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Ignore the A-list Bloggers

Posted By Guest Blogger 5th of July 2011 Miscellaneous Blog Tips 0 Comments

This guest post is by Buck Inspire.

Okay, you must be thinking, I have a death wish for incurring the wrath of Darren Rowse and other A-list blogs like ProBlogger. But I believe I need to get the message out to all newbie bloggers. I struggled mightily myself when I first started. I almost quit blogging altogether.

If you want your blog to succeed, ignore A-list blogs at all costs!

Why ignore the A-list?

Income

Some A-list blogs do it more than others (show off how much money their blog brings in), but the result is the same. You will lose your focus and start obsessing over money. I guarantee it. I understand it’s all about the money and they need to show their expertise and success through their income statements. But don’t get entranced by the dollars. You will dilute your passion for writing and your own blog.

Metrics

Although their income is the measurement that stands out, don’t get sucked into their other metrics as well. Hundreds of thousands of fans, followers, and subscribers shows that the A-lister knows how to grow a community. But nothing makes you feel more inadequate than when you take a look at your ten followers, fans, and subscribers. Add to that their out of this world PageRank, mozRank, Alexa, monthly page views and visitors, and you’ll be feeling more inadequate than a teenage boy coming out from a cold swim. Compare at your own risk!

Advertising

What’s wrong with looking at their ads and banners? Nothing, but as you get more interested you will naturally find out what they charge for ad space. This ties with income and metrics and will fuel your inadequacy. You can’t even give your ad space away for a dollar while A-list bloggers easily command 500 times that amount.

Ignore if you dare!

Okay, you found me out. Of course you shouldn’t ignore A-list bloggers!

They all have been there and done that. They have many years of experience, a wealth of knowledge, and tons of great advice to help your blog succeed. However, if you obsess with their income, metrics, and advertising, you will get derailed and you can kiss your blog goodbye.

Content really is king

We’ve heard this mantra a million times before, but do you really know why? I came up with a few catchy corollaries, but they were too bland and generic. Luckily, I found Eric of Photography Bay and his guest post The Long Tail of Blogging: Why Content Is King. He presents a fascinating look at the Long Tail theory, how it pertains to your blog, backs it up with clear examples and graphs. After discovering why content really is king, I even learned a little about photography, too.

Community is queen

In my opinion, second behind content is community. After penning award-winning posts, what good is it if you don’t have readers to interact with you? Rather than bore you with my drivel, check out Darren’s 8 Tips For Building Community On Your Blog. I particularly enjoyed tips on accepting reader content, assigning reader jobs, and giving reader homework and plan to incorporate them into my own blog.

Develop your voice

There is only one of you and this fact makes your blog special. I thought I found my voice, but after reading Georgina’s 5 Ways to Build Your Blog’s Voice, I can improve this area as well. I was so focused on my content, I believed my voice was naturally flowing from my post. I neglected picturing my audience and watching my mood when I posted and unknowingly weakened my voice. Don’t let this happen to you.

Are you ignoring the A-list?

It does take time to gain blog success as this is not a get rich quick scheme. If this is what you are looking for, you’ve chosen the wrong path. But if you work hard and stick to your guns, before you know it, your income, metrics, and advertising will grow as well. Rather than envy A-List Blogs and their super-duper stats, heed their advice and apply it to your blog. Don’t forget to thank me when you join the ranks of the A-list bloggers!

Buck Inspire is living a fulfilled life within his means while delving into personal finance sprinkled with dining, entertainment, pop culture, technology, and travel. If you like what you see here, please consider subscribing to his RSS feed or following him on Twitter.

About Guest Blogger
This post was written by a guest contributor. Please see their details in the post above.
  • The vast majority of traffic to our dental practice blog comes from long-tail keyword phrases, not the short phrases that most people think will generate traffic. The “gold” really is in the long-tail!

    • Hi Dr. Kathy,

      I never knew about the long tail until I prepared this post. Sounds like you’re pretty SEO savvy, any other advice for bloggers just starting out? Thanks and continued success!

