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Blogging With Audacity

Keeping You Posted by Skellie.This is Skellie’s last post before Darren gets back from Blog World Expo. You can continue reading her blogging, online entrepreneurship and social media articles at Skelliewag.

Audacity is one of my favorite words, as I believe it encapsulates one of the best ways to approach blogging, and in my humble opinion, a wonderful attitude to life. Here’s a simple definition:

  1. Fearless daring; intrepidity.
  2. Bold or insolent heedlessness of restraints, as of those imposed by prudence, propriety, or convention.
  3. An act or instance of intrepidity or insolent heedlessness: warned the students than any audacities committed during the graduation ceremony would be punished.

As you can see, the word suggests an approach that is willing to circumvent ‘the done thing’ in favor of gaining what is most important to you. It’s a unique word in that it has both positive and negative meanings!

As you’ll know, people are often criticized for being audacious, which is a good way to stop people being audacious. Humans generally feel uncomfortable when people act outside the norm. Of course, most successful people make a habit of doing just that. And the same goes for successful bloggers.

It’s conventional that people:

  • Don’t ask for more than is offered to them
  • Don’t try to talk with people who are better known or higher status than they are
  • Don’t admit their failings and mistakes
  • Don’t celebrate success publicly
  • Don’t try things that could fail badly
  • Don’t change their mind once it has been made up
  • Don’t give up, no matter whether circumstances and goals change
  • Don’t question what everybody else does
  • Don’t ask others for help (just think about how often we begin such a request with a pre-emptive apology)

With the above in mind, let’s look at the behavioral patterns of most successful bloggers. Of course, the same could be said about successful entrepreneurs, sportspeople, scientists, musicians or anyone else who excels at what they do. Audacity links them all together.

They DO negotiate higher rates and better deals. They DO say no. They DO understand that they have a lot of value to offer, and that the value they provide is worth something. That’s why audacious people earn more and can sell more expensive products and services: because they are confident that what they provide is worth it and don’t sell themselves short.

They DO communicate with experts and learn from them. If their first efforts to open a dialogue fail, they try new and creative ways to get the conversation started. They realize the best way to learn how to do something is talk to people who’ve done it before. They also know that, because most people assume that experts will be impossible to get a hold of that very few people actually try, making the chances of success much better than they seem. (If I assumed Seth Godin or Darren Rowse or Brian Clark or Leo Babauta would be unwilling to talk, I never would have talked with all of them, nor would you be reading this blog post!).

They DO come to terms with their weaknesses, admit when they have made mistakes and failed to follow their own advice. It takes a lot of courage to be vulnerable in this way, but you can’t work around your weaknesses until you openly acknowledge them. Best of all, readers feel more strongly connected to you because you become a more relateable figure.


Photo by .Luc.

The DO make their successes public. So many bloggers trying to be ‘authorities’ are afraid to clearly outline the reasons why they know their stuff, usually afraid that it will be seen as boastful. In fact, people really want to know whether they’re receiving advice from a reliable source. How often have you come across a ‘make money online’ blog only to wonder whether the blogger behind it was making any money at all?

Too many would-be experts with amazing successes never achieve the recognition they deserve because they are confined to omission and under-statement because we are encouraged from a young age never to toot our own horn. Of course, ‘toot your own horn’ eventually comes to encompass any good we might speak about ourselves and our achievements, often leaving readers in the dark. There’s a difference between saying “I’ve done this and you never will” and “I’ve done this and I would love to help you do it to, with what I learned along the way.”

They DO try things that might well fail. Because what if they don’t? And if they do, will it really be so bad? Few great successes come without risk. In fact, the amount of possible risk and possible gain usually travel hand in hand. Successful bloggers are always experimenting and most of them have failed spectacularly more than a few times but these aren’t the things we focus on because that failure has been accompanied by wonderful successes.

They DO discard ideas that they once believed but now doubt. They DO have changes of heart and changes of mind. They don’t stick with one method or opinion doggedly because it is now theirs. They try to avoid assumptions as much as is possible.

They DO give up. They don’t stick with obviously failing models until they’re driven into the ground. They don’t doggedly pursue the same goals even when new goals seem more important or attractive. They don’t let the cultural imperative to ‘finish what you start’ trap them in unrewarding pursuits.

