Here’s a couple of simple truths about blogging:
There is no ‘secret’ to the success of your blog.
There’s barely anything new at all to be said or read on the topic of blogging.
Once you’ve got a solid grasp on the fundamentals, it’s all about execution – gathering more and more information ends up being crippling and getting in the way.
As bloggers and business people, our Twitter streams, Google Readers and Facebook News Feeds are likely filled with all kinds of tempting headlines about secrets and methods to success – whether that’s getting subscribers, readers, traffic, you-name-it – there’s a ‘secret’ and a ten-point plan to getting it.
Except there’s really not. When you click on those links, how often do you actually find something new you can use? Personally, I find that to be rare. Yet we keep on clicking. Somewhere in our ‘lizard brain’ (as Seth Godin would say), we are looking for easy & magical answers. We’re looking for something ‘out there’ which will save us from actually doing the work, and that will have instant and incredible effects.
Stop Hiding, Start Doing
These days there’s little that’s truly new on the topic of blogging, but even when you come across new information, or a new tactic to use, how often do you actually implement it consistently? Or are you just gathering the information but just sitting on it?
Here’s what’s most likely happening when you keep clicking on those enticing articles:
You’re hiding from what you most need to be doing – it’s probably the thing you most fear, but the thing which will actually get you results:
Building your audience
Writing a blog post
Creating a product
Optimizing your site
…or taking whatever that next useful action is for your site
It might not sound glamorous but nothing can replace taking steps like these…
…not even clicking on that enticing Twitter headline that promises some new knowledge or tip
I promise, THAT tip is NOT be the missing piece that suddenly makes your site successful!
What Works Comes From You, Not Them
Information gathering adds to our sense of self, makes us feel like we’re doing something, makes us feel like it will be useful. While we can certainly learn from those who are more successful than ourselves, the only thing that moves us forward is taking what comes from within – our own thoughts, insights, knowledge, and putting it forward into the world – out there, if you will. The information does nothing if it just sits in your brain, or in your browser bookmarks.
From Consumption To Creation
Here’s a few things I try and do to break my ‘info addiction’:
Figure out what the next step I can take is which will move me forward. There are often many. Pick one and DO IT.
Limit my information gathering time, and create more regular time for writing and/or marketing.
Keep tabs on a few select blogs or sites that frequently provide great content, and don’t worry so much about the rest.
Likewise with Twitter, I keep a couple of lists of people I get valuable info from and pay attention to those.
I don’t ‘like’ every page on Facebook, only ones I’m interested in hearing from.
I try and place my focus on creating content and not just reading other people’s.
I keep in mind the larger vision I am working towards, which provides motivation.
I keep a close eye on when procrastination arises – there’s a fine line between reading a useful article and getting sucked into the internet rabbit hole – stay alert!
I keep a running list of next steps I could take, that way, when procrastination rears it’s head, I can look to my list and just pick an item to work on.
What do you do to keep moving forward?
* header image courtesy: http://www.flickr.com/photos/will-lion/2594661429/