For the last few months, I've been consumed with putting the next BlogPodium conference together. From finding just the right speakers to enticing the best sponsors to helping bloggers connect, evolve, and learn - I love the problem solving and making it all come together. Last year, the conference was about making our blogs more marketable and ultimately more successful. We shared tips on blog design and photography and heard from PR firms on how to get noticed. We walked away with real ideas that we could implement to make our blogs better. If you've been to a blogger conference, I'm sure you've learned about those very same things.
And then things shifted.
Over the past year you've heard how readers aren't commenting anymore, how challenging it is to get someone's attention and provide compelling content to entice them to stay. It's all become a bit vanilla, everyone doing the same thing, nothing new that you haven't seen on Pinterest already. Blogging has become harder. And I think its time we needed this wake up call.
I've come to realize that the blog is not the end goal. We are not all cut out to be full-time bloggers, making careers out of daily posts, affiliate sales, and generating ad views. Where once we talked about leaving our day jobs and making the leap into full-time blogging, I think for the majority of us, that isn't realistic. Very few have mastered the magic mix of personality, eloquence, photography, design, content, and uniqueness that make a blog irresistible.
The truth is, I think many of us have been wishing for the wrong dream.
Instead of creating a successful blog, create a successful business. The blog is just one piece of a puzzle and the size and look of that puzzle is up to you. Are you a blogger and an author, writing ebooks or crafting your first novel? Are you a blogger and photographer, selling your prints on Etsy? A blogger and decorator? A blogger and artist, social media consultant, graphic designer? Maybe you are all those things.
What business could you use your blog to help build?
I think we need to stop thinking of ourselves as bloggers and think of ourselves as entrepreneurs. Thinking of ourselves as "just bloggers" limits the scope of what we think we can do. Of what we think is possible.
Your blog is not just a blog. It's your resume, your calling card, your place to experiment. Its a place to try things out and develop new skills. Some excel at the art of blogging that they don't need to look beyond its virtual borders. But for the rest of us, the blog is a springboard to other opportunities. Its the genesis, the catalyst, the seed.
I used to think of my blog as just a place to share my projects and home. But it has brought so much more than that. It has spawned magazine coverage, on air appearances, a (failed) book, ambassadorships, a growing business. I'm not saying that to be boastful - each blogger has the same potential.
The blog is the starting point, not the end.
Where will your blog take you?
I'm going to take a moment and invite you all to BlogPodium. The speakers will be addressing just that: sharing personal stories of how their blog has allowed them to find success in other fields. I hope you come along and explore what's possible for you.