The Myth of The One-Person Blogging Empire

February 6, 2018  •  Platform Strategy

Write a blog post, publish it, and watch the money roll in! Right? If only that were the case…

As it turns out, becoming a successful platform-builder of any kind takes a whole lot of work. That may not be the most popular opinion on the internet, but it’s true.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock Photos

Just like you, I’ve read dozens of inspirational success stories online.

Stories of the stay-at-home mom who wrote blog posts late at night, after her kids went to bed. People loved her writing, so they bought her self-published book and she made a million dollars overnight! With no extra work. 😏

Stories of the unemployed husband with a wife and two kids, hungrily waiting for him to decide their next move—until he risks everything to write a dozen blog posts, offer $10,000 consulting packages, and fills his calendar (and bank account) after sending a few emails out.

Those stories are dangerous. They are outliers and make success looks easy, which sets you up for failure once the going gets tough.

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Don’t get me wrong, I love the platform-building industry—after all, I’ve committed myself and my career to understanding this industry and helping others do the same!

Every time a platform-builder shares their message with an eager audience, the world becomes a better place.

John Meese

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Success is possible. Our own business is proof, and our students reinforce that with their own success—but this isn’t a get-rich-quick industry. You will succeed if you are committed to creating a lasting impact, and leaving a positive mark on the world.

10 Hard Skills Every Platform-Builder Needs to Succeed

Our most successful students demonstrate proficiency in a number of skills required to succeed online, and many of them go on to create their own teams to divide these responsibilities up.

That said, when you’re just starting out these skill requirements are all on you!

  1. Content Writing. After all, everything starts with the written word. That could mean a blog post, about page, podcast outline, or even the description on a YouTube video.
  2. Proofreading. When so much of your platform relies on written content, it sure helps when you’ve got the spelling and grammar write right!
  3. Customer Support. For a platform-builder, success is directly tied to the number of people you are able to serve. The more popular your content, the more comments & emails start coming in—and every interaction can build (or destroy) audience trust.
  4. Copywriting. Truly a separate skill from content writing, copywriting is the practice of writing words designed to sell products or ideas. It’s crucial if you want to influence others, let alone sell your own products and services.
  5. User Experience Design. Thankfully, this doesn’t require actually writing code. With tools like WordPress, you can control what your audience sees with a few clicks—but you still need an eye for design and the ability to imagine what your audience will see.
  6. Social Media Marketing. Each social network has its own culture & requirements. You don’t need to use every one, but whichever platform you’re using will only work for you if you’re able to master this skill.
  7. Curriculum Development. When you’re ready to offer your own products, like an online course, you’re on the hook for the content. Before you start writing, that means mapping out the start-to-finish curriculum in a logical way.
  8. Curriculum Instruction. Outlining content requires a strategic perspective, while instruction requires a deeper level of connection to content, and the ability to communicate well on camera in a natural way.
  9. Public Speaking. Even if you never leave your home office, it’s almost impossible to avoid public speaking. Between webinars, live video, and podcast interviews, you’ll be “on stage” more often than you think.
  10. Managing & Delegation. As your platform grows, the only way you’ll keep up with every other hard skill is if you master another skill to outsource, building a network of professionals to help you with whatever you need to succeed.

With a list like that, is it any wonder that bloggers like Michael Hyatt have companies with thirty employees (or more)?

Every blogger needs to get to know 10 hard skills to succeed online. Which ones are you working on now?

John Meese

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Now that you have this list, use it as a lens to identify the areas you need to work on next. How’s your copywriting? Feel good about your customer support skills?

Once you’ve identified your weaknesses, seek out experts to learn from in each area (like Ray Edwards for copywriting). Thankfully, we include training on each of these hard skills inside Platform University itself.

The goal here isn’t to master all ten, but to become proficient and then grow your platform into a business that can support a team (even part-time contractors) who can take some off your plate.

QUESTION: Which of these hard skills are you naturally good at? Where do you need to focus next, to improve what you know so far? Let us know in the comment area below!

About John Meese

John is the Dean of Platform University, and spends most of his time looking for new ways to serve Platform University students. He lives south of Nashville, TN with his wife and two young kids.