One of my favorite books is a collection of articles by Amy Dacyczyn (pronounced Decision) called The Tightwad Gazette. Amy was a pioneer. She started back in the early ‘90s writing articles on ways to live within or below your means back when living on credit cards way above your means was the norm. Amy took a subject that she was passionate about, realized there were others who were equally passionate, and began writing a newsletter to connect with those people.
That was her goal, to connect with like-minded individuals. Word spread like wildfire about this guru of savings and within a few short years, Amy was able to retire. She simply took her newsletter that she had been sending out and compiled her articles into 3 books (she later compiled the 3 books into one called The Complete Tightwad Gazette). At this writing, she spends life with her 6 teenagers living on a farm in Maine.
Blogs are popping up all over the internet. From what I hear, it's like 1 per minute. That's a lot of blogs. I'm sure that means there are a lot of good writing out there, as well as a lot of crap being written. I would like to stay on the side of good writing. Amy obviously did things right. Here are some of the reasons I think she succeeded:
1. Amy didn't have the internet "experts" to distract her from her vision. She only had what was around her and her passion. She wrote about what she knew, which is what made her the expert.
a. As a blogger, are you writing about your passions or are you writing what the experts are telling you that you should be writing about?
2. Amy didn't write to get rich. She got rich, but that was secondary. Amy wrote because she wanted to meet others that shared her passion. She regularly included letters from her readers in her newsletters.
a. As a blogger, are you writing to share your passion, or are you writing to make money?
3. Amy stuck to one subject in her articles. She didn't pretend to be an expert on everything. She showed the steps that brought her to the conclusions she made so others could follow the steps and come to their own conclusions. She wasn't a "know it all".
a. Is your blog all over the map as far as subjects go, or are you steady on one course?
4. Amy was human. Once someone questioned her because she took a muffin away from a free buffet to eat later. This made her honestly question herself whether she was ethical by taking it rather than eating it there. She asked other's opinions. In the end, she regretted her decision to take the muffin.
a. We all make mistakes. You don't want to look incompetent in your blog, but you do want to be approachable.
5. Amy was the first.
a. With so many blogs out there, it's hard to be the first, or even original. That means you absolutely have to be the best. There's no room for mediocrity.