Your Mindset is but a Drop in the Ocean

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Do you have any idea how many blogs are currently in existence? One hundred thousand? A million? Ten million? Not even close.

According to Blog Pulse, there are over one hundred forty-five million blogs in the world today.

That number causes me to make two observations. First, there’s no way they have any actual idea how many blogs there are. You simply can’t count 145,000,000 blogs. Sorry. You just can’t. Second, there a huge number of blogs in the world. Enough for them to estimate 145,000,000.

Are you seeing the big picture?

So then I have to ask you this question. You’re a blogger. You want to be a professional blogger, right? So that means that you probably have a broad knowledge of a lot of those blogs.

So how many are you familiar with? Would you say you’ve viewed 10% of them? That’s only about 14.5 million blogs. You don’t read that many? Okay. I can believe that. How about 1% of them? 1.5 million blogs? Surely you’re familiar with 1%. No?

We could continue to drag through this mental exercise and although it’s not entirely educational it can be transformational. It’s incredibly important for us to transform our mindsets to really take in the global perspective that is the blogosphere. There are 145,000,000 blogs in the world and even the most ardent blog readers are only familiar with 1,000 or so. That’s an incredibly small fraction of the whole. It’s something like 0.0068965%. It’s incredibly small.

What’s my point? Simple. If you’re a blogger, then you’re in a business where you’re competing against 145,000,000 others in a realm where less than a fraction of a percent of your potential audience will ever even find your blog…let alone enjoy it and return to it in the future.

Depressing? If you’re weak, it can be. Sometimes, though, it’s useful to be slapped in the face with a strong dose of the truth.

Two shoe salesmen were dropped on an island full of  natives. The first called home and a requested to leave since nobody there wore shoes. The second man called headquarters and told them to ship more shoes as fast as they can since everyone here needs a pair! Which salesman are you?

Your Mindset is but a Drop in the Ocean

Too many of you are approaching blogging from a totally distorted perspective. You honestly think that you’re going to make millions of dollars by simply grabbing a free or incredibly inexpensive theme, writing a few times a week and following all the ‘how to blog’ tips that you can find. Yeah…you and 145 million others.

We’re standing on the edge of the Atlantic ocean and challenging each other to see who can jump across it. You run and jump and land 10 feet from the dock. I laugh and assure you that I can jump across and pale your efforts. I run and launch my body 11 feet from the dock destroying your attempt but still coming nowhere near the thousand miles it takes to jump across the vast ocean.

We sit and discuss our techniques and work to improve our skills to gain an extra foot or two the whole time failing to realize that our efforts aren’t accomplishing even a fraction of the task before us. Both of our efforts are but a drop in the ocean.

You chase down articles like The 15 Best WordPress Plugins to use in 201010 Tips to an Awesome, Eye-Jerking Post Title, 10 Powerful SEO Tips for WordPress Users. Articles like these are the perfect link-bait. They get retweeted, thumbed-up on StumbleUpon, Dugg, and voted up on Reddit. They bring in massive trackbacks. In fact, there are over 60 trackbacks combined on the three articles that I mentioned above.

Those articles that clearly define the blogging process in simple, step-by-step lessons are great for driving traffic and grabbing a little bit of extra Adsense revenue  at the end of the month

…but in the greater scheme of blogging, they’re worthless.

I’ll continue to write them because I would have to start hating money not to write them and they are moderately useful for beginners and for people searching for some of these subjects on Google.

Let’s be realistic though. These articles aren’t going to transform your blog into the mythical and coveted six-figure blog. In fact, they’re probably not even going to get you very close. They’re going to leave you staring at your $3.28 in Adsense revenue that you earned last month wondering what you did wrong.

You’re chasing them because your mindset is crippled. I think that if I took your brain and threw it on the edge of a razor blade then it would be comparable to rolling a marble across a four-lane highway. Wake up, friends, and see the big picture!

