ProBlogger – What Thomas Edison Can Teach You About Blogging

18Jun08

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What Thomas Edison Can Teach You about Blogging

Thomas Edison was one of the most prolific and influential inventors that the world has seen. Inventing world changing technologies such as the light bulb, phonograph and the motion picture camera – Edison is someone whose views on emerging technologies can inform what we do in blogging today.

Following are 11 Thomas Edison quotes and some thoughts on how they apply to blogging:

1. Start with a Need

“I never perfected an invention that I did not think about in terms of the service it might give others… I find out what the world needs, then I proceed to invent.”

Blogs succeed when they meet a need – whether it be a need for information, entertainment, community or something else. The best place to start when building a blog is to think about a need or service that it might provide people. Once you know what that need is – start building.

2. Work Smart

“Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing.”

It is easy to fill your time as a blogger with many tasks that seem urgent – yet which are not important. Don’t become obsessed with any one task in blogging and put thought into your workflow so that you can concentrate on the important rather than the urgent.

3. Work and Wait

“Everything comes to him who hustles while he waits. “

Most new bloggers quickly find that to build a blog to it’s potential takes time. In some ways it is a waiting game while the search engines index you, you establish trust with readers and build your profile in your niche. However it’s not just a matter of waiting – it’s about working hard – particularly in the early days of your blog.

4. It Takes Work

“Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration. “

Coming up with a great idea for a new blog is just the beginning – to make it a successful blog takes a lot of hard work.

5. Failing Takes You Closer to Succeeding

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. “

Every post you write, every way that you attempt to promote your blog, every tool that you use – treat these things as learning experiences that shape your future. If something doesn’t work – you’re one step closer to finding something that will. Build on what you build and be willing to try new things – this is an important part of being a good blogger.

6. You are Capable of Astounding Things!

“If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves. “

Don’t get trapped into limiting yourself as a blogger because you’ve not ‘made it’ yet.You have incredible potential, you are unique and have something in your that no-one else has. Tap into what makes you you and you’ll be on the way to building something valuable.

7. Sometimes Failing is The Start of Success

“Just because something doesn’t do what you planned it to do doesn’t mean it’s useless. “

One of the wonderful things about the blogging space is that even when things don’t turn out the way that you plan them – they can still be a success. My first photography blog was designed as a photoblog – the problem was that no one ever looked at my photos – but instead read the little camera review that I also posted on it. That gave birth to something that grew into a full time living!

8. Don’t Give Up Too Early

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”

Most blogs are abandoned after a month or two…. the average time that it takes a blog to rise to the top of the pile is around 3 years (it’s now longer).

9. Make it Fun

“I never did a day’s work in my life. It was all fun.”

Blog about something that you enjoy, that you have passion for, that you’d talk and write about for free. While this doesn’t guarantee success it certainly makes blogging a more pleasurable and therefore sustainable thing.

10. Have Lots of Ideas

“To have a great idea, have a lot of them.”

Put time aside regularly to dream, brainstorm and wonder ‘what if….’. Not every idea for your blog will work – so it pays to have lots of ideas!

11. You Don’t Have to Start with the Finished Product

“To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.”

Many bloggers get trapped into thinking that they need to start out with the best blog design, on the best domain with the best blogging tool. While it can help to start out with all the bells and whistles – most successful bloggers started out with the basics – a free blog on a free blogging platform with a default template. The key to their success was that they had a good idea and worked hard. Most upgraded overtime but what you see of their blogs today isn’t how they started out.

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