They DO question what everyone else is doing. They never assume that anything popular must be good. They don’t assume (without thought) that popular beliefs are correct, or that popular courses of action are the best ones. They temper the wisdom of the crowd with their own observations and research.

They DO ask others for help. They DO admit to others when they have no idea. They’d rather take five minutes to email someone who is bound to know the answer to a question than spend six days searching for the right information on their own, just to have to avoid admitting a gap in their knowledge. They ask dumb questions and aren’t afraid to seem stupid once in a while.

Does the above list resonate with who you are, who you’d like to become, or who you feel you’re steadily becoming? To be a successful blogger and entrepreneur (if you’re making money with a blog, that’s what you are), to seize opportunities and make your own opportunities, you need to start living and blogging with audacity. It’s not a dirty word. In fact, it’s an excellent guiding star for any entrepreneurial blogger.

***

I want to take a moment to welcome Darren back from Blog World Expo and to thank him for letting me take care of ProBlogger this week. It’s always a joy to write here. Thanks for having me!

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Comments

  1. Oh yeah, most of those things certainly resonate with me. The “get-by” approach doesn’t get you anywhere, especially in business…

  2. Perfectly written….and it resonates me and hope it resonates with almost all newbie bloggers (like me).

  3. r0bin says:

    Thanks for the advice, I’ll try to blog with more audacity from now on.

  4. TheRichTeen says:

    Great post! Should really help out those who are just starting out.

  5. NikNik says:

    Thanks for the words of wisdom…off to toot my own horn! :)

  6. Lin Burress says:

    Hi Skellie, I love your advice about the importance of blogging with audacity. I still laugh about the high traffic a tongue-in-cheek “rant” post about Miley Cyress’ photo shoot received a few months ago. That audacious post was even picked up and linked to by the New York Times, so the comment section was flooded with audacious readers/visitors giving their opinions with equal audacity. Ha!

  7. Hehe. When I read this title, I thought you were talking about the audio program “Audacity”. I thought “hey, an article about podcasting in your blogs”. Guess I was wrong. :-)

  8. Sue Doe-Nim says:

    I am in fits and giggles. Without audacity I’d have no blog.

  9. It’s your last post here for this week! No wonder you wrote in an audacious post liberally for today’s article. Haha.

    I too would love some networking done here in SU (or email me via my website).

    Oh wells, see you back in Skelliewag while we shall welcome Darren back from Blog World Expo. :)

    Daniel
    http://thedanielrichard.stumbleupon.com

  10. Skellie, it’s been great having you at the helm for a few days. Do you have any other blogs?

    Just kidding!

    I don’t know any successful bloggers who are not also audacious, so that tells you one of the most important things you need to know about successful blogging right there. Audacity does not mean a person is a jerk or is bombastic. Daring and bold would be better words. You can be daring and bold and still be humble, modest, and kind.

    Having watched Skellie come onto the blogging scene and quickly rocket right to the top, she is living proof of the power of audacity. We all could do better–much better–by following her example.

  11. coolproducts says:

    Excellent posting. This should be something that all bloggers can benefit from noobs and vets alike.

    I’m not a driven businessman, but a driven artist.

  12. Hi Skellie, Audacity is a great word and definately is a term tied to becoming successful – you can’t run with the flow if you want to stand out. I’ve been looking at a new technology called – i-Vo, which as far as standing out on a website goes, this technology provides that in a DVD-like, out of the box, video. I would like to know what you or any of the readers of this post think – please visit http://www.ivoweb.com to see an example.

    Thanks,
    Jon
    http://www.ivoweb.com

  13. Thanks for the inspiring article Skellie. It’s posts like these that one needs to read regularly to keep the flame strong and bold.

    Love your guest posts! Keep it up!

  14. Great article. And all around great articles that you’ve posted here so far. I’ll be visiting your blog just to make sure I don’t miss any more great advice.

  15. rebel says:

    Skellie, that is one of the best posts I have read in quite some time. While reading that, I have thought of how many times I failed because I was afraid to try. If you assume the answer is no, you are absolutely correct.

  16. CoolProducts says:

    Skellie,
    I think it’s safe to say that we’ve all greatly enjoyed your posts! As great as it will be to have Darren back, we definitely will miss you here on ProBlogger! I asked on your last post if you believed that being a guest writer on ProBlogger will greatly help your own blog(s) or not. I can say that I will be tuning into your blogs. Hopefully you’ll create a post to share some of the things you have gained (or perhaps lost) from being a guest writer on a big blog.
    Thanks!

