The title of this post might seem a bit dramatic, but I believe there are some truly life-altering posts out there about blogging. These aren’t how-to posts or resource lists, which are wonderful in their own right, but passionate posts from people who are big dreamers and incredible thinkers about the very art of blogging.
And yes, they have changed me. They have changed how I think about the world and how I run my own blogs and what I choose to say online. They’ve inspired me to do better. So today, I wanted to share these posts with you.
(Note: These posts are in alphabetical order by author’s last name, not in order of importance.)
There isn’t a single one of us who has overcome the human condition of self doubt. Whether you’re a supremely confident person, a content Zen monk, a successful writer…it doesn’t matter. You have doubts about yourself.
The question is whether these doubts stop you from doing amazing things, from leading the life you want to lead.
We pick our paths. We decide what we make time to do. We choose our own adventures every single day. Each and every day, we have the chance to make choices.
3. Bonus Post, Also from Chris Brogan: This Post Isn’t Worth Your Time
I first got into writing because I felt this explosion of feeling, like I could release everything I was on the page and fill it with beautiful and terrible truths. Sometimes I get so excited about writing, my eyes fill with tears. It’s a great experience.
This is life experienced to its fullest. But then I look at my pageviews and my game face goes on. All I care about is the numbers. Immediately, my joy fizzles out like soda gone flat.
F.E.A.R. is an illusion. Something we fabricate in our own minds and pretend is real. It’s a fairy tale we tell ourselves that keeps us from doing what we really want.
False evidence appearing real.
The common label for F.E.A.R is anxiety, a less fundamental emotion that arises purely from our own thoughts, not external reality. And 50 years of cognitive psychology research demonstrates that while we can’t always control how we feel, we do have the power to choose how we think and act.
6. Bonus Post, Also from Brian Clark: Do You Recognize These 10 Mental Blocks to Creative Thinking?
7. Managing a Blog Is Great. Managing the Blogger is Even Better. by Brandon Cox (@brandonacox)
Your blogging success isn’t about your next post. It’s about all of your posts. It isn’t about a great headline, a huge list, or sweet graphics. It’s about the total package. Whether your blog is personal, corporate, or one of those that’s supposed to make you a millionaire tomorrow, your blog is really all about you.
Fact is, every word you say, write, sing or film and release into the world is judged against a backdrop of who you are, what you’ve said, done and achieved in the past…and what you HAVEN’T said, done and achieved. That’s why one of the first things most people do when they read an interesting post on a new blog is jump over to the “about” page to see who the writer is. They’re looking to frame the message. Because…
Context is as important as content.
9. The Most Important Conversation I’ve Had About My Business Ever by Pat Flynn (@PatFlynn)
How many times during the day are you actually working when you’re supposed to? Probably not as much as you should.
In fact, after literally keeping track of everything I did during a normal day, I noticed some rather disturbing issues, especially when it came to checking my emails, checking website stats, opening my Facebook account (personal, not the fan page), and reading the news.
Basically, I did a lot of non-work related things when I was supposed to be working. On the flip side, I was working (or thinking about work), when I probably shouldn’t have been.
10. The Wealthy Gardener by Seth Godin
Sure, people make money growing orchids. Some people probably get rich growing orchids. Not many though. And my guess is that the people who do make money gardening probably didn’t set out to do so.
11. Bonus Post, Also from Seth Godin: Do It Wrong, Relentlessly
It was bound to happen. We were heading for a place where “top ten” and “how to”-types of blog posts may become redundant or rudimentary. We’ve come to a place where those who were never going to stick it out with blogging for the long haul are busy on Twitter and Facebook, where they can share without the burden of having a passion for writing. So, in the end, maybe what’s new for blogging is a place where the real bloggers step in and create a new type of copy for the world to consume. A place where more and more creative thinkers get to tinker with words in new and interesting ways. It’s a place where you (and everyone else who wants to write and have a voice) gets to be free to try it out and see what kind of audience their words, images and even video connects with.
