Well, April 17th is winding down to a close, and for the second year in my life, I mark this day, not because it’s my birthday or a major life occasion, but rather because today marks the day that I wrote a riveting post called “So I’m repurposing my blog.” A blog I had established to just be craft pictures would now be my personal blog site, except it was called Ladybug Notes, it was at blogger, and I blogged as “The Real Life Madman.”
But I digress.
Last year at this time, I thought I had things pretty well figured out. As is so often the case in the online world and in the offline world, the more you think you have things figured out, the less you know. I am happy to say that at this point in time, I am thoroughly confused. I take great comfort in that!
There is one thing I said a year ago that I happily still agree with, and that is that a blog really doesn’t get very far if people aren’t reading it, commenting on it, and sharing it. A blog without people beyond the blogger is not really a blog. It’s a diary. It’s a monoblog.
I’ve made it this far in the world of social media because I have been immensely fortunate to meet wonderful people, and those wonderful people have helped me in ways they might not even realize. So instead of me trying to tell you how you can make it to a two-year mark on your blog or instead of me pretending I have a super secret way to do this that or the other thing, I want to tell you about some of the people I know who keep me going. Maybe you know people who fill some of these roles for you. I do think that having people in these roles is important, but maybe that’s just for me. Anyway…here we go 🙂
The Sounding Boards
You have to have people you can rant and rave to behind the scenes. Because sometimes things happen in the online world that just drive you batty, and often it’s best understood by other folks who share that space. I have been fortunate to be able to bend the ear of amazing people like Sherree Worrell, Jeannette Baer, Stanford Smith, and Mark Schaefer. These folks are understanding but they can also kick me in the butt and tell me to keep going. That’s important in this space.
The online world is a lot like a complex game. Finding a person who can offer you guidance along the way REALLY helps. I have been fortunate to receive coaching from some pretty amazing people, including Geoff Livingston, Maya Paveza, Chris Brogan, and Jay Baer. All of these folks have at various times given me insight that helped me look at things in a new way or that helped me shift my goals to something more…attainable (or logical).
The Role Models
Of course, like in anything, it’s important to surround yourself with people who drive you nuts because they are, in some way, so far ahead of you. Otherwise you have nothing realistic to strive for, right? I have a LOT of role models and I am not at all ashamed to admit that they kick my butt in various and sundry ways. I will probably never be as smart, community-oriented, and as gifted as Gini Dietrich. I will never be able to write as brilliantly as Olivier Blanchard or Amber Naslund. I will never be able to filter complex concepts into easy-to-understand advice like Marcus Sheridan. I will never be able to inspire people like Julien Smith. And that’s okay. I’m cool with that. These folks give me something to shoot for, and their abilities/capabilities keep me humble. Humility is important online too, regardless of what you might have heard.
It’s very important to have people that you know will always (and I mean always) have your back. Let’s face it, sometimes the online world can get ugly. Sometimes you can feel defeated. Sometimes you just get darned tired of the whole game. I’ve been immensely fortunate to weave a great support net over the last two years. People like Jill Manty, Danny Garcia, Sean McGinnis, Sam Fiorella, Raúl Colon, Brandie McCallum, Ellen Bremen, Lee Carey, Cheryl Burgess, Aimee Lucas, Nancy Davis, Martina McGowan, Marsha Collier, Jure Klepic – these folks seem to never run out of support for me. I don’t know how I got so lucky, but lucky I am. Social Media is often executed alone, but a team can really REALLY help.
People who make you smile
Beyond all of that serious stuff, it’s important to me, as I sit here in my toddler years of social media, to have people around who make you smile. People like Susan Fox, Susie Parker, Claudia Scimeca, Kaarina Dillabough, Bill Dorman, Jack Steiner…well the list goes on and on. But I know pretty much without fail that when I sign into one of my social media realities, I’m going to end up with a stupid smile plastered across my face at some point. Social Media can take itself too seriously. Don’t let yourself go down that rabbit hole!
So there you have it. That is what has worked for me. And by worked I mean that is what has kept me content with my online reality for two years now.
It’s all about the people, stupid 🙂 And I know some terrific people.
Thanks for hanging with me on this journey. Cheers to another year!
Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cobalt/108156451 via Creative Commons