Wake up! We’ve got 2016 – not 2006. If you are blogging in 2016, you must not try to achieve success with the same approach as you would have done in 2006.
Because times have changed – and if you want blogging success in 2016 – you absolutely must change too! So here are some ideas on how to approach blogging in 2016!
1. When Blogging in 2016, See Yourself As a Publisher
When blogging came about, how did it change the world? Which industries did it revolutionize?
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The answer to this is simple – yet many of us still don’t see it. Blogging (with everything that it relates to in any way) changed one industry: Publishing.
Now, this may seem like a small achievement to some – yet, it isn’t. Flashback to the 1990s: In many ways publishing was the most dominant industry, and it was in the hands of just a few megacorporations. Publishing ruled the news. Publishing ruled which books we read. Publishing ruled what was published.
When the blogging revolution started – this monopoly fell. Suddenly, everyone could publish everything.
Yes, the whole thing is more complicated. A lot of different aspects played a role in this – yet they all somehow relate to blogging. Social media is blogging related. Content marketing (and the hype around it) are blogging related. Even journalism itself is now highly related to blogging!
So, when you start a blog in 2016 – you don’t start a blog. You start your own personal publishing house. And when you reach any success, people will treat you like a publisher. When you act like a blogger – you will never be successful.
Publishing employs a lot more than just blogging – which is why this is so important:
- Deciding what to publish
- Networking in a crowded industry
- Business development
When you think about yourself as a Publisher, not just a blogger, you realize that you are not the new cool kid that everyone wants to be friends with. Again: You are part of a crowded industry. You need to fight for your success.
2. Think About Blogging In 2016 As A Business
So, you started your blog as your personal space on the web?
No – I don’t believe you! It simply doesn’t make sense. If you started a blog, you did this to reach at least a couple of people on the web.
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It simply doesn’t make sense to publish your personal diary on the web if you don’t want anyone to read it. If you started a blog on the web, somewhere in the back of your mind there was the thought: “Maybe, somebody will like what I write…”
This desire is in almost everyone: Being discovered. Being seen. Being liked. Admired. Becoming an authority…
Call it what you want – someone who is running a blog on a regular basis in 2016 wants that. And that is not a bad thing. But what is a bad thing is when you keep investing energy into something that doesn’t give you something… anything back.
Think of how many artists who were only discovered long after their death killed themselves.
I’m not saying you are going to become suicidal. But if you approach blogging without a plan on how to achieve some success, it is going to become a depressing activity – and sooner or later you are going to stop.
The good news is: If you are blogging in 2016, you’ve already taken your first step into that direction – you made yourself public. The bad news is: That is not a lot. Making yourself publicly visible is the equivalent of stepping outside of your door. Just because you are walking through a big city without and not hiding in your apartment doesn’t mean that anyone will see you. If you want to be noticed – you need to take a lot more steps.
If you begin to approach blogging in 2016 as an activity to become a success for you, you will start to approach blogging as a business. Because a business is something that has the single goal to be profitable.
Profitable doesn’t have to mean that success needs to be monetary. Maybe all you want is an audience – or to be respected by an audience. Maybe you are publishing poems on your blog – and the single return on investment (ROI – business slang 🙂 ) you want is someone saying: Wow, great poems. But to achieve that you still need to think about blogging in 2016 as a business!
3. Stop Thinking About Your Blog As A Website!
A blog is a website – right?
Wrong. Not anymore. A blog is a brand – and an idea!
If you want an analogy – a blog is a website as much as a book is something with printed pages that is sold in a physical store.
Just as much as a book these days can be something that exists purely electronically as an ebook (and never see a physical store in its lifetime), a blog also has evolved into more than what it once meant. A blog today is more an idea than a website (with or without WordPress).
Have a look at the New York Times: Is the New York Times still a physical newspaper? Yes. But it also is so much more. It’s a website. It’s mobile apps. It’s social profiles. And so on.
The same applies to your blog, and when you begin to understand this idea, it will broaden your scope massively!
So, what is this idea made of? The answer to that takes me back to #1 a little: The idea of a blog is that you are publishing. And publishing doesn’t just mean publishing on the web. Publishing means that you publish content under your brand name – wherever it makes sense for you to publish.
The first and maybe still most important extension of your blog publishing activity is your RSS feed. But it goes far beyond that. Have a look at new services like Apple News. Did you know you can have your own app for your blog with Blappsta?
These are all extensions of your brand, of your blog. And you can and should use them! Your Twitter account (and all other social media accounts) is also as much part of your brand (and, therefore, your blog) as your website.
The importance of this is that when you begin to think of your blog as the overall brand that you are publishing your content from, you are starting to think big. And when you are blogging in 2016 – you need to think big to be able to achieve any success! Blogging is not new anymore – and you are competing in the crowded industry of publishing… but that already takes us to the next point in this list…
4. Stop Thinking About Blogging In 2016 As The New And Cool Thing
This one might be the most important thing on this list.
Again: We’ve got 2016, and blogging isn’t cool anymore! Blogging in 2016 isn’t new stuff anymore. It’s not even different anymore.
Blogging has been around since the late 90s. It turned interesting in the early 2000s. It was hyped in the late 2000s – if you are blogging today, you are just one of the many.
Which is ok – but don’t expect any flowers or medals just because you are a blogger.
That doesn’t mean the blogging revolution is over – but to be cool, innovative and new – you need to do more than just to be able to install WordPress on your site. The marketplace of content distribution is very, very crowded. Accept that – and if you want to go that road anyway, embrace it.
Act on it – and ask yourself how you can still come up with new and cool stuff within that marketplace.
Because if that is your approach, you are in for a treat: You will succeed!
This article became a lot longer than I wanted it to be in the first place! I wanted this to be just a short list post, but then I began typing, and the words just didn’t seem to stop flowing!
But here is the thing: I visit a lot of blogs every day, and 99% of the blogs I see do not follow the above advice! Not even a little. And it would help them immediately if they would!
(I promise myself to take my own advice this year as well – whatever it takes)
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