Stop lying. To yourself. To others. In the comments section of your blog. On other people’s blogs. In your about page. Stop lying.
“I don’t care if people read my stuff or not.”
“I blog for me, myself, and I.”
If that were true, you’d be writing in a notepad. Or several. Hiding them away under your bed or in a closet. But you’re on the world wide web for a reason, and that reason is to be read.
But no one reads your blogs, so you have to lie. And I’d use that terrible, terrible cliche that the road to hell is paved with lies and good intentions and adverbs, but the truth is that lies are the bricks that help build hell here on earth. A kind of hell that you have to live with for the rest of your life.
So, yeah, stop lying to yourself.
The first step in solving any problem is recognizing you have one.
But in order to do that you have to admit that you are writing in the hopes of someone reading your words.
We all do.
And it’s okay.
Average always has an excuse (or several) as to why it’s not great. Great is too busy being humbled by the struggle to even have an opinion about its own greatness.
Most bloggers are afraid. They are afraid they’re not as good as they have to be in order to have the success they want, so they come up with a bunch of excuses.
I know, because I read about them every single day. It’s either some change in algorithms, some change in policy, or the system’s broken, and someone should fix them in order for them to get more readers or earn money.
Yeah, and I’d very much like to be able to levitate, but there’s this thing call the law of gravity, so I can either complain about it or work on building myself a plane.
When faced with external or internal limitations, we often try to brainwash ourselves into thinking that somehow life’s unfair. It’s not. The system is not broken.
It is what it is. You either learn the rules, so you can win at this game, or you don’t, and you lose. But no one likes a crybaby, a sour loser.
If it were easy…
Everybody would be doing it.
Yet, somehow, they don’t.
Most folks who purchase gym memberships never go to the gym more than a few times. That’s such a sure thing that the pricing of memberships is influenced by it.
Now, let me ask you: how many people do you think give up blogging altogether even after having paid me hundreds of dollars to coach them?
Do you want to know the answer?
The vast majority of them.
Also, every single one of my first sponsors (from 2012) have deleted their blogs.
This is the type of statistic that often makes people want to give up, or just tell themselves that they are either blogging for themselves or blogging about such obscure things that no other human being could ever relate.
When you feel like giving up, that’s when you have to take massive action.
Three months ago I enrolled in the Medium Partner Program. I had some 90 followers on Medium, a few blog posts, and I was faced with the task of building an audience.
Even though that’s what I’ve been doing on other platforms for the past eight years.
Even though I felt entitled to a bit of attention, or at least that folks should know who I was, the truth was that I was no one in particular here, so I could either give up or take massive action in order to stop thinking about what I considered to be an unfair situation.
The truth? I didn’t put in the time to build an audience here, so I had no reason to expect any sort of attention or special treatment. I had to work like everyone else. And I felt like giving up, just like everyone else.
But whenever I feel like giving up, whenever I try to rationalize my fears and insecurities, that’s when I remind myself that almost everything I do in life is because I don’t want to be like everyone else.
I want to be a successful blogger, so there’s no room for excuses. I don’t get paid for excuses, but for results. I get new readers by offering value and helping my current readers solve certain problems.
And unless you admit that you, too, want to have an impact on other people’s lives, that you have to play the game and obey the rules, you’ll struggle to gain traction because you just won’t be part of the conversation that is taking place in the world of blogging.
And I always get this feeling whenever I read the posts of those who complain about the game being rigged, or that they don’t care about their readers, or that blogging in a professional capacity (so you earn a bit of money) is lame or something like that. Yeah… that’s the guy who calls the cops because their neighbors are throwing a party but forgot to invite him.
Be honest with yourself. Tell yourself where you want to go, and write down what you need in order to make that journey a reality.
Oh, and don’t forget to enjoy the journey, because the destination won’t be as exciting as you can make it appear inside your head.
It’s okay to want readers. It’s okay to want to monetize your blog. It’s okay to want to sell stuff to strangers over the Internet. It’s okay to want views, comments, and shares.
And, truth be told, if you don’t have the guts to admit this to yourself, if you do not ask, what kind of answer do you think you’ll get?