      • Great tip Kathy. Actually SEO can be pretty involved Buck. There are on page and off page elements involved in SEO as well as Content marketing, link Building and keyword research.

        If you are looking for a free keyword research tool Google actually provides one that can give you basic monthly traffic expectation and a level of competition analysis.

        A good tip for long tail keywords is to target keywords that are at least three words long that are getting good traffic but are low competition and then writing a post or series around the keywords you have targeted. Hope that helps.

      • Great tip Kathy. Actually SEO can be pretty involved Buck. There are on page and off page elements involved in SEO as well as Content marketing, link Building and keyword research.

        If you are looking for a free keyword research tool Google actually provides one that can give you basic monthly traffic expectation and a level of competition analysis.

        A good tip for long tail keywords is to target keywords that are at least three words long that are getting good traffic but are low competition and then writing a post or series around the keywords you have targeted. Hope that helps

        • Hi patrick,

          Thanks for the help. I have to find a nice balance. I heard writing strictly for keywords could slowly make writing not as fun. Going forward, will find a topic that moves me and polish it up with some SEO magic. We’ll see how it goes. Thanks again!

          • Very true. You shouldn’t overuse keywords they are just one element of successful blogging. Writing useful, engaging content that people will love is also very important.

            Properly balancing out the two is the key to success. Best of luck to you.

  • Most bloggers quit after a couple of months because of low income, it happened to me once. But as you mentioned everything needs time, whether it’s blogging or even a real company!
    A blog is a like a baby, it doesn’t happen to a baby become an adult in one day or one month or even one year!

    • You’re right! I was a little naive to think things would explode after a week, a few months, or even a year. Great baby example. They don’t magically turn into adults, just like blogs, they take time to grow, too. All good things take time and hard work. Good luck to you!

    • You’re definitely right about babies. They take ages to grow up.

      • Hi Michael,

        I’m sure most bloggers feel their blog is their baby. Thanks and good luck to you!

    • That is very true Oussama. When money is the only motivating factor in a blog or a business and not the passion involved in enjoying the process and doing something that you love it can definitely become de-motivating when the money isn’t coming in.

      Your passion should be focused on doing something you love and having a monetary strategy in place once it becomes successful, but not as the sole reason you are blogging or running a business.

      We all need to make a living, myself included, but passion should be a primary motivator. Being unhappy just to make a living isn’t living it all, and like you said It could definitely take a year or more to establish a presence and become successful so choose something you can enjoy for at least that amount of time.

      • Hi patrick,

        Maybe content is no longer king. Passion is! You are dead on about making an unhappy living, isn’t living. Quoting Drake (rapper), “Everyone dies, but not everyone lives!”

        • LOL. That is a great quote my friend. If you can live comfortably and pay your bills money is secondary to having business or career you are passionate about.

        • LOL. That is a great quote my friend. If you can live comfortably and pay your bills money is secondary to having a business or career you are passionate about.

  • I don’t ignore them, but I really have to remember not to compare myself to them. I keep thinking my stats should be higher, I should be doing this, I should be doing that…but I have to pace myself. I haven’t been blogging very seriously for long. It just takes time to build these things up.

    • Hi Handy Man, Crafty Woman,

      Perhaps ignore is too strong of a word, not compare hits the spot. If one gets too obsessed with stats, you lose sight of why you started blogging in the first place. Sounds like you have the right idea about pacing. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Thanks and good luck to you!

  • Very well written and nicely explained. Last month i thinking to quit blogging but when i analyse myself and compare what i know and how to get success, restarted again and working on to make huge amount of money.
    Wish in coming time got listed in A-List Bloggers. All i beleive in one thing “Rome is not built in a night” like this you can’t make money from first day of blogging

    • Hi Vivek,

      Thanks for the kind words. I’m glad you stuck with it. Taking a step back and analyzing yourself was a great move. Rome wasn’t built in a night. That includes A-list blogs. I don’t know of any blogs that made money on the first day. Thanks again and good luck to you!

