Two Cents Tuesday: (Some) Blogs Get Better with Age

July 20, 2010

in Editor's Corner

Ye Old Cheshire Cheese (P1000322)

Photo Credit: swh (flickr)

“Patience is a virtue, possess it if you can. Seldom in a woman, never in a man.” — Origin is debated.

Don’t stone me. I didn’t make that saying up, guys. :)

If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile and if you have downloaded and read [intlink id="3376" type="page"]Blog Eat Blog[/intlink] (hint), you may notice this thing I have about blogs that have “been around.” It’s my belief that you shouldn’t compare your success to theirs if your blog is new.

New bloggers with big aspirations come out of the gate with fury today, buying expensive books and subscriptions to this or that, with promises that by tomorrow, they will experience the incredible growth and reach of blogs like ProBlogger and Copyblogger. (If you haven’t you ought to read Oni Bamidele’s post that analyzes five top blogs. He’s spot on.)

Thoughts On Instantaneous Authority

It CAN happen. If you don’t believe me, check out ViperChill.com, or VirginBloggerNotes.com. Those blogs are under a year old and their reader engagement levels are enviable. I honestly believe that some bloggers just got it. They just do. Something about their writing styles and promotion strategies and confidence levels has such mass appeal that it’s like trying to walk through glue. You can’t. You land on their blog and then you are totally consumed and a reader for life (or at least, I am).

Thing is, that thing doesn’t always happen instantly, and even Jean of VirginBloggerNotes will say that she has learned an awful lot in this time, and both of them probably have long-term plans for continued growth. There is something to be said about longevity and experience. There is also something to be said about figuring it out over time. In the Blog Eat Blog guide, I take you back a few years to when Copyblogger first started. You might be surprised to know that on Day 1, the blog wasn’t getting 100+ blog comments with every post and didn’t have 100,000 subscribers. Really? Yes, really.

That blog, like all of the long-standing ones, has grown over time – significantly. And now, it’s formidable. Few copy writing blogs are going to be able to stand up against it. Now, not only does it have the high quality writing it always has had, but it has a fierce and loyal readership that will be difficult to contend with. For the foreseeable future, bloggers everywhere will be constantly referring to and linking to Copyblogger, sending its authority into the sky.

Compare, Contrast, Emulate

If you are going to compare your blog to others, at least compare in the right way. Here’s how:

  • Find blogs that you would like to emulate. To emulate does not mean to copy. Don’t bother trying to be another them. Not only is it impossible, but what will happen is that at the most, your blog will be like a cheap alternative. Like grocery store branded cereal. It never tastes quite the same.
  • Understand their growth patterns. This is key. The best way to get where someone is now, is to look at where they have been. Study them. Note similarities and differences. Figure out where they were when they were your “age.” What were the promotion techniques? What types of posts were they publishing? Read About pages, review Archives, and pay attention to popular posts, as well.
  • Do as they did. Don’t be too literal about that. Again, it’s not about copying. However, you can’t expect to experience the growth and authority of your ideal blogs if you run the other way. That’s illogical. Tip: if a blogger you like and would like to emulate puts out some sort of tool or resource that details how they got to where they are, it’s probably a good idea that you buy it and eat it up.

Maybe I’m Nuts

Perhaps I’m off-base here and it’s totally pointless to say that time and patience are two big ingredients to success. After all, some of the best selling material out there is about how to become successful RIGHT NOW. No one wants to wait anymore, it seems. It seems sometimes that instantaneous success is far more attractive than the lessons learned through growth. I don’t know. I’m a wine drinker. I happen to prefer things with age (wine… cheese… men – whoops :)).

What do YOU think?

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Shakira @ kids fairy costume August 25, 2010 at 8:06 pm

Hi Tia, First of all, thanks for the resources.
This is indeed a nice and easy tip for everyone which has been ignored by many experts & professionals. I admire your dedication and effort for having done a great job here by bringing this topic into light. I hope quality discussions follow this post. Great job.Good luck with the challenge and with your business.

seospidy@Internet marketing August 10, 2010 at 2:54 am

Excellent Post Awesome work Thanks

Kathy@ Kathy Blogger August 2, 2010 at 1:10 pm

Tia,

I like your observation that some bloggers “just got it.”

