He was at the top of the ladder, every day for two weeks. He was painting the house yellow, at the end of the street.
I didn’t speak to him.
I didn’t speak to the man who hired him.
I just watched him at work, every day as I walked by.
I don’t think that I ever saw his face, not until his last day at the job. The first thing I noticed was his big smile.
Show up, every single time
Sometimes, half the battle is showing up. I looked at the painter, and I wasn’t thinking about the quality of his work, but when I was relating it to blogging, I was thinking about the importance of practicing and showing up for work every single day.
Many bloggers try and fail, because they’re not willing to show up every time. You need dedication.
Start with a smile and keep smiling
The first thing I notice when I saw his face was his big smile. It’s not just about the painter. Smiling is important in blogging as well. Even if you’re half across the world, and not a single person is seeing your face, they’ll know if you’re smiling when you’re writing. If you’re not, your readers might not return.
Build strong relationships
I can’t stress this enough. Building strong relationships should be part of the reason why you’re blogging. The painter is not just painting the house, he’s getting a referral at the same time. The customer, the person living at the end of my street, he’ll tell his friends about the painter – but only if the relationship with the painter is strong enough.
Be goal oriented
You need a reason for blogging. It’s not enough to write, and it’s not enough that you want to practice your writing and get better at it. How do you know if you’ve become a better writer?
You need a method to measure your success.
Let’s say that the only reason you’re blogging is so you can become a better writer. If that’s it, then you’ll need a definition for success. You need a way to measure it. You can measure it with the number of positive feedback you get. Or you can measure it with the number of people who are asking you to guest post.
Focus on the journey
Like I said. You need a reason for blogging. But, most of the time, you need to be present now, and look at the process and the journey of blogging.
If I was a painter, I would look at the brush, and I would think about each stroke. I would focus on the sounds and the pleasure of being outside. Sometimes I’d look down from the latter, and enjoy the height, even though I’m actually a bit scared of heights.
Everything we do is part of the journey. Looking at the details and being present will help us improve.
We need our paintbrush; the tools that’ll help us with blogging. It can be the tools that helps us focus, or the systems that helps us communicate.