This post was written by Seth Waite, an avid blogger who currently writes for Blogging Agenda.
It’s my favorite month of the year as college basketball is in full swing and “March Madness” has got me thinking. I love sports and many of my best experiences have come from what I learn playing them. Realizing the many lessons I have learned from participating in sporting events I recently asked myself, “How has sports taught me to be a better blogger?”
I will answer this question with the 4 most important elements of successful championship teams. I know every team is different and provides a unique way of accomplishing their goals, but each I feel do so by following these 4 simple elements of success.
Sports teach valuable lessons about working together to accomplish a goal. Teams meet daily to learn to play together, trust each other and win. All of us have probably seen a sporting event where no one worked together and the team, although talented, lost the game. Just like sports, blogging successfully requires teamwork.
Bloggers develop teamwork through inviting their readers to participate and work with them to develop targeted content relating to their topic. Teamwork also increases from networking with other bloggers on forums, leaving comments and visiting other blogs in your niche. You can also develop trust by agreeing to help or collaborate with other bloggers on your same niche. Teamwork will help to decrease the competitiveness of your niche and allow you to both succeed. Working together, bloggers can achieve more than they ever thought possible on their own. So, be open to building a team of bloggers who work and succeed online together.
Everyone has a position
In context of the team it is important to understand everyone has a position. In basketball there are guards, forwards and centers. Each position requires different skills and attributes. The blogosphere is the exact same way. Your niche competition should be viewed more as a team of bloggers looking to succeed online. So play your position. Use your unique skills and attributes to play your niche role. To do this, stick to your topic and emphasize your strengths. When you play your position well, competing with the top blogs in your topic becomes much easier.
Running track and field taught me valuable lessons about discipline and determination. It required daily efforts to improve my endurance and speed. Basketball also required constant practice to perfect my shooting and dribbling. This simple concept of practicing is essential to becoming a better athlete or blogger. Constant practice through writing content, developing relationships and customizing your blog’s design will train you to better your blogging skills and find your unique talents.
The 4 keys to practicing effectively are:
- Practice regularly
- Evaluate your performance often
- Set measurable goals
- Experiment with new techniques
Everyone needs a Coach
Along with practicing, effective progression and eventual success comes from proper coaching. Great teams are prepared by great coaches, so find a mentor in your niche or topic. For me, I look to blogs like Problogger to teach me great skills, help me evaluate my performance and increase my motivation to continue blogging.
To find a good coach, I look for a few important traits:
- Knowledge – The most important factor is whether they know what they are talking about. Authority and credibility are important in finding a mentor that really can help you. So, look for expertise in choosing a mentor.
- Access – Ask yourself “How much time do they have to help me perfect my blogging?” I feel it is sometimes better to work with a mentor who has the time to give me precise coaching then a busy expert. This being said, I think coaching can come from multiple sources to more effectively train you. I have also found most bloggers to be extremely accessible and always willing to share their knowledge. Each coach you find will bring unique strengths and encourage important growth if you are willing to learn.
Once you have found great mentors, subscribe to their feeds or get their newsletter. You will find invaluable information from their subscriptions. Don’t be afraid to follow it. Also, do not be afraid to contact them with questions through email or other social networking platforms. Avoid being pesky, but do not avoid asking others for help. If they do not have the time to address your questions, they are generally courteous enough to tell you so and then just ask someone else.
Remember, championship teams all possess the 4 attributes we have discussed in their formula for success. Your blogging will be greatly increased by following these factors too. Champions work together, know their positions, practice hard and get great coaching.
Thanks for the great tips, I especially like the 4 practice routines.
They will make for a great reminder to keep on track.
Thank you for writing such a good article. One think I am lacking is team work. I tend to do everything by myself. I think it is high time I stopped doing things alone.
I really have to start doing things in group
Thanks for sharing these great lessons. I think they not only apply to better blogging, but also to everything we want to excel in life.
My 2 cents:
Enjoy the game (blogging), don’t look at the score board (analytics data) TOO often :)
Everyone needs a coach… You’re right, that’s the very reason why we are here reading post and commenting.
@Gary – Thanks
@Jensen – enjoying the game is the most important part! It is really difficult though when you feel that you are struggling to compete.
For example, there have been a couple of “HUGE” blow-outs in this recent “March Madness” tournament. It doesn’t matter how much you love basketball when you are the team down by 39 points.
In blogging, it is hard to enjoy it when you are getting a few visitors a day, no comments and no signs of a brighter future.
So success is an important aspect of loving the game (blogging).
Itrush – You’re exactly right! We come here for this very reason!
Gary – Thanks!
