Do you remember the thrill of publishing your first blog on the Web, where you could publish your own thoughts without having to go through any tech person or getting your content accepted by someone else?
I’ll never forget the day, because it was September 4, 2004, my birthday. I’d injured my shoulder and couldn’t play tennis, which meant I was home, bored, and looking for something to do on the computer.
I took the challenge, saying to myself, “Any idiot? She’s got to be kidding. I’ve got almost zero tech skills, I’ll bet I can’t start a blog in an hour. Let’s prove her wrong.”
And after an hour, I had published my first blog post at www.CoachEzines.com. Debbie Weil was right. Except that I no longer call myself an idiot. That site evolved to WritingontheWeb.com, and recently migrated here to a WordPress platform.
Within 3 months, I started getting found, getting known, and getting clients. Business blogging became a passion for me, supplementing the business I had previously started with e-newsletters.
That first blog led to my association as The Blog Squad and to a successful business. That’s another story for another time. My point is this: you never know what can happen. But for something to happen you have to take action.
Everyday we get emails urging us to take action. If you don’t listen to your instincts, if you err on the side of caution all the time, you’ll never find out which opportunities are golden and just right for you.
For me, it changed the way I worked forever. Before blogging, I felt like I was operating in a small back room with few connections to the outside world. With the advent of my blog, all of a sudden people started finding me, contacting me, starting conversations.
I felt like I had opened the windows in my small back office and let in people from around the globe to start connecting and building relationships. I started learning at the speed of RSS. And, my income doubled in the first year, then tripled, and has kept going up ever since.
That’s when I started saying, “A business blog is the best darn marketing tool on the planet!”
Get Found, Get Known, Get Clients
What happened to you? What pivotal moments occurred? What made you start blogging? Or, if you haven’t yet, what are you waiting for?
Maybe I should add what else was going on, on that day. At the time I got that email, I was mad as hell. I had an ebook I was writing, and I couldn’t get a hold of my web person to make a change on my website. If you’ve ever had to wait three days to get a tiny change on a web page, you know how frustrating it can be.
Mad is good. When you’re mad, you take action.
The other key piece to creating a perfect storm that leads to action is purpose and belief. You have to know what you want to do, what you believe you can do better than the others.
You have to be willing to be clumsy with something at first, practice it, and put in your time to develop skills. You have to believe in your capacity to get good at it.
Business blogging works because of reciprocity and social proof: since people can find you more easily on the Web, they have a chance to get to know you, learn about your expertise, benefit from it, and see how you’re helping other clients. That builds trust.
Next time you get an funny feeling you should be doing something big on the Web, listen to your gut. It may be telling you to do something about your blog, either start it or make it better. Take action. It just could be your pivotal moment in blogging.