I agree 100%. Some people are born leaders and possess excellent written communication skills. That is not to say that this can’t be learned though. I think it can definitely be learned.

In this business I believe patience and hard work will eventually pay off. I remember reading about Steve Pavlina and Darren at ProBlogger. Both of those guys hit it big when they wrote posts that were really unrelated to what their blog was really about. These guys were smart enough to capitalize on the good fortune that they had. But, prior to those two posts, they were just normal bloggers writing because they enjoyed it.

All of us unknowns out here should remember that we have the very same potential that these super bloggers have.

Keith Davis@Public speaking and Presentations July 30, 2010 at 3:41 am

Tia
Time and patience… agree totally.
Sure your blog will get better with time as you become a better blogger but never forget the big G.
Google likes websites that have been around a while – it feels that those sites can be trusted i.e. not spam sites.
I’m sure that I’ve read somewhere that “Domain age” is one of the factors in the Google algorithm.

Write great posts, become part of the community, build links and let old father time do the rest.

summit movers July 29, 2010 at 1:52 pm

Yeah, and some outlast their welcome.

Tia Peterson July 29, 2010 at 2:07 pm

hahaha touché.

Udegbunam Chukwudi@Blog Setup Service July 29, 2010 at 11:00 am

I stopped by Glen’s blog last week and found quite a boat load of useful info and so much comments. Now you say ViperChill is just less tha a year old, I’m left mouth wide open ;-). I’m doing the best I can and hope to get to that level some day though when that time comes replying every comment might get difficult :-(

Thanh@BlogMMO.net July 26, 2010 at 4:41 am

great article, I agree 100% with you!

Petra@Building Niche Websites July 24, 2010 at 5:29 pm

Hi Tia,
I think what some people don’t realize when they start up a blog is that it does take lots of time, effort and engagement with your readers to get to the level of some of the other bloggers.
Often when people start out with their own blog they also have simply not got all the knowledge and skills (technical and otherwise) because I found that you learn all this with time.
Sure, if you know how all this internet and blogging stuff works right off the bat, I am sure you will be more successful in a shorter amount of time.
But hey, “slow and steady” can also win the race! :)

Tia Peterson July 25, 2010 at 10:48 pm

Hi Petra – Right! I know what you mean by many people start off on this adventure and do not have all of the necessary skills – or the money to hire someone who does. So it’s just about persistence, being open to learning, and pacing oneself.

Thanks for stopping by!

Cheers,
Tia

Suzy July 24, 2010 at 3:49 pm

There is no one way to skin the cat. There are several and you have to incorporate them togather to make it work. I like to think of it as a game. That is why I love to read everything I can. You never know what you will pick up.

Dev - Technshare.com July 23, 2010 at 7:15 pm

Hey Tia,

Super-awesome Post. I know how awesome work they either are doing.

Doing commenting in return is really a great idea.

Thanks for sharing this Fantastic Post. Keep up the good work.

PS. Have you received my mail?

~Dev

Tia July 24, 2010 at 7:50 am

Dev! I don’t think I got your email! Could you send it again to tia at bizchickblogs dot com?

Thank you so much for your comments and support always.

ashok July 22, 2010 at 9:11 pm

It’s solid advice, and encouraging. btw, I’m not at 500 a day yet (first benchmark), but I’m double my traffic fairly routinely and hitting somewhere around 400 uniques a day.

I figure at this point it’s stick to the same strategy until 500 a day is at least sort of regular, and then figure out a new benchmark, and set a plan in motion to get that much more traffic. The plan is to keep setting benchmarks until 20,000 uniques a day, unless a brick wall is hit before then.

Tia Peterson July 25, 2010 at 10:46 pm

I’m glad it’s encouraging. I’m curious to know what your promotion techniques are. Maybe you can tell us in a guest post. :)

Cheers,
Tia

Gera @ Sweets Foods Blog July 22, 2010 at 4:37 pm

Bloggers’ age is equal to quality aged wines? Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot ;-)
Agree! I believe is important the type of person and the background of the same behind the blogs. There other examples like SocialmediaExaminer too.

Everybody want magic success, but I don’t think is so easy, right?
Hard work, clear concepts and patience are necessary!

