There are many lessons to learn from watching the 2010 Winter Olympics that you can easily tie into blogging. Today, Chris Palmer from Angle of Attack goes over a few of those things. Want to write for us too?
Every few years we get to witness one of the most incredible and inspiring events; the Olympics. In this gathering with nearly every country in the world represented, individuals that have dedicated a large part of their lives compete for the coveted Gold Metal.
This event, dating back to B.C., brings nations together and, it never disappoints.
What can we as bloggers learn from these Olympians?
I have compiled a list I believe describes Olympians. I would now like to go through these in order of importance and share with you how I believe we can all take inspiration for these amazing specimens of human greatness.
- Hard Work
It’s fair to say that Olympians use the best equipment out there. Equipment is certainly important, but it falls low on my list because I believe the greatest asset to an Olympian is heart and spirit.
With that said, us bloggers can use a lot of tools from a nearly endless toolbox that is the internet.
At least on this blog, I’d dare say that one of those tools is WordPress. I have personally found WordPress to be one of the most amazing open source programs I have ever come across, and it’s extended community support through plugins is second to none.
WordPress really speaks for itself.
What are some other great tools that you may not know about? Here are some that I use.
CrazyEgg is a tool I use to track how people interact with my web pages. Now, Google Analytics does a great job, and I have that too. But to tell you what, I’m a visual person and I don’t have a highly analytical mind. Therefore, it’s difficult to build pictures in my mind with GA.
CrazyEgg on the other hand has heatmap and confetti features at a very affordable price. I have found CrazyEgg is one of the best indicators of how people are interacting with my content. I just love it.
Gmail is something that certainly isn’t new, but I have really taken it to a whole new level in the past 6 months. Maybe this is old news to a lot of you, but I now port all of my emails into Gmail to where I can send and receive from any of those accounts.
This benefits me in a few key ways:
- I can access it anywhere
- I save time not having to check other places
- Integrates flawlessly with my Google Phone
- Tags my emails based on their account
- Best spam filtering in the world
Those really sold me on keeping my email remote with Gmail. It has saved me a ton of time and headache. I don’t have to worry about using a program like GoToMyPC to access my email at home anymore. Now it’s just right there on the internet!
Oh yeah, and no more viagra ads in my inbox. Double Awesome!
Mac is King. ***Opinion based on heavily supported facts***
I could go on and on about equipment, but to wrap things up I’d just like to say that your platform can be pretty important. Also, things like CrazyEgg will allow you to tweak your design and get the right interaction for your users.
Just think of Usane Bolt in this category. Man, was that guy fast! You know, an interesting thing is that a lot of NFL teams were seeking this guy after he pretty much obliterated the world sprinting record.
Why does speed matter for a blogger like you or I?
I personally believe that at times we have to move pretty quickly to get some content up, get an issue fixed, or hit a topic while it’s hot. If you know your stuff and you can really get in the zone on writing quickly, you’ll be much better off as a blogger.
Agility is something that a lot of us need more of. It’s the skill of being able to move here or there quickly and with ease.
In blogging, we need to be able to see data, see comments, see trends, and be able to act on them with the all-too-important speed that I mentioned before.
We also have to be willing to change our business model as the times change. Being open-minded as a blogger, or anyone interested in the technology world, is key. We have to be able to move to and fro with the times.
If you can’t be agile in this business, you’re toast; you’ll end up in last place.
Just think about the young gymnasts that start training when they are just 3 or 4, or likewise, figure skaters. As much as these events in the olympics might seem like girl events, it’s impressive to witness the kind of skill required.
As a blogger it is important to continually change yourself. This wraps into agility quite a bit as well, because we need to be willing to let go of our hardcore beliefs and our ways of thinking to make our writing and blog succeed to its greatest ability.
The second you think you’re doing everything right, you’ve got to be very worried.
Personally, I have a good list of RSS feeds that I take advantage of. Do I listen to and take in everything as gospel? Heck no! I just find the stuff that is really good and I work at things bit-by-bit. Be very mindful of information overload here.
With that said, I owe all of my blogging success to others that trained me. Yes, I do love writing and that does go a long way, but all the other resources I have read and/or watched have made me the blogger I am today.
There’s a saying out there that goes:
‘When the going gets tough the tough get going’.
I remember when I was 16 the Olympics were here in Salt Lake City in 2002.
I had the wonderful opportunity of going to an event. It was cross-country skiing. Boring you may say? Well, it ended up being the most amazing and exciting sporting event I’ve ever witnessed, and I’ve been to my share of NFL, NBA, College Football and Hockey games.
But it wasn’t the incredible finish that had an effect on me. Read on.
I remember looking for and trying to cheer for the Americans. They were doing horrible in this event, and they actually never caught up to even come close to metaling.
Although these guys were placing in the high teens, I noticed that they never gave up. Even as the Norwegians and the Swedes were breezing by, they were still soldiering on.
As bloggers, we face some rough go’s here and there. We get in rutts with writing, we don’t get a lot of interaction on our posts, we find it hard to pay the bills and generally just find it hard to keep going.
Well, any good blogger will simply push through and make it happen.
When the going gets tough the tough get going
Along with training, perseverance, and just about every other catchy word you could give to an Olympian, the one trait that’s easy to say they have is ‘they work hard’.
One of the best pieces of blogging advice I have ever received was to treat my blog like a job. Set a posting schedule and make it happen.
This takes a tremendous amount of hard work, I’m not gonna lie. There are times I want to just go to bed, or times I want to simply skip a posting, and then I ask myself what I’m trying to create on this blog. Why does it matter that I post now, Chris? The answer doesn’t matter. Just do it.
Push through. Work Hard. Make it Happen.
Heart. Passion. Patriotism. Out of all the words that describe an olympian, these really dig down to the true meaning. This is the source of that amazing spirit, power and passion. Every other shortcoming can be overcome with more heart.
Your readers are not idiots. They know when you care and when you don’t care. They know when you’re really passionate about something and when you’re not. They know when you’re simply talking with intellect or just flat-out spilling your guts on a subject.
What place do you write from? Your brain, or your heart?
So as you can see, there are a lot of things we can learn from Olympians. This Olympic season, or when you see footage of these events, think of what makes you an Olympian in what you do, even if that isn’t blogging.
Work hard through the good and bad. Have an open mind and learn. Be quick and agile in your dealings.