One of the blogs I syndicate comes all the way from Australia by ProBlogger Darren Rowse. Darren has been helping bloggers earn money by providing useful tips and blogging about them for 3 years. That in blog years is a very long time. I found an old entry by Darren via Huey's World. This demonstrates how highly connective the blogosphere is.
I left a comment to Darren's 18 tips on his blog and wanted to share my take of his points with you:
- Be Lucky -- ever read Fooled by Randomness? That's what this point is about. All things being equal, right time and right place play a decisive role in making it.
- Work Hard -- I sometimes joke that nothing ever comes easy to me as I seem to prefer hard work. The truth is that practice, attention to detail (attention in general), and discipline (very much a choice) have their own rewards.
- Use the Power of Exponential Growth -- This is the 'be patient' point. Evolution is often gradual and overnight success is a certain length of time in the making (built into this point are making mistakes and learning from them).
- Differentiate Yourself -- The truth is a blog is a medium, even when it's a business. What comes out is pretty much you. What's your voice?
- Provide Value -- How can you add to the conversation? Do you abide by the ethical standards of filtering the information you pass on? Are you a good host?
- Target a Niche -- This can be also a very specific space in the professional continuum. A lens, a filter, a unique perspective. For example, I blog about different places in which the conversation takes people (content creators, product/service producers and publics) to the next level. While the topics are different, the space is always the same -- the point of interaction, the connection of ideas and people with resulting transformation. My tagline is: connecting ideas and people, how talk can change our lives.
- Diversify -- Absolutely. Also, because we are human and have many ways of expressing our skills, talents and experience, not one single medium will satisfy all of them. You may want to continue exploring other dimensions of work beyond the screen interface.
- Don't Spread Yourself too Thin -- Along with your cannot be all things to all people (voice and personality are a must), you cannot be effective if you're constantly chasing too many projects. Know thyself and respect your own rhythms first.
- Have a Back up Plan -- This is good to have in life and certainly applies to blogging. It does not mean you're not focused. It means you need to stay flexible and adapt to the marketplace while you remain resilient and committed to your value proposition. It may end up looking very different than what you envisioned and still match your vision.
- Be Light on your Feet -- I think this also means to stay open to opportunities and in listening mode. Sometimes the best advice comes from the most unlikely source.
- Relationships are Key -- As your blog mirrors pretty much who you are, others do too. The blogosphere is a relational space that takes advantage of the linked nature of the web, which is modeled after our brain patterns. In relationships it is important to give, and blogging allows you to do so more than static web sites.
- Establish Boundaries -- This is part of your own contract with yourself as well. What kind of strategy does your blog fulfill?
- Dont' Read your Own Press -- And don't take yourself too seriously or you'll lose sight of opportunities to learn and grow.
- Beware of Hype -- Blame no one. Expect nothing. Do something.
- Get a Life -- Before you can tell stories, it is much better is you actually experience them. What is unique about you will need to be nurtured often.
- Make Mistakes -- In fact, it is better to risk something often than playing it safe all the time. When I look back at my career, I realize that the most productive times where actually the ones where I was improving on something. Kind of Me 2.0.
- Be Yourself -- Transparency is the key to intimacy and the blog is a one-to-one medium. It is much better to be an interested version of yourself than a perfect copy of someone else. Yes, I wrote interested as it beats trying to be interesting in spades. It's about the conversation with your audience.
- There are no Rules -- True, we all make it up as we go along. As long as it fits with our overall strategy and reflects who we are. All the existing rules are history, they were created to make sense of and put order to a reality that is part of our past. Blogging is such a fluid activity, because it involves thought and language -- they both evolve, ask our forefathers.
While Darren counsels people who want to make money with their blog, or as they say in blog parlance, monetize their blog, all these points apply to people who blog for others reasons. His call for comments elicited more than 155 over the span of several months as bloggers shared his entry. That's true connectivity!