It seems that a lot of people are wanting to copy the efforts of popular bloggers. They want to figure out how to be the next Chris Brogan or Mashable or Jessica Northey. I wanted to talk about why I think that’s wrong, but first I wanted to tell you about a couple of my favorite bloggers (and people).
The first is Gini Dietrich. I’m sure most of you know and love Gini and her blog, Spin Sucks. Gini is sharp as a tack, but what I love about her writing is that its business-oriented, but personal at the same time. Even when she is talking business, she still writes in a way that makes you think you are listening to your best friend tell you how their weekend was. Everyone loves her writing and her style, which is exactly why she has such a passionate community of readers. She posts almost every day, usually TWICE a day if you count guest posts on Spin Sucks, and she averages dozens of comments on her posts. Gini’s readers love her, and as she clarified in a post here, her readers are driving business to her.
The other person I wanted to point you toward is CK. In contrast to Gini’s 2 days a day and dozens of comments a post, CK posts about twice a month, and gets about 1-2 comments per post. But what CK also does is have a laser-sharp focus with the content she creates via her blog, and elsewhere. Don’t believe me? Google ‘B2B Mobile Marketing’ and see how many of the results on the 1st page are content that CK has created.
The point here is, both Gini and CK (and you both should know each other, BTW, consider this an introduction!) have created a content strategy that works for them. Too many of us try to replicate what is already working for someone else. That’s THEIR strategy. We all need to come up with our own path and our own voice. Look at Gini, she has created a wonderful community on her blog, and that community is helping to drive business for her. On the flipside, CK is breaking one of the biggest ‘rules’ of successful business blogging: She’s only posting once or twice a month. But it works for her because every post is optimized and helps her expand her online footprint in the B2B marketing space.
Think about this especially if you are a solopreneur. You are completely responsible for your blogging strategy, so you have to consider what works for YOU more than what works for anyone else. You can and SHOULD draw inspiration from other bloggers, and you should be aware of what’s working for them. But you should NEVER attempt to copy someone else’s strategy and approach if it’s not right for you.
Here’s a personal example: When I started blogging in 2005, everything I read about successful blogging said to blog like Seth Godin does. Short, quick, to the point. Write your post as if it’s an executive summary, because no one has the patience or attention span to read more than that.
I want to tell y’all, it took me FOUR DAYS to write my very first blog post. Because I agonized over that post for 3 days and 23 hours and 30 mins because I had no idea how in the hell I was going to condense my first blog post down to 3 paragraphs. Finally, I said ‘screw it!’ and wrote the post *I* wanted to write, in 30 mins. As soon as I accepted that the ‘blogging rule’ about proper post length didn’t work for me, I wrote the post I wanted to write.
And that’s made all the difference. The beauty of blogging is that it gives us all a way to share our voice. I told my friends at the Live #Blogchat at the B2B Forum this, but I honestly believe that most people are smarter than they give themselves credit for. I fear that too many bloggers feel that their posts will only be popular or ‘work’ if they mimic the way a particular blogger writes. Five years ago when I started blogging there was no David Armano or Beth Harte or Shannon Paul that I could learn from. And no doubt they were inspired by other bloggers, but they also found their own voice and their own blogging path.
If you are losing your passion and excitement for blogging, if could simply be because you are trying to walk someone else’s path, instead of your own.