Don’t Sell Out in Favor of Success
I recently got caught in this frustrating trap…this line of thinking…that there’s a formula for making it as an online blogger/writer. Advice is everywhere, and everyone has their sales pitch…Are you tired of writing great content that no one is reading? Let me show you the quick and easy strategy I used to make $100,000 as an online blogger! Find hundreds of new “followers” with this one simple trick!
As I research what others are doing online, trying to learn how to make a living with what I love to do, it’s tempting to fall prey to easy answers. We’d all love for there to be a “true formula” for success! But as I assess all the advice like “you need to write ‘certain’ types of blogs (there are templates),” and “you have to make specific ‘types’ of titles (to help readers find you).” I couldn’t help but wonder, is this what my readers really want?
Do you want canned information, formatted correctly, and titled up specifically for optimal search engine performance? Or is that what computers want?
I began to feel both frustrated and sad. A battle raged inside of me between the part of me that does want more readers/followers (of course I want to help more people), and the part of me that doesn’t want to compromise my writing or my integrity.
Finally, I had to wonder, was I just being resistant to advice? Shouldn’t we try to learn from the best? From those who have “already made it?” Was my ego getting in the way of my potential or was there something bigger behind my feelings of frustration and compromise?
It was a head vs. heart issue. Because the only thing that makes any of the writing worthwhile is its potential to help someone out there struggling with the same problems I struggle with myself…I’m sure I’m not alone.
Years ago, when my parents took the daily paper, they had their favorite journalists who wrote columns, weekly advice and opinion pieces centered around various areas of interest, like sports, politics, food, fashion or simply life itself. Nowadays, no one really reads the paper anymore, so passionate, skilled writers turn to the Internet as a way to share their ideas, opinions, and advice.
There are millions, I suspect, wanting to be heard.
Today, it’s tough being an online writer out on the fringes, where being read is dependent on being “liked,” ”shared,” and “found.” It’s a challenge not to let this whole thing turn into an “approval means money” contest. There is a fine line between learning and looking for easy answers or substitutes for being authentic.
I kept asking myself the serious question, what makes for a successful reader/writer relationship today?
I think there’s no formula for being human or for this messy, human kind of work we do trying to help each other be the best we can. I decided that if what I have to share had any value at all, then I had to be willing to take my own advice.
If you read my blog, you know I would say:
Stop paying attention to what others are doing. Follow your instincts. Follow your heart. Give your readers 100% authentic writing. If your 200 followers never turn into 2,000 (or 200,000) 🙂 then at least they will have gotten your best. At least they will receive the value only you can bring to issues of great importance like what it means to be authentic, or to develop your own voice in a world of millions waiting to be heard. At least they will know that you walk your talk.
And then, I would add:
Don’t fall prey to comparing yourself to others. You’ll never be heard when you mimic someone else. Don’t sell out. Don’t give up your voice in favor of a formula. Don’t write one more “5 ways” title, even if there are five ways. It’s not your style; even if it is the “go to” standard of the industry. Don’t worry about being found, or liked, or shared; that’s mostly out of your hands. Stay the course. Believe in who you are and what you do. Trust the Universe and the internal guidance you receive. Look fear directly in the eye; don’t flinch. Be honest, be true, and be bold enough to forge your own path even if no one follows. At least you’ll know you never paid the costly fee of selling out on who you are.