Well, you have to give it up for the title, don’t you think? Probably one of the weirdest blog post titles that you’ve ever seen on Problogger right? Well anyway, by the time you’ve finished reading this post, I can guarantee you that you will know just where on the chessboard (blogosphere) you are. I can not expect all of you to know your chess, and knowledge on the game will only matter less. Most of you are bloggers and my only hope is that you will find this article useful.
For those of you who are less familiar with the games of chess, let me tell you what a pawn is. There are 8 pawns per player on a chess bard. Pawns are the weakest of all the pieces and the lowest ranked. They can only move forward – two squares at the first move and one square per turn thereafter and can capture any other piece on the board moving one square diagonally.
So what blogger-like qualities do I see in pawns?
In the beginning there are plenty of them – and it makes them virtually worthless
In the beginning of the game, there are so many pawns at the same level. And too much of one thing will seriously undervalue it all.
Just like that, when you’re starting off as a blogger, it’s pretty hard to place some value on yourself since there will be so many bloggers at the same level as you are. You just have to accept the fact and work your way through it just like the entire platoon of pawns do. The more you progress in the right track at the right time will make you last long in the game.
Almost every time, a pawn takes the start.
A knight (the horsey figure) on the chess board can jump over all the other pieces on the board at a time, while moving. So, at the start, if you’re not starting the game with your knights, you will have to move your pawn.
If you are a well known personality, like a celebrity, you probably don’t have to take the game’s start as a pawn. Do you think Darren would have to start from scratch, and wait for a few months till his subscriber count hits 100, if he launches a new blog tomorrow? He can use his star power to probably jump over a few obstacles he’d otherwise encounter. It might not be the best thing, but it will be a head start. If not, you should start your game with a pawn, as a pawn. It’s just the way it is. Most of us will start from that zero point, and build on it thereafter.
At the very start, they will move two squares each
On a chessboard, a pawn can only move one square at a time except for the very first move of that pawn. If the player wishes, the pawn can move two squares when it has not been moved before. (When it is at its first move)
Remember that time you started to blog? You were so into making it happen that you used to commit so many hours into you blog? Instead of moving one square at a time, you were a bit impatient so you thought you should move two at a time. You soon learnt that running on full throttle is not something you can do all the time. So, you HAD to slow down and realize your blog doesn’t deserve all of your attention.
Most of them fall off
Pawns are often ignored in the middle game of chess and when in the end game, most of the pawns would’ve been captured (or sacrificed) by the two players. When the going gets rough, I guess some pawns fall off. It’s inevitable.
Similarly, when time goes by, most of the bloggers would just quit on their blogs or ignore them. It’s just a part of the cycle I guess. At a certain level, some people won’t find it worthwhile committing to something that is demanding constant attention. It’s like kids falling off when the class moves up the grades I guess. It just happens that way.
A few makes it to the end and becomes powerful
Do you know what happens to a pawn that defies all the odds and make it to the other end of the chessboard? To the 8th row of the chess board? The pawn, the lowest ranked piece of the chessboard becomes the most powerful piece on the chessboard. At that moment, a player can trade that pawn to any other piece that he/she wants that had been captured by the other side.
Well, I guess you know what that means. A blogger who has got a lot of persistence and survives till the end will undoubtedly find it worthwhile to have made it that far through all the turmoil. That blogger will be recognized as someone who made it to the ‘top’. And that blogger would not be a pawn anymore.
Before you become powerful, people will start attacking you
When pawns make it nearly to the end of the ‘other side’, to become the most powerful piece on the board, the other pieces will start attacking the pawns to make sure that they don’t make it through. It’s a battle, what do you think?
People will sometimes be envious towards what you have achieved for little or no reason and will start attacking you. If they don’t have any valid point for their attack, know that those are the other pieces on this chessboard that do not want you to make it big. Do not let them succeed. You didn’t make 6 rows on your own to be thrown out of the game on the 7th row!
But, do you really want to be just a pawn..?
So did I make all of these analogies to tell you you’re not a pawn? Well, let me put it this way. As I’ve put out here, you can clearly see how the life-span of a blogger can coincide with a life-span of the pawn of chess. But, there’s one last thing I want to tell you.
On the chessboard, a pawn is a pawn. It has no control of its existence. But, you can think and make decisions for yourself. You are not a pawn. You can choose to be successful. You can choose to fail. You might only move one square at a time. But you are in control of your journey. If you want to make it to the end, keep that in mind.
So, Good Luck! See you on the 8th row.