  • I have hardly ever read any A list bloggers for very long. Problogger is the last I subscribe to in my reader. Some of the information you can learn from A list bloggers is great but it can only take you so far. It depends on your blog topic and what you write about.

    • Hi John,

      Great point. A-list blog advice, actually any advice can only take you so far. I agree with blog topic and what you write about. But the bottom line is taking action. Thanks and good luck to you!

  • I absolutely love my 10 followers! After one month blogging I feel privileged to have such a loyal bunch already. Seriously – of course I want my blog to reach the stratospheric heights of Problogger, who wouldn’t, but I am also realistic. I know these things take time.

    I built up my freelancing business slowly and blogging will go the same way. I am sure than the audience will come if I follow good advice like your article. Learn what you can from the “big boys” but always stay true to your own path.

    • Hi Megan,

      You sound like you have a great attitude. Keep it up on your blog journey. Sounds like you have some experience under your belt which translates well to your blog. Will you eventually focus on one passion or will you run both freelancing and blogging concurrently? Thanks and good luck to you!

  • My most successful blog happened in 2005 when I had no idea that blogs could make money. I wrote about something I loved for a group of people who loved the same thing – Digital Scrapbooking. Over time the blog became so popular that designers of digi supplies started asking if they could advertise on my blog!

    Ever since then I have been trying to get that lightning to strike me again. Still no luck. Still I will never stop blogging because I love to write and I love feeling like my voice is heard – even if it is only by 32 readers a week, LOL.

    • Hi Melissa,

      Interesting as you are looking to get lightning to strike twice. What happened to your scrapbooking blog? I love your passion for writing and letting your voice be heard. What’s wrong with 32 readers? That’s 22 more than me, haha! Thanks and good luck to you!

  • This is a timely article as I am in the process of building up my blog community. I am about 1 week into blogging and I do encounter many blogs that are exceedingly successful. On the one hand, it gives me something to aspire to and on the other hand, it makes me want to rush to success. Blogging, I’ve learned from this article, is a slow and gradual process. So I will take my time and learn along the way. Thanks for the post.

    • Hi Robinson,

      Wow, one week in, buckle your seat belt, it’s going to be quite a ride! You are way ahead of me as I found ProBlogger a little later. Great resource for blogging, but don’t get distracted by all the success. Embrace and learn from everyone around you. Thanks and good luck on your journey!

  • Good advice. For me content and community say a lot more about the success of a blogger than income. I will return to a blog that has something useful or entertaining or just merely appeals to my aesthetic. Ads and income statements don’t do it for me.

    • Hi Liss,

      Community is huge. If you build the right relationships, it is very rewarding. Priceless I would say. Thanks and good luck to you!

  • This is a great out-of-the-box idea! Refine your goal and don’t be distracted. Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Grace,

      Sometimes a little out of the box thinking takes you to another level. What’s that saying, insanity is doing the same thing expecting a different result? You need to go and make a different result. You’re welcome and good luck to you!

  • When I look at my blog and I question…would I do this if I only had 10 followers? Would I do this if I could never make any money? My answer is yes! We all start somewhere but it takes the drive of wanting to blog to make it work.
    You are very right, looking at other blogger stats can really put a damper on things…but there will always be someone doing better.

    • Hi Miranda,

      Excellent questions to ask and even better answer, yes! Good point as there will always be someone doing better. We should use that time comparing more productively, agreed? Good luck to you!

  • Yeah, I’m totally agree with this article. Few years ago I had a website about vampirism. I had worked every day in the website and I could see how it was growing week per week. I remember to be surprised when people asked me for publish their ficction tales. It Took a year to get to that. In those days I knew nothing about marketing and I don’t earn money with my website. I did it because I enjoyed.

    The problem of the most of the new bloggers it’s that they blog for the money and they read how other bloggers earn money and they want it too, and want it fast. So they copy what successful bloggers do.

    I mean, learning from the best it’s good but the only way to do it’s with working hard and specially write about what do you love and not thinking on money, at least in the beggining.

