This post was written by Seth Waite, an avid blogger who currently writes for Blogging Agenda.
It’s my favorite month of the year as college basketball is in full swing and “March Madness” has got me thinking. I love sports and many of my best experiences have come from what I learn playing them. Realizing the many lessons I have learned from participating in sporting events I recently asked myself, “How has sports taught me to be a better blogger?”
I will answer this question with the 4 most important elements of successful championship teams. I know every team is different and provides a unique way of accomplishing their goals, but each I feel do so by following these 4 simple elements of success.
Sports teach valuable lessons about working together to accomplish a goal. Teams meet daily to learn to play together, trust each other and win. All of us have probably seen a sporting event where no one worked together and the team, although talented, lost the game. Just like sports, blogging successfully requires teamwork.
Bloggers develop teamwork through inviting their readers to participate and work with them to develop targeted content relating to their topic. Teamwork also increases from networking with other bloggers on forums, leaving comments and visiting other blogs in your niche. You can also develop trust by agreeing to help or collaborate with other bloggers on your same niche. Teamwork will help to decrease the competitiveness of your niche and allow you to both succeed. Working together, bloggers can achieve more than they ever thought possible on their own. So, be open to building a team of bloggers who work and succeed online together.
Everyone has a position
In context of the team it is important to understand everyone has a position. In basketball there are guards, forwards and centers. Each position requires different skills and attributes. The blogosphere is the exact same way. Your niche competition should be viewed more as a team of bloggers looking to succeed online. So play your position. Use your unique skills and attributes to play your niche role. To do this, stick to your topic and emphasize your strengths. When you play your position well, competing with the top blogs in your topic becomes much easier.
Running track and field taught me valuable lessons about discipline and determination. It required daily efforts to improve my endurance and speed. Basketball also required constant practice to perfect my shooting and dribbling. This simple concept of practicing is essential to becoming a better athlete or blogger. Constant practice through writing content, developing relationships and customizing your blog’s design will train you to better your blogging skills and find your unique talents.
The 4 keys to practicing effectively are:
- Practice regularly
- Evaluate your performance often
- Set measurable goals
- Experiment with new techniques
Everyone needs a Coach
Along with practicing, effective progression and eventual success comes from proper coaching. Great teams are prepared by great coaches, so find a mentor in your niche or topic. For me, I look to blogs like Problogger to teach me great skills, help me evaluate my performance and increase my motivation to continue blogging.
To find a good coach, I look for a few important traits:
- Knowledge – The most important factor is whether they know what they are talking about. Authority and credibility are important in finding a mentor that really can help you. So, look for expertise in choosing a mentor.
- Access – Ask yourself “How much time do they have to help me perfect my blogging?” I feel it is sometimes better to work with a mentor who has the time to give me precise coaching then a busy expert. This being said, I think coaching can come from multiple sources to more effectively train you. I have also found most bloggers to be extremely accessible and always willing to share their knowledge. Each coach you find will bring unique strengths and encourage important growth if you are willing to learn.
Once you have found great mentors, subscribe to their feeds or get their newsletter. You will find invaluable information from their subscriptions. Don’t be afraid to follow it. Also, do not be afraid to contact them with questions through email or other social networking platforms. Avoid being pesky, but do not avoid asking others for help. If they do not have the time to address your questions, they are generally courteous enough to tell you so and then just ask someone else.
Remember, championship teams all possess the 4 attributes we have discussed in their formula for success. Your blogging will be greatly increased by following these factors too. Champions work together, know their positions, practice hard and get great coaching.