Creating Awesome: Just Swing, Hit and Run Like Crazy

Yesterday I got stuck every time I sat down to blog.  Today I got stuck every time I sat down to blog.  Yeah, I have those days, too.  So I considered skipping a post for the day.  Then I ran into this post that inspired some thoughts…

I Blame Scott Stratten – Making Excuses, Mailing it In, and Creating Awesome

Okay, honestly I started on the post about complaining about free things and ended up wandering around for a bit.  I think that’s a sign of a good blog though, when readers end up drawn in by content and get lost exploring.

I left a comment that I wanted to share as a post here and I’d love to hear your perspective on it.  I’ve edited it some for this post.

I can’t remember it where I read it but somewhere I picked up the idea that you should blog as often as you have something helpful to share, and I love that.  (Probably credit to Copyblogger or Chris Brogan–if you know which, or who said that first, would you leave me a comment so I can credit this properly?  I searched and couldn’t find it again.) 

While I strive never to “phone it in” because I agree with Scott’s idea that publishing filler isn’t going to win me any fans, and I’ll admit I wish every post I publish was 1,000 comment worthy and totally awesome, two challenges come in for me there:
– My “awesome” barometer doesn’t always match my readers
– I think I’d be too intimidated to ever post anything

Last week I posted something that was really just a favor to a couple of readers. I put a fair amount of time into it, more than most posts, but it wasn’t on my own “awesome” list for sure. Turns out it’s the most popular post my blog’s ever had in terms of Facebook sharing and generating traffic within 48 hours of the post. I was shocked. My readers considered it helpful, awesome, or both and they shared it.  Thank you!  That rocks. I was happy to be wrong.

It shows that valuable doesn’t always equal awesome.  At least not by my own standards… which is another post entirely.  That post was valuable.  That was good enough.

And if it were left up to me, I’d get stuck a lot and rarely end up publishing posts if I were shooting to knock it out of the park on every post.

I shoot for home runs, or even just getting on base. Don’t let the pitch hit you so you get walked. Swing, hit, run like crazy, and just keep delivering value. The more times I hit that ball, the closer I’ll get to hitting it out of the park, but if I don’t practice and go for it, then I’ll probably never hear: “And it’s outta here!”  So that’s my strategy.

What do you think? Do you shoot for totally awesome on every post?  Or just creating valuable stuff?  Or just posting something/anything?  Does it ever trip you up, like it does me, if you’re trying to do “awesome”?  Do your readers like the posts you expect them to?

Photo credit: kakisky from morguefile.com

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19 Comments

  1. I’ll be honest… You’re the first person to tell me I have a good blog, and that you were drawn in by the content and got lost exploring! Thank you, Michelle, you’ve made my day.

    You’ve also given me a lot to think about with your comments. I struggle with the balance between “awesome” and the desire to post more frequently. Add to that a busy life with active kids, and it can actually get a little overwhelming at times. Post and comments like yours, though, are what keep me going.

    Thanks again. Now it’s my turn to start exploring YOUR blog!

    Oh… One more thing. What plugin are you using for your comments. I like the option to add a Twitter ID.
    Collin Kromke recently posted… It’s FREE! Why Are You ComplainingMy Profile

    1. Yes, you did! I’m thankful I ran across your post (Twitter… Facebook… another blog… somewhere) because it gave me a lot to think about and something to post here. :)

      It is definitely a hard balance to find. Some days I do better with it than other days for sure.

      Plugins that are on my comments would be…
      * TwitterLink Comments – http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/twitterlink-comments/
      * CommentLuv – http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/commentluv/
      * DoFollow – http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/sem-dofollow/
      * Anti Captcha – http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/anti-captcha/
      * Subscribe to Comments Reloaded – http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/subscribe-to-comments-reloaded/
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Just Keep Going Sometimes Things Go WrongMy Profile

  2. It’s really awesome to see what connects with people. One thing I’ve learned is that it’s less about my actual words or message and almost entirely about what the other person (reader) gets from my words. Meaning, it’s more about what’s going on in their lives and minds when my message reaches them and how they connect.

    There is a serendipitous flex space where this happens and I’m happy to trust it.
    Steve recently posted… Addicted to DramaMy Profile

    1. Great point, Steve. It is interesting what people can take away from things sometimes. Hopefully it’s whatever they need at the moment. :)

    2. That’s absolutely true.

      I find that for me, reading other content, and for people reading my blog. I’ll think, “huh?” when they write to me :)

  3. Michelle, I think you’ve hit upon a big stop for bloggers. They feel they must post a lot of content in order to stay relevant. Often, they forget that what they write must resonate with their readers. But, as you found, writing that stellar post may not be what they’re looking for. Most people want good ideas and helpful advice that they can use. You definitely provide that with your posts. I think what you’ve discovered is that we don’t always know what’s best for our readers – and that taking a risk, or putting a desire to be helpful first is really what it’s all about.
    Lisbeth Tanz recently posted… Get Out Of Your Own WayMy Profile

  4. I am always trying to blog about what I find useful and what I think others may find useful too…..sometimes though I just want to share an idea or cool tip!!!
    Samantha recently posted… Are My Kids Getting Fruit and Veggies in Their Easter BasketsMy Profile

  5. Hi Michelle,

    Nice topic you are touching here. The truth is that I am too hard a critic of my own work and I am never satisfied with my posts so, if I were to expect awesomeness, I would probably never post anything. To avoid this, I decided to post things honestly, trying not to judge them.
    Gustavo recently posted… Meet the Abominable BeastMy Profile

  6. Depending on your blog and its purpose, whether personal or business, I am always attracted to posts that are written to inspire, teach, and make a connection. Michelle your blog has always met those characteristics and I always enjoy the information that you share.

