Starting to blog is an exciting time. Buying a domain, setting up the website, choosing a theme. It’s like Christmas when you were a kid all over again. Then reality strikes. Like going back to school after the holidays you soon realise there are gonna be big boys in the school yard!
According to Blogpulse, in January of this year there were 126 million blogs on the internet. A staggering number I think you’ll agree. So how, in hell’s name, is little Joe Bloggs from Nowhereville going to get noticed amongst that lot? Difficult if not impossible to achieve. So where do you go for advice? Who are you going to pay to get the information you need to blog to the world and make the world want to read you? Well for one thing it’s not me. I’m in the same boat as you. Writing and writing and writing. Day after day, week after week, month after month with little or no recognition save for the (very welcome) encouragement from ezine. Sure the guys at the top say ‘stick with it and eventually you’ll come good’, but you’re in competition with 126 million blogs for God’s sake!
I racked my brain for an edge and decided that I would frame one single question and send it to my favourite bloggers. That question was: What was the defining moment in your development as a blogger/entrepreneur that raised you from an average ‘Joe’ to an A-list blogger?
I contacted 19 bloggers and got replies from 5. Disappointing? Maybe, I suppose, but these people are busy so I’m not going to hold it against the guys who didn’t reply and I’m certainly not going to name them. I wonder what I’d do in the same situation?
The first to reply was from Joost de Valk who did so in under two hours which was totally awesome from a guy at the top of his game. Joost is well known in the blogging community especially in his role as SEO expert and Internet Marketing Strategist for over 300 companies. He graciously replied with the following email:
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Thanks for reaching out! I’ve never really considered myself A-list until like a year ago, and still think there are loads of bloggers who are “more A-list” than I am. The process of getting there has been mostly a process of incremental growth though, with some specific moments that boosted a bit harder. Some moments that come to mind are my WordPress SEO article being released and the release of Quix, but in reality these are all just small steps on a larger road… It takes work to become a well known blogger, a lot of work, and something that makes you unique, in my case that’s my combination of coding skills with search & online marketing knowledge and experience. (Joost de Valk October 31st 2010)
The next to reply, also within a few hours, was Chris Garrett. To directly quote his website description ‘Chris Garrett is a professional blogger, internet marketing consultant, new media industry commentator, writer, coach, speaker, trainer and web geek’. I can also vouch for the fact that Chris is an excellent writer and communicator who provides some great content on his blog which I recommend most highly. His email was short and to-the -point but gave another clue as the method that can be employed to succeed in internet marketing particularly in respect to collaborative exercises with other bloggers in your particular niche Vinzite.
I wouldn’t define myself as an a-list blogger, more one of many in the middle of the pack. If I had to choose a defining moment in my blogging career it would be co-authoring the problogger book with Darren Rowse. (Chris Garrett. Oct 31st 2010)
The third email I received was from Erica Douglass, whom I have followed quite closely since I embarked on my blogging adventure. Erica sold her web hosting business at the tender age of 26 for over $1 million and came to blogging with a definite plan to assist people along the road to success by providing some of the most valuable and ethically sound material that’s available.
I don’t think there was particularly one moment-see my recent post. “There is No ‘Savior'”. For me, growing my blog was a series of events: guest posting; being interviewed by other bloggers; and writing consistently great posts. If I had to start over today, I’d write two posts per week: one for my readers and one for a popular blog with a link back to my blog. That’s the best way to grow a blog quickly. (Erica Douglass 31st October 2010)
Chris Brogan is a blogger par excellence and much much more. How he finds the time to do what he does is just amazing to me. Not only is he president and ceo of Human Business Works but a prolific online and offline writer and contributor to numerous publications as well as an advisor to countless other organizations. Chris replied to my email with a pithy one-liner which summed up nicely one of the core lessons new bloggers must learn during their early development:
“The defining moment in my development as a blogger happened when I started writing for my audience and not myself.” (Chris Brogan November 2nd 2010)
Andy Beard is a real good guy in the realm of blogging. To visit his site, you’d be hard pressed to find anything about his past or any kind of mission statement. Andy just does what he does providing excellent content of high value to all his readers. I have a small collection of bloggers whom I always try to read and Andy is in there with the best of them. I just knew Andy would reply because he’s that kind of guy. If you’re serious about blogging you’ve got to have Andy Beard in your bookmarks folder.
I don’t really look at defining moments. If you have a launch plan to attract a specific audience then you have met your goal, but that doesn’t make it a defining moment. (Andy Beard November 10th 2010)
So there you have it. Some interesting quotes from five experienced bloggers who’ve been through what you’re going through right now. I sincerely hope that this post has been of some value to you and would welcome any comments on my website.