I often wonder how much great content is out there waiting to be discovered? With the enormous number of blogs, there is bound to be a tremendous amount of great content that is just going undiscovered. The obvious question is: what if you create amazing content and no one sees it? Does it matter that you’ve created it at all? If you don’t get traction after a certain amount of time should you abandon the blog?
It’s interesting to think that I started blogging nearly a year and a half ago and I still have so much to learn (special thanks to ProBlogger for all the help). Even after a year and a half my top post has gotten 535 hits. It’s nothing to scoff at but there is certainly a ton of room to grow. I think my content is good, I’m not sure if it’s great but I try to focus on creating valuable original content.
This brings me to my point. Blogging is not easy. It takes work and you have to make mistakes in order to learn from them. Creating content regularly seems like a blast early on, but then 60 days in, you realize how much work that entails. Don’t give up though. It’s a commitment to do it over the long term that will eventually give you success. Set high goals but cut yourself slack. I’ve spoken with companies about starting a blog and every one of them wants to become a “thought leader” as if it’s just that easy. It’s like the idea of making something “go viral.” It’s not something you can force. The trick, I think, is to keep your eye on your audience and creating something valuable for them. Chris Voss recently said something interesting to me about quality advertising. I’ll paraphrase: it either makes you laugh, inspires you or educates you. I say try to do one of those things in any content you create.
When starting a blog, my advice to anyone is JUST DO IT. You’re not going to get it right. You’re going to have trouble getting traffic. I don’t know if there has ever been a blog that started and took off immediately or established thought-leadership overnight. For me I’ve found that what keeps me interested in social media is the learning. I love getting it wrong. I think the only way to grow and get better at something is to mess it up. It’s also worth noting that the truth is that everyone’s situation is different whether you are an individual or a company. There are no rules or best practices that apply to everyone. Don’t be afraid, just go out there and be yourself. If you mess up, acknowledge it and do your best to fix it.
Jeff Gibbard is the lead blogger and editor of Social Media Philanthropy and the Founder & Chief Strategist of True Voice Media,the Social Business Agency.