  17. Sid Savara says:

    Nice post Skellie! It’ll be nice to finally hear back from Darren after his hiatus, but I have really enjoyed your guest posts here while he has been gone. You’ve done a wonderful job taking the helm, and bringing your own style to ProBlogger.

    Would most bloggers cringe with fear at completely taking over for THE biggest Pro Blogger while he vacation (kidding!) in vegas? Not the audacious Skellie ;)

  18. Wakish says:

    Skellie, I’ve got to say that this is so far one of the best, if not the best, article that you have written so far, or at least that I have read so far.

    Simply wonderful article with guts and know-how..

    Cheers!
    - Wakish -
    (http://wakish.info)

  19. Great post Skellie. I think it’s a little easier to be audacious on the internet…I don’t let “no” bother me. I ask again later or ask someone else.

  20. If it’s good for problogger then it should be good for most of us. I’ll give it a shot. Thanks for this info.

  21. Shawn says:

    As bloggers, we all take our baby steps toward being successful online journalists. From my personal experience, I’ve learned that patience, humility and withstanding the storm can yield fruit which the mind thinks it’ll never see…:-)

  22. LOL — great post, but I, too, thought I was going to be getting a tutorial on the free audio editing program.

    Look forward to more of your work, Skellie

  23. saleel says:

    nice post skellie! what i feel is Audacity is an inborn charetristics which happens autmatically wihtin oneself

  24. @Skellie, a great post to leave on. I thoroughly enjoyed every word. I can’t say enough about all your posts. Each one adds to my ability to be a better, more successful blogger. They say to add value for your readers in every post. Well, you do this amazingly well.

    As for the post itself, it made me think of an interview that I saw of Tim Ferris at BWE. He was talking about how he deals with criticism. At one point he made the statement that if you aren’t getting some kind of occasional criticism (by emails or comments) than you aren’t saying anything very interesting. (I’m sure I just pureed his words.)

    I think that, like you said, in any life endeaver, if you go about it always trying to please everybody and never taking risks you will never get very far.

    Great points and I look forward to seeing you back at skelliewag.org.

  25. Skellie, a great post to finish a great week. I always enjoying reading your stuff. Glad to see you had so much fun at the reins here this week.

    Have a safe virtual-flight back to skelliewag-land :)

  26. Eric D says:

    I think another attribute is that most very successful people do not have the word “failure” in their vocabulary. When I was in basic training in the Navy years ago my instructor said something that I am sure we have all heard before but it struck a chord with me and I have lived by it since then.

    Second place means you are the first place loser. Let me caveat that by saying I believe also in integrity first and will not compromise my integrity to reach my goal, but beyond that I will not accept second place.

    Thanks for the insight…………..eric

  27. Mike Nichols says:

    Three points particularly resonated with me. Because I had the typical Southern US upbringing, I was taught:
    1) Do not bother experts and people in authority.
    2) Don’t crow about your successes in public (or in private).
    3) Do it yourself and don’t ask for help.

    These are three things that I struggle to overcome, and your post has made it clear how important they are to blogging!

    Thank you for this great post, and thank you for all your posts this week!

  28. Denise says:

    Skellie-Thoroughly enjoyed this post, then again I do like your writing style. Sometimes it can be diffcult to break something that is so ingrained. But, ‘you gotta do what you gotta do!’ Appreciate you sharing your wisdom. Thanks and look forward to reading your words back at skelliewag.org and anywired.com

    Welcome back Darren!!

  29. My blog is highly personal and I’ve been struggling with just how much to share. I’m not sure “audacious” is the right word for sharing personal info in a blog but I do know that some of the best and most compelling blogs I’ve read are very personal.

    Still pondering . . .

  30. Ryan McLean says:

    Communicating with experts is key. I always try to think creatively so I can connect with experts because I need their help

  31. Ana says:

    “There’s a difference between saying “I’ve done this and you never will” and “I’ve done this and I would love to help you do it to, with what I learned along the way.””

    This is the best advice! Great post Skellie.

  32. Alek says:

    such a great post. Fantastic one to end on, Skellie. Not only is the content inspirational, but we can all learn a thing or two about good blogging from your writing style and the way you structure posts as well. Cheers!

