This is a repost. I thought this would be a good time to remind us of something very important when navigating the online world.
Stay true to yourself.
The major similarities I see that unites all social networking forums is that you’re bound to have people who are not being honest about their intentions, and what they plan to achieve by taking part in the online community. Of course, we have to expect that any time there’s an opportunity for people to wear a mask you’re going to have these kinds of situations. This is, after all the internet, and is filled with people who wear a façade. People whose fingers do not transcribe the truths concerning the inward man. In a world as endless as the internet, it is easy to get lost in the hype moving throughout the cyber world. It’s easy to pretend, and to become someone other than who you are. If you’re just naturally wicked, it is also just as easy to pretend to be a good person, though your heart is a web of lies and deception.
When you’re gliding along the social world, it is easy to get distracted from your primary goal and what you set out to accomplish. Further, it is just as easy to start to take on the same thoughts and opinions of those you’re around the most. This is perhaps the most important aspect of online writing that I believe is important for new and experienced bloggers. For the mimicking of purpose to fit in can creep up on you if you let it. By creep I mean that changes do not enter our lives all at once but piece by piece. Slowly and with great patience change chips at you until you have adapted into something or someone else.
Blogging, probably more than any social platform is exciting, educational, and inspiring. However, just like every other social platform the truth is that there are more snakes out here than there are angels and they are not your friends, buddies, pals, or playmates. They’re not here to take you to the movies and hang out with you because you liked their post or followed their blog. In fact, they may just be writing your death letter while sending a smiley face.
For instance, in the blogosphere, there are those who often complain that they are not interested in gaining more followers, or networking and such and such. While this isn’t the thought process of most, I am convinced that some of you are not being true to yourself in regard to what you really want from your blogs. Some of you actually care about gaining more traffic but for whatever reasons, you’re afraid to admit it.
Truth is, I think someone can still care about growing their blogs or company without compromising who they are. I believe a person can genuinely care about increasing subscriber rates, expanding networks, and building relationships while maintaining their integrity. I believe there are people who care about these things not because they want people to praise them, and not because they bask in the attention from others, but simply because they’re reaching people, even if only two out of two-hundred are actually paying attention.
In updating this post, I came across two very interesting articles. One from the blogosphere and the other from an article posted from LinkedIn:
Amazon’s New Reviewing Rules – Could it Affect Authors in the Future?
10 Things Successful Entrepreneurs Don’t Do (Themselves!)
You may be asking yourself, what do these articles have in common?
The first article speaks about Amazon’s changes in reviewing products and the other talks about the importance of investing in third party sources to help to build your business. One of my favorite excerpts is:
“Time is an entrepreneur’s most valuable commodity. Yet one of the biggest problems for small businesses and startups is that the founders are wasting their time trying to do it all. We euphemistically say we “wear lots of hats” but the truth is that entrepreneurs are often trying to save money by doing it all themselves. This can be a huge mistake. There are some things that are better done by professional and are better delegated or outsourced.” – Benard Marr
This made me stop to think about the Indie Author Community and how it relates to the first article concerning receiving free items in exchange for reviews. I started to think critically about this and happened upon the epiphany that Self-Publishing didn’t get its stigmas from poorly written books alone. No, there is something else to it and it is possible that Marr is on to something.
If Independent Publishing is just as important, if not more, than any other entrepreneurial business, and if it is to be taken just as seriously and handled with just as much professionalism, why is it that Self-Publishers invest as little money, time, and effort as possible in this very important field? Why is it that everything must be free for us to trust it? The first article is very interesting in that we may be coming upon a time where authors have to pay for reviews or invest some kind of payment. While I hope not, article two is a great conversation starter into why this may be the case for our future considering Self-Publishing is an act of entrepreneurship.
Amazon is changing things obviously because of the level of fraud out there, and we can be sure that giving away books for free in exchange for reviews is bound to change with every 5 star rating given to an obviously crappy book. While I’m hoping this won’t be the case, the truth is that amazon has a reputation to uphold and like every other wise business person or company, understands that free does not always guarantee quality. It’s the reason we pay more for name brands because we know that what we’re getting is top quality.
How does this relate to being true to yourself?
I like thinking differently and speaking on subjects that make people scratch their heads. It is what makes me who I am. I don’t have to be like you, think like you, or agree with you. This is an attitude we should all have. Otherwise, you can be easily influenced by others opinions and thoughts. In short, you have no vison and no goal, and the reason behind your actions is empty.
So, you wanna start a blog? Then do it with authority. Own your words and stand by your decisions and your goals. So what if you’re a nobody, so was Oprah at one point in her life. So was Stephen King, and so was your beloved JK Rowling. Pay no mind to what others say or think of you and never ever depend on man to validate you. Stay true to yourself and why you set out to embark on the journeys to which you find yourself. People fall in love with other people, not echoes. What is success? You choose. Dare to be different. Change the game.