When it comes to blogging, one of the most common questions I get asked is, “Can you still stand out in this crowded blogging world and get readers?”
Short answer: yes.
Long answer: let me explain.
It really doesn’t matter what platform you’re talking about, it doesn’t matter how things have changed in the last couple of years.
However, you have to be willing to:
- Commit MORE time, energy, and resources than others before you.
- You have to take a more professional approach, as the side-effect of a lot of competition is people becoming ultra-competitive about being the best.
- Be consistent for at least one year.
However, even if you do all the above, success is far from guaranteed.
See, gaining readers is not just about writing great content. It’s not about following a set of rules.
You see, great blogging is a lot closer to an art than it is a craft. People often compliment their favorite bloggers by saying that they’re “talented.”
Of course, talent is a matter of investing time, energy, and even money into developing the skills required to succeed. Simple, but not easy.
Also, one of the side-effects of this over-crowded blogging world is that nowadays there are so many tools at your disposal, so many guides and tutorials, so much raw data to analyse.
If you want to build an online following, the amount of resources you have at your fingertips is endless.
So, if you’re thinking about taking your blogging to a new level this year, here are a few simple questions to ask yourself.
1. Am I a content creator or curator?
The key to becoming a successful blogger is to be self-aware enough to understand which game you should be playing.
Do you have killer taste and mad social skills that you can use to market certain pieces? Then you’re maybe better as a content curation; someone who shares content that other people have made — and organizes it and markets it to reach more people.
A content creator is someone who’s terribly good at blogging about a certain topic. They have a niche, they know their stuff, and they are passionate about creating content that inspires, motivates, or teaches.
The key is to understand what type of blogger you see yourself as, and then investing all your time, energy, and resources into becoming it.
So, are you a content creator, or a content curator?
2. What sets me apart?
When you’re just starting out, one of the best things to do is study and mirror what successful bloggers are doing.
But this is not effective as a long term strategy.
After you’ve built a bit of a following, you must figure out how you can be different — whether that means being more professional, more in depth when it comes to your content, sharing personal stories, etc.
What is something no one else is doing? What is a topic within your niche you think about differently than almost everyone else?
3. What am I truly good at?
The idea is that you must optimize your workflow, and this means you need to ask yourself which is cheaper? Investing a ton of time and energy into learning how to effectively market your blog? Or hiring someone else to do it for you?
If you do not enjoy networking with fellow bloggers, maybe you should invest in advertising.
Because blogging is an art, it takes time to play the game well. This also means that you have to obey the rules, and actually enjoy playing it.
A lot of bloggers fail simply because they disrespect the game and the other players, and somehow think it’s unfair when they lose.
So unless you plan on investing a lot of time and energy into your own ability to create brilliant content for your audience, you’re probably better off focusing your energy on something else.
People vastly underestimate how much time it takes to build a large following.
On the surface, it seems easy—but once you start executing, you’ll quickly realize how much effort it truly takes.
So, instead of trying to do everything and anything, while accomplishing almost nothing, be honest with yourself and ask these three simple questions.
In other words, how can you best optimize your time, energy, and financial resources to grow your audience? What is it that you are good at? What is it that you are passionate about?
Answer these three questions, and you’ll be well on your way to blogging success.
If you want more readers, and you missed it, do read this incredibly detailed tutorial on how to get five thousand readers in six months.