Little over a week ago I had an e-mail conversation with Corbett about online ventures and ideas. He dropped a few bombshell questions that you should have a solid answer to when you’re about to start something.
- Do people want or need help with “what-you-want-to-help-people-with”
- Are you uniquely qualified to help people with that?
- Will people pay money for you to help solve that problem?
- Why should someone read your blog vs. the hundreds of other blogs out there on similar topics?
If you think about them a bit and about the person who asked them, what makes Corbett uniquely qualified to blog about generating traffic? Two years ago we both started out with a small blog, his grew. But so did Sean’s, Alan’s and a few others in what I still see as “my generation”
Sure, one blog is bigger than the other, but we all started out in a niche that seems very crowed: Personal development and lifestyle design. This naturally involved some minimalist sprinkles, bucket lists, online incomes and more.
Small fish in big ponds
There are a few huge “help” topics people are interested in online:
- how to generate an income online (this includes getting traffic to your site/blog),
- how to blog,
- how to be minimalist
- how to be more productive
- how to get guys/girls (or your loved one back)
- and yes, how to train your dog
Huge ponds to fish in, start in as small fish and with some already huge fish in there. I bet that in at least half of this list you can name an A-list blog that handles this topic and you’re guaranteed to find them when using google.
Why is Darren qualified to write about professional blogging? Because he is a professional blogger. Yes, but he wasn’t always. Why is Leo qualified to write about minimalism? One of the secrets is: You need to lead a lifestyle that you want people to live. This certainly shows the world that you know what you’re talking about right?
But this is where the questions really start to form. You start out not being qualified with anything in life. You learn new tricks and skills and suddenly people come to you for help. That is, if you’re lucky or smart enough to acquire a skill that people want help with. A clear indication that you are qualified.
Can you tell me what you are qualified for? What is it that you do that other people come to you for with help? And I don’t mean the mundane tasks like “can you hold this for me?”. I mean the “I have a huge problem and you’re the only one that can help me” kind of problems.
“The only one” is a key phrase here, and a tough nut to crack. What makes you unique? What makes me unique? What do I offer on this blog that you actually need help with and that only I can help you with? (Seriously, drop a comment..)
How to become the to-go-to guy
As said, you begin with being the person to go to with a problem. Ten years ago, nobody in their right mind would come to me for help with back pains. But after some investment in academia I’m a qualified therapist and there are a lot of people with back pain.
I got qualified the hard way: paying through the nose, five years of education and hundreds of hours being mentored while I treated patients. But I was assure that there would always be people with this problem and that I would be qualified because I was practicing a recognized profession.
Formal training seems the way to go to become a therapist, a lawyer, or a mechanic. But those are established professions. There is no formal training to become a problogger, traffic-generator, SEO-expert or minimalist. Yet there are people that claim to be qualified. How the … did they become that?
The picked something they were interested in and just started. Ignoring what other people told them and they went for it. There are others just like them, but they are all unique. Countless minimalists, but just one who is a father of six and runs marathons, just one who is an ex-online-pro-poker player, just one student-technologist who meditates daily.
How can I help you?
The underlying problem that all bloggers address is being dissatisfied with how things are going right now. Very vague, I know, but true. People have a problem – any problem- that they want solved but don’t know how to solve. And they want a solution fast. “Buy my ebook and I’ll solve your problem. ” People click, read the book, get the experience of being helped, and for most of the time keep having the problem.
Just a few actually adopt what you tell them and take it to heart. That is, if it’s just some feeling they have. Back-pain is a real pain they need help with and so almost all of my patients really would take to heart what I told them.
I want to help you, not to offer you some experience of being helped but actual relief. This is something rare online where bloggers tend to keep some information behind to put in later products so you get a bit of info each time.
Boiling down to the question
Back to the conversation with Corbett there was one question that formed in my mind and really stuck, I mean really stuck, a crowbar couldn’t get it out nor would I want to get rid of it:
How do you ever really know if you truly are qualified to solve a problem that people would actually pay for to have solved?
For me, I feel that I am qualified to help you with “finding tranquility and peace in this day and age of overwhelming digital distractions” but I’m not certain that others think the same.
From my last blogpost I can conclude that there are long-long time readers here (you know who you are and I really appreciate you being here all that time). For you guys and girls who are familiar with the contents of this blog, would you agree that this is:
- A genuine problem people have;
- what I’m qualified for to help them with;
- and they would actually pay for to halve solved?
Let us know what you think, drop a comment and if you kept silent all this time, now it the moment to let us know what you think