The Transformation Begins with You… Not Your Blog

If you look at the description on my Twitter profile, you’ll find that it begins with this simple concept that the entire world seems to misunderstand, “The transformation begins with you…”

You’re not going to make a powerful and influential blog by developing a powerful and influential blog but rather by becoming a powerful and influential blogger.
(And yes, I just used powerful and influential four times in this short paragraph.)

Pay attention to what I’m saying here. I’m not challenging you to transform your blog into something that people want to read. I’m challenging you to transform yourself into a blogger that people want to follow.

You’ve got to be the person who is worth more attention than your millions of competitors. You’ve got to be the person who stands apart from the crowd. As I’ve already mentioned, you’re not going to do that by grabbing up a free template and writing a few times a week.

So now let’s hash it out as a group.  Where do we go from here?

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37 Vibrant Comments

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  1. August 17, 2010

    Gurl said:

    Hi, Nick!

    Love this article, it was an enjoyable read as always. It will probably cause some controversy amongst the fools that don’t realize the blog isn’t the money maker.

    There are many ways the blog supports whatever your making money with, but even Darren Rowse has many irons in the fire so he can live full time on his reputation.

    That is the model I am working towards. Being able to use my reputation to help boot my money making potential is very important to me. Plus I just like it when people like me 🙂


    • August 18, 2010

      Nicholas Cardot said:

      But why can’t the blog be the money maker? I think that people like Nathan Hangen and David Risley are awesome people but there business model is only one of many that are available. Have you seen the cash that the Envato Network is raking in just from advertising on their blogs? It’s somewhere in the scope of $10,000 per month per blog… and they have a bunch of blogs. Then they offer some of their articles to only their premium members driving even more profit. I don’t know how much they make from the memberships, but you can see their ad sales at BuySellAds.com on their listing page.

      The point is they are making hundreds of thousands, if not millions, each year from their blogs. There is money in the blogs.

      Again, I need to challenge you to see the big picture. Don’t pigeon hole your concepts of blogging based on what you’ve been food fed by the so called “A” listers as we’re so fond of calling them. Don’t mistake me. Those bloggers have an absolutely outstanding business models that is obviously working but that isn’t the only way to make it work.

      There business model is only 1 amongst the 145,000,000 available. In fact, you can be the one that produced a business model that can’t be compared to any of the 145,000,000 others that are already out there. Why not?


  2. August 17, 2010

    Jasmine Henry from J Station X said:

    Nick, you hit the nail on the head exactly with this and I think it may have been your best post ever.
    I think this shows what a lot of us may have been thinking for a while but you’ve finally said it.

    Blogging is more than a bit of elbow grease every now and then, it’s hard work that requires us to not only be willing to put in a heck of a lot of effort but change the way we think about it too. It’s useless trying the same techniques that we see every day in the Blogosphere, that would leave us as a drop in the ocean. Instead we need to ramp it up, try harder, think differently from the competition, do everything that we can to be an entire gallon in this body of water that we call the Internet.


    • August 18, 2010

      Nicholas Cardot said:

      That’s exactly right. I’ve heard it said that our minds are like a barrel with holes. As you fill the barrel up, the water will begin to escape more quickly. Even if you fill it all the way up and then turn the water off, it will quickly drain back to empty. The only way to truly get it full and keep if full is to continually be adding more water to it.

      Our minds are the same way. We want to be these powerful movers and shakers. We want influence. We want followers. Yet we’re failing to realize that we have to keep filling ourselves with investments to make it happen. We need to be reading, studying, working, and aggressively working toward our success. Pause for a moment and the momentum, the success, the accomplishments that you’ve already achieved will be less and less impressive. You’ve got to keep fueling the fire of your mind.

      Get out there and take in as much of the blogosphere as you possibly can. Quit chasing numbers and start grasping for that global impact. Quit limiting yourself to the methods that the A-listers are promoting and start inventing your own methods, ideas, expressions and communities.