    • Hi Manuel,

      Why did you get rid of your vampire blog? I figure it’s even more popular now with Twilight, True Blood, and Vampire Diaries? Yeah the new bloggers jumping in just for money will have a rude awakening. The only exception would be someone so passionate about money that they are willing to do whatever it takes (working hard and finding something they love writing about). Thanks and good luck to you!

      • Hey, sorry for the delay. I got rid of the vampirism website becouse I ran out of topics to write about!
        That was ten years ago and Twilight and other series did not exist. There were very few stuff about vampires.

        Anyway, seems to be that is a good moment to start again with that niche, the problem is… I hate Twilight and all that meaningless stuff of teenagers!

        Twilight and Vampires Diaries are insults to vampirism. ; )

        • Hi Manuel,

          Thanks for clearing that up. Vampirism is red hot, but if you jumped back in just because of that it would be like writing for hot keywords and not writing for yourself. Good luck on your new ventures!

  • I always enjoy reading Problogger and other “A-list Bloggers.” My blog has been a slow work in progress, but I will not give up on it. Thanks for posting!

    • Hi Rodeena,

      ProBlogger and other A-list blogs have tons of great advice. Don’t forget to visit my Z-list blog when you get a chance! Don’t give up and if you are close to burning out, take a break and catch your breath. You’re welcome and good luck to you!

  • Great article – the initial period when you first start your blog is the most important – just write for the sake of writing – don’t even think about monetising your blog in the first 6 months or so.

    Following the A Listers is important, just like Darren, they have so much in the way of experience, expertise and knowledge to share that it would be silly not to follow them!

    • Thanks Simon! I almost burned out at the start as I was overwhelmed with all the little things in blogging that you never realize until you actually do it. Monetizing too soon is very dangerous for start-up blogs. You are right, why re-invent the wheel when A-listers have done it so well before us? Thanks again and good luck to you!

  • Thank you for the tip on not mixing blogging with money obsession! Really it does help put things in perspective and takes one step at a time. Following you on Twitter and enjoy your regular tweets!

    Bravo,
    Daniel

    • Hi Daniel,

      You’re welcome and thanks for following! Do you have any blogging advice for someone starting out? Thanks again and good luck to you!

  • Tom

    Interesting article. I went into blogging not to gain a large list of followers since I knew it would take time. I always refer to the saying “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. Plus my niche is not year round so building my site was my first priority then the followers would come. I’m actually preparing for next year when I release my book. My list grows each week so I’m not too worried. Thx for putting this article together. I try to lear from the experts. :)

    • Thanks Tom! Love your quote about Rome. Interesting your teeball and baseball niche seems to have you pretty grounded because of the seasons. Great to hear. You’re welcome and good luck with your upcoming book!

  • yikes! i find it hard not to follow a-list blogger/s since some of them are my source of inspiration like problogger..

    • Hi Faust,

      I’m sure they are inspirational to a lot of bloggers. My main point is not to let their success bring you down. Good luck to you!

  • Jab

    Blogged for a year before I started getting offers. Glad I loved blogging enough to focus on my content rather than getting paid. Great post!

    • Hi Jab,

      Love your blog icon! When I started, I heard you need to put in a good year to get noticed. Perhaps I thought too highly of myself that I could get it done in a shorter amount of time, like a few months? I finally woke up and am more focused on my content these days. Thanks and good luck to you!

  • I’m with you. Popularity is a terrible metric and does NOT have a direct correlation to profit from what I’ve seen.

    • Hi Kelly,

      Exactly. What are we in high school again? Haha. Sadly, if a blogger has one million readers compared to a new one with 10, the odds are that the first blogger will profit more. The important thing for the new blogger to remember is that blog with one million readers started off near 10 at one time, too. Thanks and good luck to you!

  • Nice post, Buck. (bidee bidee)

    To me, A-lists and those on them are relevant to the audience. Your blog can be full of amazing content but if it means squat to me, you’re not an A-lister (at least, not to me).

    My A-listers are the people I learn from, or who make a difference in my day with their blogs. You can see some of these folks on my Recommended Reading page on my blog. But even that’s relevant to me, and may offer little to you.

