Every once in a while it hits me as somewhat peculiar that I’m able to actually work at home and make a living doing this. This happened to me today. I get this guilty feeling like I’m pulling one over on the universe or something.
And then it occurs to me that what I do isn’t really any different than what people have done for time immemorial. Make stuff, then sell it. Reach out, connect with people. Do deals. It’s really pretty basic stuff, but since we can do business digitally now, it seems less real somehow.
But it is real.
It’s a new frontier, and we’re just getting started. As Gary Vaynerchuk has said, “The Internet is only 17 years old like a teenager just past puberty”. In other words, there’s a lot of raging hormones and turbulent times ahead. We have a lot of growing up to do here on the interwebz.
So in an effort to harness just a tiny bit of the insanity I’ve witnessed, I wanted to share 3 weird things I’ve learned from blogging for a living. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments. I’d love to know what you think 🙂
Everything you’ve read is wrong (but you should still read it)
I work primarily for small business owners who want results. No B.S. allowed, and that suits me just fine. So let me be straight with you. 80% (or more) of the content out there designed to help you become successful online is dead wrong. And I’m talking about content from legitimate, ethical, successful bloggers. It’s not stuff you should copy directly for your own business. In fact you shouldn’t copy anyone. This is a lesson I’m still learning to embrace, but it’s crucial.
Kevin Kelly wrote a genius book called “New Rules for the New Economy”, which is worth reading. It’s short and brilliant. In that book, one of the rules he presents is “Let go at the top”. Here’s the rub: innovation happens quickly enough now that by the time something is established as a viable, effective system, it’s already on it’s way toward becoming obsolete.
What does this mean for you? It means that all the little “tips and tricks” that have worked for other marketers in the past most likely will not work for you.
But here comes the weird…
You should absolutely, positively continue to read what they have to say. Soak up their wisdom. Not because they can give you at 10 step tutorial on how to be your own person, because they can’t. But because by associating with and learning from the habits of winners, you can find those traits within yourself.
Let’s keep it real. You can’t be anyone else but you. So trite but never more important. I was trained in an old school sales environment. I learned to copy those who came before me. And when it comes to work ethic, tenacity, positivity and overall ninjitsu badassery, you absolutely can absorb that vibe and acquire those type of traits from others.
And therein lies the power of the real gurus in their field. You want a system? Follow this system:
- Study them.
- Buy their shit.
- Learn everything you can from them.
- Then go do your own thing.
Just know that if you skip step four, you’re screwed. Why? Well look at the gurus, my friend. They’re constantly innovating and reinventing their business. Everyone needs a system to get the gears turning, but pushing past the system into the unknown is where growth occurs. And it doesn’t occur until then.
It’s actually impossible to fail
It’s possible to quit. But that’s quitting, that’s not failing. There has never, ever, in the history of the world, been so much demand for awesome, weird stuff then there is right now.
Pick your niche and go for it. Remember as I said before, constant innovation and reinvention are our eternal sidekicks here, but when you embrace the learning curve and go all in…the opportunities are mind boggling.
You’re global, baby. From day one. How much of an advantage do you need? If there’s any one thing I’ve learned for sure, it’s that if you’re not getting the revenue you need to do what you love for a living, then there is absolutely an identifiable and correctable solution.
This is massively cool. You have access to the whole world. It’s impossible to fail. You can quit. You can sell yourself short. But if that happens, the opportunity will just go to someone else who’s willing to take it.
The main value of business blogging has nothing to do with content, conversation or community
- “Content is king”
- “It’s all about the conversation”
- “You need to build a community”
Buzz words. It’s all just a bunch of buzz. Like I mentioned before…listen to it. Then forget it. I write for business owners in the real world. You have clients to meet, deals to close, projects to complete. Your blog is simply an element of your marketing plan. A crucial one, but it’s just one of many things you have on your plate.
So forget content. Forget conversation and community. Just for a minute. What’s the root value of your blog? Why do you absolutely have to have one? This is important stuff to know! The answer is presence.
Woody Allen said “80 percent of success is just showing up”, and that always stuck with me. This isn’t to minimize the work that needs to be done, but let’s face it…presence is key.
Pope John Paul II said “”If it didn’t happen on TV, it didn’t happen”. And that was a while ago. Religious stuff aside, if the leader of the Catholic church gets it, it’s about time we all got up to speed too perhaps. Media is where it’s at. If you’re not visible, then you’re not present. Business isn’t easy, but it’s pretty damn simple. Clock in. Be present. And there’s no better way to do that than with a blog.
Christian Russell is the blogger behind Dangerous Tactics, a unique small business marketing strategies blog with no tolerance for B.S. His latest report, How to Get (a lot) More Leads from Your Website teaches you – surprisingly – how to get a lot more leads from your website