Becoming a huge hit in the world of blogging is tough. Henri Junttila diagnoses the success of his favorite band, Iron Maiden and shows you what you can learn from that success. Want to write for us too?
Being a successful blogger depends entirely on what you want to get out of it and what your goals are.
When the English heavy metal band, Iron Maiden started, they were nobodies. They remained nobodies for quite a while, until of course their popularity exploded and became known all over the world. Now, the band is quite legendary.
I grew up listening to Iron Maiden. Partly because when I was 6, my brother, who was going through his rebellious teen phase, got me into them. He always had great taste in music: Skid Row, Iron Maiden, Metallica (the old albums) and Megadeth. All amazing bands.
The point I want to get across is that it doesn’t matter if you want to create a popular band, brand, product or blog, because a lot of the same concepts apply everywhere. They are universal.
When you learn these concepts, you will not only have learned how to take your blog to the next level, but also how to succeed in other areas of your life.
I noticed this myself as I went from a professional poker player to making a living online from my websites and blogs. I played online poker for almost 5 years, and during this time I learned many things that now translate over to blogging.
With all that said, let’s check out how exactly Iron Maiden can help take your blog to the next level. Don’t worry, even if you don’t like their music, they still have some things to teach you.
1. Start where you are
Iron Maiden didn’t become famous overnight. It took them years of hard work before anything happened.
For an outsider, it always seems like everyone’s an overnight success. But that observation couldn’t be farther from the truth. It took Iron Maiden around three years before they got around to recording their first demo in 1978. Most bloggers give up before even a year. Talk about perseverance.
You don’t have to have permission from the gods to start making a difference with your blog. Start with what you have and go from there. Start writing a blog post. Start connecting and start having fun. If you’re not having fun then what are you doing? You’ve just created another 9-to-5 job.
If you don’t have a blog yet, the first step is to find your passion and then to start taking action. You will run into fear and resistance, but that is natural and something that I went through as well. There are plenty of ways you can overcome fear, so don’t worry!
2. Try Everything
Iron Maiden went through an incredible amount of line-up changes before they started releasing platinum and gold albums. It took a long time before they got their act together and found the right people who would eventually catapult them into fame.
When you’re first starting out blogging, or even if you’ve been blogging a while but aren’t reaching your goals, you simply have to work hard and try different things. It took me a long time and many ideas before I started making money blogging.
Sometimes it seems like people expect everything to happen faster just because it’s the internet. It would be great if things worked that way. But the harsh truth is that they don’t. At least, nothing quick happened for me.
Blogging is hard work. You also have to realize that blogging won’t automatically make you money. You have to have a plan. You have to know how you are going to monetize. I’m not talking about just hoping on making money from advertising and affiliate links.
While that may work, it isn’t as good as producing your own products, offering consulting or whatever you like. You may say to yourself “I can’t make my own products” or “No one would want to buy anything fro me.” That’s where many bloggers go wrong, they lack confidence.
If you are truly passionate about something, then you will always work as hard as you can to do it for the rest of your life. People will buy a product you make, or a service you offer if they can see you have that passion on your blog.
3. Produce Memorable Riffs
If you want to stand out and be remarkable, you have to create something unique. Don’t get the wrong idea – you don’t have to be a genius to create something unique, you just have to be yourself.
It is so easy to get caught up wondering what it takes to be remarkable, so I’m just going to come out and tell you right now: if you want to stand-out, be yourself, quirks and all.
Iron Maiden would never have made it if they didn’t produce music they loved. They became famous because they experimented with new styles and lyrics. They created songs that became memorable, just because of how different they were from the “regular music.” When I think of Iron Maiden, I instantly think of their song Fear of the Dark because it is so unique to me.
They didn’t try and go after a general audience. They did what they loved and it resonated with some people but not so much for others. If you want to succeed in blogging, you have to be yourself and target the group of people who most would benefit from what you have to share.
Remember: you can’t please everyone.
4. Keep Your Ears Open
Iron Maiden has always stayed true to their roots, which is one reason why they have been able to build such a large following. When you’re consistent in the message you send out, you will have a lot more success.
When you first start your blog, you will mostly be writing about whatever you want. But as your audience grows, you should listen to them and let them guide you.
There’s just one problem, however.
When I say that you should listen to your audience, I don’t mean you should only listen to the people who comment on posts, or email you all the time for example. Not only is that canceling out many opinions from other sources, but you’re sticking to the people who are on your blog the most frequently and probably enjoy your blog enough as is. There’s not as much innovation.
If you listen to people who have launched products, you’ll hear over and over again that the people who brought their products never commented on their blogs. Why do you think that is? And how does it change the way you think about things?
Listen to your audience, but don’t solely rely on certain sources. Go everywhere and anywhere and listen to everybody. Look through your most popular posts. Look at the e-mails you get from your readers and even join blogging communities and talk about your blog there.
You can check your stats and earnings all you want, but don’t get addicted. By 1981, the Iron Maiden vocalist Paul Di’Anno had become increasingly unstable. It is believed that his self-destructive behavior was caused by drug use. But we’ll never know, will we?
The important thing to take away is that it is easy to sabotage yourself. Many bloggers have fallen prey to self-sabotage just as they are about to reach the next level. Maybe it’s because of laziness, maybe it’s because they weren’t passionate about their topic. You just can’t figure it out sometimes.
There’s something deep down in many that prevents them from achieving success. Before you are allowed to level up, you have to become aware of what this belief is. Shedding light on it alone will lessen its strangle-hold on you.
Just as Paul Di’Anno was replaced by Bruce Dickinson, so can you be replaced by someone else. The blogosphere is a living entity that does not have favorites.
If you mess up and don’t even try to recover, you will fail. But there’s something I have left out. If you mess up and fall off the bandwagon, you can always pick yourself up and learn from your mistakes.
6. Accept Change
Iron Maiden has been through a lot of change. They’ve gone through band members, drug abuse and what have you, but they’re still standing and producing great music.
The same applies to blogging and business. The only constant in the universe is change, as they say, and you have to be ready for it. You may be successful now, but that may change.
Something that doesn’t change is your inner drive and your motivation to share what you have to share with the world. It doesn’t matter if things fall apart, because we can always try again. That’s a part of life, and what fun would it be if everything were easy?
Facing your fears can be challenging, and of course: scary. But once you’ve done it a few times, you’ll knock out your next fear quicker. And your next fear even quicker, and so on until you start forming an addiction to combating fear and feeling accomplishment. They’re pretty important feelings for any blogger, right next to happiness.
Most bloggers are not willing to do these things unfortunately, which is why it is so refreshing to see an up and coming blogger hit so much success just because they were willing to get out there and face their fears.
Ask yourself, what are you afraid of when it comes to growing your blog? Then go out there and start doing it over and over again. It doesn’t matter if you fail. You will succeed if you keep learning and trying.