I wish there were a reality show called: Extreme Blog Makeover.
In the show, you would sit down with Oprah, Bill Gates, and Anthony Robbins and talk about your blog’s purpose. After you’ve told your story, Tony would go to work. The first thing he would say is – “Pal, your dreams aren’t big enough”.
Bill Gates would shake his head and scold you for pulling up short of the finish line. As tears well up in your eyes, Oprah would hand you the tissues and wonder aloud – “why are you settling for the ordinary when you can have so much more?”
Then all three would go to work on aligning your blog with your passion.
Here’s what I imagine they would say:
Dare to be #1
Bill designed Microsoft to be #1. Every person who worked in Redmond understood that the stakes were high; Be #1 or perish. Microsoft never settled. It believed that its vision of a computer on every desktop was worthy of the maximum effort.
These days it isn’t cool to to be so brazen. Somehow being #1 is looked upon as selfish and ambitious. So everyone politely debate for a spot in the middle of the pack. Why?
I suspect it’s the fear of failure. People are afraid they will look stupid if they shoot for #1 and fail to achieve it. Ok. Suck it up. The journey to #1 is exhilarating, challenging, and life changing. If you sacrifice the dream you miss out on the journey.
Set The Standard
Microsoft worked relentlessly to make DOS, Office, and Internet Explorer industry standards. The strategy was brilliant. If you set the standards, you can protect your profits and market position.
Think about your niche. Who is setting the standard? Who has the best content? In almost every niche, you can find a way to set a unique standard. For example, ViperChill has rapidly become an A-List blogger by writing 1000+ word posts packed with incredibly well-researched content. He’s set the standard for quality content. You can do the same.
Be Paid What Your Worth
Depending on the day, Bill Gates is either the first or second richest man in the world. He didn’t get there by accident. Bill Gates believes that people should pay for value – period. He’s never apologized for wanting to make a profit. I’m glad because Microsoft had made thousands of millionaires, paid mortgages, and funded college for millions.
If your blog is a personal journal then you can ignore this advice. However if you are looking for a bit of financial freedom then figure out how you will make your cash. By the way, you deserve to get paid for everything you do. Its YOUR choice. Don’t let anyone guilt you into giving away anything for free. End of rant 😉
At least once a year, I listen to my (growing) collection of Anthony Robbins’ tapes. It’s a bittersweet experience because Tony always pushes you to be bigger than you are comfortable with. Thank god.
Don’t let yourself off the hook. If you want your blog to grow then you will need to push past your comfort zone. You will need to post more, invest money you may not have, ask people to pay you what your worth and more.
Here’s the thing, the more you challenge yourself, the more you will achieve. Your blog will gather subscribers by the bushel. Comments and re-tweets will swell. Product and service sells will take off. You just have to push yourself.
Tony is serious about giving back to his community. For him, giving is the secret to abundance. Serving others is the key to achieving any goal. If he were analyzing your blogging he would ask “How are you serving?”
So what’s your answer? How are you giving back to your readers? How are you reinvesting your blog’s profits in your community. Are you putting money where your mouth is. It’s not a coincidence that the top A-List bloggers are also prolific givers and “cause cheerleaders”.
Harness Your Passion
Passion is the genesis of genius. – Tony Robbins
Tony Robbing is about 6’ 7” tall and brimming with raw energy. A smile is fixed on his face and he leans into life. I’ve watched him on TED, on-stage, and on TV and everytime I get charged by his passion. This raw energy is what gives him his genius and power.
Most people are afraid to live at this level of passion. It seems too emotional, too intense, or too ambitious. But, this is the level of dedication required to move your blog from a simple hobby to a life-changing, world-altering force. In order to reach #1, you must be willing to harness your passion and use it to fuel your growth.
Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher. – Oprah
Who are you hanging around with? Are your closest friends people who push you higher? Do they challenge you and step-up to hold you accountable?
Being a blogger can be lonely. Self-doubt can sneak in and erode your will power and confidence. When this happens, it’s invaluable to have friends who know how to recharge your batteries. I call this group of confidantes your Jeesh. Find yours.
Turn your wounds into wisdom. – Oprah
Oprah has turned her personal struggles with sexual abuse and obesity into a tool for connecting with her audience. She’s able to find common ground with her guests and millions of others by recognizing that we all struggle with our inner demons. In a way, Oprah’s own life is the editorial schedule for her media empire.
The same works for you. Are you drawing wisdom and insight for your posts from personal experience? Have you thrown away the “professional façade” and gotten real with your readers. Last week Naomi Dunford wrote an incredible post that was a priceless example of “raw” posting. The closer you get to being open and authentic the quicker your success will come.
Where there is no struggle, there is no strength. –Oprah
Oprah doesn’t believe in failure. She believes that every trial or set-back is an opportunity to learn a lesson. Simply learning the lesson is a success.
I like this approach because it forces me to move forward and not wallow and whine. If you are just starting your blog, it may seem that the learning curve is too steep. The constant struggle for readers, respect, and results could be wearing you down. The key is to focus on what you are learning. Every struggle has a lesson. Make sure you learn the lesson.
What Are You Feeling?
You and I went pretty deep into the rabbit hole today. How do you feel? Are you ready to break through your barriers and take your blog to the next level? What challenges are you going to confront tomorrow (or today)? Talk to me and I’ll talk right back.