My rich dad always told me, “Sometimes you gotta do the things you hate.”
Okay, fine. I didn’t have a rich dad. Happy now?
But you have to admit to the truth in that statement.
Life is not all fair. And yes, we all need to do a few things we hate…so much.
Why? Because they are part of us, our daily lives. We can’t do without it.
Unfortunately, blogging is like that.
Ask any serious blogger worth his salt and sugar, and he will quickly tell you how much he hates to see the declining pageview graph on Google Analytics dashboard. Blogging is a tough “job”. (Yes, it’s a job these days. Not rocket science but a Pandora’s Box nonetheless.)
You know what? I sometimes feel that blogging is more like running a marathon while traditional advertising—I am talking about native ads, PPC ads or social media ads—is more in lines of performing a 100m sprint.
As in any marathon, keep sweating for 43 kilometres and a winner’s trophy waits for you…probably. How unfair! But that’s how the game is.
Yes, yes, you probably realized how much I hate blogging but the question is…
Can I avoid blogging?
No, I cannot. Heck! Robert Cialdini will tell you not to. Let’s see why.
Blogging Is A Necessary Evil…
(With Two Horns and A Tail)
It’s a MUST in today’s competitive business world.
If you want to survive and make your mark, you have to keep blogging nonetheless. Even if you hate it, you need to keep doing it. Because that beast of a blog that you created all these years gets stronger as you keep pushing day after day.
And seriously, I am not kidding.
Tech Client reports, “Featuring a blog as a key part of your website will give you a 434% better chance of being ranked highly on search engines.” Can you imagine? 434 percent?! Not a matter of joke, huh.
Search engines love fresh, relevant content. Even a kid knows that.
Then, HubSpot says, “B2B marketers who use blogs as part of their content marketing mix get 67% more leads than those that don’t.” Quality leads generate revenue and revenue sustain businesses. Simple logic.
Two more statistics that will blow your mind are—Blogs have been rated as the 5th most trusted source for accurate online information (Search Engine People) and 23 percent of an internet user’s online time is probably spent in reading blogs (Mashable).
Although Olivia Allen from HubSpot says “it costs your time only”, I wouldn’t agree completely. It does cost a lot more than that … if you want to do it the right way. But in most cases, she is right.
But having said this, the primary reason why blogging is crucial for your business’ health is…
Blogging Has The Potential
To Turn You Into An “Influencer”
We all know what that means, right? Hundreds of thousands of followers on Twitter, daily mentions on authority blogs, invitations to TV talk shows, and yes, “greenery” all around.
Like the sound of it? Of course, why not.
And it’s true. All of these are achievable with a popular blog in a popular niche.
Look at Pat Flynn. Look at Derek Halpern. Look at Seth Godin. The list goes on.
All they started with… was a simple blog.
How can a blog come with such superpower? Good question.
A Well-Established Blog Conforms to
Robert Cialdini’s 6 Principles of Influence
#1. PRINCIPLE OF RECIPROCITY
Simply put, people are obliged to give back to others the form of a behavior, gift, or service that they have received first.
If a friend invites you to their party, there’s an obligation for you to invite them to a future party you are hosting. If a colleague does you a favor, then you owe that colleague a favor. And in the context of a social obligation, people are more likely to say yes to those who they owe.
As a blogger, you are actually giving your readers a LOT of value…in the form of 2 E’s of value, viz. education and entertainment. Through your blog, you give the right advice at the right time—something that your readers never asked for! How generous of you, my friend.
One done. Five more to go.
#2. PRINCIPLE OF SCARCITY
When British Airways announced in 2003 that they would no longer be operating the twice daily London—New York Concorde flight because it had become uneconomical to run, sales the very next day took off.
Notice that nothing had changed about the Concorde itself. It certainly didn’t fly any faster, the service didn’t suddenly get better, and the airfare didn’t drop. It had simply become a scarce resource. And as a result, people wanted it more.
