Have you ever watched the movie About A Boy, with Hugh Grant? It’s a really sweet little movie. In it, Hugh (you’ll never believe this) plays a kind of rotten fellow. He’s never had to work a day in his life because his father wrote a Christmas carol that took the world by storm. It made his father filthy rich. There was just one problem with this character’s father. He didn’t like the song that made him famous, and he spent the rest of his life trying to create something more famous and more fabulous. You certainly don’t get the feeling that Hugh Grant’s character got to know his father really well, and his father certainly never succeeded in being anything other than a one-hit wonder. One hit was just not enough.
You’re working too hard to not reap rewards
Let me tell you a secret people don’t often make crystal clear as you create your WordPress or Tumbler account. Blogging is a LOT of work. So much work. Your senses are always waiting for inspiration to strike you. You’re reading, you’re commenting, you’re writing and then scrapping and then wondering if you can undo the scrapping. You hit “publish” and bite your nails like your life depends on it. You stress. Are you promoting too much? Too little?
And for all of that, when you first start and for a long time after that, you get nothing from other people. Your blog sits there like your posts are in the storage room in the Louvre. Nobody sees it. Nobody points and says, “Wow.” It just sits there. You check all of your checklists. You’re doing everything right. No comments. No traffic. Then, just when you’re about to toss in the towel, you get your first real comment. You reply. Now you have a post with 2 comments on it and oh, that looks so much better than a goose egg.
So what do you do for your next post? You dissect that post with the 2 comments. “What did I do to get that person to say something? Was it the subject? Was it how I wrote it?”
Your mission doesn’t matter anymore. Your objectives? Pssh. You got a comment. On the next post, you want to get two.
Don’t Lose Your Head
This past week, I experienced something new. I wrote a post over at pushingsocial.com and it became the most popular post I’ve ever written. I started picking at it. “Why did this do so well? How can I replicate this?”
Then I remembered something.
I’m not here to get tweets and clicks and comments. That has nothing to do with why I pour all of this hard work into this blog.
I’m here because I want to help you get into this conundrum!
Success is a drug. Just say no.
Getting accolades and appreciation for hard work is always nice. Literally. I can’t think of a time when you would say, “Um, please don’t thank me.” Well, and really mean it. However, you need to have a conversation with yourself. Is that REALLY why you’re here?
For me, comments are a way of measuring how I’m doing. Traffic is a way for me to know if I’m helping more people or not. Tweets are another way I measure if my posts are resonating. But I’m here because I want to help you.
One day, you will have a post go bonkers on you. Yes you will. Believe me, if I can do it, anyone can. It’ll be a post that you may not expect. In fact, it may be a post that you almost didn’t write or that you almost threw away. People will go crazy over it, and you’ll sit back and say, “Huh. I could get used to this. How do I replicate this experience?”
Don’t fall into that trap. Be ready for it. Be ready to keep your head on your shoulders. Success is nice, but it is not the end. It’s a tool to do something else. Make that something else count.
Image by Wayne Roddy. http://www.sxc.hu/profile/mavnntc