      Again, where do we go from here?


  3. August 17, 2010

    Emily said:

    Well, thanks for answering my question about how many blogs are out there! You’ve made some great points. I think when you start out a blog, realizing that you are not going to be a millionaire, you have to have a clear goal in mind.

    I blog about the challenges of raising a child while chronically ill. My goals are to have other people in similar situations come to my blog and be a support for them, and to have healthy people come to see what being in a situation like mine is like. Giving people like me a greater voice to educate.

    If I am not too sick, I try to do a little of this every day.

    BTW, I am using the time honored way to bring traffic to your blog by commenting on other people’s blogs;-)


    • August 18, 2010

      Nicholas Cardot said:

      Is that really the time-honored way? I’m not being rude, but I’m not going to stop by your blog just because you left a comment. I read blogs that make my jaw drop when I read them. I read the ones that are written in such a way as to draw me in with the very first sentences. I read the blogs that make me think, “Wow! This person is amazing!” If it doesn’t make my eyes pop open, I won’t be back.

      Of course, I’m not saying that you site does or does not do any of those things. I haven’t been there. I don’t know. I’m saying these things because I want you to change the way that you think. In fact, look at this blog. I barely have time to comment on other blogs and I guarantee that I get far more traffic…and more repeat traffic…than 95% of bloggers who use commenting as their primary strategy to gain traffic. I get far more traffic than I ever got when I was commenting around for traffic. Why? Because my mindset is drastically different than in once was.

      Forget everything that you’ve learned. Start observing the natural flow of the internet and really get yourself plugged into the big picture…I think that you might be missing it.


      • August 18, 2010

        Emily said:

        Nick, did you not notice my wink? I only comment on blogs when I am so moved to and was by your post.

        Of course I don’t think you would have found me in the ocean if I didn’t comment to you. My blog has a narrow focus (my choice) that may not interest you but that’s okay because yours interested me!


  4. August 18, 2010

    Ron Leyba said:

    Love this article and more respect for you Nick. Great mindset and great sort of advice. Its all about our personality!


    • August 18, 2010

      Nicholas Cardot said:

      I disagree. I don’t think that it is all about our personality. Of course, certain personalities can be advantageous to a more successful blogging journey, but that’s not where the real keys to success are located. It’s more about study, hard work and setting yourself apart…and by setting yourself apart I don’t just mean ‘creating your own voice’ like so many people seem to be teaching.

      To set yourself apart you have to set yourself above your competitors. If you think that simply being different is going to be enough to build a rabid following then you are sadly mistaken. You have to develop yourself as an expert in the field that your writing about by studying, reading, demonstrating your expertise, and educating people with powerful knowledge. Some of those factors have absolutely nothing to do with personality but rather are dependent on hard work…or rather, working harder and smarter.


  5. August 18, 2010

    Micke Hasselqvist said:

    Sometimes it really is important to try and see the bigger picture, get the whole perspective so to speak.

    But I think it is equally important to understand that there are even more blog READERS! There wouldn’t exist so many blogs out there if not for the millions of people that follow their favorite blog every day.

    And as you say, it’s not your blog that should connect with them. YOU should connect with them!


    • August 18, 2010

      Nicholas Cardot said:

      I’m a soldier in the United States Army. When we prepare for any type of a mission we never sit back and think about the great advantages that we’re going to have. If we have advantages, great. They need our attention. We focus on our weaknesses. For example:

      As our convoy passes through that intersection they’re going to be exposed to potential attack from up the road on the exposed sides. Let’s go ahead and mount gunners on the vehicles and have them focused up the roads as we pass through.

      Notice that we identify the vulnerability and immediately work to create a solution. Of course, that’s a fictitious (and rather watered down) example but the truth is in there.

      I’m not a fan of optimism because too often we feed into our minds a sense of success that may or may not actually exist. I prefer to focus on the weaknesses, rely on my creativity and focus on solutions.

