The “perfect storm” for a blogger is a combination of traffic, community, and sales. You want bodies in the door. You want them commenting and interacting. You want them buying items from you. It isn’t easy to work to this level, but answering one question can help you figure out where you need to improve as a blogger: Is your blog thunder or lightning?
The Thunder Blogger
Thunder is loud and scary, or at least it was to us as children. It can make a lot of different noises, from rumblings in the distance to firecracker booms that feel like they’re right on top of us. What thunder doesn’t do is have any kind of tangible effect. Thunder can’t kill you. Thunder isn’t even a physical thing.
Thunder bloggers are vocal. Their posts are consistent, interesting, and engaging. These bloggers are awesome at social networking and often participate on other blogs by leaving comments or using forums. Unfortunately, thunder bloggers also don’t have much of a tangible effect. They aren’t seeing their readership grow, and they aren’t making money. They’ve got great ideas, but they aren’t putting things into effect to create real physical results.
The Lightning Blogger
Lightning isn’t as common as thunder, both in nature and with bloggers. Unlike thunder, you can actually see lightning and it is extremely dangerous. Lightning doesn’t actually make any noise, but it can kill you (or destroy something, like a tree) when it strikes.
Lightning bloggers have awesome ideas, too, and unlike thunder bloggers, they actually know how to make people want to buy. They’ve created products. They’ve monetized. They have the potential to make a lot money. Yet, they have no presence. They don’t make noise on their own blogs, because they don’t post consistently or about interesting topics (ie, every post is just a sales pitch). They also don’t make noise on social networking sites, again through inconsistency and bring too sales-y.
Creating the Storm
The result of being a thunder blogger or lightning blogger is the same – you don’t have traffic, community, or sales on your blog. Instead of being a hurricane of success, your blog is just…well…a light drizzle. And let me tell you, a springtime shower isn’t going to pay the bills, nor is it going to make any kind of impact in the grand scheme of things.
It isn’t random that some bloggers are more popular than others. Maybe you’re just as good at social networking, but do you treat your blog as a business? Do you focus completely on content and forget that you’re trying to earn money? Maybe you do a great jump monetizing, just like popular bloggers out there in your niche, but do you engage the community? Do you focus so much on making money that you don’t have the free content on your blog to back up whatever you’re selling.
There’s a reason thunder and lightning come as a pair. If you aren’t as successful as you’d like to be, take some time to analyze your approach to blogging. All of us lean one way or the other (thunder or lightning), and we need to objectively figure out what we can do to be closer to that happy, perfect medium.