    This is a very thought provoking article. It makes you stop, think, slow down and remember that our blogs are to connect with each other. And since we are all human beings striving to make a living, promote a charity or inspire others to keep going — I will always try to write, share and provide good quality blog posts. Your post is a wonderful reminder.
    Lynn Brown recently posted… Top 5 Reasons A Blog Will Bring Success To Your Online BusinessMy Profile

  7. I dig the valuable/awesome analogy Michelle ;)

    I write when an idea strikes me. Usually I have plenty ideas because I hit plenty of blogs and social sites. When I find a comment, a post, or an interaction with something that intrigues me, I open up Note Pad and write away. Since my posts are short and punchy I wrap them up in 10 to 15 minutes.

    Adding value is what matters most. Add value, help others, become valuable.

    Thanks for sharing Michelle!

    RB
    Ryan Biddulph recently posted… How to Write at Least 500 Cash Gifting ArticlesMy Profile

  8. I have recently wrote a comment on the thin line that separates perfectionism from procrastination. I’m working hard on pushing myself to publish more and to stop seeking to write the absolute masterpiece. Blogging is great, if one wants to work on this direction.
    Helenee recently posted… Mother And Child Vintage Printables By Major Greek Painters updated Thu Apr 21 2011 6-37 am CDTMy Profile

  9. Hi Michelle,

    I had the same issue yesterday and wrote a similar post :) It wasn’t that I didn’t have a topic but it was because I was physically and mentally tired that I just didn’t want to do sit down and blog at all.

    In my short two months in blogging, I have realized that very good is fine. Awesome just causes too much stress and agony LOL. Again, what’s awesome and very good are subjective. From what you have shared, it looks like in blogging, value and a good post gets great results :) Thanks for sharing your “humanness”. I bring this up because you are one of the many blogging goddess that I look up to:)

    And if it helps, I think everything you publish is awesome!!

  10. Michele,

    Actually I am going to have to stand back a look at this on my own site. I know I have written posts that I loved and thought were great ideas and the response was so flat I was surprised.

    Thanks this has me thinking of a new angle.
    Sheila Atwood recently posted… Designer Web Tools For The Designing ChallengedMy Profile

  11. Thanks for this lovely post Michelle… it really resonated!

    I realie that I’d started procrastinating a lot about blogging (prior to the UBC of course!) as I just didn’t know what I wanted to write about that *I* would enjoy AND would benefit my readers AND be original … so my blog rate went right down. (And I was busy, so that was a good excuse!)

    Now that I’m taking part in the challenge, I HAVE to (in my head anyway) write something every day if at all possible – and I’ve not been doing that many videos (which I found time consuming) but still getting loads of useful stuff out there … and good comments … so I CAN DO IT!!! I just have to remember THAT!

    thanks for sharing your thoughts…
    Tracey

  12. This is such an important discussion. Do you remember when you first heard the term “You are not your customer”? It really hit me between the eyes that what I might like is not necessarily what my clients might need. I think it may be the same here. What we want to write about or feel is ‘awesome’ may not be what our readers need or want.
    I posted recently in reply to a request from a reader and got a very similar reaction and am in continuing discussions about the topic. People have even taken to emailing me asking further questions.
    I remember at the time of writing the post thinking, I don’t think this is what my ideal reader/client will be interested in and then it hit me. A reader has just asked me to tell them this info!
    It was as if I was blogging away, waiting for my ideal reader to turn up – when all the time the readers I have were interacting with me – Doh!
    I think I need to take a big step back and get out of my own way lol.
    Heather x

  13. Hi Michelle
    I like to publish good informative and entertainiong material and won’t just post for the sake of not missing a deadline.

    Guess it all comes down to what sort of personality type you are – perfectionist etc.
    Also depends on how much time you have available to blog.

    Agree with the idea that your readers don’t always agree with you when it comes to great content – you just have to live with that.
    Keith Davis recently posted… Keep it short- keep it sharpMy Profile

  14. […] Creating Awesome: Just Swing, Hit and Run Like Crazy […]

  15. oh, I absolutely agree – often my best posts (I put time and thought and effort and think they’re inspiring and would work for me and and and…) go uncommented and obviously people don’t care one iota.

    But the ones I just throw up? those get tons of comments. Like the one last week about the bins!
    Marcia Francois, Organising Queen recently posted… Sam on Simplify your life – week 2My Profile

  16. Great stuff! I’m oftentimes get stuck everytime I’m about to write a blog. As for me, I believe that in writing blog, knowing your readers is the most important thing to consider. If you think your blog would benefit them for sure, then go, shoot for it.. :)
    Thanks for this post I learned something really essential.. :)

    Lynne
    Lynne Quintana recently posted… Leadership Concepts A Leadership Development Coach Needs To CoverMy Profile

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