My Blog BFF kicks off the “Your Social Media Journey” series today with an awesome post about traveling from failure to success. Stanford Smith obsesses about how to get passionate people’s blogs noticed and promoted at Pushing Social except when he’s chasing large mouth bass. Check out his new Blogging Bootcamp to learn how to whip your blog posts into shape.
It’s a strange feeling at first. It’s kind of like dunking a basketball for the first time or catching a monster largemouth bass. You can’t believe it just happened but the evidence is staring back at you.
This is how I felt when PushingSocial.com got it’s first mention by Brian Clark at Copyblogger. Instantly my blog was on the fingertips of hundreds of people. I watched the Tweetmeme button in shock as it climbed north of 100 in one day.
At that moment, I realized that this blogging “thing” could be fun.
That happened late June 2010 for my “Lady Gaga” post. I’ve had a blast ever since.
Margie asked me to kick-off her series on “Your Social Media Journey” and I had to agree. You see, Margie and I have talked a lot about the journey and I have been fortunate to learn from her. So I thought I would return the favor by writing this post to you.
What I Learned from 3 Blogging Failures
PushingSocial isn’t my first blog. It’s just my first successful blog. I failed at blogging for 3 years before I got it right.
The first time I spent tons of money on fancy designers and themes but couldn’t write a lick. My posts were generic and hollow. I hated writing them and it showed.
The second time I tried to outsmart my readers. I needed to make money and thought I can wow them with fancy copywriting. I was wrong. I learned that readers have a sixth sense for authenticity. I was a con-artist and they knew it.
The third-time I wrote from the heart. My posts were deeply personal diatribes that plumbed the depths of my soul. I enjoyed those posts. My readers felt they were a third-wheel. That was failure #3.
I should have given up but when I looked back I learned 3 key lessons:
1. You can’t fake authenticity
2. You can’t con your readers. They always know if you are the real deal
3. Posts must solve reader problems
Pushing Social is Born
In May 2010 I tried blogging again. This time, PushingSocial would be focused on helping new bloggers get noticed. It was an experiment to see if I could be authentic, helpful, and relevant to a tough crowd of business people and writers.
I resolved to keep writing no matter what for one complete year. Every week I would publish a post even if I was on my death bed. I would ooze passion and be ferociously optimistic.
My topic wasn’t unique – but I was.
9 months later, PushingSocial is doing “alright”.
If you want to succeed in blogging you have to decide to not quit. You can evolve. You can fail. You can rant and shake with homicidal rage. But you can’t quit.
I’m convinced that our best bloggers quit one post away from greatness.
Think about it.
What Makes My Journey Fun
PushingSocial taught me how to be human.
I have over 1,000 subscribers who rely on me to deliver inspiration and practical information every week.
I have 3,000 Twitter followers who trust me to filter the world through my lens of passion and Midwest honesty.
I co-run a greasy digital after hours joint called #Tweetdiner that is home to misfits, dreamers, intellectuals, and artists.
I’m an introvert so all of this attention and commitment makes me nervous.
Fortunately, I reached out to people who understand what I face everyday and are quick to offer encouragement. These blogging buddies keep me genuine and make the journey fun – even on the bad days.
Margie has helped keep me sane on bad days and made me better on good days. You need a Margie too, So, find them sooner rather than later.
What Lies Ahead.
I am a strategist. I have 2011 planned out in excruciating detail. But it’s just a plan. My readers are my real compass. I will go where their problems take me.
How about you? What does your 2011 journey look like?
Image by Kaylie Horch. http://www.sxc.hu/profile/klie17