Read the first part of this series: Competing For Attention In An Attention Deficit Blogosphere
There is only one way to be an exceptional blogger - find what it is about you that makes you exceptional and funnel that through your blog. You must leverage your unique special talents in every blog post you make and be certain that your blogging goals are derived from your talents.
If you don’t know anything about cars don’t try and be a market leading car blogger. If you only just started learning about programming in PHP, or training for a triathlon, or how to build furniture, don’t blog in these areas expecting to be the best. If you are only “good” at making money online, don’t try and become a top blogger expecting to replicate the success of Darren Rowse, or Shoemoney, or any of the other Internet business owners who are also successful bloggers.
It’s Easy To Be Good
You may argue that, yes, you can still be successful blogging about topics you are only currently good at or learning about, and I won’t argue with that, but being “good” means you might get a few hundred readers a day and will languish with all the other “good” bloggers doing the same thing. If you want “great” you need to be great, you need to offer great information that helps others become great too. Exceptional is not equal to good.
People enjoy reading blogs by other people who are beginners, who “tell their story” as they grow and learn, and in fact that is the exact premise I used when I started my blog, Entrepreneurs-Journey. But that’s not going to be enough if you don’t possess other exceptional talents that you can leverage as you tell your story. A talent may be something unique you are building or creating, your writing style, or your method of doing things.
In my case I had over 7 years of Internet marketing experience behind me that I could talk about on my blog. Other bloggers might be successful because they always get the latest news first, or provide the best practical advice on a certain topic, or are going through a unique experience and can relate stories in a compelling manner (for example a parent blogging about raising their first child, or a business owner attempting to create a new industry with their start-up company). It all comes from areas in your life where you have leveraged your talents to develop skills, which you can then use to provide unique, exceptional value to others via your blog.
Be Aware Of Your Present Reality, Get Excited About Your Future
Don’t feel bad if what I am saying is making you have doubts about your current blogging. Remember it’s okay not to be the best at something and you can derive a lot of pleasure and rewards from just being good. You may not have the most popular blog or be considered a leader in your field or be making the most money, but that’s not the end of the world. It’s okay to be average if you are content to be there. Remember happiness is not necessarily derived from being at the top of the heap and in fact if you only derive happiness from being the best of the best you are probably unhappy most of the time. It’s almost impossible to be the best forever, even Tiger Woods has to retire one day.
If you want more, if you strive to be a top contender, then treat your current situation as a stepping stone towards greatness. What you are learning from me is part of the equation. Treat this article as a lesson to start thinking about what makes you special and how you can leverage your unique talents in your blogging.
If you don’t know what your unique talents are just yet don’t worry. You may be surprised to learn that I’m not one hundred percent sure of mine either. I know what I am good at but I’m not quite sure how it translates to success and gratification for me. Perhaps you can help me discover my talents - how I can help others in an exceptional way. Why do you read my content? How do I help you, and why do you choose Yaro Starak over the other bloggers out there?
You can see by the questions I ask you that the way to find your unique talents is to ask what it is that people like about you and your blog.
- How do others derive value from you?
- What value do they derive?
- What type of person are you attracting?
- What are their problems and how is it that what you blog about helps them?
If you start to answer these questions you start to dig a little deeper into what it is about you that is exceptional. Once you tap into this you have the basis for every success in your life - and this goes way beyond blogging too. Knowing your talents means you can excel in every aspect of life because you can stop wasting time on what you are not good at, what you are not meant to do.
Look For Flow States
When you sit down to blog or do anything in your life look for times when you are in a “Flow State”. A flow state is when you forget everything else going on and you attack your current activity with a passion. The world seems to melt away as you perform the activity. You are surprised at how quickly time seems to pass when this happens and you forget where you are completely, indulging one hundred percent in the activity. You look forward to these activities, enjoy the process of completing them and your output is your best work.
This is your flow state and this is where your talents are expressed. Watch for these times and attempt to find out what is is you enjoy about them and then try and translate that into content for your blog. This may mean starting a new blog completely on a different topic and you may not be certain where it will go, but by expressing your talents via your blog your content will be exceptional, and this is the key to rise to the top.
Do You Have To Be An Exceptional Writer To Be An Exceptional Blogger?
Yes and no. I definitely believe being a great writer is a huge advantage in the blogosphere and I know my writing style has been instrumental in helping me attain what success I have enjoyed. Although I consider writing one of my talents, by no means is it a talent for every exceptional blogger out there.
What makes a blogger exceptional might be her ability to always break news first in a certain industry, and in this case her talent may translate into exceptional research or networking skills. The result of this is a drive and motivation to keep up to date about a certain industry and thus maintain connections with all the right people. No other blogger cares enough to do this, nor are they connected enough in the industry. In this case it’s not the quality of the writing that counts, it’s how current the news is.
There are some areas where good writing is more important than others, but as always, content quality is the critical factor and it’s producing the content where you can put your talents to use. Your writing will improve as you blog. If you find your lack of basic writing skills a major hindrance to blogging, then you may benefit from some training before diving into serious blogging. You know yourself best and if you believe your content is good and you can express it in reasonably comprehensible English you will get results - the quality of the writing is not the deal breaker - the content is.
Everything I have discussed in this article ties back into your blog strategy. Once you know your talents you can form a strategic plan for what you want to achieve from your blog. Once you realize that your core skill is helping a certain type of person with a certain type of problem you can focus on maximizing your output quality by sticking to what you do best.
Strategic blogging is about extrapolating your purpose and your goals from your talents, and then using that data to create a blueprint to get to your destination. This is not an easy process and you may spend many months of “test” blogging until you finally hit what it is you want to get from your blog and how your talents can help you get there.
Most blogs that fail to gain any traction fail because the owner isn’t congruent. If you aren’t clear in your head regarding what you can offer to people, then people won’t find what you do compelling. How can you offer value to others without understanding what that value is to begin with?
If you are not sure of your blogging purpose yet don’t be afraid to experiment. The process of aligning your blogging goals with your talents it not simple and requires a lot of “feeling out” on your part. Signals will start to flash once you start down the right path. Your traffic will increase, people will openly thank you in comments and emails, and you will be constantly inspired by what you blog about. The flow of quality content will come easily and you will never be stuck for an idea for an article topic.
Once you have defined your purpose and you are clear about the value you provide to your target reader, it is time to formulate a strategy on how best to leverage your abilities. You must decide and plan for what you want from your blog in terms of rewards (money, fame, recognition, work, contracts, gigs, etc) and how you will get these rewards. Formulating a strategy is a lot easier once you know what your talent is because everything else is derived from it.
I’ll leave the topic of strategic blogging there. The process of formulating a blogging strategy is a lengthy topic, certainly too long for this already long article. If you are interested in contacting me for private coaching to determine and refine your blogging strategy please contact me via ReplytoYaro.com
Explore Your Talents
Determining your unique talents provides you with the key for becoming an exceptional blogger. It’s a creative process and worth exploring. Take some time to think about it and you just might be surprised where you end up. The answer isn’t always what you expect it to be.
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