I’m a big fan of leverage, and in the internet age, it’s mandatory that we employ as much of it as possible. You need to be able to get things going quickly! You need to be able to launch an idea without delay and build it competently and efficiently, because FAST is the name of the game.
So how to you build a rocking blog with only 10 subscribers? The answer is this: make sure they’re 10 really great subscribers! Make sure they are advocates.
No matter how far you go in your business, you will always have a core business that deserves more of your focus than anything else. This will be your advocates. Even if you have 100,000 subscribers, I guarantee you that only a handful of them are the reason for the majority of your success. It’s the old 80/20 rule. Find your advocates, my friends! That is the key to success; it’s not about huge subscriber lists (although they are fun and profitable of course); it’s about quality, and my point in this post is simple…you do not need a huge amount of subscribers in order to do a huge amount of damage!
Your power is not in your numbers…it’s in your advocates!
Traffic is Not the Answer! Advocates are the Answer
My point is simple. So many of us want to focus on getting more and more traffic to our sites, and that is understandable. But a big part of me believes it’s kind of an industrial age idea being injected into a new business model. It’s natural and human for us all to want a lot of attention, tons of comments, etc. But I contend it’s just not necessary. Fun, yes. Cool, yes. Necessary to run a profitable business? No.
If I had to choose between 10 people who truly love what I do and are willing to do whatever they can to help me out or 10,000 luke warm, half-assed followers, which do you think I’m going to choose? High traffic may be fun, but it’s rarely efficient. It’s also rarely necessary.
You just don’t have to have millions of fans in order to have millions of dollars. It may be your goal for whatever reason, and if so I’m certainly not criticizing. Go as large as you want. With a blog you can take over the world. We see it happening more and more every day.
The Fame Façade
But it’s also true…and has always been true, that a lot of very successful business people are out there operating behind the scenes. Sorry to ruin the façade for everyone (I don’t really think I’m telling you anything you don’t already know), but the very well-known internet success stories we’ve all heard of are only a small sample of what’s actually going on out there. There are also a lot of famous people who are FAR from reaching their personal goals.
I’d encourage you to not look at the famous “success” stories we all hear about to be necessarily indicative of the direction we should all be going, because it may or may not be true. Fame is not a factor. It’s only an interesting an fun phenomenon that happens to some of us occasionally. Fame certainly does not require significant personal achievement, and likewise, significant personal achievement only rarely produces fame.
If it is fame that interests you, fine, but don’t equate it to success.
Blogging to the Power of 10
All I’m saying is that you likely don’t need to start the next Facebook or Twitter or Tech Crunch or whatever to reach all your financial goals with blogging and internet marketing, so don’t assume it to be so. Look at your alternatives, and one alternative is to learn to operate a very powerful operation with only 10 fans!
Of course I use “10 fans” as only an example. The point is to illustrate that many of us assume we need many thousands of people on board before we’re going to be able to do any real damage, and I’m sorry but it’s just not true.
Each Individual Subscriber Really Does Matter
What if one of your subscribers is David Letterman? Impossible you say? I’m sorry, but do you know what David Letterman’s RSS subscription looks like as compared to anyone else’s? I have no doubt that David Letterman gets online from time to time, don’t you think? And if he’s reading your blog, and you’ve written something particularly compelling to him, don’t you see how that could lead to something significant? Absolutely it could.
As of course, here is the magic: While David Letterman (I don’t know why I specifically picked David Letterman, so don’t ask!) knows a lot of people…last time I checked, a LOT of people know a lot of people. It doesn’t take having a celebrity on board in order to make your blog hugely successful and profitable. Here’s what it takes: it takes an advocate.
What is an advocate? An advocate is someone who truly loves what you do, believes in you and actively takes pleasure in helping you spread the word. A few advocates is all it takes. And an advocate can be anyone…as long as they are truly engaged by what you do.
It really does only take 10 advocates to make your blog massively successful. In fact, in many cases it only takes ONE advocate to make a big difference. I had one post recently connect with some people in my network. Several of them tweeted it out and it them got picked up by Perry Belcher, who in turn tweeted it out, and all of a sudden my traffic went up about 800% for a few days. I’ll take it! I got a lot of cool comments and about 50 email subscribers from that one flurry of activity. If I did not have advocates, it would not have happened.
How to Get Advocates
Advocates, like anything of value, must be earned. Sorry, there’s really no short cuts here, and I cannot offer you a link to a website that offers a free tool called “how to get 10 advocates for FAST and for FREE”. This human engagement, and it can only be accomplished through real personal interaction over time.
Think of it this way, which is quicker?
- Build 10 significant relationships with people over time, or-
- Follow thousands of people on Twitter and hope that half of them follow you back?
Of course it’s quicker and easier to build a crappy list, but the result is a crappy list, so why bother?
How many subscribers do you have now? If you have 100 subscribers, and those 100 subscribers were procured the right way, I bet you that your 10 advocates are already there. Now it’s just a matter of identifying them and cultivating a relationship with them over time. Don’t let them slip away; you’re staring at a literal gold mine!
If you’ve just started this whole blogging thing, and you only have a few subscribers…don’t look at that as a bad thing. You’re not deficient. You’re sitting on a gold mine…I promise you! It only takes a few advocates.
If you rock, they will come.