      On the journey to success, there is ALWAYS a solution and I’ll believe that until the day that I’m dead.

      The Romans put it this way, “Dum spiro, spero” or rather, “While I breathe, I hope.” (They sure knew how to communicate in fewer words than we do.)

      Focus on the negative and let your optimism flow out in the form of solution oriented planning rather than blind naivety that leaves you heartbroken and disillusioned.


  6. August 18, 2010

    Blog Angel a.k.a. Joella said:

    Nick,

    Wow, that article will surely throw a scare into a lot of people! The naked truth is seldom very pretty. LOL

    Happily I’m a stumbly bumbly Blog Angel who has a powerful secret weapon!

    A-T-T-I-T-U-D-E!

    My philosophy goes something like this. In most cases control is an illusion. Much of what happens in my world is not even remotely under my control.

    But I can control how I approach life and handle things. I don’t worry about much of what is happening around me. Instead I concern myself with how I will deal with and respond to what life throws my way.

    You can’t control the wind. But you can control the sails and rudder of your own ship. And if you work it just right, you will reach your destination.

    All those blogs. I know I don’t stand a chance of competing against that many blogs, nobody does.

    Why worry about it? Just carve out your own cozy little place online, be unique and keep an inviting light in the window.

    Keep a positive attitude and do the best with what you’ve got.

    I think people are drawn to that kind of attitude. It’s strong and it’s calm and touches everything you do.

    OMG – I sound like a flaming self-help book. LOL


    • August 21, 2010

      Nicholas Cardot said:

      If that attitude drives you with the determination to do what it takes to stand out then you’ve got it absolutely right. Learn, Joella. Study. Read. Enhance your skills every days and always work to bring something exciting to your readers. Don’t ever stop getting better.


  7. August 18, 2010

    Mayowa said:

    Nick,

    I’ve been a lurker around these parts for quite a bit now. The genius of this post dragged me from the shadows and into your comment section.

    Perspective is invaluable and you give us a large dose of it here. Two things that hold bloggers and writers (i’m one of those) back are the fear of offending others by being our opinionated selves and thinking that our writing will have as much value for the majority as it does for us.

    Perspective crushes those two thought processes and really frees us to be ourselves, to do our thing without worry and fear. In doing so we regain what our essential uniqueness and become interesting enough to appeal to the majority (or not).

    Great post.


    • August 21, 2010

      Nicholas Cardot said:

      I’m right on board with you. We’ve got to transform our perspectives and really start looking at things as they fit into the big picture and we’ve got to stop being satisfied as just another blog in the mix. I want to make it big and I’m determined to move that direction and I want many others to be determined to do the same.


  8. August 18, 2010

    Onibalusi Bamidele said:

    Really great post Nick,

    Exactly! Seeing the big picture is very important, many people look at their blogs from their present perspective without trying to think about the future.


  9. August 18, 2010

    Gurl said:

    Ahhh Nick 🙂
    There are SOME who are making a killing with income strictly from the blog(s) they run, without a doubt. However, I don’t believe that will work for many.

    Take me for example. I use an ad blocker. No way anyone using adsense will get a click through from me. I hate ads in pages…especially adsense. I doubt I will ever use ad networks on any blog I ever do. I might sell ads, or promote products I believe in and am an affiliate for with ad-like methods.

    There are a million and one ways to make money online and off. I think that a blogger should be prepared with ways other than blogging if they want to make money doing what they love 🙂


  10. August 18, 2010

    Geoff Crane said:

    I don’t know about others, but from my perspective blogging has to be something you do because you love to do it.

    Sure, it’s great that there are statistical tools you can easily get that show you the numbers of your blog, but when you get down to it, those are just distractors.

    IF a blog gets a sizeable readership, and becomes profitable, that’s gravy. If the desired end is solely to make money I think the blog will find itself stunted. People are pretty savvy these days and can see through the insincerity.

