How to Avoid Becoming a One-Hit Wonder Blogger

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Have you ever heard of Dexys Midnight Runners?

Unless you’re an obscure music buff, you probably haven’t. But, I’m willing to bet you’ve heard they’re number one song, Come On Eileen, right?

Although Dexys Midnight Runners achieved incredible success with Come On Eileen, most people have never heard of the band. And their song, while popular, will be forever known as a one-hit wonder.

That’s a status that no musician wants to achieve.

Topping the charts one time can be the right combination of luck, timing and talent. But, the test of a true legend is churning out the hits over and over again.

Think the Rolling Stones. The Beatles. U2. Madonna. Lady Gaga.

Bloggers can be one-hit wonders too

Bloggers, like aspiring rock stars, need to fear the one-hit wonder.

As bloggers, we work hard for attention. We strive for that break-through moment when we get noticed by the big guys.

We dream of scoring a guest post on a popular blog. Or, we desperately hope for a celebrity in our niche to share our content (for me, it would be someone like Jay Baer or Brian Clark).

But, once that happens, then what?

Most would think it means that you’ve “made it”. That from here on out, things will be easy. Blog traffic will explode, you’ll get thousands of tweets and money will roll in.

But let me be clear – it ain’t gonna happen.

The thing about one-hit wonders is they are a flash in the pan. It may give you 15 minutes of fame, but it quickly dissipates and you’re right back where you started.

I don’t want that to be you.

Instead, I want you to become the rock star blogger that you were born to be.

So, how do you avoid becoming a one-hit wonder blogger? Read on for some tips.

Constantly hone your craft.

The best musicians don’t just dabble with their music. They practice constantly. They make their music part of their daily life.

You should too.

Even if you don’t churn out a new blog post daily, I challenge you to write a little every day. Take 15 minutes to work on improving your headlines or make a practice of jotting down ideas when inspiration strikes.

By spending just a little time every day working on your blog, you will refine your skills and be on your path to getting noticed just that much faster.

Play to the crowd.

Ever been to a concert and the band refused to play the hits that everyone knows and loves? They try to shove new stuff of their fans without playing homage to the things that helped them get famous in the first place.

In the blogosphere, this means paying attention to your readers’ preferences. Look at the posts with the most comments, tweets and likes. What do they have in common? Do your readers like long posts or short posts? Or, do they like a particular topic more than others?

If you’re not sure, ask them! Conduct a short survey to find out what readers like most.

If you can consistently deliver what readers like, they’ll definitely come back for more!

Stay True to Your Voice.

Your fans come to your blog because of your voice. They like your style, your approach, your rhythm.

Whatever you do, don’t try to imitate someone else.

After all, look what happened to Vanilla Ice when he ripped off Queen and David Bowie’s Under Pressure for his hit, Ice, Ice Baby.

He looked like a total fraud.

Sure, you can turn to other bloggers for inspiration, but you have to be authentically you.

In other words, share your unique ideas, your opinions, your approach, your special sauce.

Dare to be different and show your true colors. That’s the best way to stand out.

Keep the hits comin’

Fans are always hungry for more. It’s your job to keep them fed.

Fail to do that and you risk having to stage a comeback tour. And you don’t want to do that.

Lack of consistency is the ultimate blog killer. If you go months or even weeks without blogging, it’s hard to get back in the practice of doing it, let alone recapture all of the attention and momentum you had going before you took a break.

To avoid putting yourself in this position, blog regularly. Start with a simple goal, such as once a week (that’s only 52 blog posts in an entire year).

I promise – you can do that!

With 2012 right around the corner, go ahead build your editorial calendar now. It doesn’t have to be complex – just create a list of topics you want to write about and decide which days you are going to post on your blog.

Getting that in place now will help 2012 be a stellar blogging year for you.

What would you add? What do you need help with to reach blogging stardom?

About Laura

Laura Click is founder and chief innovator at Blue Kite Marketing, a marketing and social media consulting group that’s passionate about helping small businesses reach new heights. You can learn more about Laura by connecting with her on Twitter and checking out her blog.

11 thoughts on “How to Avoid Becoming a One-Hit Wonder Blogger

  1. Pingback: How to Avoid Becoming a One-Hit Wonder Blogger | Blue Kite Marketing

  2. lukestokes

    @lauraclickmarkwschaefer Thanks Laura! I have a friend who’s band name is “A Faster Horse” and few understand it. :)

    Thanks for linking to that post, I just left a comment. Great stuff!

    Hopefully I can keep building my business so that someday we become a topic worth talking about. And unlike the Klout chatter recently, I’m aiming for positive reviews. :)

  3. lauraclick

    @joorourke Darn. You called my bluff. I’m certainly not as avid of a music buff as I’d like to be. Thanks for setting the record straight. What do you think would have been a better example? Many lists I saw had Los Del Rio with “Macarena” as the biggest one-hit wonder.

  4. lauraclick

    @lukestokes You make a great point, Luke. In some ways, it reminds me of that Henry Ford quote – “If I asked my customers what they wanted, they would say a faster horse.” I think the point is to listen and pay attention to what works for you.

    In regards to Klout, markwschaefer made a similar observation on his blog last week. He’s written about Klout quite a bit and he gets way more comments and tweets on those posts than any other topic. He said that blogging around that topic has become a cottage industry. Many folks are simply doing it to grab attention because there is so much interest in it. If he just wanted to get tons of pageviews and retweets, he’d blog about Klout everyday. But, as you know, that’s not the best approach.

    Here’s his post if you’re interested:

    Like most things, this is all about balance. Thanks for the great comment!

  5. lauraclick

    @ShakirahDawud I think it’s good to be restless – it forces us to try new things. But, in doing so, we still need to stay true to ourselves, our brand and our voice.

    So good to see you here, Shakirah!

  6. jonbuscall

    Dexys were never one hit wonders in the UK!!! They had like four top ten hits, à silver and platinum album. But I take your excellent point about not being a one hit wonder in the blogosphere :)

  7. ShakirahDawud

    So nice to see you here, Laura! Staying true to voice is something I’ve seen both stars in many industries fail to do, even after they’ve created a track record of success. We can’t forget why they love us just because we get restless. Creating another brand and engaging a separate crowd is better than trying to squeeze apples and oranges into the same juice.

  8. lukestokes

    Great post Laura! And I love the “Under Pressure” reference. :)

    As you know, this topic is personal for me because of last week’s “Don’t Trust Klout” post on Social Media Today. I was blown away by the response and have had some great dialog because of it. But… I also want to be careful putting myself in a box or creating an expectation I don’t plan to meet. If I play to the crowd too much, I’ll continue posting about Klout, Kred and whatever else comes along (I’ve actually been asked by some to do so). That’s fine, but that’s certainly not going to be my focus. I’ll stick to my “voice” (I love that!) but I don’t want to be type-cast either. I always want to post about things that grab my attention and, hopefully, my passion.

    At the same time, if I write a great post and no one is around to read it, that’s not really helping anyone either. Building an audience definitely matters.

    As always, thanks for helping me improve and think through this process called blogging. :)

  9. joorourke

    I know this is about blogging and not about musical one-hit wonders, but really…

    Although neither a music buff nor a Dexys fan, I still think it’s only fair to point out that Dexys Midnight Runners were actually a 3 hit wonder – number one with Geno and with Come on Eileen and top 5 with Jackie Wilson Said. They had several successful albums, too, and were around and in the charts for years and years.

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