According to the blogging master, he feels just like Emit, the leading man from the recent Lego movie. Emit is just a regular Joe; an ordinary guy, doing ordinary everyday stuff. Some of his best friends forget that he even exists. When asked to lead the tribe of masterbuilders, Emit rolls in, and by way of introduction, says, “Hi. I’m Emit. I have no idea what’s going on here.” Rowse has that kind of feeling for at least two weeks before every major event.
The thing is, within the blogging community, this is really a collective confession. We are all ordinary people, doing extraordinary things. We all feel like we’re just average, just ordinary, and a little bit out of league. But, lucky for us, we live in extraordinary times. Time where ordinary people are doing ordinary things every day.
So, it should come as no surprise then, that according to Rowse, when it comes to blogging, there are six very ordinary things that we all need to do, in order to achieve extraordinary results.
1. Start: just do it. Don’t make the mistake of waiting until you know everything to get started. The best, and most effective, way of figuring yourself out is by making things, by doing something. It is very easy to put up a big, long list of excuses: no experience, no skills, no history, no money, no network, no niche, and above all, fear. The thing is, as soon as you hit ‘publish’ the excuses begin to dissolve.
“Inaction breads doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage.”
Starting leads to other opportunities. And to self-discovery. Embryonic ideas get bigger and bigger. And crystallize. Keep in mind though, starting isn’t something to tick off a to-do lost. It is a mindset, which should never be contained to just one moment in time.
Headshot courtesy of www.darrenrowse.com
2. Put your readers first: next on the list, work out who your readers are, both current readers and potential readers. The more clarity you have around readers, the more content you can create, and the stronger your community will become. According to Rowse, bloggers need to understand the needs, desires, problems, challenges, goals, the language that they use, habits, loves, hates, and passions of their readers. But Rowse doesn’t just stop there, he tells us that we need to understand the change that we want to see in our readers. What is it that you dream for your reader?
3. Usefulness is King: Rowse is adamant; it’s not content that is not king, nor twitter, nor wordpress. It is usefulness. This links closely back to the change that you want to bring about in your readers, in their lives. So, break down what it is that your readers need, and then provide this. Meet their needs. Answer their questions. Write for the people that are still behind you on the journey.
4. Develop a rhythm of usefulness: blog on a regular rhythm. Work out what rhythm is best for you: twice a day, once a day, once a week. Whatever the case may be, just be sure that you post regularly. You’ll find that your readers come to know your rhythm, and come to your site when they know and expect to see a post. So make sure that you’re there when they arrive. This rhythm has an amazing accumulative effect: it adds up over time. Every post is a doorway into your blog.
“Epic blogs are built on lots of little, regular useful actions.”
5. Create meaning: Rowse was pretty clear on this point: there is so much fluff being produced at the moment. So many bloggers are abandoning their readers, and forgetting to create meaningful content. You need to change your mindset: don’t compete for the moment. Instead, compete for meaning. It is so difficult to sell to people that visit your blog for just a fleeting meeting, and are then gone. Instead create content that has soul, that has meaning. That stands out from the crowd, that creates trust and authority, as well as interest. It might mean that you publish less often, but you will create content that actually means something.
“The trend is to chase eyeballs. They can have them. I care about the hearts and minds of our readers.” – Shayne Tilley.
Readers much more likely to buy something if you have a history of changing their lives.
6. Persist: as Rowse so perfect put it; persistence applies to all areas of life. Good things come to those that persist. In blogging, if you persist, you build things like credibility and trust. Create useful content, be meaningful, and publish in a rhythm. Then do it again and again and again. It’s only then that your readers will evangelise what you’re doing. It is only then that your readers will build your community for you. This is how you grow your site – through a cycle of usefulness and meaning.
99.9% of great bloggers are not awesome on day one. Their awesomeness is the accumulation of the value they create over time.
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