Today is Thanksgiving in the U.S. and it is always a good thing to sit back and think about what we are thankful for and blessed with. Last Saturday I made a post called The Cool Club and asked some of my readers to respond with a cool idea I could write about. I am certainly thankful for all my readers and even more thankful for those that choose to spend their time commenting here to make this website better. And for those that add to the personal development discussion here to make all our lives better.
First Daphne from Joyful Days responded with this comment…
Congratulations on doing so well with your blog! It’s very impressive for a new blog just over a month old. You mentioned in your profile that you’ve been blogging for 4 years? I’m curious to know whether that helped in getting this blog off to such a quick start. Maybe you could do a post about what you learnt from your earlier blogging experiences?
For my fellow bloggers out there here is my response:
As for the technical side of blogging, yes, blogging for four years helped. I learned a lot about the software and how to use it to make a better website. Blogging for 4 years also helped me to learn how to write for the web. Writing for the web is a whole different animal and many professional writers struggle to get it right. They wonder why people don’t respond to what they write. My answer is that they haven’t learned to write for the web.
In all other aspects blogging for 4 years hasn’t helped me really launch this blog at all. I was never concerned about driving traffic and certainly didn’t know what SEO was. I never submitted XML sitemaps to google, never thought about guest posting on other blogs, never did much in text linking, and never understood how important social media is.
These are all things I learned as I started up my blog. I learned and implemented them very quickly because I spent hours upon hours tweaking everything. It seriously took a month and probably at least 40 hours of work to get it where I wanted it. And that was 40 hours I didn’t spend researching and writing quality content. This blog still is not 100% where I want it and never will be, but it is close, and it took a lot of hard work. Most people don’t want to hear that success takes a lot of hard work…
I guess the answer to the question is yes and no. There are so many things to learn about how to succeed in blogging that it takes relentless learning and implementation to get ahead. My one suggestion is to find websites that really teach you how to blog successfully and start implementing what they say. I guess the problem though is finding the ones that really know what they are talking about. And for that I say just follow their trail of success…
Ross from Will It Change You also had a great comment…
Wow, the cool-club.. interesting idea!
One of your site topics revolves around personal development. Seeing as you’ve been blogging a lot longer than I have, I think A cool idea might be hearing your perspective on the goods and bads of blogging. Does blogging on personal growth lead to actual changes in the real world, for example? Or does it really detract from time spent working, playing, interacting with people? What has and hasn’t worked for you?
Anyway, you get the gist of what I’m trying to say…! Have a great week.
To that I would say that my whole site is about personal development. About making your life, and the lives of those around you, better…
Ah, the goods and bads of blogging. Yes, I have been blogging a long time, but this is the first time I have really pursued it professionally and I don’t feel like I have the expertise to speak to blogging specifically.
If I may rephrase the question I would ask, “Does writing on personal development in the form of books and magazines change the world?” My answer to that is a resounding YES!
Just the other night I asked a friend of mine if she read any type of personal development books and if it helped her. She said yes. She used to struggle with being assertive and standing up for herself. She said little ideas like putting your head up and walking tall really helped her out. So yes, I feel my writing really helps in the real world.
Can it detract from the real things in life like working, playing, and interacting with people? I think it can and this is where balance comes in. When I started this blog I spent enormous amounts of time on it. Even Leo from Zen Habits admits that when he started blogging he used to write up to 3 posts a day and found it to be way too much for himself AND for his readers.
To get a blog going requires a lot. To keep it growing once it gains momentum still requires effort, but not the same Herculean effort it takes in the beginning. This is the same with any endeavor in life. Whether it be starting a business, or starting a family. Speaking personally, I plan on spending maybe half the time I spent blogging in the past month as I will in future months. In real numbers that will maybe be 10 hours a week instead of 20 plus hours a week.
Once again, I come back to Leo and what he has experienced. He says he spends a lot less time reading and a lot more time writing quality content. Content that people want to read. I already see myself following that same trend. Most or all of my quality content comes from living life. Reading has taught me a lot, but not everything. Experience counts for a whole lot more.
To be successful in this niche I think you need to have a good foundation. To gain a good foundation you have to read a lot of books or blogs in the personal development field. See what they are writing, and then start applying it in your life. Once you do that I think you can have some authority to speak on the issues at hand. They are not any different then they were at the dawn of time. Humans are still humans. We still make the same dumb mistakes.
People are desperately seeking ways to make their lives better. Everything that is learned by one generation must be retaught to the next. That’s why I know I will never be out of a job. It is like a snowball rolling down a hill. I read authors from the past. Learn from them. Apply what I think will work. See if it works or not. Then I write about it, and teach other people about what I have learned. It is a simple process really.
That is what I have found to work. That is why I never look at my fellow bloggers on personal development as competitors. I look for the wisdom they have found and how I can share it with my readers as well. That is what my Saturday Rap is all about. That is how I create true value in what I do. That is why I know I will continue to be successful.
Obviously you can see that I am passionate about what I am trying to accomplish here. Passion and Patience is what creates success. I am thankful that many people who came before me shared their wisdom with me so I could be sharing that wisdom with you now.
Thank you guys for commenting! I think this was a really important post to write and has helped me discern why I am doing this even more.
And thank you all for reading. I know you value your time and I hope you have gotten some value out of this. If you have any more cool ideas that I can write about let me know. The offer still stands to mention your idea and link back to your site.
And don’t forget to think about all the things you are thankful for today…