This guest post is by Graham Phoenix of Male eXperience.
Okay, let’s be clear about this: I am a man and I am a blogger. In fact I’ve turned it back on itself—I blog about men!
Now, some men are rogues. We all know rogues: they are focused, calculating, dedicated, and only want one thing. These are the qualities of a real rogue—and the qualities of a successful blogger.
Look at what Chris Guillebeau, at Art of Non-Conformity, said:
“The reality that I need to work more than I thought has required some sacrifices I did not expect in the beginning, and it took me a while to become comfortable with this.”
I’m not surprised! Surely we all came into blogging because it was an easy source of income that we could work at from home.
Corbett Barr, at Think Traffic, really blew the whistle when he said:
“I’m saying you have to look fear in the eye, realize that fear is hiding some of your richest potential material, punch fear in the face and take whatever it was hiding from you and put that in your writing.”
What a rogue! Where are his good manners?
Darren Rowse, here at ProBlogger, really made it sound easy when he said:
“I’ve had my fair share of luck, I worked insane hours, and I started out at a time that was a lot less competitive than it is now—all of these things have contributed to any success I might have had.”
There it is in black and white: they are all men, and had to be rogues to succeed as bloggers. None of them had an easy ride—or not one they will admit to, anyway! So they took every chance they could get, and stomped on the competition, as they strove to make their harsh journey to the top that little bit easier.
What is the secret to blogging well? Why do you need to be a rogue?
You need to be focused
Any successful blog dominates a niche. Most blogs fail because they wander around the mind of the writer. They often start as musings and end as a no-show. We all have a few good posts in us, but we need to sustain that over a significant period of time.
“One reason so few of us achieve what we truly want is that we never direct our focus; we never concentrate our power. Most people dabble their way through life, never deciding to master anything in particular.”
You need to be mad
Really: why else would you do it? As a blogger, you expose yourself, day after day, to an unforgiving world only to have people knock you down in the comments. You spend all your time on it and earn precious little.
“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
You need to kill the competition
At the very least, you need to kill them with kindness. Supporting your competition is a great way to get noticed out there. You do, nevertheless, need to dominate: readers need to see yours as the blog to read, the one that’s hot.
“Kill the competition is the only way to think about your business and especially your competition. Most people do not desire competition in business but then do little or nothing to eliminate it.”
You need to be opinionated
How many blogs have you read, and returned to, that don’t have anything to say? Blogs are about opinion. In the world of men’s issues, the blogs that stand out are the ones that are most outrageous, such as Citizen Renegade. They may not be the best, but they get the visitors.
“Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. The mediocre mind is incapable of understanding the man who refuses to bow blindly to conventional prejudices and chooses instead to express his opinions courageously and honestly.”
You need to be like a man
You need the qualities of a man. You need to dominate, be tough, and be true to yourself and what you believe. Being compassionate, open, and receptive are great qualities but in blogging, like in business, you need to shine and stand above the rest.
“Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men.”
—John F. Kennedy
In talking to men about men, as I do, I’ve realized that I need to hit them between the eyes to get them to listen. I think the same applies to all blogging niches.
What do you think?
Graham Phoenix writes about the Male eXperience of Men, Women, and Relationships. He has created a sizeable following in the area of men’s issues and men’s groups and while doing so has learned a lot about the art of blogging. Get his feed here.