    You become influential because your message is worth spreading…that implies that the message must be motivated from itself rather than something base.


  11. August 18, 2010

    Brendan said:

    Nick,

    You make some great points here. I think what I take away from this post the most, is that when looking at the bigger picture, bloggers are not just competing with others in their niche, but the entire blogosphere as a whole.

    As a blogger, you are asking people to commit some of their time (which is sometimes hard to find) to reading what you have to say. Make that time worth it to them, and you’ll have a return reader.


  12. August 18, 2010

    Annabel Candy, Get In the Hot Spot said:

    Hi Nick, back again:) I know it’s a cliche but true passion does show. Couple that with a genuine desire to help people and you’re starting to get warm. Now add the determination to succeed and persevere with blogging and you’re onto a winner. Couple that with good social networking skills and the willingness to invest a lot of time into your blog and you could take it far.

    I hope we’ve both got what it takes and am enjoying watching your blog grow:)


  13. August 19, 2010

    Noor Azlin @ Bizznurse.com said:

    Hi Nick.
    Before I even touch the keyboard to write this comment, I went away for a while, taking some time to really think what you’re pointing out. I don’t know whether it was a reverse psychology method to spark the flames out from us (so that we felt challenged) or it just you feeling that you’re so irritated by bloggers who don’t intend to be “someone”.

    Looking at your replies, it looks like you’re serious about this topic Nick! You sounded more like an army (whom you was) and each words stab right at the point.

    Okay, back to mine.
    Sincerely, it is money that inspires me to blog, I can’t deny that. However after a year of blogging I found myself wanting to be someone. Not just some blogger.

    Growing inside the blogosphere is quite challenging. Sometime, in the endeavor to be someone we do a lot of things and listen to lots of advice. Like a child too, we listen and and listen, do not know what really lies behind the advice (given by so-called Gurus).

    By the time we realize that most of the advice are projecting profit in one way (to the Gurus), our head is already full with what they have implanted in our mind.”If you want to make money you’ve to do this…don’t do that…”and the list goes on.

    I want to be someone out of the figure you mentioned Nick! Most of us want ! However, the roads taken by each of us is not the same. Give us all the map and guide but we might still be lost in our way.

    We will never realize that we are someone until people mention it to us,Nick.

    Your post really is, stabbing and challenging. The best thing is, I still like it.


  14. August 19, 2010

    Bruce Teague said:

    Right on. There are tons of people blogging about blogging, but somehow you made me like the person Nick. At this point you could write about poop on a stick and I would still check your blog everyday. Those whose personalities didn’t do it for me fell off my RSS list even though they’re writing the same sort of content.

    Social media and online marketing are more about relationships than anything else. You can get the products from anywhere. We want to get them from people we connect with.


  15. August 19, 2010

    Dennis Edell | Direct Sales Marketing said:

    No one said 145 million LIVE WORKING blogs.

    I’d be very surprised if a large percentage aren’t dead, just taking up virtual space.

    Any guesses?


    • August 21, 2010

      Nicholas Cardot said:

      You’re probably right and I made it pretty clear in the beginning of the post that I think that it’s a bogus number but that I was just using it as a rough estimate to make the point clear.


  16. August 19, 2010

    Tynisha Leon said:

    Nicholas Z. Cardot!

    Ouch, ouch and ouch! Good thing I’m a lover of truth in my current state of mind.

    I love the challenge of blogging. I love the challenge of being one drop in the ocean–I am from the smallest twin island federation in the Caribbean after all.

    Where do we go from here? Up and out hopefully. I’m 100% invested in this venture. But I also see the shortcomings in practice. So I’ll keep writing great content. Keep finding new ways to engage my actual and potential reader. Ask tons of questions… set goals/deliverables, deliver and pray like a mother!

    I’ll tell you this much, everyday with Dasheen is still the most exciting!

    Thanks for the space.