Cheers,

Gera

Tia Peterson July 25, 2010 at 10:45 pm

Hey Gera – Agree. Everyone wants success; just not everyone wants to work for it! ;)

Jovit @ Sytek MN Directory July 22, 2010 at 8:24 am

I agree that time and patience are two ingredients to success. I just like to say that if you’re new, you have to be different from the existing ones. You may do the things they did on how to succeed but you have to offer diffent things.

Tia Peterson July 22, 2010 at 9:19 am

Yes, Jovit! Right on. So the third ingredient, then, would be “something to bring to the table.”

Kok Siong @ Cancer Research July 22, 2010 at 8:21 am

Good article from you Tia! This is the truth in blogosphere. When i start blogging last year, i bought a lot of ebooks to learn how to blog. I wish to be successful in a short time. However, the answer is no. We need time to expose ourselves in blogosphere. We need effort and consistency. It is not easy but not impossible. What do you think?

Tia Peterson July 22, 2010 at 9:18 am

I agree 100%. It’s not easy, and also not impossible. But those are the qualities of some of the best things in life. :)

Sire@Loves His Women July 21, 2010 at 10:12 pm

One thing that we can do that many well known bloggers don’t do is to provide more interaction with those who take the time to comment on our blogs. Doing this shows that you care.

Wherever possible it’s also a great idea to follow them to their blog and leave a well constructed comment in return. I’ve found that is the best way to really build up your community of blogging friends.

Tia Peterson July 22, 2010 at 9:16 am

Well, hello Sire :) Indeed – and you’re a great example of that. I’d consider you “up there” and many “up there” bloggers don’t bother coming to blogs like this and sharing their two cents, so I really appreciate you stopping by and sharing yours.

Building a community by following commenters back to their blogs takes time, and so many bloggers (especially very new bloggers, but also older more established) don’t want to invest such time. But I’m finding it pay off in really big ways.

Gera @ Sweets Foods Blog July 22, 2010 at 4:32 pm

Building a community is extremely important around your blog, but not all bloggers are involved and want this process!

Cheers,

Gera

Sire July 22, 2010 at 10:51 pm

Of course, if I didn’t practice what I preached I’d be setting a rotten example now wouldn’t I? ;)

Tia Peterson July 23, 2010 at 12:40 pm

Lots of rotten examples being set all over the Internet, though! :)

Mia July 21, 2010 at 7:04 pm

I went and checked your links that you suggested and they rock. Oh!, by the way, your page rocks, too.

Kaylynn July 21, 2010 at 5:36 pm

This is very interesting. I have made some that go to the top and others that I can never find. I have tryed to do the same thing time after time but, it does not always work for me. That is why I am always reading, hoping to find the secret. Thanks for the links.

ryanchaffin July 21, 2010 at 3:47 pm

Good article. Thanks!

Dean Saliba July 21, 2010 at 3:21 am

When I first started my blog I would spend more time looking at better blogs, and wondering why they were doing bettter than me, than I would do on my own blog.

Luckily it only took me a month to shake this problem off and now I don’t try to emulate any other blog just in case the same thing happens again. :)

Sherryl Perry July 20, 2010 at 3:10 pm

You’re right-on the mark (as usual) with this post. We need to take inspiration from some of these bloggers and as you say emulate them but to try to be them would be a huge mistake
To me, it always comes back to knowing your target market and then differentiating yourself…. And then (as you suggest) be patient. I’m a wine drinker too. 

Tia Peterson July 20, 2010 at 6:38 pm

That’s another thing we have in common, then! :)

Right – emulate but not copy. It makes sense to emulate a blogger you hope to be like or to grab some ideas from their blogs.

Jean Sarauer July 20, 2010 at 2:50 pm

Tia, this is a fabulous post, and I’m not saying that because my blog is in it. You are so right on with this. We all start at day one (or day zero in my case) and grow at different rates.

A writing instructor told me years back that every time I go to a bookstore and hold a best-seller in my hands, I need to picture the years of bad writing and rejection it took for that author to get where they are now.

Why have I not downloaded ‘Blog Eat Blog’ yet? Time to remedy that right now :)

Tia Peterson July 20, 2010 at 2:58 pm

Ooooh, Jean. That’s a GREAT thought about best-sellers (especially since I’m sitting in a bookstore right now).

Recognizing where people come from does wonders for boosting those blogging “bummed out” days.

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