  33. Alex Wilson says:

    Hi Skellie – I feel I blog/live with audacity in my life. I am always quick to admit fault and try and improve.

    Some see it as lazy to ask someone the answer to a question, while I see it as saving time and money for the company I work for, or the blog I am blogging on.

    My site

    http://www.savingsguide.com.au

    is all about saving money and I use it as a way to be direct, upfront and talk to my readers about how they can increase their personal wealth, as 50% of it is a mental game as well.

  34. Get The Edge says:

    I also thought this post had to do with the audio program Audacity, which I was going to sign up with.

  35. Okay, okay – that’s it – all week I’ve been hearing about being more audacious and now you’ve gone and used the actual word. Now I need to stick on my brainstorming cap and figure out a way I can super audacious and bring more people into the blog and onto my workshop page.

  36. sean says:

    hmm… I also thought it was about Audacity, a program which I don’t really like.

    anyway, I’m quite a reserved person so just blogging at all and putting myself out there is being audacious.

    sean

  37. Syed Balkhi says:

    It was nice having you here Skellie, maybe you can write guest post on my blog for a day if you have time ;)

  38. Eddie says:

    Live an audacious life, men!

  39. Audrey says:

    A great post. It succinctly summed up what I’ve been doing lately (the conventional side) – and not doing enough of (the audacious side). Recognizing the issue is the first step; now it’s time to change behaviors. Thank you.

  40. “How often have you come across a ‘make money online’ blog only to wonder whether the blogger behind it was making any money at all?”

    I’m too polite to name names, but I spent 2 weeks visiting a “successful blogger’s website last week and was appalled by the quality of writing and content I found there. To make matters worse, this blogger is telling new writers to follow suit to make money with a blog- and they believe it!

    So sad.

  41. WD Favour says:

    Great post Skellie. And thanks for holding out on problogger this week. Also welcome Darren, we missed you.

    I agree that we need to be quite open in sharing our thoughts through the medium of blogging. My experience shows that I have more traffic when I write from my heart and personal experiences than otherwise.
    I also agree that asking for help, HELPS! That’s why I keep coming back again and again. In fact, I just celebrated all of the newbies that have inspired me to work better. Its all there at my site! Steve Sanders, for instance has helped me improve security and permalinks.
    I think that it’s good to be radical and audacious in blogging, and, of course, responsibly too.
    Thanks for an inspiring post.

  42. Harmony says:

    Really good advice Skellie. You have posted great stuff this week! You can come post for me anytime!

  43. This is the best peice of advice out there. I think the biggest one was learning from your mistakes and teaching others by telling them what specific mistakes you made. It tickles my fancy when I see people come out of the wood works as if everything they touch turns to gold, when in reality, it takes a lot of hard work and determintation to get to where they are now.

  44. Bill Masson says:

    “Living and blogging with audacity”, I live and learn! So many good points to digest. I hope that my efforts are welcomed by my readers. Admitting your failures is sometimes quite hard to do, but not doing so can do more harm to your progress. Top Bloggers like Darren and yourself I’m sure went through all these teething times but came out stronger and more knowledgeable from the journey

    Thanks again for your input, which i value greatly,
    Success

  45. Debo Hobo says:

    These points definitely resonate. However I have noticed that many of the successful” bloggers either ignore or bash other bloggers, and fail to practice what they preach. This is one of the reasons I don’t feel comfortable approaching them.

    Some find it a joke that an “underling” would have the audacity to contact them for an interview or guest blog.

  46. Jayadeep says:

    I am sitting in a corner(literally) in an internet kiosk and was thinking whether I did the right thing by quitting a well paying but sick job and joining a startup – now I realize, I may be audacious ! thanks Skellie.

  47. OwnBlogger says:

    wow awesome post to leave such a great week for you at problogger :)
    Looking forward reading on your own blog from now on.

  48. charles says:

    Nice Vice-President of Problogger.net.. Definitely, good articles.

  49. Tumblemoose says:

    This article is just another example of why I love problogger so much. The list of “conventional items” really was an eye opener. Yes, I believe all of those are true. I have already bucked a few of them but now I’ve got ideas for the others!

    I am putting these to use. Today. Right now.

    Thanks again.

    George

  50. This is an excellent post , I’m grateful to you , thanks a lot.