In science, they call it survival-of-the-fittest. The animals that can outlast their competition, end up passing on strong DNA to their offspring. In the digital world, it’s called survival-of-the-one-who-can-keep-up-with-the-changes-fastest.
I’ll work on the name later.
This post is for bloggers who’ve been around the block a while. There is a very famous
Do not be afraid to change your game. pic.twitter.com/86aN0SMKDB
— Julie DeNeen (@jdeneen4) April 16, 2014
If you are pulling in millions of views, carry on. You may have the distinct advantage of what I’d like to call “FIRSTIES”. That’s a very scientific name for people who are able to jump on a trend before it becomes a trend. But most of us are not FIRSTIES.
Change is scary. You don’t know if the future is filled with great success or horrific failure. But not changing is the fastest way to fail in the digital world. If you signed up to be a blogger this is what you signed up for.
A Digital World..
- Full of crazy competition
- With an attention span about 3 seconds long
- With a lot of companies and brands that have a lot more time, money, and resources than you do
- That has fickle taste
- Run by companies that change their tactics quickly and without warning
Times…They Are A Changin’
Don’t take my word for it. I’m going to give you a list of resources you really should be reading…as in, RIGHT NOW. They are game changing resources that will help move you out of whatever you’re doing, into what you should do.
- Three Reasons Blog Comments Are Dead
- 12 Crippling Mindset Hurdles about Google +
- Website Design Snafus You Have to Stop Making
- 7 Things You Must Unlearn About Facebook Right Now
- Your Social Media Strategy Has to Be About Other People
- Businesses are changing the way they do Content
- Bloggers that Don’t Evolve, Die
Bloggers Must Learn From Business or They Will Never Keep Up
Once upon a time, there was this thing called blogging. A person set up a website and began writing about their adventures in life, food, parenting, etc. Since blogging was new, there were lots of people eager to read this new form of edu-tainment. It took off.
Then, marketers in the business world started to see how these bloggers had a lot of influence online. They reached out to bloggers and offered them incentives to write about their products. Advertising, affiliates, and sponsored posts became the bread and butter of bloggers hoping to make a living.
But soon, it became clear: Content marketing and social media were the wave of the future. Businesses couldn’t just farm out these opportunities to bloggers. They had to become bloggers themselves. Some of the big companies with a lot of money decided, “Let’s build an entire media company within the business and tweet, Facebook, and blog our way to more business!”
This is what’s happening bloggers. If you are expecting to make money through sponsored posts and affiliate advertising, you’d better already have a huge fan base because your competition just got a whole lot bigger. And if you are a new blogger just starting out (and doing it as more than a hobby), here is my advice:
- You must pick a niche you want to be known for.
- You must become an expert content curator. This means your job is just as much about finding and sharing good content as it is about creating it.
- You must be active on social. Really active. And human.
- You must determine what you are going to offer your readers and offer it. If you had to wrap your product in a box, what would it be? What would it look like? What would it cost?
- You must be ready to change your game at a moment’s notice.
- You must stop spinning your wheels on activities that provide very little return.
- You must treat your blog like a business.
- You must have an end goal that seems impossible to reach. It will force you to work harder than if you set the bar low.
- You must continually learn new tools and avenues to reach your audience.
- Your blog must be about your readers.
Today, I want you to take out a piece of paper and some markers. Just humor me. I want you to draw a picture of your blog as a product. Sometimes writing and content creation is so abstract, we forget that just like anything else, we are offering something tangible.
Imagine your ideal reader. Now draw a picture of your blog as a gift.
- How big is it?
- What shape is it?
- Is it something you use to decorate your home?
- Is it something you eat and need to keep getting more of?
- Is it a tool that goes in a garage?
- Is it a coupon for a service?
- How is it wrapped?
Use this exercise to get your mind thinking about what you are going to offer your readers. Then offer it. And change everything if that’s what you have to do in order to stay in the game. That is what you signed up for when you signed up to blog. It’s not that you’re doing it wrong. It’s simply the rules of the game.
Please consider signing up for my social media & blogging bootcamp. It’s designed to take you, your blog, and your online presence to the next level (and yes, it takes all these things into consideration).