    There’s nothing wrong with tagging folks A-listers. Just don’t hold them up as some sort of Holy Grail when they’re only really A-listers for their audiences.

    (bidee bidee)

    • Hi Danny,

      You are now my front runner for best comment. Anyone who is a Buck Rogers and Twiki fan is an A-lister in my book. Awesome point about being an A-lister to those readers. Never thought about that. May the Force be with you. Ooops wrong series. Good luck to you!

    • I like your idea of having a list of who should be an A-lister for you. My A-listers are people who work a story into every post, so they could be writing about something I really have no interest in, and I’ll still want to read their post through to the end. People who impress me with their accomplishments and make my goals feel a little bit easier to reach, since their accomplishments seemed so much more advanced.

      • Hey Kellen,

        I liked Danny’s A-list mindset, too. Radical as I always thought A-listers were uber famous and popular. Now not necessarily. So does your A-list come from accounting and finance or a totally wide range of niches?

  • I use A list bloggers as a guideline as to what I should be doing. Eventually I will find my own way and achieve my own success.

  • Hi Justin,

    Good rule to follow, using A-listers as a guideline. More power to you and good luck!

  • Every A-list blogger went through the same pains a new blogger is going through now! The difference is in perseverance and continuous improvement.

    Loved the post Buck!

    • Thanks Moneycone! You’re right, we all have to start somewhere. Perseverance and continuous improvement. You’re singing my tune!

  • I don’t really tend to ignore A listers. What I tend to ignore is the money they make. As you said, it did distract me when I started out and made me give up too soon.

    Now, what I do look for in A listers is there writing style, monetizing methods and approach towards community building.

    • Hi Adarsh,

      Money does mess with our heads. Love your breakdown, writing style, monetizing methods, and community building approach. We should really focus there rather than the moola. Good luck to you!

  • I didn’t even know about the A-listers until I I read this. Now I’m mightily depressed. Seriously, the A-listers are an inspiration. I keep re-reading Darren’s book, Problogger, especially the beginning when he was getting no traffic. There are millions of people out there. If I can get 10, I can get more.

    • Hi AstroGremlin,

      Sorry didn’t mean to depress you. Knowledge is power. Hope you use this article to propel your blog and not sink it. You are right, if you can get 10, you absolutely can get more. Good luck to you!

  • I love your site.Always very informative to bloggers

    • Hi Betha,

      Thanks for the kind words. Does the Blogging Mansion have any advice for bloggers starting out? Good luck to you!

  • Good points Buck. And, thanks for digging up my old article on the long tail of blogging, which I still believe is as relevant today as ever.

    I think the common thread that runs through A-list bloggers is passion. No matter what the niche, A-list bloggers are passionate about their topics. Crafting a successful blog is a marathon of a pursuit that must be fueled by passion.

    And, passion will get you through the early days when your blog is lacking in the other areas in which A-listers so visibly excel.

    • Hi Eric,

      No, thank you for your great post on the long tail of blogging. “…Successful blog is a marathon… a pursuit fueled by passion.” Very poignant. I’m sure you feel that way about photography. A little off topic, but I recently took a photography class. I always thought it was just a point and shoot exercise. I learned some basic concepts that is helping my picture taking. Perhaps this can be applied to blogging as well? Thanks again and continued success!

  • A-list blogger are elite people in there respective niche, they can’t be ignored totally. Positive way is to try to judge the amount or time, expertise and creative ideas these people have invested in there blog network and follow there path. It’s not easy to earn money online.

    • Hi Sunny,

      Well said. It’s easy to focus and get distracted by the big stats. What a lot of people forget, me included, is some of the blogs are many years old. Who am I to think I could obtain their success in a fraction of the time? Yes, delusions of grandeur again. Bad Buck! Thanks and good luck to you!

  • It’s funny how I find myself in your post. At first I used to look up at the top bloggers and try to imagine how they managed to get up there and how I could do it as well. Then I redirected my attention to small size bloggers and started learning from them and even get into their “circle” let’s say. After that I was looking up at medium size bloggers and starting to get their attention.