Jensen – Enjoying the game is the most important of participating but it brings up an important question… do you really enjoy playing/blogging when you are getting hammered?
For example, March Madness this year has had some major blowouts. I mean “HUGE”! If you are the team losing by 39 points I am guessing that you are no longer enjoying the game.
So success is a vital part of enjoying your blogging. Not watching the stats all game is important too. Good tip!
Ahh, a sports related blog post… I’ve been waiting for this and didn’t even realize it.
I really appreciate your four practicing tips, and they ring true not just for blogging but for pretty much any self-employed/business situation.
Something I’ve learned from sports is that there are certain aspects of everything that can just not be avoided if you want to be successful. If you want to win at basketball you have to put up shots. If you want to win at baseball you need to have a closer. If you want to win at football you must play defense. The same is true for blogging. There are a few things… whether its marketing, networking, content creation… that you can’t just say “I’m not going to do that” if you want to succeed.
I really enjoyed this comparison. I think sports can apply to many aspects of life well. In the freelance world, especially us bloggers, it’s important that we find inspiration and motivation in whatever we can.
Thanks for the great read!
I am doing the first and last of the four points you had mentioned. I like very much experimenting with new ideas to test website traffic to my blog, effect of blog commenting, social networking and bookmarking etc.
I need to start doing other things seriously. I set goals but find it hard to keep them.
I came from a broken home, my whole adolescent upbringing, discipline and work ethic was taught through coaches who cared and experiences on the field .
And if things aren’t going well. Pick a fight! :)
(from an ice hockey fan)
It’s funny you should mention these things, because I’ve actually just begun trying to make a real, serious success of my blog and I am embracing these attributes in my new found focus.
Cool post, very interesting way to explain blogging
You forgot the most important part of sports, the Marching Band or Pep Band! It’s also great to develop a thriving community around your blog which support your efforts as well.
Mark – Know what you mean… I was rooting for Gonzaga against NC (I know, I know) and it just came down to being able to score and not turn the ball over. Lots of blogging analogies could be made… conversions and such!
Tracy – I’m not much for fighting… but aggressive playing is a must in blogging. You don’t need to be a jerk, but go after what you want!
Barbara – Community is important. The support of the clubs, fans, and support organizations are what make sports fun! So don’t forget those either in blogging!
Interesting concept Seth,
I think sports and blogging can bring the best out of us. Not only does it give us an outlet to express ourselves. It also forces to make the best out of ourselves.
This post reminds me of an article I wrote a year or so ago about the financial lessons I learned from the game of golf!
You are right, practice, practice, practice! One of my goals is to write at least everyday during the month of April (while participating in the 31 days to a better blog!
Thanks for the inspirations!
I am a lonely fighter in blogger worlds,I learn from the pain of myself without asking first what I was dealing with failed that grab me at the past,Now,I join also your 31 days to be a better blogger,hope I can refine my self to really become better blogger with that subsriptions
I completely agree with what Jensen said. It’s worth repeating, ” Enjoy the game (blogging), don’t look at the score board (analytics data)”
– Troy Dabbygag
This is amazing @Darren. I never knew this that anyone can write a post about blogging in sports. I’ve read whole post and i am really glad to see this that the whole between sports and blogging is extremely good.
Good article, sport and blogging is the same fun for me. And both of them also teach me how to struggle to reach my goal.
I’m guilty of looking at the “scoreboard” a little too often. It just made it stink that much worse when I switched over from Blogger to WordPress and lost all of my incoming links and search engine ranking.
I never thought of equating the principles in sport with blogging. I really need to do so, because I love basketball, sadly been out of touch with it lately.
Great post Seth! I love sport especially football but never think that attitude for Sport can be applied in blogging too. I strongly agree this point “Everyone needs a Coach”.
I’ve played sports all my life including college, and this post is right on the money! I find that my experience from sports helps me in most aspects of my life, including my blog.
Once again, great post!
All the best,
Ha ha ha..guys interesting..i never thought of that before.but i guess this is all a logic thinng do u guys agree?but heey Darren u smart man,thanks for the great post!
This idea is new to me for I’m not a sporty type of person, but I guess you are right, we can apply those quality in any aspect of our lives especially in blogging.
Great job comparing the two. I think they do share some similar things. I think the most important part is the practice part. Excellent Article
Great way of comparing blogging and sports.
What’s best to do is “take actions”, Divide and conquer practice and have a lot of patience in putting a blog.
i already done the 3 thing. but for coaching. I still trying to find a suitable one.
Well, these are interesting thoughts. I think they are true. However, everything is
relative and ambiguous to my mind.
Itrush – You’re exactly right! We come here for this very reason!