The following guest post is by Jon Bishop from TechNomads. You can learn more about him at the base of this post.
Now that I’m living in China, and having lived in Asia for the past 8 years, I’ve often found myself thinking about Confucianism, and considering certain elements of Confucian culture.
In some parts of Asia, Confucianism doesn’t have a very strong influence these days. In other places, like South Korea it’s been elevated to the level of a religion.
I also run a site about Confucianism, as well as some other stuff related to Asian philosophy, so I began thinking about what Confucius said and how it relates to blogging.
Sometimes what’s always worked is what works best, and blogging is no exception.
So, let’s take a look at some of the analects or sayings of Confucius and see how those strategies could be applied to successful blogging:
Confucius said: “It is only after the white background is prepared that any painting is possible.”
If the sayings of Confucius often seem cliche’, it’s because the truth is often very simple. Simple doesn’t necessarily mean easy, though.
Have you layed the necessary groundwork for your blog? Is your on page SEO good enough? Have you done your keyword research? Do you have a solid idea of what you will be blogging about for the next month? The next 3 months?
If an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, then a gram of good preparation is worth a ton of work.
Brainstorm every element of your project, do your research, lay a strong foundation and then build from there.
Confucius said: “The Common people can be made to understand a path, but not to follow it.”.
Ain’t that the truth? This is probably most true in the SEO and internet marketing realms.
Various blogs are full of great advice on SEO, marketing, and making money online, but often most of the readers either will not TRULY understand the advice, or they won’t act on it.
It could be for any number of reasons. Laziness, analysis paralysis, or just a lack of time.
When you’re building your blog or writing your next post, keep in mind that the ability to TAKE ACTION is not as common as you might think.
This can work in your favor if you’re selling a product, subscriptions, etc. but it can really work against you when promoting affiliate programs that require the user to take some action, like build, monetize, and get traffic to their own site.
Confucius said: “Rice can never be refined to much, and meat can never be minced to much.”
Analyze and refine! Constantly tweaking your monetization, SEO, and finding new ways to promote your blog and increase your traffic. As a blogger your work is never done.
Confucius said: “Yan Hui is quite learned and virtuous but he is extremely impoverished. Duanmu Ci is discontent with his lot. He engages in trade, and each time he turns out to be successful.”
Confucius often focused upon diligence. As a blogger, or any type of webmaster for that matter, you need to constantly source new opportunities, develop new content, increase your SERP’s and traffic if you want to succeed. While you may know everything there is to know about SEO, marketing, etc. – it’s the application of this knowledge that will bear fruit. Knowledge for its own sake is a good thing, but knowledge also requires practical application for it to be of much use. Instead of trying to learn everything at once, focus on working step by step and making incremental improvements over time.
Confucius said: “If people under your reign are happy, people will be attracted to come from afar.”
Give your readership what they want. Always try to over-deliver in your posts or articles. You should also pay attention to comments and criticisms, and find out which element of your personality is most attractive or appealing to your readership and exploit that to it’s fullest potential.
Link bait is nothing more than word of mouth advertising applied to the web, and one satisfied, amused, or interested reader can refer lots of new traffic and subscribers to your blog.
Confucius said: “Do not make haste, do not covet small gains. If you make haste, you cannot reach your goal; If you covet small gains, your efforts will not culminate in great achievements.”
This is related to what’s probably the most common mistake of people who try to blog for a living, or who try to earn income from blogging. . . It takes TIME to achieve the critical mass of content, subscribers and notoriety that bring in those huge paychecks every month.
Most webmasters who try to blog are extremely short sighted and once they realize that blogging requires alot of time and effort, they throw in the towel for the greener pastures of other types of webmastering, affiliate promotions, etc.
If you want to succeed as a blogger you need a sort of grim determination and stick-to-it-iveness to go the distance and persevere through some low earning months until you’ve attained that critical mass.
Confucius said: “Do not worry that your abilities are not appreciated. Just make sure that you possess them.”
This saying could be interpreted a lot of ways, and I think I think it’s a universal truth even outside of the blogosphere. Not getting the comment love you expected from a post?
Don’t focus on whether or not people are reacting to your content, but instead try to make sure that you’re actually producing content that is compelling enough to solicit the desired reaction (whatever that is).
Most people naturally seek positive re-enforcement and feedback. In the real world, you have to earn it.
Confucius said: “Duanmu Ci, do you think I am a man with a wide range of knowledge and a good memory?” Zi Gong replied, “Yes I do. Is that not true? Confucius said, “No, i just use a fundamental concept to bind it all together.”
Other much more famous bloggers have talked about this recently. . .
What’s your unique selling point? What sets you apart from the crowd of other bloggers out there in the blogosphere?
In offline business, this type of thing is referred to as “core competence”. What are you best at? What is your edge? That’s where you need to focus most of your efforts, either in developing or refining “the edge”.
Your core competence is the fundamental concept that binds everything else together. There are lots of things that you need to focus on every day, but if you lose sight of your own mission and core competencies, you’ll quickly find that those stats you check every hour are becoming more and more bleak every day!
Confucius said: “Those who spend the whole day long merely chatting idly, saying unreasonable things and parading their cleverness will accomplish little.”
I don’t think I can explain or expand upon this much better than Confucius himself. Are you a victim of forum-itis? Do you spend hours a day reading threads written by other webmasters that have absolutely nothing to do with your core competencies or improving your own brand?
This is such an easy trap to fall into, because everyone likes the feeling of participating in a community.
Your goal as a blogger or webmaster should be building your OWN community around yourself or your brand.
Participating in forums and other blogs is an important element of building your own social network, but don’t lose sight of the forest for the trees!
Confucius said: “Gentlemen unite instead of conspiring; petty men conspire instead of uniting.”
And that is why I’m writing this guest post. The notion of pure competition is flawed, I think. It’s been said that a rising tide lifts all boats, and the blogosphere isn’t an exception to that. You can read lots of accounts of webmasters trying to sabotage each other, knock each other out of their respective SERP positions, and so on, but in the end, it’s really counter-productive.
What is productive is creative and mutually beneficial collaboration. Whether that’s guest blogging, exchanging links, mentioning someone else’s recent post (trackback!), or any number of other ways.
Image Source Rob Web
Jon Bishop (pictured left) is the author of this guest post.