This is a guest post by Farnoosh Brock, from Prolific Living, @prolificliving.
I still consider myself a beginner blogger. A student of blogging school for life. The ultimate example of living the experience for the sake of this fabulous journey, not the end result.
The profession of blogging has grown tremendously in recent years. At the peak of success, we have our role models such as Darren Rowse’s Problogger, Brian Clark’s CopyBlogger.com, ChrisBrogan.com and thanks to them and many others, we have numerous schools of knowledge and expertise in the blogosphere. Our beloved internet is brimming with blogging information, growing by the millisecond, changing, evolving, expanding right before our eyes. It can take you for a spin if you are not too careful.
So it seems to me there is nothing that I could add here that the experts have not yet covered in excellent detail.
There is however this one unique perspective that I’d like to share with you for those times when you feel overwhelmed with the nonstop flow of information, when you may feel discouraged, frustrated or temporarily lose your motivation and inspiration at this game.
Argentine tango is a completely improvised dance, and in no way to be compared to ballroom tango or that horrible TV show, Dancing with the Stars! The tango is a beautiful dance which can be a passion and a torment at the same time, and for some, a sweet addiction beyond hope and healing. It is elusive and unattainable at times yet at its core, fundamentally simple and logical. Just like blogging.
How on earth can a dance teach you anything about the serious profession of blogging?
You be the judge! Here are my 7 lessons from Argentine tango, each of which applies even today in my dance and my blogging. I believe these lessons can pave the way to more Brilliant Blogging for you:
1. The Connection: Without a solid connection between a leader and a follower, tango cannot happen. The connection comes from the initial embrace and is maintained throughout the dance. This connection can be subtle, soft or firm but there is no doubt about its presence between the two partners. Without a connection, there is no tango, there is only two people dancing alone. In your blogging, remember the importance of establishing an unbroken connection with your readers, always validating it, and never compromising it.
2. The Trust: There are countless steps in Argentine tango and often, a few involve balancing on or leaning on the leader. The element of trust, the unspoken, implied and implicit trust between the partners is crucial. Once established, it can lead to beautiful patterns on the dance floor. With blogging, building trust with your readers is nonnegotiable. Delivering on what you say, being true to your values, and not compromising that trust is key to your success.
3. The Foundation: The temptation is high in Argentine tango to quickly tire of the foundational elements and to move on to fancy footwork. After all, how many walking techniques are there? (You would be surprised!) But you should always come back to foundations to run a mental checklist. The most beautiful dance is comprised of simplest steps done professionally. Same with blogging. If you forget the foundations, your intent, your mission, the quality of your content, then even the fanciest theme and design and the largest following on social media will not be able to hide it for too long. Always come back to an unflappable foundation.
4. The Improvisation: Unlike many other dances with memorized patterns and steps, Argentine Tango is entirely improvised. The dance is created anew each time, never the same as previous time. It is important to be open to embrace that concept, to break away from conformity, to develop your own path while still following the techniques and foundations of the dance. With blogging too, you should not have to follow a recipe, a guide book or a map someone else has laid before you. Use it to build your knowledge and your skills but pave your own path and create a unique space no one else has or will create before you.
5. The Inspiration from Professionals: It is easy to get wallowed up in envy and self- pity when you watch the effortless, stunning beauty of professional tango dancers. It leaves you breathless and sometimes hopeless. The important thing is to turn that energy into pure inspiration and encouragement. Countless hours of practice have come before that stunning performance. The fruits of labor sometimes hide the labor itself. It is the same with the professional bloggers whose success may be intimidating or discouraging. Banish those thoughts and be inspired to have such role models to follow.
6. The fun: There are few things we are obligated to do in this life. Tango and blogging are probably not in that category. With Argentine tango, it is baffling to understand why anyone would continue to dance it if it no longer is fun. This may seem simple but it is significant. We live only one life and can only pursue so much in our limited time here. Why continue a passion if it no longer is fun? If it no longer feeds you with excitement? And with blogging, if you are boring yourself with stuff you are writing, or are simply not enjoying the process anymore, how can you expect anyone else to come along for the ride, to follow or subscribe or participate in your blog?
7. The Attitude: The tango community can be quite the political, social, and gossip mega circle. It is easy to rate and rank the dancers and choose only to dance with the best leaders or followers. In other words, it is possible to take on an attitude of being above the beginner dancers when you learn a few steps. But Argentine tango is an extremely social dance where you often switch partners and belong to a community. It is smart to have a mature and all-inclusive attitude about you. It is better to be humble for there are always dancers who can top you and beginners who can surprise you. Same with blogging. I think it is a temptation to want to belong with the big dogs and not want to play with the newbies. But we were all once a beginner, and respecting everyone in this fantastic community of blogging, sharing your expertise openly and being sincere may just surprise you with the results. Remember attitude is the little thing that makes a big difference.
All of these elements make up the building blocks of the most beautiful dance that there ever was, the sublime Argentine Tango, and they can be the very elements of a strong foundation for Brilliant Blogging for you. Remember them, master them and use them!
So from my perspective to yours, please indulge us in your opinions, your experience and your thoughts.
With all my gratitude to Dragos Roua for guest post. Farnoosh.