“Don’t ever say you’re just a blogger.” I said to the room filled with hopeful faces, each waiting for me to deliver the secret to using a blog to land “gigs.” “You’re so much more than that.”
I left it at that, but I should have added one more line.
“But in the end, you’re nothing if you don’t believe in yourself.”
There’s a process to succeeding online or anywhere.
First, decide where you want to go. Second, believe you can get there. Third, find and arm yourself with the tools you’ll need to arrive.
What. Is. Your. Goal?
Do you know?
Are you writing to just write?
Is your blog an outlet?
Are you launching a media empire?
Are you on the first step to a major writing career?
Fine. It’s all fine. The only person who should care about your personal reasons and goals for being online is you. I don’t need to know. Frankly, I don’t really care.
But you need to know. You need to care.
I see it in people’s eyes at blog meet-ups and conferences. They get dazzled by all the other goals and aspirations being flaunted. They start to think “Why don’t…?” or worse “I should…” Then the confusion is replaced by jealousy. By envy.
Other bloggers are more successful. They get more traffic, more props. Some get more love from the PR teams. Some bloggers get wined, dined, and traveled. Some have TV appearances or even book deals.
It’s easy to get caught up on the frenzy of the “I shoulds” or worse, the rampant “gimmes,” sometimes loosely translated as a simple “I want.”
It’s hard to remember why you started in the first place.
I find it sad to watch people get lost.
There is no secret to online success. It boils down to two things: Dedication to your goals and staying true to your voice.
You started blogging for a reason. What was it? Have you forgotten along the way? (It’s ok if your goal has changed, as long as you’re aware and approving of that change.)
You have a unique voice. Do you let it sing?