Ah, the “It Factor…” that something successful people have that the rest of us can’t seem to figure out. To some, it’s an enigma, while to others, it seems to flow like Willy Wonka’s Chocolate river…boundless and with fervor. Well, until it was clogged by Augustus Gloop, but I digress…
We’re all looking for some of it. It’s obvious that you need it to get noticed and to hold your audience captive, but no one knows how to get it. Believe me, I’ve asked. But, that didn’t stop me from trying.
As part of another project, I’ve been studying a lot of A-List bloggers and I have been trying to figure out both how and when they were bestowed with this “It.” Furthermore, I wanted to know what it was so that I could try and quantify it.
Did I find it? I think so, but if my conclusions are any indication, it’s not quite as mysterious as you might suspect.
What is It?
It’s the buzz around your blog that gets people interested. It’s the special factor that makes people want to RT, share, and comment on your posts.
In my studies, I believe it’s that feeling you get when you find a blog that you know isn’t going anywhere. For instance, when I read Problogger, I buy in because I know that:
1. Darren knows what he’s talking about, we trust him.
2. His blog isn’t going anywhere. He’s invested, and it’s part of his life.
Other blogs feel temporary, like they’re an experiment. Those don’t have it…they can’t. People want to know you aren’t going anywhere before they invest energy into propping you up. That’s just human nature.
It’s also a style of writing that speaks to people on their level. It’s confident and unabashed. Those bloggers that have “It,” aren’t afraid to speak their mind.
Is there a way to quantify it? No, but you and I both know what it looks like. We can sense a blog that’s on the rise or at the top…that’s about as close to measuring it as you can get.
How Do You Get It?
This is the crux really, because this is what we really want to know. You might not care who has it, but you know you want some. You want to turn your blog into a success, and you want people to not only subscribe, but to hang out and comment. You want people to listen to your advice, and maybe even pay you for it.
It’s funny, but looking back to a year ago, I was an unknown. I had a blog, but it was all over the place and I was doing a terrible job of building an audience. Now though, although I’m not on everyone’s radar, I’m at least moving in the right direction. Whereas people a year ago commented just to be nice, people these days tell me that the future looks good. My blog is an entirely different place, and it’s starting to get some of that “It.”
I’m not saying this to toot my own horn, but as someone that has been on both sides of the equation, I think it’s important to say that I understand where people are coming from, because what I’m about to say might not be what you want to hear, but it’s the truth…
It is nothing more than hard work…
Disappointed? Surprised? You shouldn’t be. In fact, you should consider this good news. Why?
Because if “It” was nothing but a mysterious aura that to some was given and to others was withheld, than you and I would have no chance at it. However, if it’s nothing more than a little bit of elbow grease, then there’s hope for all of us!
Looking at the history of some of the most popular bloggers in the world, you’ll find a common element that binds them all. Yeah, there is luck involved, but more than that, there was a lot of hard work.
Hard work cranking out content on a weekly basis…hard work writing guest posts for popular blogs…hard work managing dozens of blogs until they found one that worked…hard work interacting with their 1 or 2 commenters until they got a 3rd, and then a 4th.
“But I’m working hard!” you might say, and I don’t doubt it, but are you working hard consistently? Are you learning, implementing, analyzing, and fixing on a daily basis? Are you doing everything that you can to become a successful blogger?
Are you networking? Are you honing your writing style and finding your true voice? Are you giving as much as you are taking away?
These are the questions you’ll have to answer for yourself, and only you know the truth.
I’ll be honest
Some people just might not make it, at least not the first time. Show me a blogger that did get it right on the first effort and I’ll show you another thousand that didn’t. The difference though, is in persevering and not giving up. If one project fails, start up another.
One of the most inspiring things any blogger ever told me was that he didn’t have a backup plan…he was in 100%. He said there was no way he was going to fail, because he couldn’t afford to. That man was Gary Vaynerchuk, and now he’s built an empire.
You too can have that “It Factor,” and can have your own empire, but you have to start building it first. It might be tough, but you’ve got to be more resiliant than the obstacles you face. Accomplish that, and you’ll have it, I promise.
I think Chris Brogan said it best, when he mentioned that being an overnight success required 11 years of hard work. Remember that when you see a blogger that appears to have come from nowhere. It was probably 11 years in the making.