5 Reasons Why People Believe They Can Become A Blog Star
This is a guest post by Roman Jelinek. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.
What do you want to be when you grow up? When you were young the answer was movie star. What young kid does not dream of being famous, having lots of money, living in Beverly Hills and followed by flashing bulbs every time they go shopping for shoes.
Then you grow up. Maybe you still dream of being a movie star but now you realize that it is not a realistic goal. You can become a mail person, an accountant, a teacher, or unpublished writer. But to become a movie star is too hard — it is like wanting to become a lottery winner. You were young and naive, susceptible to wild dreams. Now you are an rational adult — you no longer strive to be a movie star.
Now you want to be a blog star. You want to have a successful blog with 100,000’s of daily visitors. You want to work from home in your bathrobe and slippers. You want money to be accumulate while you sleep. You want your friends to envy you as they fight traffic five days a week to a job they hate.
You know you cannot be a movie star but think that you can be a blog star.
What is the difference between becoming a movie star and a blog star? Why do rational adults, who quietly snicker at somebody striving to be a movie star, strive at being a blog star? They write posts, promote, take a few ‘how to blog’ courses, all in the attempt of being a successful blogger. They know the stats: 99.99% of all blogs fail. And those that do not fail in the first 6 months are barely able to cover the costs of the web host service – ending up like the failing actor performing at the local community center in front of empty seats and a few retired people looking towards the free donuts at the end of the show.
Wanting to be a movie star is crazy. But wanting to be a blog star is not. This is strange. Why is the notion of becoming a movie star absurd while becoming a blog star rational? Here a the reason why you, a rational adult, might believe that one day you can become a blog star.
1) No Barrier To Entry
You cannot wake up one day and say, “today I am going to be a movie star.” You need an agent, you need to take acting lessons, you need to be able to make people cry, you need to get a role in a movie, you need to move to Hollywood and in most cases you need to look good. So much work and so many possible points of failure — one barrier after another.
But, you can wake up tomorrow and be a blogger. Get out of bed and turn on the computer. Go to wordpress.com download a free blog template and start making posts. Before breakfast, still in your pajamas, you have become a blogger. It is so easy.
2) No Special Talent Required
To be a movie star requires talent. Remember high school drama class? There is always that one student who stands out above the rest. He can turn a room of gum chewing, giggling, restless students into a silent and focused audience as they watch him recite, “To be or not to be…”. He has talent – student most likely to be a movie star.
Do you now how to turn on a computer? Do you know how to read and write? If you do then you can be a blogger. All you got to do is write some interesting content everyday. You have everything it takes to be a great blogger. No special talent required.
3) No Instant Rejection
Watch an episode of American Idol. The candidates want to be stars. Before they walk on the stag and perform they believe in their dream of being a star. Then they perform. And in most cases with either an awkward smile or a tear in the eye they get a big dose of rejection. Dream shattered and a direct flight back to reality.
The blogosphere does not provide rejection. Nobody will tell you that you suck. Even after 1 year of blogging you can still think your blog is great — that you have a chance of success. Your 3 loyal followers (mother, uncle, co-worker) are always praising your blog posts. They tell you the reason your blog has not took off is because of some outside factor — need more promotion, change the color of the text, add a RSS feed etc. Nobody will strike you down with a big fat rejection — your blog sucks, you have no talent, quit wasting your time. Booo.
4) You Can Be A Blogger On The Weekends
To become a movie star means devoting your life to it. You need to become a starving artist. Buy a wool sweeter and scarf, never have any money, spend your days at coffee shops drinking tea and nibbling on biscuits, discussing Sir Author Dumenhouwer’s riveting performance of Cyrano de Bergerac.
Want to be a blogger: No need to quit your day job. No need to cancel your Wednesday nights at the pub with friends. All you need to do is devote a couple of hours on the weekend to your blog. Six days out of the week you are who you are, on Sundays you sit at the computer and write a post.
5) It Is Not A Cliche For The Foolish Endeavor
If someone tells you that they want to be a movie star it means one thing — they have no grasp of reality. The cliche is a 18 year old girl who moves to Hollywood thinking that she will become a star. She believes that because she has talent and knows how to work hard she will get noticed and in no time be on the big screen screen with Brad Pitt. Whenever you hear such a story all you can do is roll your eyes. What a silly girl.
Becoming a star blogger has no such cliche. Tell your friends that you are starting a blog, that you are a good writer and that you will work hard. Tell them that you think you will make lots of money. Their reply will be: “that sounds like a great idea, you know HTML, you are a good writer, I think that you really have a chance of succeeding, go for it!”.
