I am writing this post because of something Farnoosh Brock of Prolific Living recently told me. Not only is Farnoosh an incredibly kind and gracious woman, she also seems to be in the habit of doling out poignant advice.
I hadn’t actually spoken to Farnoosh before I published the LWB 100, at which time I sent her an email to let her know that Prolific Living had been featured. She got back to me, saying that she would share the post and feature it in her mentions page. I quickly replied, thanking her for her generosity. I also mentioned that I was somewhat apprehensive about emailing people, for fear of negative feedback.
She replied with the following:
You have to decide very early on about your position, and your conviction in what you are doing … then it won’t matter much who says yes and who ignores you. The right people will find you, and find you extremely valuable.
That really struck a chord with me. Whilst I am a strong-minded person, I do often live in apprehension of how my actions will be interpreted and judged. I think this feeling is prevalent amongst most people (at least to an extent). But one of the most valuable things you should know about blogging (and in fact life) is that nothing should prevent you from being who you want to be.
I know, it sounds very deep, but Farnoosh really nailed the point home to me in that email. I spent hours and hours putting the LWB 100 together. It attracted (and continues to attract) loads of visits, which in turns sends traffic onto all of the blogs I mentioned. I have put together a valuable resource that is being shared liberally around the blogosphere. Why on earth was I worrying about reaching out to bloggers who I featured on the list? Whilst they have no responsibility to thank me for taking the initiative, neither do they have the right (in my opinion) to be irritated by me reaching out to them.
You Can’t Please Everyone
Because that was ultimately what I feared when I was sending out those emails – irritating my blogging peers. What I didn’t do was actually stop for a moment and consider the absurdity of my thinking. I had published a post that actively promoted their blog. I was emailing them to simply let them know that I had done so. I made no demands – I just politely asked them to share it, if they saw fit to do so. What kind of person would be irritated by that?
So in short – don’t be afraid to piss people off. Have faith in what you are doing. Conduct yourself in what you consider to be a fair and reasonable manner, and give little notice to the people who react negatively (because there will always be people who react negatively). What is the worst that can happen? Perhaps you might irritate an “A List” blogger. Let me put this to you – if you reach out to someone and they respond negatively, you do not need that person’s influence – regardless of how authoritative they are.
If certain people react negatively to the way you go about things, so be it. They are clearly not designed to be part of your following, or an evangelist of your blog. You will probably attract far more positive attention by plainly going about your business in the way that feels most natural, without fear of who you may rub up the wrong way.
It is fine to polarize (in fact, it can be highly beneficial to your popularity). You will never please everyone. So focus instead on pleasing those whose interests align best with yours. Be selfish in offering them, and only them, all of the value you possibly can. It is only when you stop trying to please everyone, that you really start to offer the most value.
Are You A Selfish Blogger?
Do you blog for the masses, or are you happy catering for a tight niche? Do you focus only on your key audience, or do you find yourself slipping at times? And are you ever apprehensive about reaching out to your blogging peers? Let us know in the comments section!
Creative Commons image courtesy of wonderferret