  17. August 20, 2010

    Suzanne Vara said:

    Nick

    It is about transforming your blog or even social media profiles into something that people want to follow. A great post that garners record traffic with none of them returning the next day is nice but not gaining any ground. The likability of the person as well as the content is what will bring the results.

    There is on one method that will work for everyone as what works for me does not work for you and others; vice versa of course. The industry leaders are getting the attention and they stand out. As a blogger you need to stand out or for you and not mimicking what someone else does.

    Great thoughts here Nick that does challenge people to change their way of thinking. The attention leads to success plus a lil help from our friends never hurt.

    @SuzanneVara


  18. August 21, 2010

    Zeenat{Positive Provocations} said:

    Hi Nicholas,
    My first time here..and I’m already loving your style. Not to mention the awesome but gentle slaps in the face to actually wake up and see the big picture. I’m hearing you…and hopefully will be taking your advice.
    From what I understand, I think its important to maintain your individuality and uniqueness, cause seriously noone else can be YOU. right! Not getting caught up in becoming like others, but becoming better within yourself. Finding your uniqueness and honing and sharing it..now thats the daunting task at hand. What do you say..???
    Much love,
    Z~


  19. August 21, 2010

    Keith said:

    Hey Nick, I just want to point out one minor issue here, out of 145M blogs, only 1100 of them posted in the last 24hrs, less than 150k in the last week. I can’t remember the number in the last month, but I recently did a post on this (can’t remember which blog I wrote it on either) and my point is, there isn’t as much competition out there as you think (unless you are in the MMO/ blog about blogging niche). Most blogs don’t have longevity.


    • August 21, 2010

      Nicholas Cardot said:

      Those numbers don’t even make sense to me. How can there be only 1,100 posts per day and 150k per week? And I strongly disagree with you. Too many people have it in there minds that blogging is an easy way to close in on the six-figure internet lifestyle and their missing the idea that if they want to make it work then they’re going to have to work hard. Nobody is just going to hand them free money. They’re going to have to work hard and do a better job than everyone else.


      • August 21, 2010

        Keith said:

        Sorry Nick, I had the numbers wrong:

        * 133 Million Blogs since 2002
        * 7.4 million blog posts in the last 120 days (when report was done in Aug 2009)
        * 1.5 million posts in the last 7 days
        * 900k posts in 24 hours

        Those stats come from Technorati and I wrote a post about it recently, but basically my calculations say that only 1.1% of the blogs started since 2002 posted in the last week. 60-80% of ALL blogs fail within 120 days (again according to Technorati).

        I am not quite sure what you are “strongly disagreeing” with me on. Where did I say any of this was easy? I have been blogging for almost 3yrs, and have busted my rump to make money doing it, heck I even wrote an eBook called 4 Hour Sleep week that talks about how hard this is. So, I don’t know where I said “blogging is an easy way to close in on the six-figure internet lifestyle”.

        PS: My post on the numbers I found: http://keithbloemendaal.com/destined-fail


      • August 21, 2010

        Gurl said:

        Both sets of numbers make sense if you think about how many blogs start and “fail” quickly. Also, there could be days when a there is a huge increase in the number of posts on blogs. Even though they don’t “add up” if you do the math (i.e blogs per day times 7 days in a week may not equal the number of blogs posted that week), they do make since when you truly think about what they are measuring and the trends with blogging. Not every blog has daily posts, so the numbers per day can fluctuate. Hope that helps you get the numbers to make sense to you 🙂


  20. September 1, 2010

    Reza Winandar said:

    It’s getting hard to beat your competitors cause it’s raising so fast and I think we should start blogging with another unusual way.


    • September 2, 2010

      Nicholas Cardot said:

      It should simply motivate us to work harder and to do whatever it takes to make our blog’s and websites worth browsing.


  21. September 11, 2010

    Manny said:

    Some people just can’t handle the truth and misunderstand blogging as just a simple tasks to do. Well, the article really inspires me more to continue with what I am currently doing right now. Thanks.




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