Becoming A Blog Star In Blogwood
These misconceptions about blogging make it seem like anybody can become a blog star. But the reality is that the blogosphere is no different then Hollywood. There is only so much room at the top. And to get there takes hard work, talent, devotion, and of course the elusive and slippery element of luck.
Like Hollywood, the blogosphere is mostly populated by people with shattered dreams and tear stained pillows. People who come full of energy and excitement, but after a good whipping by the reality stick they leave on their knees shaking their heads and murmuring curses.
Like me. My back is still bloody from the beat down I received. For all the reasons above I went into blogging thinking that within a few months I will become a blog star. I was lured by the shine and glitter of the blogosphere. I laughed at aspiring movie stars but at the same time thought I could be a blog star. It has been 9 months of disappointment.
The good news is that I am still around — I did not burn out. My goals are more realistic now. Now I expect modest progress and to have fun. I no longer expect to be a blog star. This change of attitude has helped me focus on providing good content and to sleep peacefully at nights. Of course I still dream of being a blog star, but I no longer wake up every morning expecting to be one.
Re-evaluate your reasons for blogging. Are you doing it to become a blog star – is that a realistic goal?
Note from Daniel: I don’t agree completely with this post, but I figured it would be interesting to see another point of view. In my opinion with hard work you can become anything you want, be it a movie start or a blog start. And the number of blog starts that we’ll see around the world will also be much bigger than the number of movie starts.
Roman Jelinek is a new webmaster with a blog and website describing in detail what is involved in creating, maintaining and profiting from a site. Called How This Website Makes Money, you will find charts and statistics there.
37 Responses to “5 Reasons Why People Believe They Can Become A Blog Star”
Nate @ Debt-free Scholar
In the short-term, I hope to be a “blog star” in the category of college finances. In the long-term, I hope to work in other fields.
Everyone can be a blog star. It’s only a matter of focus and persistence. Afterall, we are what we think we are. 🙂
I tell men: “You wanna date an actress? It’s easy, move to Malibu.”
It’s the moving to Malibu that’s hard, not dating the actress.
From a friend currently in Hollywood, 90% of success is simply showing up, day after day after day after day. Never, ever quit. As Hollywood, so goes the blogosphere. Show up, day after day after day after day. Never, ever quit.
I defy anyone posting objectively useful content for 5 years NOT to succeed. The trick is getting through the 5 years!
It seems to be so easy indeed but impossible for most bloggers, me inclueded.
Nic loves languages
Persistence gets there
Nowadays, people blogging is such ant’s amount.
There are millions of million people out there are blogging.
Do you think you can be successful with blog at this time?
Absolutely not. Don’t expect too much then disappoint. Look at the fact that nowadays 0.0001% people on this world could become a John Chow, Shoe Monkey, Darren, Daniel, Scocco,….
WoW …. HollyWood Star ! BlogWood Star !!!
What does one mean when they say they want to be a “star”? Do they want the fame of someone like Marcos Moulitsas of Daily Kos — a person who has become synonymous with the Netroots and a political player? Are they satisfied just being a rather large fish in a small pond?
I write a blog which I am not linking to because of the specific and adult nature of its content. In a particular community, I have gone from someone who is “sort of” known to someone who is known for the blog I write on a near daily basis. That blog has also had another effect — in its relatively short existence, it has been instrumental in getting me adult video work only because I used it as a tool to promote myself as well as inform people.
So I suppose in one small way, my blog helped me become a “movie” star of sorts. I won’t be winning any awards but I’m quite content in my little pond.
I really like the comparison here between movie star and blog star. I don’t necessarily agree that you don’t need to have any special talents. I think being able to write well is a prerequisite of a successful blog writer. The blogs that I read are well written and thoughtful and add value. Blogging requires a lot of work and I think this is something that new bloggers tend to underestimate. That is probably why most of them fail. Very interesting post!
I believe in playing the odds. Blogging for money is a game of chance. No matter your talent, the odds are against you. That said, a handful will always beat the odds.
This begs the question, are you willing to work your butt off to try to be one of the few who becomes famous and makes a lot of money?
I also wonder how many people make a rational assessment of themselves and their talents. It is easy to say, write great content and they will come. Can you do that day after day? Better yet, do you want to do that?
I blog because I like to write. Period. I’ve been doing this for years, long before blogs were around. If I have the good fortune to gain enough money to pay for the blog, that’s good enough for me.
