Sitting in Las Vegas in October, Nathan Hangen, Lisa Morosky and myself were wrapping up our panel on turning your blog into a business. Jordan Cooper, as moderator, asked us for any final advice before we wrapped up. Nathan replied…
“Yeah. Stop blogging.”
He got a chuckle from the audience, but there is truth to it. Nathan was referring to the blogger hamster wheel. It is a wheel kept spinning by broke bloggers.
The Blogger Hamster Wheel
Have you ever had a hamster? I have. They’re dumb as a box of rocks, really, because they like to get on that little wheel in their cage and just walk. They think they’re going somewhere, but we all know they’re not moving an inch.
Now, take the hamster off, and put a blogger on there. The blogger doesn’t walk, though – he writes. Writes, writes and writes some more. But, he’s going nowhere.
He sets a stiff publishing schedule for himself. Perhaps he’s posting 5 days per week. Maybe more. He is constantly in search for something to talk about. He has his eye on that post quota. “I’ve got to get a post up there today!”, he tells himself.
He keeps reading other blogs, posting comments, tweeting…. spinning the wheel.
Every so often, perhaps he realized he’s on a wheel. But, that is quickly put aside because…. well, he’s got a post to write, of course!
You can assign any happy title you want to it – “Providing value”, “building community”, “engaging”, “building my social network”. But, under all that, there is a truth…
You’ve created a slave driver – your blog. You gave it the whip, and you obey. You’re not getting paid enough for it, either. You’ve created a J-O-B for yourself. Congrats.
Stop Blogging. Think Differently.
Unfortunately, what I described above is blogging for most people. Some aren’t able to find a way off the wheel, so they just step off and stop blogging altogether. In fact, Nathan has stopped blogging. Jim Kukral recently did the same.
Can you blame them? I mean, look at some of the world’s most successful people – they don’t blog or tweet. If we want to limit it to online entrepreneurs, then look at some of those internet marketers we all know. They make money, yet they don’t blog or tweet. And, usually, if they do have blogs, they look like crap and they’re not very good at it.
So, some may be thinking, “So, Dave, you’re a professional blogger. Are you going to come out and tell people to stop blogging?”
No. I think those people who stop blogging or tweeting are losing out on a huge opportunity. In my view, they’ve made an ROI decision which is good for them, but not one I would personally take. Bloggers have SO many advantages and I, for one, think it is an invaluable tool for marketing any business.
I will tell you, though, to stop blogging the way others do it, and start thinking differently. Start being strategic about it, and start by throwing out the time-based slave driver.
A Different Way…
Starting next week, I’m going to be talking more about how to step off the hamster wheel. I will be doing this as part of the lead-up to the relaunch of Blog Masters Club. I’ve got some cool stuff in store for you.
It may seem ironic that I’m going to be talking about a blogging course from the viewpoint of “stop blogging”, but that’s why my course is different and will actually work. 🙂 Because, while I show bloggers how to make money, it starts with putting blogging into perspective. It starts by being an entrepreneur with a blog, and not a blogger. The word “blogger” shouldn’t define you. It is just a medium.
So, stay tuned for that, OK? Make sure you’re on my email list, because that’s where the fun will start. And, no, this isn’t going to be one of those “3-video-then-sales-video” style launches. 🙂
Let me leave you with some “take aways” for today’s post:
- Don’t write posts based on a quota. Or if you do have a quota, make it really light. The time demands of traditional blogging are self-created and self-imposed. It is YOUR blog, so it shouldn’t become a slave driver.
- Most of the time spent by successful bloggers is NOT spent blogging. I spend maybe 3-4 hours per week writing for this blog. That’s it! Generally, when I post something here, it is because I have something to say. Generally, I post 3 times per week… but if I really have nothing profound to say, I won’t post.
- Don’t think about how to “monetize” your blog… think about what type of BUSINESS you want to create. Blogging should be a strategy, not the whole thing.
- Consider removing dates from your blog posts. Displaying dates just feeds the time-pressures, because your audience is conditioned to view the blog as stale if it hasn’t been updated in a week or more. It automatically de-values all of the stuff in your archives. Really, the entire structure of blogs is all wrong as they’re traditionally done, because it empowers this weird, arbitrary thing called time to add or subtract value from our content. A coming re-working of this blog is going to take this into account, and it is something you should consider for your own.
OK, as I wrap up, I want to hear from you. Post a comment, and here are some things I’m curious to hear from you:
- Do you think the hamster wheel analogy is suitable to what is going on out there?
- What do you think I absolutely MUST do when it comes to my upcoming launch of Blog Masters Club, whether you personally decide to enroll or not?
- Do you have any advice or tips about stepping off the hamster wheel?
Until next time…
Yours in Blogging Success,