I don’t often blog about the business of blogging, but a conversation with a friend of mine and the reading of a blog post covering the same topic prompted me to share my opinion on building a successful blog. More specifically, the first step that is universal to all successful blogs: the author chose to start blogging.
It may seem like a trivial step, but it’s not. I know that many people have asked me for advice on writing (as it relates to blogging, mostly) and I’ve seen three different results: (a) they never start writing themselves; (b) they start writing but quickly give up when they realize how difficult it is to create content; or (c) they start writing, develop the habit of writing and succeed.
Now, the level of success may be quite different. I feel brip blap is moderately successful. I have a decent amount of traffic, subscribers, Twitter followers and Facebook fans. I am certainly no Get Rich Slowly or Zen Habits. But fine. But I did start, and because of that I have a certain level of “cred” according to Google and the other “gods of search”.
This principle applies to much of life. Just start. If you want to learn guitar, the one unavoidable step is to start learning – buy a guitar or get lessons or at least watch videos of people playing. Just wishing for the skill won’t make it happen.
I’m guilty of doing this. I’ve aspired to many skills and simply failed to take a first step to achieve them. On the other hand, I’ve made good stabs at starting some projects and simply decided after that initial go that I didn’t care, after all. But that’s an important distinction. I always suspected I’d be good at consulting, and I tried it, and I was. I’ve always suspected I’d be good at writing, and I (flatter myself that I) am. On the other hand, I love appearing on radio and podcasts as a guest, but I’ve never tried doing my own.
Try everything. As the parent of two young kids I repeat this mantra in terms of food all the time, but it’s easy to forget to apply it to yourself as you grow older. Make time to try new things and not to assume that you’ve reached the limits of your growth. It’s an easy trap to fall into, and I don’t think anyone has to fall into that trap, because the opportunities for learning are so limitless. Expand your life.