13. Passion over Perfection. Love over politics. The Story of Mrs. Mulvey. by Danielle LaPorte (@DanielleLaPorte)
And that was a moment. One of those world-stops-for-a-nanosecond-so-you-can-glimpse-the-future kinds of moments. And I realized that I could do it. I didn’t know what “it” was, but I knew that somehow my passion was going to count.
Faith doesn’t mean you never give up. Faith means that when you’ve fallen down – again and again – you get up and carry on.
I can’t tell you that the writing path is an easy one. I can tell you that it’s worth travelling. And if you want to be a writer, if your life doesn’t feel complete without writing, then you already have the faith that you need.
It’s OK. Take this opportunity to feel good about it. You’re in a shrinking population of People Who Actually Give A Crap About What They Do.
I, for one, am sick of people telling me I should delegate everything, find someone offshore to do SEO for me for $10 a day, take my own work ‘less seriously’, blah blah blah blah. Screw that. And you, if you’re one of those people.
If the worst thing that happens in your day is that someone sends you an ugly email, try waiting for a call from the doctor to give you results you’re pretty sure you don’t want to hear.
If you’re going to argue about who makes money and if they’re doing it right, you’ve never sat in front of your checkbook and wondered what you weren’t going to pay so that you can afford to give your child the treatments they need AND keep a roof over their head.
If you can talk about your mafia, feel slighted because you weren’t the center of attention, or fret about your PR connections, you’ve never had to sit and contemplate the moment when they cut into your child’s brain to see what the tumors are doing.
If we’re being honest, I think maybe that’s one of the reasons many of us start blogging. There’s something immensely comforting about knowing your thoughts are out there for the whole world to read. You could kick the bucket tomorrow, but your words will live on, teaching, inspiring, and taking root in the minds of readers for generations to come.
Or at least that’s the idea.
What really happens, of course, is that you pour your heart and soul into a post, and no one seems to care. No comments, no links, no nothing. Come on over, friends, and check out my blog. We’re watching my ideas die in real time. Yuk, yuk, yuk.
And it’s disturbing.
You refuse to share your gifts with the world, just because you are not perfect? Because you are human? Because you don’t have ever answer to every question even invented, because you have flaws, because you are still growing and learning yourself?
Stop wasting yourself on all that crap.
As I would preach to the empty pews and as my word echoed around the room I found that I learned so much about the topic I was exploring and how to deliver it. I also learned a lot about preaching. New ideas would come, I’d try different ways of expressing it and slowly the final version of the sermon would begin to form – to the point that when I got up in the same room on Sunday to deliver the final version it would flow.
It’s so easy to look at a situation, see something we are already afraid of and place the blame there. How much more often could we investigate further and find the little things being ignored are the real issue?
You complain that your blog isn’t getting the audience you want or that not enough people are subscribing to your amazing feed, but are you looking at the right things?
21. 106 Excuses That Prevent You From Ever Becoming Great by Tommy Walker (@tommyismyname)
Be honest. How often do you sabotage yourself?
On any given day, you have tasks you’d like to finish because you know they’d positively impact your business, and tasks you actually do.
You trick yourself into thinking that keeping up with industry news, and reading the latest “10 tips to ______” post is “working.”
You know better, but some part of you believes that simply reading the article will help you move forward.
22. Bonus Post, Also from Tommy Walker: Blogging and the Definition of “Insanity.”
I’ll humbly add to this list, two posts I’m extremely proud to have written, one here on the NMX blog and the other on my blog, Blog Zombies. I hope they have really affected my readers and changed them for the better:
Where’s post #25? Well, I leave that one up to you. I hope you take a moment to leave a comment with a link to the best post you’ve ever written, a post that you hope has changed the lives of your readers.
If you’re having trouble thinking of a post that fits into this category, maybe it’s time to write one. Give me your best!