Georgina has been a long-time friend of Pushing Social. I was thrilled to see her guest blog post submission. Georgina has fantastic insight on writing and the blogging process. I'll let you see for yourself.
After 2 weeks of unbelievable sport, outstanding achievement and heart-warming sportsmanship, the 2012 Games is set to inspire the next generation.
And as the Olympic legacy spreads beyond sport, us bloggers have much to learn from the performances we've seen on the track, field and pool.
You see, a gold medal athlete has a lot in common with a champion blogger. And in this fantasy decathlon of sports we'll discover how...
1. Dominate your track - 100m sprint
100m flat in less that 10 seconds and the fastest man on the planet is crowned.
In Beijing Usain Bolt reigned. Yet the talk before the London Games questioned his ability to re-deliver. But when it mattered most, Bolt was was unstoppable. And after his victory he silenced his critics:
Your blog is your track so own it. Harness your blog for good. Craft it into a unique mouthpiece and use it to share ideas and insights that make a difference to your target audience. Do this well and when you publish, your little blogging world will stop in anticipation at what you've got to say. And herein lies your 100m victory
2. Overcome barriers - 400m hurdles
2012 Olympic Champion Felix Sanchex wept on the podium. Despite the odds, at 34, he'd reclaimed the title he first won back in 2004.
Battling writer's fatigue, meandering creativity and flaky inspiration, the odds are against you too. Consistently great blogging takes blood, sweat and tears. And when you fail to get traction, turn readers off, or write a post that flat lines, you question if it's all worth the effort...
But hey. If you want to blog at the top, these are the hurdles you must overcome.
Olympic hurdlers have the mental strength and technique to clear their barriers. And whilst you might make mistakes and knock a few over, if you keep your head steady the rewards are rich. Viral posts, great guest gigs, in-depth comments and a healthy subscriber base validate your efforts and help banish those "quit now" temptations.
3. Endurance - Marathon
Blogging rarely gives instant gratification so pace yourself for the long haul. It takes time to cement your reputation and grow a committed audience who make your blog the "one to read".
Posting consistently is key to champion blogging. When deciding how often you'll publish, check it matches your capacity - otherwise your marathon will be cut short and the competitors licking at your heels will overtake. And whilst more frequent posting may attract more readers, it's smarter to post one great article a week rather than churn out rubbish every day.
4. Impact - Boxing
To reach the top you've got to pounce like a champion boxer, catch your reader unexpected and knock them out with unbelievable content. Uppercut unpredictable posts, expose what your audience has left uncovered and punch home ideas that take their breath away.
People don't want to learn or buy from their peers. Your audience visits your blog because you're their chosen expert. So stay points up with practice, commitment and lifelong learning!
5. Target practice - Archery
A champion archer hits the target pretty much every time, and they do so because they've nailed precision, accuracy and consistency.
To achieve that with blogging, you must turn a reader into a fan who returns for more and tells their friends.
Be on a mission to hunt out the topics, ideas and angles that leave people wanting more. And then when you find that sweet spot, practice hitting the bullseye again and again.
6. Harness your web tech - Equestrian
Olympic horse riders need complete harmony with their horse. And dressage champion Charlotte Dujardin's near faultless performance highlighted what's possible when there's unity.
And so too with your blogging platform.
A great blog isn't just about publishing cracking content. It's also about honing and working in harmony with the web tech that supports your voice. Either get comfortable with your blog's backend or make friends with a techy who can help you tweak its appearance, side bar and widgets for a slick, professional appearance that enables optimum performance.
7. Ride the unexpected - Sailing
To a degree Olympic sailing depends on Mother Nature putting wind in the sails.
And despite all the preparation, hard work and foresight, there are times when, momentarily, you'll have no control. Perhaps your scheduled blog becomes a risk following the day's news, you say something that gets taken out of context or you get hacked.
How will you manage these unpredictable situations? A champion sailor doesn't lose his head when conditions are unfavourable. Instead they hold their line and make the best of what's available and still come out on top! Take Pushing Social's hacking experience. The nightmare turned into a viral blog post!
8. Peak performance - Track cycling
Team GB have ruled the Velodrome with 7 out of a possible 10 golds.
But behind the on track performance is an impressive commitment to research and performance analytics that's helped the likes of Sir Chris Hoy and Laura Trott take control.
To push the frontiers of your blogging game you need data. So pick your metrics, measure them and understand your performance so you can respond and get better. Google analytics is an obvious choice, but don't forget the more subjective information that arises from your comment stream and social media conversations.
9. Teamwork - 4x4 100m Relay
Michael Phelps is the most decorated Olympian of all time. Yet he won his record 19th gold medal with the help of the US relay team.
Champion bloggers can't achieve all their success in isolation. And that's because it's no longer enough to write great content. You also need to be well connected.
In fact you need a strategy to lift you from isolation and connect you with the right people. You could:
- Join a mastermind group
- Leave insightful comments on popular blogs
- Use social media to get on the radar of key influencers
- Get some quality guest gigs to reach a new audience
Work hard to pack your team with people who fill you up and support your goal.
10. Make things possible - Gymnastics
Modern gymnasts do amazing things with their bodies. But here's the thing. Despite the undeniable skill required, they still manage to make it look easy. And as a result, there's a tiny part of your brain that watches and thinks "I could do that".
If your blog is a platform to teach and inspire, you have to make your audience think that way too. You want them to read your content and think "I can use / do that".
And whilst you need to present yourself as "the expert" you still need to be approachable and "real". Think about the tone of your blog and the content of your "About Me" page. And most importantly, fill your posts with practical, applicable ideas that are relevant to your target audience. Do that and they'll love you for it
Because stating the obvious, you do not have a blog without an audience! Champion bloggers give their audience what they want (and then some more), to get them chanting in the stalls, raving on social media and sending more traffic to your blog.
Will you write a champion blog?
Some bloggers make it to the dizzy heights of stratospheric success. But how will you get there?
"It's all of it, ... the training, the coaches, but most of all we point the mirror at ourselves and ask 'how can we get better?'" - Sir Chris Hoy tweet
As a champion blogger, you need to throw yourself into the challenge with commitment and consistency. You need true grit, a steely determination and the unshakable confidence you'll make it.
Victoria Pendleton, the ace UK track cyclist, reportedly said she loathes cycling as much as she loves it! So yes, there will be times when you hate blogging, doubt your ability and are ready to chuck it all in.
But a true champion blogger holds fast to their goal. They wholeheartedly believe in their blog and their readers. They push through their exhaustion, beat the pain barrier and succeed.
So what about you? Will you be around for Rio in 2016?
If so, I'll see you there