    I guess what you are saying here is that beginners should take small baby steps instead of aiming for an impossible jump right to the top.

    • Hi Cristian,

      Learn from bloggers who just started out, then work up to medium sized ones. Thanks for pointing this out. Just like in sports, you can’t pick up your first basketball and jump straight to the NBA. You have to work your game in high school (small), college (medium), and then A-list (NBA). You can learn a lot by watching their moves and applying it to your game. However, you could really get discouraged if you look at their mega contracts and their endorsement deals. Thanks again and good luck to you!

  • another awesome post

  • If you think about, ‘blog envy’ is absurd. It’s like a 21 year old college grad deciding he’s not going to get a job because his 50 year old neighbour earns $100,000.

    Moreoever, as mentioned in the article, every A list blogger stood in every Z list blogger’s shoes at one stage – their method of success wasn’t to get jealous of the A list bloggers of the day and give up!

    • Hi Tom,

      Blog envy is absurd. Sadly, I think it’s human nature to compare. Car, houses, blogs, etc. You sound like you have it in check. Good for you. I’m finally getting there. Visit my Z-list blog anytime. Thanks and good luck to you!

  • Any business needs time – often businesses are not profitable before 3-5 years. so why do we expect our blogs to be?

    • I agree, it’s the 5 year mark that every online business aims for. If the structure is in place, the sky is the limit!…

      David Edwards

      • Hi David,

        Five years is more realistic, but perhaps veteran bloggers don’t want to scare newbies with such a high number. When I started, I heard six months to a year just to make sure you can consistently blog. Now that I am a little wiser, five years may be more accurate. Nice point on have a solid structure. Thanks and good luck to you!

    • Hi Monja,

      Excellent point about 3-5 years. Going into a business venture, you have it in your mind that this is strictly business. A blog is tricky, is it a hobby or a business? The lines get blurred and as a result, many people, including myself, get confused. Thanks and good luck to you!

  • Great advices. I think we should learn from the alister about how to be constant, hot to write and how to promote yourself. And learning this will surelly drive your blog into a succesful one, and you will start making money and grow your influence

    • Hi ihearlights,

      Focusing on their advice rather than their massive stats is the key. Thanks and good luck to being successful!

  • Wise guest post.
    A-list bloggers, albeit well-meaning, tend to perpetuate your not-so-A-list status.
    Hence why, in my book, an A-list blogger is one to draw inspiration from the lower hierarchy spheres.

    • Hi Wilmaryad,

      Nice catch. I don’t think they do it on purpose. I’m thinking it is more of how we as readers take it, the not-so-A-list status. Yes, we should look to A-listers for inspiration and not for reasons to quit. Thanks and good luck to you!

  • Thank you so much for this article. I definitely have my eyes on the A list bloggers in my niche and it is difficult not to compare yourself to them especially when you are not growing as quickly as you want to. I appreciate the advice you offer so that those of us that aren’t A list can move a little bit closer!

    • I know exactly how you feel Ellen. I find it hard not to compare myself either. Sometimes it feels down right impossible, but understanding what level of success will make you happy and putting your efforts into your own goals will help a lot.

      Choose a goal you feel that you can have success in and put your effort into that instead of comparing yourself with A list bloggers.

      In fact many A list bloggers are here to help us more than anything so I choose to look at them as community leaders instead of people I should compare myself to.

      Be as unique and individual as possible and you’ll be less likely to compare yourself because your defining your niche in your own unique way and it’s much harder to compare yourself when you are one of the only people in your niche doing things the way you do.

      • Hi patrick,

        Awesome advice! Don’t mind if I follow some of them myself. Thanks for your valuable feedback. You seem pretty grounded in terms of blogging. Have you been blogging long? Continued success!

        • Thank you and I appreciate it. I have been studying blogging and online business for about 8 or 9 months in several fields that have interested me.

          I chose to keep things under the radar until I had a strong grasp of what I felt would be most helpful to others and now that I feel well grounded in my research and experience I am choosing to share that with those who I can help.

          You also clearly have experience in writing some compelling articles. Kudos to you and keep up the good work!

