Have you ever wished that you jumped into the social media game back in 2005? Back when Facebook was a college thing and people were intrigued by those quirky online journals called blogs. Early blog pioneers still had to bust their butts to succeed but they were able to appeal to an open and less cynical public.
Flash forward to 2010 and blogs are commonplace. Everyone from my 8 year-old son to 60-something CEOs are producing “content” for their online outposts. In fact, some blogeratti have 2 or 3 blogs sprinkled across WordPress, Tumblr, and Posterous – oh my!
Since the neighborhood is crowded, newcomers have to chart a different course to success. The rules are different. We can no longer just build our blog and fill it full of great content (although that’s a decent start).
We need to dig deep and bring a whole new energy to the game. Gary Vaynerchuk calls it “working your facing off.”
I call it hustling.
So we’ll start there…
Here’s how you Hustle Your Butt Off and Build Your Empire
Build an Empire (Even if it’s a small one)
Your voice deserves to be heard. Your readers should have multiple ways to experience your perspective and insight. Hustlers publish ebooks, email newsletters, magazines, mini-courses, and hold webinars. They surround their readers with an unforgettable experience. You should too.
Promote like your life depended on it
I don’t care how passionate you are – it doesn’t mean squat if your posts aren’t read. What’s the use? Hustlers push their work into every nook and cranny of their niche. Their name is everywhere, they are preaching from every corner. They are rapping in every forum. They stay top-of-mind and lead the masses to their blog.
I know that marketing has a dubious reputation in social media circles but we need to take a different perspective. Promoting relevant and helpful content isn’t wrong. Selling crap is. There’s a difference.
Kiss As Many Digital Babies As You Can
I spend a ton of time in as many Q&As, discussions, and tweetchats as I can. I put 110% into every chat, meet as many people as possible and fawn over any new followers. Every baby kissed, every digital handshake made brings a new reader. Don’t hate me this is how you hustle.
Take Care of Business First
My blog is icing on the cake. It isn’t my business. As a matter of fact, it’s the welcome mat for a bigger deal. Hustlers realize that they need cash to spread their message. First and foremost, they make sure they are authentically building revenue streams.
Do This: Tell me in the comments section how your business makes money. If you can’t answer this question, then we have a big problem. Type “PANIC” and the community will help you out.
Ship it or Forget It
Hustlers finish strong. They don’t start unless they can ship. It’s not surprising that some of the old-school bloggers are stepping up their product roll-outs. They know that relevance depends on shipping product and solving problems for their readers.
Do This: Take a serious look at your project list and ask yourself why the hell you aren’t shipping more? No excuses, settle on the idea that will move the needle, finish and ship it.
Boycott the Echo Chamber
“New” is the gold-standard of online publishing.
Sure, you can get some mileage out of rehashing the laugh-line but you’ll need to innovate to resonate. I’ve learned that listening to the same voices stagnates your message and stunts your delivery. You need to shake it up to stay fresh.
Don’t misunderstand me though publishing basic content that appeals to new or “rookie readers” is a good thing. However, you’ll need to push the boundaries to catch the attention of movers and shakers and get noticed.
Do This: Dig out the last book you read for fun. Now, write a blog post connecting the subject with your main blogging topic. This may be difficult at first but it’s an eye-opener. Need an example – check out my Gaga post.
Strategize Like Napoleon
There are two types of bloggers. The first group uses blogs as online diaries. Their devote their time to publishing and reflecting on what’s in their hearts. That’s cool.
The other group are honest, authentic, and sincere hustlers. They want the limelight. They want all the traffic they can manage and they strategize like a roman senator to get it. Again, don’t hate these folks (something tells me you are one of them!). Learn from them and build your own blog strategy to propel you to the top of the pile. Too many blogs are born (and die) every day to leave your success to chance.
Do This: Find a napkin or envelope and write out your blog strategy. A napkin has all the space you need. If you need more than that then you’re strategy is too complicated.
Want the Ball
Here’s the bombshell that may explode this post to smithereens but I have to say it. Strive to be the best you possibly can be. If that means you are the “expert” then be the expert. Be the one who raises their hand when someone says “is their an expert in the room?” I call this wanting the ball. Imagine if Michael Jordan didn’t want the ball for the game winning shot because he didn’t want to be the “basketball expert”. Worse, how would you feel about a heart surgeon who insisted that he wasn’t an expert. Scary stuff.
Your industry may move fast. The “state of the art” may go obsolete on a weekly basis. But, that doesn’t let you off the hook. Any idiot can have an opinion. Your readers are looking for the person willing to say “I want the ball! Bring your tough questions to me.” That’s how you win. That’s how you hustle.
Do This: Every Monday morning, jump on Twitter and offer to answer the “tough” questions. Even better, offer a free Q&A webinar for your readers.
Hustling Isn’t A Bad Word
I love people who work their tail off for ideas, concepts, and perspectives they believe in. I can’t get enough of solopreneurs, businesses, and non-profits that specialize in sweat equity. I get a chill when I look into the eyes of a single dad that work from 11pm – 1am building their business. These folks are hustlers.
How about you? Leave me a comment and tell me how you hustle.