This blog post is not going to change the world.
Despite how good I’ll feel when I finally hit “publish,” there probably won’t be anyone out there anxious to celebrate my social media success.
And the sound of one man clapping is just kind of sad.
So, I’ll hit “publish,” and then I’ll perish. Temporarily at least.
I’ll walk away and dive back in to the pile of work eying me as I type these very words.
I’ll put my nose to the grindstone and get back to work. I won’t hold my breath waiting for the social media world to celebrate my work because it’s just not going to happen. It doesn’t work like that. But there’s a tendency to think that it does.
We figure that all it will take is one stand-out, absolutely amazing piece of content that will light the world on fire. We put all of our eggs in this basket, we hit “publish” and we wait. And nothing happens.
And it shouldn’t. We shouldn’t want to be a one-hit wonder in the world of social media. That rarely happens and even more rarely turns in to anything substantial, despite some false-hope-breeding exceptions.
What we need is structure and discipline. We need consistency. That’s the only way to get traction in this space. That’s what works.
Rome, Influence and Things That Were Not Built in a Day
The biggest names in blogging all have something in common: they’ve been at it for a while. I’m sure that each one of them would tell you that there is no such thing as overnight success. Chris Brogan even blogged about it.
If we take a closer look at the archive pages from some of the social media empire-makers, there is some perspective to be gained:
- January 9, 2006: First post by Brian Clark on Copyblogger.com
- September 3, 2005: First post by Andy Beal on MarketingPilgrim.com
- July 1, 2005: First post by Jeff Jarvis on BuzzMachine.com
- September 29, 2004: First post by Darren Rowse on Problogger.net
- March 23, 2004: First post by Chris Brogan on ChrisBrogan.com
- January 15, 2002: First post by Seth Godin on SethGodin.Typepad.com
These guys all started a while ago and probably even before the date associated with the first post in their archives. They’ve been doing it for a long time and they’ve been doing it well. There are no substantial gaps in their archives.
They crank out solid content at a regular pace and they’ve earned results: they’ve sold books, they’ve been booked as speakers, they’ve (probably) seen an increase in consulting offers, and we’ve all heard of them.
We all Retweet their content and link to it. We all take their word as gospel. We try to practice what they preach.
They didn’t wait for their parade. They did the unglamorous work of paving the way with structure and discipline.
And look how far they’ve come.