          • Hi patrick,

            We’re on a similar timeframe. I’ve been blogging about nine months as well. Thanks for being so engaged through this guest post. I really enjoyed your commentary throughout. Keep doing what you’re doing and may our paths cross again!

    • Hi Ellen,

      You’re welcome. Like I said earlier, it is human nature to compare. We can use it to motivate us to get to a higher level, but shouldn’t let it bring us down. Visit my Z-list blog when you get a chance for more stimulating advice. Thanks and let’s all move one step closer to where we want to be!

  • Thanks for the pep talk and reminder that we’re on our own journey; not someone else’s. Every once in a while I get caught up in how many subscribers, comments or whatever I see on another blog.

    • Hi Kay Lynn,

      GOOO BUCKSOME BOOMER! Perhaps I was a cheerleader in another life. Why travel on our journey down in the dumps about stats when we should be enjoying every minute of it. Life is too short, agreed?

  • Excellent post. I try my hardest to ignore A-list bloggers. They shift your attention to what your visitors can do for you instead of what you can do for them.

    • Hi sokun,

      Thanks! Good point to focus on your visitors. Good luck on your journey!

  • Buck Inspire,

    Love your name! I ignore the A-listers more than I used to. The only reason is I found my own voice and move in my own circles now. BUT they helped me get there. Darren being, of course, one of the biggest influences.

    Community is queen. The people you move with not only give you exposure but will help you too. If asked, there are many that I would help, I just think we are too shy to ask.

    Anyhow, great article! As you move along your blog or business journey, find your own way but don’t forget who helped get you there.

    ~Allie

    • Hi Allie,

      Thanks! Now I know what a WAHM is! ProBlogger is a terrific resource for bloggers. I’m glad you found your voice and your own circles. I’m slowly finding my groove as well. It’s been an interesting ride so far. You’re right, people are too shy to ask. When I started I was asking questions everyday. Now when I see bloggers just starting out, one of the things I tell them is “Ask Questions!” I absolutely won’t forget who helped me on my journey. Thanks for the reminder and best of luck on yours!

  • Great post – I really enjoyed reading it. Thank you.

    • Hi commonbloggers,

      Thanks! I’m glad you enjoyed it, you’re welcome, and good luck to you!

  • I honestly think that some of these A-list blogs really do need to be ignored.

    Some (not all) now seem to exist only to push various affiliated products to vulnerable people who are desperate to earn extra money. Of course they all claim to have their reader’s interests at heart (they would, wouldn’t they) but the content tells a different story.

    I’m sure they do make a lot of money, but at who’s expense? Some of these sites make me feel very uncomfortable. I would encourage readers to think very carefully about what they are getting out of reading them.

    Don’t just follow them because everyone else does – we’re not sheep!

    I’ve always stuck with PB as it represents a refreshing alternative to the hard sell. Well done.

    • Hi jezza101,

      Your attitude rocks! I agree, some A-listers are more about selling kitchen sinks and swamp land. Great warning to all and yes, we are not sheep! Thanks again and good luck to you. I’m all amped up now!

  • A-list bloggers are a little like the elephant in the room! You can’t ignore them. You’re right, your focus should be on your content, community and point of view. After all that is what you can control.

    • Hi Krantcents,

      Darn elephants, move your butt out of my way! Worry about what you can control… I wish I learned this lesson earlier. Better late than never!

  • HI Buck,

    Good points here.

    Never compare yourself to A list bloggers, or anybody for that matter.

    Comparison leads to superiority (I’m better than you), mediocrity (we’re about average), or inferiority (I’m worthless compared to you). All are lower energy emotions which create poor motivators. Don’t compare, create.

    Create content which helps people, network and realize it takes time to become a successful blogger. Comparing yourself to a top shelf blog – even after writing for a while – sets you up for disappointment. Simply read their posts, take notes, and leave value-packed comments. Let their insight rub off on you, and eventually you can become an A-lister in your own right.

    Thanks for sharing your insight.

