Although this site is titled “I’m Not a Famous Blogger”, I’ve done OK in a few different niches over the years. This is sort of a place for me to hang out and share ideas with friends and people who happen to stop by (who I HOPE will become friends).;) I was thinking recently about what it actually takes to become a “famous” blogger. I was also considering what I’ve learned over the past several years about having an online presence. What follows is my take on things. I spent a lot of time and money learning these lessons, so I hope this will save you a little of both! I’m not as accomplished as many “A List” bloggers out there, but looking at my Statcounter numbers, I have managed to get about 1.5 million people to see my “stuff” on my websites without ever paying for visitors. I figure that gives me at least a little bit of room to make some observations.
How to Get Popular Online (I wish this existed 5 years ago!)
The idea that one and a half million people have read stuff I’ve written really still boggles my mind. Even so, I can’t even begin to approach the numbers of a guy like Corbett Barr. I highly recommend his approach to blogging to anyone looking to build a serious following. He focuses on how to start a blog that matters and he does an amazing job of simplifying the process. That is an affiliate link, but I did sign up for his program a few months ago and I don’t regret it for a minute. It is highly recommended if you are serious about building a following or just saving yourself a ton of wasted time and effort. I believe in what he has to say so much, that I’m going to blatantly stick one of his videos right here, where you can miss it. I’m not joking when I say that he know’s his stuff.
Watch This and Learn!!!
Start with Why
I’ve become a big fan of audio books over the past year or two. I love listening to them in the car, when I’m doing chores, and even when I’m exercising (not enough of this one). One of the books I listened to was titled Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action. It was written by a guy named Simon Sinek. I’ll write more about this book in another post, but this book got me thinking a lot about why some of my sites did great and why some seemed to constantly flounder. You see, the main lesson I’ve learned about blogging is that any site or project you are starting really needs to begin with a solid purpose. That is the “why”. Why does it exist? Why are you doing something? What purpose does it serve. If you are going to start a project, a website, a whatever, you need to be really clear on why you are building it. Who will it help? How will it help?
Take this site as an example. I admit that at times it may seem a bit pointless to some people, but it does have a purpose. I write on this site to help people learn about blogging and living a life that they enjoy. That may seem like an odd combination to some people, but that’s OK. I am still growing this site, and I also plan to use it to help give some recognition to bloggers who I feel deserve to be noticed. If you want to become a famous blogger, you’ve got to do something that will earn you that fame. Some people may see this as a call to be outrageous. Certainly that may work for a few people, but generally, I’d really recommend not focusing too much on YOU and YOUR agenda. Instead, look at how you can make a difference in the lives of the people who visit your site. Take this post for example. Hopefully, it will help YOU to get a little bit closer to your goal of learning how to become a famous blogger. If I just used this space to write about myself, it wouldn’t be very useful to visitors, would it? Still, a lot of bloggers just use their sites to complain or to show off pictures of their favorite pet doing silly things. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it probably won’t get them the recognition they want. Before you ever start blogging, know why you are doing it. Know your purpose. Otherwise, you’re really just wasting your time and people won’t be interested in you or your website. Click, and they’re gone…never to return again for another of your boring posts. Don’t let that happen.
What are Some Good Blog Ideas for Starting a Site?
Honestly, the possibilities are almost endless. Think of all the different conversations you have throughout the day. Consider the things that hold your interest when you are surfing around the internet. Take a minute to ponder what you have a real passion for in your life. Is there some cause that you feel strongly about? How about a group of people you would honestly like to help? Maybe your intention is to simply get famous or even make some money with your blog. That’s fine too. You just have to make sure that you are giving something of value to your visitors. Are you really entertaining and funny? Well, maybe you can do something with that. Are you an artist? Why not show off your talents? About a year ago I came across what seemed like a really strange website at first. It took me a minute to get my bearings, but after I read a few of the comics on Hyperbole and a Half, I was hooked. Now it looks like the woman who started it actually got a big book deal. Very cool for her. The point is, whether you are entertaining them or providing information or a service, aim for quality that will make the visit to your site worth the reader’s time.
How to Write a Blog without Boring Your Readers to Death in the Process
Write for your readers and be real. The past few years have seen an explosion of really terrible sites that were thrown up just to get rankings in the search engines. I’m sure you have seen them. They are written like really bad entries in Wikipedia. They are junk sites written based solely on the author doing some keyword research and then throwing up a bunch of meaningless posts. They are usually based around some product phrase like “red toasters” or “pink cameras”. They give you a definition of what the product is and then throw up about 1000 affiliate links in hopes that you’ll follow them just to get off of the terrible site. Please don’t ever make one of these sites. Not only are they pointless, but the search engines are on a mission to stop them from ranking. Don’t waste your time. Make something you could show a friend or relative and be proud of when you did.
One of the first rules of winning friends and influencing people (great book by the way) is to talk about the other person. People are interested in THEMSELVES. Let that fact burn into your brain. When people start looking for information on the internet, they are doing it to meet their own needs. We all do it. Whether you want to learn how to blog or how to get rid of ants, you have a purpose and it involves YOU. Remember that your visitors are on a similar mission. What are they looking for? What do they want? GIVE THAT TO THEM and you won’t have to worry about being the best writer in the world. They’ll look past many of your mistakes if you give them what they want. That is a HUGE part of creating a successful blog.
So, What Do I Write About?
Think about what gets people motivated enough to do a search on Google. It is usually something they want a solution for or something that makes them feel good. If they have toenail fungus, they want to get rid of it. If they are feeling sad, they might want a site that makes them laugh. Bored people might want to watch entertaining videos that will make them smile. Why do YOU look for information on the internet? What are your favorite sites? WHY are they your favorite sites? It might be a great idea to think about that and to write down your answers. It could be a big step toward you creating your own blog from scratch! Just think about what people want and then give it to them. How much easier can it get? When you give people what they want, the getting famous stuff becomes a whole lot easier. People will be happy to tell others about you. They’ll share your site on social platforms like Facebook and Twitter and they’ll even use good old fashioned word of mouth advertising when they talk to their friends about this amazing site they found. Give them the quality and then go from there.
As I mentioned above, Corbett Barr is a guy who has really mastered this stuff. If you are seriously interested in either getting famous, or just making a difference in the lives of a lot of people you owe it to at least check out the free information he gives away (another great blogging idea). Take a look at his site, How to Start a Blog That Matters. You won’t regret it. If you enjoyed this post or found something useful to take away, please take a minute to give it a “like” or a “tweet”. Thanks!