Err, what’s a blog star? People in the blogging about blogging niche have little chance of becoming a “star”. The niche is saturated. Same as the marketing to marketers niche (MMO). If you’re a good blogger then blog about something worthwhile and you’ll have more chance of succeeding.
“What do you want to be when you grow up? When you were young the answer was movie star. What young kid does not dream of being famous, having lots of money, living in Beverly Hills and followed by flashing bulbs every time they go shopping for shoes…”
C’on man! That’s true in the US maybe not anywhere else(maybe India too?).
I personally i’ve never dreamt of being a movie star when kid and will never dream of it, not cause it’s hard (nothing is impossible) but cause i’ve never idolized movie stars, they have it aaall fake. My simple life is way better than theirs 😉
To me, being a star in whatever field in life needs Will, Hardwork, Persistence and Patience. W.H.P.P but does someone really need to be a star to be happy? That is the question 🙂
PS: Typos @ Note from Daniel: you obviously meant movie stars/starts…
If you have something you’re passionate about, you can do it.
Wordpress is out there with thousands of sites, which will show you how to get started.
Next thing, read up on SEO, make sure that your blog is easy to find for the reasons you want it to be found.
My advice… look at the WordPress blogs, read the articles, watch the videos, buy a book!
And… use a premium theme with a good backup and help service. The hours you can waste trying to set up a free theme, will soon outweigh the cost of a premium theme.
Nice post. As you said, it is much easier to become a blogger, than getting a chance to act in a couple of movies. That is a boon as well as a bane. I guess, being a professional blogger is like doing any other business. No one can instantly create a hugely popular site or set up a multi-national business either. Imagine, if you studied a professional degree spending a fortune on it, and then you join a job for a very little amount, how can you expect blogging with its near to zero investment to kick off from the start? I think the indirect benefits from a blog are lot more than the direct benefits. And yeah, someone should know when to stop – for blogging as well as any other business.
Nice & Interesting post. It motivates and gives me some idea. Awesome =)
jennifer888 @ Negotiation Board
I both agree and disagree with this post.
I have been lured by the limelight before, for me it wasn’t Hollywood, but real estate. I started of working in an office and saw idiot agents making thousands of dollars for what seemed like not much work. I thought that I could do it too, but do it better! Boy was I wrong. Getting into real estate before the big bust was not the best of timing.
As with anything in life hard work, talent, and good timing can make your blog a success. Miss anyone of these three element and you might end up a blogging bust. But, get these three things right and you may earn yourself a name in Blogwood.
I think the points made by the blogger are essentially correct. All he is saying is that “these are the reasons why so many people give blogging a shot.” He’s not saying “don’t bother.” Reasonable goals are key; once you reach them it keeps you inspired to keep going. My goal is 100 visitors a day by the end of the year. Three months to go!
Howard Hughes worked really hard on the Spruce Goose but it only flew once. I think you need to examine WHY you want to blog and set your goals accordingly.
Methinx it depends how big a star you want to be. Each of the good blogs i know has its own loyal following. One blogger’s soaring success is another blogger’s disappointing stats!
And for the ones that stick around, the following gradually grows. Surely that’s how it happens.
Just like Twitter and other things, of course there are plenty of people who aren’t clear about their goals, but just like real life (especially business), those are the ‘masses’ that float around supporting the outstanding individuals on top. And how long you stay on top will depend how well you (a) keep working at it and (b) adapt to the new environment.
And the ‘no special talent’ is a myth like the myth that anyone can write a novel. Yep, anyone can write 100,000 words one after the other – not everyone does, and of those who do, not all are touching the thing in other people that makes them keep coming back. If you’re happy wittering on for your own pleasure, then fine, but if you want commercial success that requires talent.
When you distil what you’re both saying, Daniel, it seems to me that you and Roman do agree really.
I have to agree with Daniel on this one. It’s incorrect to say that becoming a movie star is too difficult and blogging is easy, if you set yourself a goal and sacrifice everything else in your life to achieve it then anything is possible.
Also, do you not think you need talent to become a successful blogger? Writing is a talent, marketing is a talent. editing is a talent.
You said that there is no barrier to entry. I agree that it is incredibly easy to start a blog. However, you argue that you need to take time out for acting lessons to become a successful movie star. I agree, however you also need to take time out to become a successful blogger. It takes time to read books on blogging, marketing, web publishing etc.
It all comes down to how you spend your time. If you want to become a successful musician you need to spend time practising, blogging is no different.
