I think all bloggers get to a point where they plateau. Your content is great, but you don’t have any more readers than you did last month. You’re enjoying what you’re doing, but the blog isn’t paying the bills. You read all the top blogs about blogging, but the tips and tricks they post don’t really seem to be working for you.
I’ve been there. I’ve completely stalled out and wanted to quit, so today, I thought I’d tell you all the story of how I got past it.
My personal blogging story begins in 2006 when I was still in college. I got hired to work for a now-defunct blogging network where I ran three different blogs, and later I moved on to working for b5media, a place where other NMX-ers past and present also got their start.
It wasn’t long before I started thinking, “Hey, I’m spending all of this time blogging for other people. Why don’t I just do it myself?”
I went into the whole “blogging for yourself” thing convinced that I’d be the next big name on the virtual block inside six months or so. Obviously, that didn’t happen, but what did happen is that I started learning all I could about blogging and how to do it better.
So from 2007 to 2009, I built my blogs, as well as continuing to blog for other people. Things went well, but I was soon extremely frustrated with my lack of growth. I quit some of my blogs and blogging jobs. I considered quitting others. I was ready to just get a “real job” and forget this whole online entrepreneur thing once and for all.
And Then I had a Major Breakthrough
Obviously, I did not quit, as I’m writing this little post for you today. So what changed? Easy; I did one thing that I had not been doing before and it completely turned things around.
I invested in education.
I had spend hundreds of thousands of dollars (my own, my parents’ and in scholarships) to go to a four-year school and major in Professional Writing, but I never once spent a dime learning how to be a better blogger. Certainly, you don’t need a degree to be successful in your career, but you absolutely do need education. And I was lacking it.
The truth of the matter is that you can read this blog or other blogs about blogging all day long, but it isn’t the same as actually investing in an educational program, like the one we offer at NMX.
Actually, the first educational program I bought wasn’t NMX (BlogWorld at the time), but rather a membership to a blogging 101 program. The information in this program wasn’t really what I wanted, to be honest (I was looking for something more advanced), but it sparked something inside of me. Every “learning module” was something I already knew, but I had gotten lax in my blogging duties. Now that I was paying for it, I felt like I needed to listen to what I was being taught. So, I spruced up my content and monetization efforts, as well as made improvements to the way I was promoting my work via social media and email. Immediately, my stats across the board jumped up, and it wasn’t just a random spike. It was actually working.
The Best Think I Ever Did for My Blog
Then, I did the best thing I have ever done for my blog to date: I attended my first BlogWorld. It literally changed my life.
Now, I’m sure that you’ll take what I say with a grain of salt, since I now work full-time for NMX (previously BlogWorld). But anyone who knows me knows that there’s no way I’d ever work for a company I didn’t believe in 100%. When I say attending this event was the best move of my career, I’m not exaggerating. I had drinks with a-list bloggers. I made partnership deals with others who have since become some of my closest professional friends. I soaked up so much information that it was almost overwhelming, and when I got home, I took my personal blogs to levels they had never before seen.
Not to mention that I’m now courted for consulting and blogging jobs within the new media industry. I went from being a no-name blogger struggling with the tempting idea of quitting to someone who is not only proud of the blogs she has built, but cringing at the thought of ever having to give up this work.
So I hope that you’ll join me at NMX this January. I’m confident that you’ll have a similar experience – that investing in your education as a blogger (or podcaster or video producer) will be the best thing you could have ever done for your career.
And while in Vegas, definitely get in touch with me. I’d love to meet up and trade blogging war stories!