Have you ever, in the midst of reading a blog post, thought to yourself that the blog was destined to fail? Chances are you have. In fact, I’d be willing to bet you’ve had this feeling more than once.
Personally, I get it all the time. After two years in the blogosphere, at this point I usually have a general feel if a blogger is going to last 6 months or not, simply by reading one post.
Does that make me special? No, of course not. Like I said, you do/feel it too. When you ‘read between the lines’ of content, it’s amazing just how much you can predict about a blog’s future. Now granted, I love it when my gut is wrong, because I get no joy out of watching another’s dreams go down the drain, but what I’m saying here is a reality for all of us.
The Truth Hurts
I had a very interesting experience last week when a fellow friend and blogger, Steve Roy of Ending the Grind, called me one night, very distraught, and explained how he had just gotten his teeth kicked in (figuratively speaking) by ultra popular blogger/writer Penelope Trunk as he was interviewing her for his weekly podcast.
Steve then asked me to listen to the recording so as to hear my thoughts on the matter.
To make a long story short, Penelope turned the interview on Steve, and proceeded to tell him why his blog was failing, why he wasn’t reaching his ‘goals’, and why things wouldn’t change until he completely changed his outlook and started doing things differently.
To be frank, it was one of the most uncanny displays of psychology I’ve ever seen in my life. Quickly I learned that Penelope has a communication gift—it’s called cutting through the bull and saying things exactly like they are.
Although I hope like heck you take a moment to personally listen to the podcast and hear the moving conversation, Penelope’s main point to Steve was simple:
Stop pretending like you’re doing stuff when you’re not.
Wow, strong words, but very, very insightful.
Yeah, sure Steve has written tons of articles, built a solid community, and interviewed many great folks in the blogosphere. Notwithstanding these things, he has made no real progress towards leaving his normal job. Hence Penelope’s words that he has done nothing.
The Law of Momentum in Blogging
Steve’s case is just one example of how the Law of Momentum affects each and every one of us. Fact is, when it comes to our goals and dreams, we’re either making progress or we’re going backwards, there is no static ground.
Let me put it to you another way:
Question: What happens to a tree when it stops growing?
Answer: It dies.
See what I’m saying here. Progress, and actually ‘doing something’, are the life line of a blogger and his or her content.
The Goal of ‘Building Community’ Isn’t Enough
This is also why ‘building a blogging community’ is not a viable long term goal for a blogger. Yeah, sure a community is awesome, but there comes a point in every blogger’s life when ‘having a strong community’ simply isn’t enough.
Some of you may take my words on community as sacrilegious, which is fine. But mark my words, if you think just having a strong community is going to be enough impetus to keep you blogging for the next 10 years, you’re sorely mistaken.
There must be more.
There must be growth.
There must be action.
There must be creation.
Seeking the Remarkable
Let me give you another perfect example of what I’m talking about.
Last week I was speaking with the ultra talented Farnoosh Brock of Prolific Living. As we were emailing back and forth, I asked Farnoosh if she would be attending Blog World LA in November, at which point she replied:
“Alas, no blogworld for me and it’s not for lack of wanting to hang out with my dear friends and community, and now that I know I will be missing your speech on top of everything else, I feel a bit sad. To be honest, I decided after WDS, Marcus, that I need to have something to show for and I have to stay put and really work up something remarkable.”
Frankly, I was very, very impressed with these words from Farnoosh. You see, she could easily go to Blog World, have a great experience, meet lots of new folks, etc., but that simply wouldn’t satisfy where she is at this point with her blog.
Farnoosh is now in the stage of creation. She knows she has got to push herself to greater heights or she’ll be just like the tree that stops growing.
To Farnoosh, I say ‘Well Done’.
Others Doing It Right
I could go on and on with other examples of folks that are busy creating, doing, and growing.
Stuart is taking Unlock the Door to another level.
John Falchetto has become way more than an ‘expat coach’. His 30 day challenge is making waves and literally changing the lives of those that are participating.
Gini Dietrich is launching Spin Sucks Pro. (Oh, and she’s writing a book too)
JK Allen is… (oh wait, I can’t tell you yet, but it’s going to be awesome!!) (Sorry JK, couldn’t resist bud 😉 )
All of these folks are examples of ‘successful’ bloggers that are moving on to their next level of growth, and I can guarantee that each would tell you that if they didn’t make these moves, they’d be going backwards.
My Growth Vision
As for me, most of you already know I’m in the midst of major changes in my life. I used to write about inbound and content marketing from the perspective of a pool guy. That worked for a while, but now it’s simply not enough. There must be growth.
In the coming years, this blog will be full of my consulting stories, just like the one in Michigan, where inbound and content marketing impacted a company and changed lives.
Also, as of today, I have 8 contracted speaking events in 8 different states scheduled for 2012. Once I get to about 20, that will be enough. Within the next 2 years, I’ll be speaking all over the world. And as I do this, you’re going to hear all about it.
To put it simply, I’m going to keep telling you what life teaches me.
But all of this is a result of my search constant yearning for growth, creation, and improvement.
So that’s my challenge to you today my friends. Are you actually ‘doing something’, or are you just writing the same stuff you did last week, with a slightly different tune?
It is my hope that you’re stretching yourself—that you’re looking for opportunities to grow, create, and push your talents.
If you want to continue in this thing called blogging, I can assure you this is the only way and means whereby you’ll accomplish such a difficult yet rewarding task.
Wow, so many questions. Here are a few: Do you ever notice bloggers ‘talking a lot but doing nothing’? Also, do you think the singular goal of ‘growing a community’ is enough to always keep a blogger happy and motivated? And finally, tell us about what you’re doing to push growth in your blog and life, we’d love to know.
As always, your comments truly matter. Whether you agree or disagree, your voice is part of this community and deserves to be heard.