I’ve been blogging for years but I look back at earlier articles I wrote and I cringe. Which illustrates that it takes many people time to develop their writing ability. This didn’t happen overnight. I read books on writing, I spent time correcting my grammar.
I don’t want to rip apart your post but I have to disagree with most of what you said. You are suggesting that becoming a movie star is difficult, near impossible, whilst becoming a blog star is easy.
Take a look at most of the successful bloggers on the net. The majority of them work 40-50 hours a week, they don’t just write one post per weekend and sit back and let the cash flow in.
The post is entitled ‘Why people believe‘; the way i read it, Roman is saying these are illusions. Like those articles ‘Five ways to ruin a painting’ (for example – one i’ve just read on About.com): how-not-to rather than how-to.
That’s why i said Roman and Daniel agree, as they’re both saying it does take skill, is not quick n easy, etc. I though this article a list of those things that seduce people into expecting success, rather than a list of reasons they will get any.
Blake @ probs blog ideas
This is a really interesting post and I have frequently considered the same thing.
One thing you didn’t consider is the limited number of potential moice stars due to the number of movies coming out.
There are virtually an unlimited number of blog readers to make blogs popular. In other words, there is a much greater demand for blog stars than movie stars.
I think blog stars are more comparable to “pick up artist”.
Anyone can get a hot date or find the person that makes them happy (write a hugely popular post or fullfil personal blogging goals) but few will ever make a full time living blogging or be able to “pick up anyone anytime anywhere”
The ones who devote themselves and give their entire devotion may make it, but those that hear but don’t listen will probably never reach star status.
Your 100% right mm. I completely misinterpreted the post. My bad. I should learn never to reply to posts on sunday mornings with a bad hangover haha 🙂
Roman – apologies for previous comment. Disregard :):)
lol Kevin – i’m always relieved when it’s someone else and not me doing a d’oh! ;0)
I don’t agree that no special talent is required for blogging. Of course talent is required and without talent you cant manage the things properly.
Of course you may perform some work without talent, but you cant get the optimum results without talent.
You can pass the exam, but passing with high number requires talent.
So if one has not got talent about blogging, she/he should not waste his time in blogging.
In most case talent is hidden in you, and in this case you can prune it and improve it.
I frequently doing them after a night out on the beer. I’ve learned to just put my hands up and admit to my own stupidity rather than dig myself into a deeper hole! haha
“No Special Talent Required” I completely disagree. No, you don’t need special talent to start a blog, but you sure need something to do it well, and yet another to become a superstar. And just like in acting, so much of it is luck.
“Nobody will strike you down with a big fat rejection â€“ your blog sucks, you have no talent, quit wasting your time.”
Anyone who believes that is in for a real eye-opener when they encounter the trolls that inhabit the dark corners of the internet.
Ha! I never thought I would be a star. 😀
Everyone can be a star in their own right. I must confess, I wanted to be movie star way back, until now. LOL
I totally believe Daniel. Anyone who works hard will certainly reap what he sow.
There is no point for one to persevere if will not become a blogstar in the future.
I am blogging coz I want to become a blog star on my own niche. And I think there is no problem with it. One needs to want it in order to have it.
it question of one hit.
if you look at hollywood one movie makes stars.
Same in blogwood one blog post is hit and you are star.
By hit i mean you are on front page of digg, other niche website covers ur story too.
once ur are hit u need to maintain it
Like hollywood u cant rest on laurel u need to deliver again and again.
An interesting post which provokes some thoughts.
It is indeed an open playing field, however I do think that in order to become a Star one must have a talent, a specific goal or passion/interest burning brightly inside in order to motivate them to the heights.
I for one intend to get there (in time)….
What exactly is a blogstar? When is a blogger considered a blogstar?
Don’t Rush Things…
Like they say Patience is a virtue
I’m gonna be a blogstar someday…
I never thought I could be a star 🙂 LOL 🙂
Tattered and Lost
I guess I don’t fully understand the premise of “star” and “blog” because I still think of blogs in two ways:
1. an online journal for myself
2. a place to share my passion with others.
Neither of those lead me toward a path of stardom because that’s never been of interest to me. Sharing with others and finding others who might share my passion is all blogging is to me. I think going into anything wanting/needing to be a “star” is simply going to lead to a lot of disappointment.
Accept your little piece of the blog universe for what it is and enjoy it. It’s a reflection of you if you’re honest and people will respond to that. Wanting to make yourself the center of their universe, in other words a “star” seems a no win situation right out of the gate.
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