I have learned a lot from blogging over the years. I have written thousands of posts across several blogs and have managed to gain friends, income, and fun from the experience. I occasionally see something outside of the blogging world that relates to what we do here in the “blogosphere,” and this one is both amusing and relevant.
After reading about the explosive growth on TechCrunch, I decided to sign up for Zynga’s new hit game CityVille. CityVille is the most recent in a chain of games from Zynga including the infamous FarmVille, PioneerVille, and Mafia Wars. Think of it as a free, social, online version of the old school SimCity games.
How Blogging is Like CityVille
Success in CityVille is measured several ways. These include completing goals, increasing your player level, and earning coins.
If you overwork it early on, you will burn out
People often get really excited when they start a new blog. It is like a new online toy where they can write, share, and interact in the comments with their mom and best friend. However, you need energy and a long-term goal to keep it up.
The vast majority of blogs in the world began with lofty goals and intentions. If you search through random Blogger and WordPress.com blogs, however, you will see most stop after a couple of months.
Just like the precious energy that refills every five minutes in CityVille, you need energy to blog. As you level up on CityVille, you get more energy capacity. The same is true with blogging. Start with a post or two a week and ramp up from there. Setting a high bar of two posts a day is for the pro bloggers only.
Your neighbors are you best friends, but only if you treat them well
To complete goals and grow your empire in CityVille, you need to connect your city with neighboring cities. Connecting with friends makes the game more fun and helps you do more faster. You need friends to start up franchises around the CityVille world.
The same is true in the world of blogging. If you alienate yourself, you will not see growth. If you network and connect with neighbors (bloggers in your niche), you will see incredible success. I am a member of a large network of personal finance bloggers that have helped me grow my readership and revenues. But if you don’t go water their plants and send tour busses to their city (guest post, link back, comment, share, and support), they will leave you behind to fend for yourself.
Plan toward measurable goals and be proud of your success
I got excited when I built my first pier and sent a ship out to resupply. I know that is nerdy, but the same goes for your blog. When you upgrade your theme, publish a successful post, or expand your site, you are excited and proud of what you did.
Getting there takes planning and work. You don’t want crops growing all over your city, you want them all in a small, compact area. You have to plan for that ahead of time. The same goes for your blog. If you write about random topics and have a sloppy looking site, you will get frustrated, sputter, and fail. If you plan it out, build up slowly, and keep on track, you are bound for success.
Success is something to be proud of and share with your friends. However, be cautious and don't spam their Facebook walls with requests for coins and building permits.
Where you do see similarities between blogging and the “real world?”
For the other bloggers out there, I would love to see where you find similarities and use those lessons in your blogging. Please share in the comments.