Anyone who’s been in the blogging game for a while knows that building an audience on the web is no walk in the park. Seasoned bloggers also know they didn’t build their audiences by begging influencers across the web to acknowledge them.
Unfortunately, this is exactly what I see happening today; wannabe bloggers begging for the attention of supposed influencers. It just baffles me really.
Even if they did acknowledge you, do you really think those acknowledgements will do anything for you? The point is, people don’t become influential by begging for attention, they become influential by sharing their personal knowledge and experience with others.
Begging For Attention Is Moronic
I swear, there’s hardly a day that goes by where I don’t come across another moronic blog post that goes on and on talking about how you should be connecting with influencers, begging them for their approval and to help you get more visibility by sharing your posts and mentioning you to their followers.
Honest to god, even if they did acknowledge you, mention you to their audiences, and shared your latest blog posts, this still doesn’t convince anyone else that your content and overall ideas are worthy of their time.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from three and a half years of consistent blogging, it’s that getting visibility doesn’t mean gaining attention. Whether you manage to dump a post in front of 50 people or 50,000, it doesn’t matter, the principals remain the same. It’s up to people to decide what they like and don’t like, and what will ultimately have an influence on them.
The fact is, the inherent influence you have upon others will ultimately depend on what you have to offer the world. Those who’re truly influential in their own rights don’t have to beg for people to notice them, they just do. It’s because these bloggers have something the rest of the blogging nobody’s wish they had, real world knowledge and experience that others will naturally find to be useful.
Sometimes it’s not even knowledge that matters, it could just be they have amazing writing skills and people find what they write to be entertaining or useful for some reason. Maybe it’s just their natural personality. Either way, the influential are naturally compelling!
From Nobody To Somebody
The creator of this very site, Davina Ngei, had such a strong influence on both myself and others, that all it took was a few good posts made to our Google+ community before we decided to put her in a position of leadership for our social networking organization as a whole.
In three and a half years, and with roughly 120,000 active members, I can count on two hands how many people we’ve offered such a position to. It’s a rare event, but Davina’s influence on us was that strong!
What was it that made her work so compelling? She has something that many of the other thousands of bloggers who post in our communities don’t have, a real sense of purpose. It’s just her natural personality really. She’s not afraid to be social, and she’s extremely knowledgeable of the subjects for which she writes. She also has incredible writing skills, and if she has one attribute that really sets her apart from the rest, it’s the fact she constantly learning something new and not just preaching.
Let me mind you, she didn’t have to beg for influencers to acknowledge her, share her posts, or mention her. She didn’t beg for a position of leadership either, it was simply handed to her. It’s a positioned she greatly deserved.
The point is, if you want to be influential yourself and build a strong and dedicated audience on the web, start by defining what your ultimate purpose is and build from there. In Davina’s case, she just so happens to love anything and everything that has to do with entrepreneurship. She’s passionate about it, excited about, and it shows in her work. If you’re excited about something yourself, it’s a lot easier to get others excited as well.
Screw the Influencers Connect With Power Players
Sure, there’s a lot of really bright and influential people on the web, but getting their attention doesn’t mean gaining traction. What you need to realize is that, their influence is not your influence!
Again, what you have to offer will define your influence. While I see nothing wrong with connecting with influencers, it would make more sense for potential bloggers to try and connect with those who’re relevant to their purpose on the web, rather than those who’re influential.
The reason being is that, search engines like Google typically look at who’s connected with who, as well as how relevant those connections are when it comes time to ranking people, content, and ideas on the web.
As far as search engines are concerned, the more people you associate with that are relevant to your cause, the better. If you can get others in your industry to vouch for your ideas, you can be seen by search giants as having a strong influence on your audience, helping you to rank higher in SERPS.
If you do manage to connect with strong influencers within your niche, great, but a better place to focus is not just on who’s relevant or influential, but who’s in a position of power. Why? Because those in a position of power can often put you in a position of power as well. Davina is another clear example of this very idea. She connected not just with those who were relevant to her ideas, but those who had the power to propel those ideas.
I’ve said it before a million times and I’ll say it again, who you know is just as important as what you know. If you want to find yourself in a stronger position to reach a larger audience, it helps if you can convince the power players in your industry back you.
Who are those power players? They’re not necessarily the ones who’re influential, but rather the ones who’re in control. For instance, any celebrity can get their face plastered on the front of a magazine, but whoever controls the media organization that owns that magazine is the real decision maker, and it’s up to them to decide what’s worthy of the publication’s audience, and what is not.
The same goes for the web. Whoever controls the points of communication on the web, controls the content that traverses it, including the audience that ingests that content.
These are all a big plus to those who’re looking to grow their audiences and propel their entrepreneurial ideas. The power players also aren’t always the influential, hence the word power, meaning they have the power to make things happen, such as give you more visibility to wider audience.
Think of it this way, when you go for a job interview, the person who hires you doesn’t hire you because you’re qualified, they do so because they feel like it. As harsh as this sounds, it’s the honest to god truth. When you go for a job interview, it’s your job to convince the person doing the hiring that you’re worthy of the job.
Likewise, the same goes for the potential blogger, as when you produce new content on the web, it’s your job to convince readers that your ideas are sound and worthy of vouching for. Your ability to sway an audience, or even land that much wanted job position ultimately comes down to influence.
All being said, the real point I’m trying to make is that, building relationships with others opens the doors to new opportunities we might otherwise have never had.
Naturally, “the best opportunities in life arise out of the relationships we build.” If you build more relationships with others on the web and have something worthwhile to offer, you’re going to be that much more likely to have a strong influence on others.
So, my message to bloggers is to stop chasing after the influence of others, and instead chase after your own.