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What’s It Take To Be The 1%?

February 29, 2016

My brother is a marketing genius. He wrote a book on marketing called Stealing The Show. (You should read it, it will help you . . .steal the show.) Anyway, he did something a little crazy last week. He started following this blog. Now, you have to understand, I love my brother. But, we have been competitors since we were kids. As adults, we headed in different directions career-wise. We figured that we would try to remove the opportunity to directly compete. While we are both writers, my background is IT, his is marketing. 

But, as I saw his name on the email notification, I was suddenly 14 years old again, worried about playing him at baseketball. I hadn’t talked to him in a while, so I called him. Turns out my tension, is completely one-side in this case.  

I saw you started following my blog. I feel like I need to step up my game.

Not at all. I just came across an interesting stat recently that made me think about your blog.


In preparing to tell this story, I had to think about why I’m a writer. I had a very mercenary reason for starting this blog 3 years ago. I was between jobs and had let my online presence languish. You had to scroll down quite a ways to find me on a Google search page. (There’s a real estate broker back East who shares my name and he got all the search results.) I used the blog to answer an extended interview: Tell me about a time you had to fire someone. Tell me about a time you had to meet a deadline. 

I eventually found another job, and while I still love to tell those management leadership stories, I ultimately ran out of the stories we all carry around with us through our careers. I told them all, or nearly all. You guys kept showing up to read every day and so I let myself explore some of my other interests. I wrote about Scouting. I wrong about car repairs. . .A LOT. I wrote about my kids. 

I went to dinner recently with a friend who commented that I seem to have mastered the ability to find a new topic everyday. I make lists of interesting topics as they come up. I jot notes to myself to remember to tell an interesting story. Occasionally, I see a news item that I want to discuss in a technical setting. But, mostly, I just talk. 

Am I a success? 

I havn’t really given that much thought. My original goal was to land a job. I succeeded at that. My goal was to increase my search results. I succeeded in that. Then, my goal was to tell some stories. I succeeded at that. I’ve never really tried to make money from blogging. I’ve set readership/views goals and occasionally hit them, and occasionally come up short. But, I get great enjoyment out of this daily conversation. In that sense, I guess, I’m being successful. 

The stat my brother shared with me was this, in a social network of 100 people, 90% will be passive, 9% will be semi active, and 1% will be very active. When applied to blogging, that translates to 90% of those who start a blog, abandon it. Nine percent of those who start update it occasionally. And, 1% of those who start a blog update it regularly. I’ve been updating this blog every day since March of 2013. My brother explained,

It’s estimated that 155,000,000 blogs exist. Out of that, one percent update their blogs on a regular basis. I was sharing this stat with a group of people and realized that I knew one of those 1%. 

It was interesting to me that I had this discussion after writing “Your Motivation Is Not Going To Be Enough” where I talk about how the determination to show up every day trumps the motivation that might have got you started, but won’t sustain you. 

I have another friend who regularly posts the following quote.

It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.

– Albert Einstein 

Like the tortoise and the hare, sometimes you succeed just by showing up and putting in the time. If you happen to enjoy it, that’s a bonus and a pretty good definition of success. 

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday at 7:00 AM Mountain Time. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. 

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(c) 2016 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved 

  1. This is amazing. I’ve had my blog for about 5 years already and it wasn’t until I finally began to further my writing career that I took my blog to the next level. Being more consistent with blog post and just releasing great content. Even though it’s hard work I’m really starting to see change and I really love the process. Great post!

    • I read several interesting articles about why bloggers stop. The amount of time it takes is certainly one reason people stop. I’ll go check yours out. What do you write about?

      • I definitely agree. I write a little of everything from life, motivation, travel, music, reads, etc. Just giving people a little bit of insight on what really is important in life. Showing others how to grow and guiding on how they can find their purpose.

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