Now does that apply to blogging directly?
However, think about it. The more clout your blog earns over time, the more demanding it becomes for you. Naturally, you become scarce as a result. You might not want it. But you will.
I won’t go out on a limb and say that every other blog kept by Mr and Mrs Smith and nerdy son is going to garner such popularity over time. But yes, for the interesting bloggers who have a natural flair to become popular, this can be a possibility.
#3. PRINCIPLE OF AUTHORITY
Ever went to a physiotherapist? Yes?
Why? What happened to you? Are you okay now? Are you still taking your pills?
Okay, I was kidding. Don’t be offended.
But seriously, have you seen how they would have all their useless paper certificates all framed and glossy hanging on the wall? It’s a nice way of garnering that sense of authority over your patients who would even bang their heads on the wall if prescribed as medication.
Science tells us that it’s important to signal to others what makes you a credible, knowledgeable authority before you make your influence attempt.
And what better way to establish your authority than to maintain a unique and useful blog.
#4. PRINCIPLE OF CONSISTENCY
People like to keep doing what they have previously said or done.
Ask for small initial commitments and you will activate the consistency button in the person. For example, one recent study reduced missed appointments at health centres by 18% simply by asking the patients rather than the staff to write down appointment details on the future appointment card.
Okay, sounds like common sense to me but how does that translate to blogging?
Recall your most favorite blogs—that you visit regularly—for a second.
There is a high chance that you probably started seeing them ranking high on search engines or being advertised on Facebook, and you visited them for the first time. Over time, this process was repeated. And now you are in an addicted to those blogs. (I can see the blogger grinning behind the curtain.)
But there you go.
You did it before and it became normal and almost like a habit for you.
But does it work in today’s blogging world where 347 blogs are being added every minute? Does a blog really develop that equity with its readers? Unless it falls within the top 1 percent, I guess this principle might not work for blogging (or any other such competitive industries for that matter).
#5. PRINCIPLE OF LIKEABILITY
I like my best friend…A LOT.
She always has my full attention. And yes, I totally believe whatever she says.
We have that sort of deep emotional connection you know. She is so close to me as a person. The truth is, if she ever writes a book or creates a scrapbook, I would totally go for it.
Without even a second thought.
And I am sure, you have such people in your lives too. Perhaps your brother, your sister or your friend? Someone who you totally trust in and share a strong rapport with.
That’s exactly what happens between some bloggers and their readers. They don’t just start a blog. Sometimes, they start a “cult”.
Their clout grows on the strong back of trust, faith and rapport.
Their readers don’t read their blogs because the articles are great. Sometimes, they read it because they feel connected with the blogger himself.
We are naturally empathetic animals and building relationships comes natural to us.
Your blog helps to convey your voice, your personality that strikes a fine chord with your community.
You become influential as such.
#5. PRINCIPLE OF CONSENSUS
Especially when they are uncertain, people will look to the actions and behaviors of others to determine their own.
Not always, but yes, we do follow the herd mentality.
If the whole community says that someone is a thief, you tend to believe that he is one.
Have you any proof? Nope.
Would you trust him if you discover proof of his innocence? Still nope.
Who said we humans are rational? Those economists started out with the wrong assumption, for God’s sake!
We tend to believe what others believe.
We don’t question it.
We don’t try to take a chance.
Well, this is actually hardwired into us through evolution as a way of protecting us from unknown dangers lurking ahead. We are born cautious.
That’s where blogging comes into play.
When your blog slowly gains popularity in the market and a few thousand people start talking about you, what happens next is amazing.
It multiplies exponentially.
This is when the power of social proof has taken over.
And that’s when you are a famous influencer, my friend.
Okay Mr. Cialdini, you win and I lose. Happy now?
Oh, I so hate you, blogging. But how can I ever live without you?
See, what you have done to me. You make me write 1600+ words post these days.
Am I an influencer yet?
No. Someday perhaps.