Do you sit around waiting for the muse to inspire you? Do you have trouble punching the damn keys? Do you often struggle to stay consistent? Are you looking for that magic trick that will turn you into a blogging superstar?
What about your content? Is it good enough? Why isn’t it great?
Depending on your answers to these questions, you might either be an artist of blogging or an amateur.
But what better way to find out than to go through the seven key differences between an amateur and someone who punches the damn keys like an artist, right?
1. Amateurs wait for inspiration. Artists go after it.
It’s been said that we need to either be inspired or desperate in order to be creative.
This is the one rule that amateurs love to use to justify their lack of success.
“Can’t force it.”
Yes, you can.
Inspiration comes with action. You must get to work on creating content before inspiration finds you.
The confidence to show up, sit at your desk, and punch those damn keys comes from your commitment to act regardless of how you feel.
2. Amateurs are in it for the reward. Artists are in it in order to reach mastery.
Everybody wants to eat, but few are willing to go hunting.
In the world of blogging, there’s this common misconception: anyone can do it.
I’m sorry, but not really.
Everyone wants the reward. We all want to reach the top of the mountain, to be in the top 1% of bloggers.
The true artist, however, isn’t interested in the reward. The true artist of blogging knows that the struggle alone matters, not the victory.
The hustle towards mastery keeps you humble. It’s the only metric that counts.
The blank page doesn’t care what you wrote yesterday, doesn’t care how much money you’ve earned last month.
All that matters is the work that you do today, and whether or not that work is directed towards you becoming a better blogger.
3. Amateurs write until they get tired. Artists write until their hands hurt. And then they write some more.
It’s not enough to show up and punch those keys every day. You have to keep challenging yourself, to keep pushing yourself. This is how you grow, this is how you upgrade your skills and your mindset.
As the cliche goes, if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.
Decide on a daily routine that’s slightly uncomfortable. You don’t want to try to write 10,000 words a day, but neither settle for 500.
Find your sweet spot. Uncomfortable, but not so much that you’ll end up with a deep hatred of writing.
4. Amateurs approach blogging either as a marathon or as a sprint. Artists know they have to run a marathon as a series of sprints.
The impatient post every single day for two weeks, become frustrated with results that are not quite what they were expecting and quit.
Others, however, are maybe too patient. They struggle for years and years, slowly trying to build momentum.
The truth is, this is a high-stakes, fast-paced game we’re playing. If you take your time, the platform you’re using might not be relevant anymore. The niche you write in might become overcrowded.
The true artist of blogging is aware of this, and is also aware that it takes massive action in the first few months. That’s all.
Work like hell for a few months, build momentum, grow an audience, and then the best thing you can do for your blog is to consistently publish new content.
Take massive action on a daily basis, but be willing to do it for six month to a year before you see any real results.
I worked 16 hours a day for six months without earning a dollar from my blog. Well, I did earn $1.05 during my first month… anyways. The idea is that I worked like crazy from April 2012 until November 2012. The result? 20,000 readers and $100–$150 dollars in daily income.
5. Amateurs fear failure. The artists crave it.
Failure is feedback. Failure is how you get to know what works and what doesn’t.
The road to success is paved with countless failures. You learn more from failure than you ever do from success.
Okay, I think I’ve shared enough cliches for today.
But that’s the truth. You learn an awful lot from failure, as long as you tune out your emotional response. Of course failure bruises the ego, but there’s so much you can learn from the posts that no one read, from the articles that never got a single comment.
The artist of blogging knows this. Failure is what keeps them going. Writing a brilliant first draft, publishing it, and then it going viral is quite boring, if you think about it.
Sometimes I believe success is simply the inner fortitude to fail and fail and fail. That’s all it takes.
How many times are you willing to fail until you become a successful blogger?
6. Amateurs want followers. Artists want readers.
The amateur is always obsessed with numbers. More followers, more views, more likes, and more shares.
It’s just the dopamine rush, and then it’s gone. A few moments of ecstasy.
The artist of blogging knows that behind every number there’s an actual human being.
This changes everything. From the content they write, to the way they promote their products and services, to how they engage other bloggers, to how they reply to comments.
7. Amateurs want to impress. Artists want to express.
The amateur is all about ego. They want to feel good, they write to impress. They write to say something, anything, just as long as it makes people feel something.
The result? Clickbait headlines, mediocre content.
The artist of blogging knows that it’s all about sharing ideas worth expressing. Blogging is a conversation, so they do their best to add to the conversation that takes place within the blogging community.
The amateur is concerned with likes and shares, while the artist is focused on publishing meaningful work and connecting with those who relate.
These seven traits are tied to your disciplines and daily habits.
They have to be practiced, they will be forgotten, and you will have to sometimes force yourself to remember that you are a true artist of blogging.
So if you want to take your blog to the stratosphere, especially when it comes to engaging others in meaningful conversation, I highly encourage you to start working on these habits today. And tomorrow. And the day after tomorrow. And the day after that.