The first rule about going viral is not to tell anyone about how to go viral.
Today I’m going to break that rule.
I’m willing to bet that you’ve researched blogging and how to reach an audience extensively, and yet, if you’re like 95% of the other bloggers out there, you’ve found it damn near impossible to get a foothold and create content that goes bat-share-crazy across the web.
You’ve tried all kinds of stuff and it just doesn’t work, at least not nearly as much as you had hoped.
What’s wrong? Why doesn’t anyone see what you’re trying to do? Why won’t they (whoever “they” are) come and join you and share your work?
I’ll tell you why.
Because they don’t care. Right?
This is the fear that nags at you – the fear that no one cares about your work or that what you have to say doesn’t matter to anyone.
You’ve probably started gaslighting yourself with self-demoralizing questions, such as:
Maybe you’re just not interesting enough? Maybe you’re just not clever enough? Maybe you just don’t have the charm, the intellect, or the wit?
Allow me to ask you a few questions:
Are you putting together good lists?
Are you offering great bullets teaching people how to do stuff, simply and easily?
Are you reporting on the trendiest stuff in your niche?
Are you becoming an authority and certified genius in your field?
If you answered to all the above questions with a hand clapping YES! then allow me to give you some seriously sage advice, stop it!
Okay, maybe not stop it entirely, but those should not be what you’re known for. Nobody’s going to remember a good list, a few exceptional bullets, or that you reported on the latest happenings in the news.
Do you want to know why?
Because 95% of the other bloggers are doing the exact same thing! And they’re all fighting for the same piece of the pie.
The reason we think certain bloggers have the Midas touch or that they have more charm, intellect, or wit, is because they do something most bloggers and writers don’t dare to do – they rely on something amazing, which is being themselves and saying what they think when they think it.
The basis of blogging and standing out has not changed over the years, it’s still those who challenge the status quo and cause a ruckus who stand out and get our attention.
One of the first blog posts I published on Positive Writer was a post about first drafts. The title of the post was Why Your First Draft Is NOT Crap.
Your first draft is not crap is something I’ve believed for a very long time and it challenges “The First Draft of Anything Is Shit.” quote by the legendary writing master, Ernest Hemingway.
The fact of the matter is your first draft is your most important draft. Without your first draft, you would have nothing. Nada.
Sound like an interesting topic? Is it an opinion you might wholeheartedly agree with or strongly disagree with? If so, good, because that’s why it went viral.
It was also the first time someone openly disputed the belief that the first draft is crap! (That I could find at the time.)
In fact, consider this, Hemingway was never quoted as stating the famous line during his lifetime, the quote came from the notes of someone he apprenticed and only after that someone passed away, so the accuracy has never been verified.
What I am trying to say is trust your instincts and say what you want to say, how you want to say it, the way you want to say it – when you want to say it!
Go ahead, cause a ruckus, start a revolution with how people think about something you agree or disagree with. Don’t just challenge the status quo – beat it up, tear it down, and rebuild it.
Be yourself. Say something that matters. Don’t just tell us what. Tell us why. Give us meaning. Give us determination. Give us facts. Give us dreams. Give us reality. Give us desire. Give us that which others would never dream of giving.
Be courageous. The more it scares you the more it matters. You can be honest, respectful, and dignified while challenging the world with your honest and forthright opinions, but for all that is worthwhile, challenge the world you must! Please, we the audience, beg it of you.
Because if you don’t, you’re just saying what everyone else is saying and joining the choruses of noise.
Let’s go back to your first draft is not crap. If you searched google as of this writing, you’d find my article’s the very first selection out of four million two hundred and twenty thousand results.
Since its publication, many have followed suit and published articles challenging the dogma of first drafts are crap, but they weren’t first.
You’ve got something to say. You know you do.
You don’t have to be the first to say it, but what if you are? One thing’s for sure, you’ll be the first to say it your way, with your thoughts, and your meaning behind it.
If there’s an audience for what you’re saying, they’ll find you, and if they embrace you buckle up because they’re going to take you on one hell of a ride. But for that to happen, you have to be ready and willing to say what you mean and mean what you say!
Don’t be a carbon copy of what everyone else is doing, carve out your own path, and be genuinely authentic.
If you’re doing what everyone else is doing then you’re not even fighting the good fight.
Go, be bold, be courageous, and roar something that matters!
It’s easier than you think:
You are magical. So, just be. Write for you, and you’ll write for me. You’ll write for all of us.
“No one ever made a difference by being like everyone else.”
-P.T. Barnum – The Greatest Showman
I’ll help you get started, post a link in the comments to something you recently posted on your blog that challenges the status quo, or is, gosh darn it, just old fashioned different from everything else out there! Share it with us!