Being a Blogger and Surviving the Winds of Change

by John Hoff on October 1, 2012

You started a blog for a reason. I bet most of you started one because on some level you’re hoping a blog can help you accomplish your dreams.

That might be in the form of…

  • money
  • wealth
  • personal satisfaction
  • promote your true online business

…and many other reasons.

The problem you face is the fact that there are people out there doing the same thing online which are:

  • smarter than you
  • have more money than you
  • have a huge following of people
  • have online employees to increase the speed at which productivity happens

Here’s a little not-so-secret idea you should always keep in mind.

–> Everything changes <--

Yes it sucks, I know. My kids are getting older; I'm getting older; my favorite computer programs are getting outdated; kids don't use phones to talk anymore but rather favor texting and communicating through social media, my huge dinosaur computer will one day be outdated... and on and on.

There are lots of "How to be successful online" tips out there, but in my opinion one of the most important ones is understanding that you MUST adapt to the changes in which the world is gravitating towards.

As an online entrepreneur, failure on your part to adapt to changes in technology will be your downfall.

Example of Changes Businesses Had To Adapt To

In music and the recording industry, do you remember albums? They were those big round things you use to spin on a machine which used a needle to produce music.

What came after albums?

The eight-track, right? The eight-track began to date albums. Then came the cassette which outdated the previous two. Then the CD came along and for the most part killed albums and eight-tracks.

Now what are we left with? Digital music devices. Forget CDs; I think I bought 1 CD in the last 5 years. Most my music is now either played through an IPOD, my phone, or my computer.

Imagine back in the day if you were the top eight-track seller and even after the cassette came out you continued to push the eight-track because you just had it down. You were the kingpin of eight-track.

What do you think would of happened to your business as time went on?

You’d be left with nothing.

Check this out…

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to speak to a number of business owners who were attending one of those “how to grow your brick and mortar business online” conventions. It was small, only about 75 people and most of them were in the 35-50 age range.

One of the topics I talked about was adapting to change and the fact that the Internet and technology changes fast… like really fast.

I made an example of a company which refused to change because they believed people wanted their product the way it was and the new changes in technology wouldn’t sway people away from what they offered.

I asked by a show of hands how many people use to own a blackberry.

Almost everyone raised their hand.

I then asked by a show of hands how many of them still own a blackberry.

Not one raised their hand.

Blackberry had an advantage, they were first in the smart phone industry – way before Apple entered it by industry standards. And often times being first in a market gives your company a competitive advantage, especially when you have money like Blackberry did.

But why did Blackberry go from #1 for business professionals to, “No thanks?

They tossed aside the winds of change.

Here’s a decent article on highlighting why such companies end up failing:

10 Reasons Why Kodak, Blackberry, Yahoo & Other Major Brands Fail

Accepting Change and Avoiding Loserville

Obviously adapting your products, services, website, and all that good stuff to reflect changes in the world is not the end all answer to being successful. That would be silly.

But…

Acknowledgement that over time the way in which you approach making money online, ranking websites, building a following, conveying your message, and all that must change over time is a key ingredient, part of the secret sauce if you will, to being a successful entrepreneur.

So what kind of example can I give which is an example of what entrepreneurs have to adapt to right now?

I think about this one all the time and if you work in a job where you work alongside other people, I bet some of your co-workers have this complex (or maybe that person is you).

We live in a world of entitlement and if you’re one of those kinds of people, you better get your head out of your ass before it’s too late. These days it seems like everyone wants everything now and dammit, it better be free! They feel like they shouldn’t have to work too hard to get the fruits of their labor. It should be easy.

Your job as an entrepreneurial blogger then is to realize that we live in this kind of world (sucks) and figure out how your product, whether it be information, services, or physical, will feed this psychotic behavior to people.

True there has always been people who believe they are entitled to it all and only the best, but let me tell you… I keep my eyes open when I’m in the world out there and I don’t know about you, but I’ve noticed this sort of behavior increasing as technology gets better, especially in teens and 20 year olds?

It’s All Going Mobile

If whatever you’re doing online cannot be touched or tapped into through mobile devices easily then you’ll be left behind. Mobile is the way of the future whether you like it or not.

The way I see it, desktop computers will be used to build the online empire and mobile devices are the conduits which customers use to tap into it. Sure desktops will still be around, but so is Rock’n Roll… get my drift?

Okay, so you’ve accepted that change happens and you have to adapt, but how do you do that?

Here’s some advice I have for you.

1. Revisit why you started blogging.

What is that core motivation that you have which drives you? Remember it like it was the day you published your first blog post. Now remember what your plans were to get you to your goal.

