New bloggers make all kinds of mistakes. We all do. And it’s okay… as long as we use them as opportunities to learn.
Today, I want to share the story of one of the mistakes I made that completely changed the way I think about blogging and marketing in general.
A bright-eyed and bushy tailed newbie, I set out to find the most effective, efficient blog marketing strategy. I cam across an all-too-vague article (can’t remember where) that gave me the impression that the thing standing between me and blogging stardom was getting my posts shared by influencers.
That wasn’t wrong… but it wasn’t the full story, either.
So I did what made sense to me at the time. I did a quick Google search, found three of the biggest, most popular bloggers in my niche and proceeded to tweet my latest post to them followed by a bold, “Please RT!”
I know, right? Probably should have thought about that one a bit.
From two of them, I got no response. Completely understandable. From the third, I got some much-needed wisdom that felt, at the time, quite humiliating.
“Do you even follow me?” she asked.
I apologized, feeling like a huge idiot.
This blogger took the time to follow up with me privately. It wasn’t a big conversation, but the gist of what she told me was that if you expect to receive shares, you have to build a relationship first. You have to give if you want to receive.
To this day, I still feel dumb for not getting that online relationships deserve in the very least the same courtesy that offline relationships do.
But we lose sight of that, don’t we? We forget that the people inside the computer screen aren’t just part of the machine. They’re real human beings. They are to be respected and valued.
That was when my whole attitude about blogging (and marketing in general) changed. In fact, that was when the idea for the International Bloggers Association was born.
I wanted to do the opposite of what I had just done. I wanted to create a community of friends who were committed to helping each other grow.
And while we’ve had a few bumps along the way, I feel really proud of what we’ve created so far. The friends I’ve met through the IBA, I consider to be real friends despite the fact that most of us have only seen each other’s headshots. Have I achieved blogging fame and fortune yet? Nope. But I don’t mind so much… because I feel like I figured out how to get there, and I know the IBA will help.
With blogging (like with most things in life) it’s about the little things you do every day to build relationships and add value to a community that propel you toward success. It’s about being a friend. It’s about learning and always striving to get better. And we are.
Watching my fellow bloggers grow, especially watching you help each other to grow, is so rewarding. We’re all just looking for our little place in the world. I hope that somehow being a part of this organization will help you find yours. Because what I’ve learned more than anything as a blogger is that when you discover the core of what you really want your blog to be and WHY you want that, you can also discover your life’s true purpose.
And that is most definitely worth searching for.
So, to the kind blogger who put me in my place, I say, thank you. From the bottom of my heart. You changed a whole heck of a lot for me that day.