It would be impossible for you to replicate the journey of the successful people who came before you. You’re different people facing different circumstances at a different time in a different place. Even so, it is very useful to glean key insights from these people to help guide you on your own journey. Today, we’re focusing on two such individuals.
Seth Godin and Crowded Marketplaces
A remarkably well-known entrepreneur, marketer, author and public speaker, Seth Godin is widely recognized as a pioneer in the realm of making money online. Tribes is a book that practically everyone should read. Godin, if anything, is a remarkably unique individual.
“In a crowded marketplace, fitting in is a failure. In a busy marketplace, not standing out is the same as being invisible.”
In terms of crowded and busy marketplaces, it doesn’t get much more crowded or busier than the world of blogs. There are literally millions (and maybe even billions) of blogs on the Internet and the overwhelming majority of them are boring, inane or rarely updated. It’s also fair to say that the overwhelming majority of bloggers don’t take their blogs all that seriously. They don’t treat it like a business.
So, don’t be like everyone else.
The goal is not to fit in with everyone else, because it means that you’ll be mediocre at best and you don’t want to be the average poor sap of a hapless blogger. You want to stand out and be among the best or, at the very least, be the blogger who achieves some measurable level of success.
If you simply take the cookie cutter approach and aim to be just like someone else, you’re going to fail, because they’ll do a better job of being themselves than you can. Instead, aim to be the best “you” that you can be. Stand out by standing on your own two feet.
Take a look at John Chow. No one can possibly fault him for being boring, mundane and like everyone else. He has a big personality and he’s not afraid to express himself. In short, he’s not afraid to be himself and a substantial part of his success can be attributed to this. With so many blogs on the Internet, why would someone want to read yours? Give them a reason. Dare to be different.
Pete Cashmore and the New Currency
Founder and CEO of Mashable, Pete Cashmore has similarly achieved great levels of success by striking out on his own and putting out a product that stands above the rest. No wonder he’s been recognized as one of Forbes’ top 25 web celebs and one of Time magazine’s top 100 most influential people.
“We’re living at a time when attention is the new currency: With hundreds of TV channels, billions of Web sites, podcasts, radio shows, music downloads and social networking, our attention is more fragmented than ever before.”
This echoes the sentiment expressed by Godin and amplifies it to the scale of the World Wide Web.
It’s hard to get noticed on the Internet. It’s perhaps even harder to keep someone’s attention for more than a few seconds at a time. For better or for worse, society has quickly become a herd of goldfish. (What do you call a group of goldfish anyway? A school?)
Our attention spans are shorter than ever, so it must be a major objective for you not only to captivate the interest of your readers but to retain it. How can you keep them coming back for more? How can you ensure they watch your YouTube videos all the way to the end or read the entirety of your blog posts?
One strategy that you might consider is simply to embrace this perspective of the fragmented attention. In addition to your blog, you can have a podcast, a YouTube channel, and several social media profiles. Offer a list of related posts in each of your blog posts, so readers will have a good idea of where they should go next (instead of clicking away to visit another site). Hanging on to that attention will be key to your long-term success.
The better able you are to hold the attention of your readers, the better shot you have and maximizing the monetization potential of that traffic and the opportunity to gain even more referrals and to grow your audience as a result.
Being different may help you get noticed at first, as Seth Godin explains, but you need to have something there to hold their attention after the novelty wears off. It’s only when you are able to combine the two that you position yourself for success online.