I am not a blogger. I’m a writer who uses a blogging platform to share ideas. And since 2008 I’ve done a good job of using the platform to cover a range of topics. What I write about isn’t focussed on one core concept. My posts aren’t limited to business ideas, or fiction, or rants on politics. They’re just … ideas. The strategy is to be unbucketable. I write for business to pay the bills. I write for myself here. And frankly, it’s a terrible strategy for being a successful blogger – despite knowing the formula.
While the name of my blog might throw you off, if you’re a regular reader you know that there’s nothing conforming about what I share here. In fact, the name is intended to be ironic. I took it from a Seinfeld episode where George Costanza was interviewing for a job. At lunch with his prospective boss, the man tells George that he has to be a team player in order to fit in at the company. To which George says, “No problem there. Conformity’s an obsession with me.” And there it is.
This blog is where I write. Period. About whatever it is I feel like writing about. I do not use it to sell advertising space. Or to serve a niche market. Or as a stepping stone to speaking gigs. But that’s just me. Other people use their blogs for precisely those things. And it’s a lot easier than you might think. So, in keeping with the arbitrary nature of my blog, if you aspire to become a successful blogger then this post is for you.
Three Steps to Becoming a Successful Blogger
Becoming a successful blogger is almost as easy as becoming a marketing guru – the most important ingredient of the recipe is simply a desire to be successful. You’ve got to really, really want it. And no, you can’t fake desire.
Once you’ve made the decision to be a successful blogger, the next step is to select a subject of expertise that you’d like to focus on, and then start writing. If you write well enough, and I’m not talking about necessarily evoking emotion in your readers here, you should be able to create a library of content that helps define you as a subject matter expert. But let’s say that fresh material doesn’t naturally flow out of your fingertips. No problem. Simply rehash content from the top bloggers within your sector. I’m not talking about plagiarism here. Definitely not. Plagiarism is bad. I’m talking about simply restating what has already been said. That’s not the same as stealing. Besides, where do you think all the successful bloggers get their content? Right – each other. If you’ve been paying attention to the blogging world like I have over the years, you’d see that 90% of all content is the same core ideas rewritten and shared over and over. SEO. Crowdsourcing. Content Management. Social Media Strategies. There’s nothing new. The most successful bloggers simply interject their own writing flair into the posts. It’s not brain surgery. Also, be sure to use numbers in your headlines as much as possible. Don’t ask why, just do it. It’s science.
The final step is to follow successful bloggers on Twitter and Linkedin and agree with them in public as much as possible. RT them. Engage them. And be sure to sneak in links to your own posts when you do, because you never know … they may even RT you one day! Don’t get discouraged if these superstars don’t respond or reciprocate engagement right away (they’re very popular, after all); be patient and persistent. Eventually they’ll come around to recognizing you as an ambassador for their brand and begin treating you with some respect. Just know this – the circle of success in the blogosphere is cyclical.
Keep to this formula for a year, and keep writing, and before you know it you’ll be flying to conferences around the country to speak on panels in front of dozens of people about your specific area of expertise. Of course you won’t be saying anything original, but who cares? You’ll be successful in the eyes of others and that much closer to monetizing your blog.
Because in the end, everyone knows that success and money trump creative expression.