“Everything we do to be successful comes from little victories. When someone takes notice of our success, it looks like something big. It feels like one big moment. But always, and I mean always, it comes from a series of little victories. Look at the successes you’ve had. Did they all come at once? Or did you build up from nowhere to somewhere to somewhere better to a quick fallback to a new success, and then pow? Right.”
Chris isn’t writing specifically about blogging with the rest of his post – but he’s describing what I’ve heard many successful bloggers talk about when they look back on how they’ve grow their blogs.
The Victories in the early days of blogging are often very ‘little’:
- getting your blog set up
- writing your first post (and overcoming the ‘this is weird’ feeling)
- getting your first comment (usually from a friend)
- getting your first comment from a stranger
- being linked to by another blogger
These victories may indeed be ‘little’ – but they each are significant and can (and do) lead to growth, opportunity and ultimately bigger victories.
The Toughest Question I Get Asked
I am often asked about the ‘tipping point’ in my blogging – that moment where something happened where my blog went to the next level.
The problem with this question is that there was no such moment for me. I’ve no doubt that other bloggers will identify key events that ‘tipped’ their blog in terms of success – but for me it’s been much more of an evolution or chain of events – a series of little victories if you like.
The key for me has been in using the victories to build momentum towards the next victory rather than seeing them as an end point.
The Key is to Use the Little Victories to Create Momentum
Over the years I’ve learned that each time I have a ‘little victory’ that I need to look for how that victory might be used to propel me forward towards the next one.
This might sound a little ‘new age’ but the way I see it is that victories create ‘energy’. When we have them we as bloggers feel energised and inspired but other opportunities often open up which can be taken advantage of to spring to the next level.
An Example – I remember the feelings associated with the first time I was mentioned in mainstream media. A citywide newspaper here in Melbourne ran a short spot (and it was only 30-40 words) in their tech section about my blog (it was a ‘blog of the week’ type column – a tiny screenshot, the link and a few words).
Despite the smallness of the spot I was completely over the moon with the mention – it was something I could show my parents (to prove I wasn’t a complete lunatic for spending all my time blogging) and it just made me feel good to get that kind of acknowledgement. I was energised and inspired and it gave me a personal boost of momentum to keep growing my blog – however it also created a number of other opportunities.
Here’s what followed:
- I emailed the journalist to thank him for the mention and to offer any help if he ever needed the opinion of a blogger. This in itself led to being quoted in 5-6 future articles and in the long term a longer feature article about my blog.
- I used that small mention in the newspaper to reach out to a radio station where I was in the next week interviewed about my blogging.
- A couple of months later I was approached by someone who had heard the radio interview to speak at a local conference.
- I used speaking at that conference as an example of what I could do when pitching an overseas conference organiser – this turned into my first paid speaking gig.
- At that event (in the US) I met 3-4 bloggers who I’ve either entered into partnerships with, employed or built fruitful relationships with.
I could continue to follow the sequence of events to other opportunities that came.
Some of the opportunities were things that came a little out of the blue (like someone who heard the radio spot ringing to ask about the conference) while others were more about me taking initiative (like me contacting the radio station) – however none of them would have happened without the first little victory.
The key is to celebrate your little victories but not to let the celebration of them get in the way of where you’re headed next.
An Anti-Example – a few years back I witnessed one blogger do the exact opposite of what I’m talking about. He’d built his blog up to be a fairly successful blog and was approached by another company who wanted to acquire it. He accepted the six figure offer and was quite naturally over the moon about it.
I remember chatting with him after the sale and him saying that he was going to take some time off before starting another project. I wondered at the time whether it was a wise move. Sure he’d made some nice money from the sale but it wasn’t enough to set him up for life and I wondered whether there was opportunity in selling his blog to announce the next thing. The sale had created some great buzz and talk around the blogosphere – but he then went and took a year off.
When he came back to blogging with his next project the buzz had died down completely and all momentum that he’d had was gone. While I understand the need to take time off I wonder what would have happened if he’d announced the next project alongside the sale of his first blog – if the victory he’d had had been leveraged to bounce him toward the next victory.
I’ve come back to this theme a number of times over the years. Back in 2007 I wrote about it for the first time in two posts – Blogs as Launching Pads (in which I shared my own sequence of launching projects from what I’d already built) and in How to Leverage Your Blog for bigger Things (some more ‘how to’ stuff).
Early this year I wrote Leverage What You Have and Take Your Blog to the Next Level as part of my Principles of Successful Blogging series.
What little victories have you had recently?