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The Tale of Two Bloggers

Both women launched their blogs on the same day.

Coincidentally, they select the same niche helping corporate woman leave the 9-5 corporate drudge and start their own businesses.

Each took the time to research their subject and their audience. Each invested time in a professional blog design and made smart choices about their personal brand.  Understanding the power of mastery, both woman invested in teaching and actively participated in private coaching forums.

However, within a month one of the women started pulling ahead of the other.  Her blog posts caught the eye of influencers within her niche who sent quality traffic to her blog.  Also her blog readers enthusiastically commented and shared each post.

While the other blogger managed to attract decent traffic she didn’t feel a connection with her readers.  Each post was technically correct but felt distant and repetitive. Soon She was struggling to get her posts noticed and shared.  Every week posts become harder to brainstorm and publish.

A year later, one woman has started monetizing her traffic and considering starting another project.  The other had put her blogging on “hiatus”.

What was the difference?

The answer isn’t what you’d expect.

It comes down to who you are writing for.  One woman wrote for her reader’s.  The other wrote for herself. This distinction points to a mindset that can predict failure or success.

The Lie Successful Bloggers Tell

Most successful bloggers will insist they write for their readers.

However if you dig beneath the surface, you’ll find a deep-seated need to write for themselves. Their posts solve problems that they confront in their everyday lives.  They push themselves to deliver more value because they imagine what they want and deliver it.

Their readers are the happy beneficiaries of the blogger’s passion. In fact, the blogger’s needs are so closely matched with their readers that they honestly believe they are writing for them.   This mindset always leads to success.

The Two Minds

Steven Pressfield, author of the War of Art, explains how artists tend to have one of two mindsets: hierarchical or territorial.

Hierarchical artists focus on their audience.  They write what their audience wants and takes their creative cues from the marketplace.  These artists, copywriters, poets, and photographers work for cash.

I don’t believe this is evil. Artists need to get paid.  However, the hierarchical mindset doesn’t inspire.  It just puts the artist at the disposal of fickle public with a ravenous appetite.

The alternative is the Territorial Mindset.

The territorial artist possesses a domain.  Their territory is where they eat, sleep, love, and breathe. They work solely because it fulfills them.  It doesn’t matter if their audience appreciates or desires their work.  They perform their task out of love for the game.

Pressfield offers Arnold Schwarzenegger as an example.  Schwarzenegger’s territory is the gym. He owns this domain and he has put it decades of training to master it.  When Schwarzenegger enters the gym he instantly becomes its ruler. He doesn’t need to get paid, admired, or retweeted to dominate this territory. He just does.

The territorial blogger publishes no matter what.  They publish work that is controversial, provocative, unpopular, and revolutionary.  They appreciate their readers but they don’t work for them.  They recognize that their reader wants leadership and they offer gleefully offer it.

Inspirational leaders, artists, and entrepreneurs won’t let their customers or readers handcuff them.  They fight against the hierarchical mindset because their dreams depend on it.

How to Break Free from Hierarchical Writing

I’m guilty for pushing the hierarchical approach.  Pushing Social has hardcore capitalism coursing through its veins.  I’m plugged into the market and want to satisfy it’s needs. But…

The “market” doesn’t always know what it wants.  In fact, the market just wants more of what it already has.  The market didn’t request the iPod or the iPad. Homeowner weren’t clamoring for a bagless vacuum from Dyson.  Book readers didn’t mail Kindle schematics to Amazon.

Thankfully, Jobs, Dyson, and Bezeau didn’t wait for the market to deliver their breakthrough innovations.

You and I need to follow their lead.

You can shift from the hierarchical to the territorial mindset by:

1. Challenging the Status Quo: Business as usual tends to create “group think” that leads to stagnant thinking and me-too work.

2. Scare Yourself: Write outside your comfort zone.  These Boogie Man posts will challenge your readers and give you confidence to lead the market.

3. Respect Your Readers But Don’t Be Led By Them: Value reader feedback and respond where appropriate but realize that you are the leader and your community is looking to you for inspiration.

4. Be Patient: Territorial artists often labor for years before the world recognizes and rewards their innovation.  Reset your success time horizon to years rather than months.  Don’t be discouraged, you are building for long-term dominance.

Can You Make the Shift?

Which type of writer are you now?  Will you find it difficult to shift from a hierarchical to a territorial mindset?

{Photo Credit:by redcargurl}

P.S. Join the cool kids getting even more practical tips on how to dominate their domain. Become a Pushing Social Bootcamp member and get a FREE Blog Review plus weekly advanced blogging techniques.

About Stan

Stan Smith is the CEO of Pushing Social a content marketing consultancy for aggressive, results-focused organizations.

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