do it. Just make sure you do.
#3 – Do less
How many hours per day do you spend thinking? For most people, it’s tops two or three hours a day.
My next question is perhaps a ton more relevant to this topic. Of those two / three hours spent thinking, how much time is spent thinking about your writing?
Most people think about their family, friends, what they are going to have for dinner, their job, their upcoming vacation, BUT they don’t think about what they’re going to write until they open their word processor. Big mistake.
The popular Blogger spends 10X times thinking and 1X times doing. Translated, this means that popular Bloggers spend 10 hours thinking / planning / flowing their Blog post and 1 hour getting this down pat in their favourite word processor.
If an experienced and popular Blogger has spent 2 hours writing a post, I’m pretty sure they have spent at least 20 hours doing research, collating content, verifying facts, and more before settling down to write the Blog post.
When their readers read their finished Blog post they think the creator is a genius, but the truth is, the vast majority of the stuff that was written was worthless or downright stupid and edited out.
The reader fortunately never sees any of this.
They only get to read the top 10% of what was crafted, audited, edited, then re-edited until what you read, almost always leads to multiple Ah! Ha! moments.
This is exactly how popular Bloggers get their content to be widely read and re-read. This is how their content can (and often does) go viral. This is what makes them popular Bloggers read and shared by tons of people.
Now, if you are thinking – I’m not doing this full time. I have a job, kids, a social life, a life, whatever, I’m just too busy.
You’re right. You are too busy AND that’s the problem.
To become a popular, widely read and appreciated Blogger you need time to think. Not just a few minutes here and there but for a couple of hours at least depending on how complex the topic you’ve chosen to write about really is.
In reality, this means – Doing Less.
You’re simply going to have to cut some things out of your life to give yourself time to create awesome Blog posts that have the potential to go viral.
Maybe you can:
- Reducing the time you spend in front of the TV
- Maybe it’s scaling back your hours at work
- Maybe it’s spending less time with your friends
Regardless, you have to cut something.
Otherwise, you’ll never have time to think. Then you’ll be just another Blogger, regurgitating what everyone else is saying, boringly.
The bottom line
Successful blogging, carving a niche for yourself, being recognized as a blogger with authority in your chosen niche, is not only about SEO or social networking or the quality of your subheads.
It’s also about you.
Perhaps the person you are right now, i.e. your environment, your habits, your schedule whatever are sucking all the promise right out of you. This is what can prevent you being a popular blogger.
If you want to succeed, YOU have to change. Surround yourself with smart people, bury yourself in books, and cut out all the crap that’s distracting you from – Blogging greatness.
You may not feel it happen, but this will change who you are. Drastically.
You’ll still be you, but you’ll be a better version of you.
You’ll be able to measure this in the way your site visitors engage with your Blog posts.
Where your Blog posts used to get a half-hearted response from your site visitors, you’ll start getting dozens of adoring / engaging comments.
Where popular bloggers used to ignore you, you’ll find them linking to your posts without even asking.
Where you used to only see small, incremental, inbound traffic gains, your inbound traffic will explode, going from 100 visitors a day to 500 to 1,000, within a matter of months.
Not because you’re using some new traffic technique.
Not because you got to know some powerful influencer.
Not because you got lucky.
It’ll happen because you’re worthy.
Slowly and painfully, in a measured way, you’ve have transformed into someone worth reading.
Are you ready to be that person?
Are you going to be – just another blogger?
The choice is yours.
Please Leave Your Comments They Are A Huge Help
If you liked this Blog post, I’d love to read your comments. If you thought that this Blog post was not up to your expectations, I’d love to read your comments.
It’s your comments that helps me get better each day. Please pass on your bouquets or brickbats in the comments section right below.