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Nothing. We’d all love to stumble into fame and fortune just by doing what we do on a daily basis, and sometimes it happens. Sometimes the stars align, the right person gets hold of your latest blog post, and BOOM! You’ve made it into the big time. Occasionally, a quick-on-her-feet blogger can even extend that success, parlaying it into a lifetime career and perpetual bliss.
More often, accidental successes fall into the category of one hit wonders. While I’d recommend basking in any success you achieve, whether accidental or otherwise, wouldn’t sustainable, steady, reliable progress be better? Rather than a quick trip from here to there on the gravy train, wouldn’t you rather have a fancy private car on the gravy train like the oil barons in the Wild Wild West?
The biggest problem with accidental success is that we often don’t know what we did to achieve it.
- Was it that funny joke you made?
- The lighting in that one photo?
- Did it happen to get in front of the right person?
- Who was that person?
- How did it come to her attention?
- What did she do to kick off your success?
- Did your post happen to correspond to a hot new trend?
- Did you accidentally speak to a niche audience with your recipe?
There are hundreds of ways to succeed, which makes teasing out the causes of your accidental success a bit of a challenge. If you can’t figure out the cause, you may have a hard time duplicating that success in the future.
Again, I’m not suggesting you turn your nose up at accidental success if it happens to come your way. Embrace it. But don’t make wishing and hoping your plan. Make your plan your plan. In developing a strategy for success, you’re more likely to “accidentally” strike gold. Consider these tips for helping out your chances.
Step away from the kitchen and the typewriter and put on your business mogul hat for a moment. If you want your business to succeed, you’ve got to have a plan. Start by defining what success looks like to you, and then develop a list of actionable steps that you can take to achieve that success.
If success looks like a readership of millions, the steps leading to that will include consistent, quality content and social sharing, of course. It will also need to include reaching out to influencers who already have a million person readership.
Your blog exists in a very busy world where lots of interesting things are constantly happening. Any number of these things could launch your blog to a best of the best list if you’re prepared to take advantage of opportunities when they arise.
Consider your blog in its broader context. The rising costs of avocados means that now would be a good time to offer guacamole alternatives. During a recession, thrifty meal bloggers will thrive. If an epic new series is premiering on Netflix, create a themed snack to accompany it.
You can’t succeed if you give up too soon, and many bloggers call it quits before three months is up. Why?
- Maybe they were disappointed by the lack of response. Remember that building a loyal, engaged audience takes a lot of time.
- Maybe they were overwhelmed by the effort. Start small, publishing a post each week instead of a post every day.
- Maybe they couldn’t get comfortable with the narrative part of blog writing. Instead of trying to tell a story, cut yourself some slack and just post the best, most original recipes that you have.
Reverse-engineering an accidental success can be a challenge, but preparing for sustainable success doesn’t have to be. Focus on doing what you do best, and the rest will follow.