    Ryan

    • Hi Ryan,

      Good point, shouldn’t really compare yourself to anyone. Terrific breakdown on lower energy emotions. With that said, we really shouldn’t compare. Why bring ourselves down and be disappointed? No, thank you for your logical and insightful feedback. Good luck to you!

  • Great advice!

    After getting discouraged with making no money for awhile (fortunately I chose to purse my passion–writing and frugality–so that kept me afloat), I signed on to a staff writer position that brought me in about $80-$100 per month. That kept me encouraged. Then my blog started bringing in money after 14 months, so that was great encouragement as well!

    • Hi Amanda,

      Glad things are picking up for you. We should learn to all take baby steps like you did. Build confidence and stay encouraged during our blogging marathons. Continued success!

  • I absolutely adore this post, since I was just thinking the same thing. I remembered how I use to “hang with the big boys” and watch as they flaunted how much money they were making. I remember no matter how much I changed keywords or how many “SEO friendly” pages I came up with, I wasn’t duplicating their success. And then I realized I was chasing the money and not writing QUALITY content. I’ve since changed my ways and now focus on my writing again, but I’m so glad someone else brought this up.

    Also, I believe ProBlogger is in a world of it’s own when it comes to “A-list bloggers”. It’s not a one-man show bragging; it’s multiple bloggers who are succeeding with their own niches that are NOT business-related. Very big difference in my opinion. ;)

    • Hi Kara,

      Glad you adored the post. Chasing money is a blog killer or more accurately a passion killer! Great point about ProBlogger being more of a community of bloggers rather than money making machines. Thanks and good luck to you!

  • Great blog post Buck and I agree with you 100%. I came to the point where I had to just stop paying attention to MLSP, Top earning network marketers, and big name bloggers stats because I realized none of those numbers would truly help me. When I turned my focus off of them and back to the blessing the Lord gave me in my own blog ironically enough my own stats increased, leads poured in, and my comments were almost life changing. Thank you for a post that resonates with me personally and may God richly bless you.

    Justin A. Hammonds Knows,
    When God Comes 1st, Dreams Are Realized, & Wealth is Created

    • Hi Justin,

      Funny, when you don’t focus on unimportant things and work hard at everything around it, good things happen. Thank you for your thoughtful comment. May God richly bless you, too.

  • Thanks for the encouragement and advice. It’s discouraging when you post something that only 10 people look at the next day. It’s nice to read someone who isn’t preaching the “you can make $100K next year” message.

    • Hi David,

      You’re welcome. Funny, I got discouraged when a handful of people comment. But later I realized, quality trumps quantity. Do you have good relationships with your ten readers? Look to cultivate that and the numbers will take care of themselves. 100K next year would be nice, but there are some things in life more important than money. Thanks and good luck to you!

  • I’m trying to get to the A-list myself! :) My old boss used to tell me to find someone that’s where I want to be and copy the hell out of them. Better advice has never been given.

    • Hi Sandy,

      Your boss is a wise man. Thanks and good luck getting to the A-list. I’m sure you’ll get there in no time!

  • I believe in the saying “be the best in whatever you are doing”, this brings a sense of my situation as compared to other ans specially the established ones in blogging world. I will keep your advice in mind from now on

    • Hi One Cent At A Time,

      Great saying to follow. I’m trying to be the best I can be as well. Thanks and good luck on your journey!

  • Buck, I really liked your post and think it’s one of the best I’ve read on problogger.
    I can vouch for your advice to avoid getting paralyzed with statistics like page views and income letters. These things alone are meaningless!

    Another area I commonly see inexperienced bloggers waste their time with is Google search results ranking (i.e. how close to the top of the first page in Google your posts are).

    The statistic that matters is reader engagement because without that you can’t tell how your audience is reacting to your content.

  • Hi Ted,

    After a long hard day of responding to so many awesome comments, it’s nice to go to bed on such a high note. I’m touched by your kind words. You are absolutely right about stats and income letters being meaningless. Ack, you caught me. I sometimes searched for my articles, guilty as charged! Thank you for reminding us to focus on reader engagement. Good luck to you on your journey!