This guest post is by Paul of http://junhax.com.
Bachelor’s degree . . . bare minimum.
A Master’s degree is becoming, well . . . the bare minimum.
Posting on your blog once a day, tweeting a few times, responding to a few people, responding to a few emails . . . bare minimum.
The truth is it always seems like we are never doing enough—and it’s true, some of us aren’t.
We have huge hopes and dreams of becoming the best in our field, with a determination that is immutable and highly focused.
The problem: how do we know if we’re doing the bare minimum, and what can we do to surpass it?
Let’s talk about it in blogging terms, although this way of thinking applies to all fields.
Blueprint for great content
When I started to blog I had a firm belief that writing amazing content, connecting to social media and tweeting posts, and frequently publishing would get my name out there. It’s true to an extent, because that is just bare minimum.
In order to prove to your readers that you’re writing with heart and patience you must keep these points in mind:
- Take time your time when writing. The way you’re reading it now will be completely different tomorrow morning—until you fully perfect and construct what you want to say.
- Make sure your headline is as powerful as your content.
- Writers are prodigious notetakers. Use your notes, round up some ideas that you came up in the past, and put them to use.
- Have others read your posts. Listen to their feedback, and write it down to compare what others are saying.
- Open the door and write. Close the door and write.
- Read it out loud over and over, as if you were in front of thousands of students who have no clue what the subject is about.
- Avoid the traditional steps of writing, editing, then publishing. Publish it the next day to be positive that what you created is valuable.
- The more time spent scrutinizing your posts, the more effort you are putting into it to make sure that it appeals to your audience, contains no errors, and delivers a powerful message.
- Don’t just supply the reader with paragraph after paragraph. Be unique in your content delivery and design.
- Break up your paragraphs. Use bullet points, numbers, separate important ideas and sentences to guide the readers’ eyes.
- Link to other blogs or posts that are relevant to what you’re saying. Supply the reader with various options on the subject to expand their knowledge.
- Most importantly: put your heart, blood, sweat and tears into it. Do want you your posts to last forever, or just today?
“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.”—Robert Frost
Being part of the conversation
When you comment other peoples’ blogs, are you leaving a message where people can follow up, and maybe even learn something, or relate?
“Oh, I love this post. Thanks for sharing!”
Lame. Yawn. Tell them why you love it, how it affected your life or work, and possible tips and ideas that were not included that you can add and recommend to fellow readers.
Draw attention to yourself. If you took your comment and compared it to the other 100 comments, does it look exactly the same? Are you sure blending in is what you want to do? Appear as an intellectual, not some robot.
Networking with purpose
Are you networking with purpose? Is your heart in it? Are they just some face online, or a potential subscriber . . . or a friend?
You’re a writer, and you know just as well as I do the satisfaction that comes with feedback. It’s the ultimate reward and sensation knowing that someone read your post and was moved. You did your job as a writer: to communicate ideas.
Find a network of fellow bloggers and writers that you enjoy reading and going back to. You will not become popular all alone, in the corner of your room.
If your focus is finance, money, and business, go out and look for all the top bloggers and people in your niche who speak that language.
Relate with them, learn from them, and most importantly: speak to them.
I went for six months of blogging without connecting or speaking to one person. After a while the mold was broken, and I was talking to a few bloggers here and there via Twitter or website; but I was slowly building a relationship.
Soon, it wasn’t weird to ask for advice or some thoughts, or just simply say hello.
The simple truth
“The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple.”—Oscar Wilde
It’s so true it hurts. If the results you’ve been getting are steady, and nothing has changed for you in a long time, then it’s time to see if what you’re doing is the bare minimum.
You need to exceed, lower your shoulder, and smash through the wall that is preventing you from being great. You need to be hungry for it, though. You cannot have dreams to be the best at something, and not lose sleep over that goal.
If you truly believe that you can be the best and greatest, and your work shows that you put your heart and soul into it, eventually you will earn that success; but you have to keep clawing and fighting for new ways to be above average.
You have to create a mindset that many people lack. It’s not the simplest thing to do, but it is absolutely necessary in the world we live in today to become remarkable.
Paul is a writer/blogger on http://junhax.com. He focuses on sharing insightful stories and advice for writing, blogging, and personal development. You can also follow him at @junhax.