A Guest Post by Jordan Cooper of Not A Pro Blog.
As a blogger, what one thing would you consider to be your “holy grail” of success?
For a stand-up comedian, this defining moment was an appearance on the Tonight Show. A longstanding tradition of being the platform of so many big breaks back in the 70′s and 80′s, the most coveted spot was right beside Johnny Carson on the couch. Your short 5-minute routine would be seen across the country by millions. As soon as the next morning, your phone would ring off the hook with entertainment industry bigwigs looking to turn you into the next star. In just one instant, this indeed was a comedian’s proverbial slingshot to fame and fortune.
No longer is this the case.
The hey-dey of the Tonight Show was at a time when viewing choices were limited. With only a handful of options available for entertainment consumption, Johnny Carson’s late night talk show was pretty much the only game in town. The springboard was inevitable since you could get a highly condensed, highly targeted and highly watched showcase of your talent.
In today’s time, the options are just virtually endless for people to consume content. The attention of the general pulic is fragmented to the point that no single platform can have a massive one-time effect. Between the myriad of networks, cable channels, studio and independent films, terrestrial broadcasting, satellite radio and of course, the internet – we never again will reach the density needed to produce “one hit wonders” that invariably sweep the nation out of nowhere.
Working towards a single “holy grail” moment is no longer a path to success.
On the day after the Super Bowl, I posted a Google commerical parody that went on to get over 50,000 views, featured on several major websites including Mashable and saw my blog’s traffic spike almost quadruple the normal levels – all within a few days. Obviously, the video was created to do just this. My brilliant plot to have a piece of content go viral was indeed glorious. But was anything really accomplished that would tangibly further my overall goals?
Once the aftermath was over, views on the video settled down, comments calmed to a trickle and the fanfare wore away, I was still essentially left in the same position in which I started. Sure, I likely picked up a few more blog subscribers, Twitter followers and had a few more clicks than usual on my affiliate ads… but for the amount of sheer exposure gained from the experience, the return was extremely neglible in the grand scheme of things. It was only a small fraction notched on the measuring stick of ultimate success.
It’s true that lightning strikes once and does damage, but…
Blog posts aren’t lightning bolts, so don’t treat them this way.
As a blogger, you need to have this damage happen countless times over the course of your journey in order to gain traction. Whether it be a video shared on YouTube, a front page on Digg, an explosion on StumbleUpon, a retweet virus on Twitter or even a guest post a heavily trafficked blog (wink wink) – no one single event will decide your success. It’s a matter of repeating this effect over and over again until it slowly snowballs into into a body of work that can stand on it’s own.
Achieve your goals with a series of accomplishments in a continued pattern.
It’s matter of following a break through moment with another one and yet another one after that. Utilizing multiple platforms and mediums to showcase your work. Getting yourself in front of different audiences for exposure to expand your tribe. Producing content that’s worth talking about time and time again until it becomes the expected norm for you.
Your inevitable success won’t have a date attached to it. You won’t be able to really calculate when it happened. It will be a culmination of many victories over the course of your journey. Eventually, you’ll wake up and realize “wow, I’ve reached my goal!” – yet not have a single solitary clue what the tipping point was in achieving it.
For the stand-up comedian today, an appearance on the Tonight Show is still a huge stepping stone towards his or her success, but it isn’t the be-all end-all that is was in time’s past. Going from unknown and undiscovered to superstar overnight – that “holy grail” doesn’t exist anymore. So don’t aim for it exclusively… or you’ll just be left with your next lousy blog post.
Jordan Cooper is a professional stand-up comedian who showcases his sarcastic humor with videos and written rants about blogging, social media & marketing at Not A Pro Blog.