Great, now that you have that back in your mind I want you to toss that aside and start thinking critically about if you were to start your business today what angle you would take. It might be the same as it is now and if so, that’s fine. The point of this exercise is to make you realize that you can’t cling to yesterday’s roadmap, ideas, and hopes.

Things change and in order for you to change you have to keep repositioning yourself in today’s day and age and not continue to build your online empire on yesterday’s ideas and technology.

The great thing about this is that when you start to reimagine your roadmap, new possibilities are often discovered.

2. Don’t forge ahead without at least some kind of plan written down on:

  • how you’re going to get customers
  • where your customers are
  • how you’re going to drive traffic to your site
  • understanding how Google ranks websites
  • what you stand for
  • what your business’ point of view will be
  • how you’re going to make money
  • how you’re going to come across (authority, expert, technician, political stance, etc.)

What gets me the most is when I hear people say, “I don’t worry about search engine optimization, I just write good content and let it take care of itself.”

Yeah and all great businesses are built that way! *grin*

You know, if you’re an entrepreneur looking to make money online and this is your stance on SEO and ranking well in Google then you might as well try driving to the grocery store blindfolded. Don’t live in a world of entitlement, live in a world where you have to work hard, learn, and adapt to change in order to beat your competition.

3. Follow what young people are doing and using.

Remember that movie, Interview with the Vampire with Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise? Awesome movie wasn’t it (you did see it…)?

In the movie, Tom Cruise bit Brad Pitt and turned him into a vampire. What was later discovered was that Tom Cruise had a motive behind why he did this; that purpose was to help Tom reconnect with today’s day and age (time was set back in the 1800′s).

So the old vampire converted a person who was connected with the current day and age so that they could learn how the youth of the current day and age felt about the world and experienced life.

Now don’t go out biting 18-25 year olds or they’ll arrest you, but…

Watch what they are doing. Okay, that sounded creepy–but you get my drift. Try to experience the world in the way they are experiencing it. Chances are if you’re like me, 37, then the way in which you perceive and tap into the world’s information is slightly different than those younger people of today’s day and age.

4. Adopt a flexible business model.

We live in a fast-paced, global market where one day what you’re doing is in and the next day you’re out. I was following one Internet marketer for a long time. This person taught me a lot about Internet marketing, SEO, and all that but I ended up unfollowing him at one point because he refused to change his business model.

He taught how to build niche websites and drive traffic to them, but his failure to me was his failure to recognize that changes in Google was coming. Even after Penguin killed every website I built using his tactics, he still insisted that the way in which he built his niche sites were high value and good in Google’s eyes. It is only in the last month or so that I see him now making small (not big) changes in the way he does things.

On the other hand, Matt Carter saw it coming way ahead of time and has been preaching how to do things the right way to be compliant with both Google and humans, thus for me he’s “in.”

So if you’re teaching something, don’t be afraid to change (or add to) what you’re teaching or how you’re teaching it. Can you reach out to iTunes or the Kindle crowd?

5. Don’t be afraid to engage your followers even more.

I’ve heard some people say they don’t want to email their list too often because they don’t want anyone to unsubscribe.

Sounds silly, doesn’t it? But I do understand this because early on I use to be worried about the same thing. The fact is, though, that you really only want people on your list who really want to hear from you, if they unsubscribe that’s fine, just focus on who you can help and who wants to listen to you.

So engage in some way those who follow you online. Ask them questions. What do they want to hear from you? How do they want it presented to them? What do they need help with.

These sorts of questions will help you identify how your business is coming across and what tweaks you need to make to adapt to changes in the world. I for one am working on this right now and will be asking these questions to my subscribers real soon.

6. Never give up.

As you go through the years working to be successful online you may have to slide a little to the left or right so that your business model and angle works, but never give up the dream. Quitters never win.

Well that about does it for this article. I’ve been rambling on for 2000 words and sometimes I have to ask myself why I do this to myself since nearly no one reads a 2000 word article anymore.

What Can You Add?

What advice can you add to this topic? Things change, no doubt. What can you advise others to do or be aware of who come after you on how to survive as an entrepreneur online through the years?

Note the link to Matt Carter is an affiliate link.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Charles October 1, 2012 at 6:45 am

Hello John,
Wonderful article. Great way to start the week, much food for thought and taking action. Keep writing these 2,000 word articles if the quality is this good. I have bookmarked this article to come back and check on myself from time to time to see if I am changing enough. Not being attached to any particular method or technique and always open to learning new things is the key. I really appreciate you taking the time to put these ideas out there for us all.

with kind regards,
Charles

Reply

John Hoff October 1, 2012 at 10:05 am

Hey Charles, thanks for the comment.

Thanks for the feedback on creating long article… noted. And I appreciate you taking the time to come read the article.

Reply

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