A community is a powerful thing. Once you have a community, you have the ability to launch products, businesses and other ventures. Building a community is an investment, but it’s worth it.
Over the past few years, I’ve built up an audience of a few hundred thousand readers and several thousand subscribers with my website, IMPOSSIBLE. Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way:
1. Start a blog
Find a hosting service, start a basic WordPress account, buy a simple framework or template and get started. Write, learn to communicate effectively and help others. Answer questions. Be helpful. Solve problems.
2. Don’t worry about being original
Originality is overrated. Most ideas have been thought of before. But if you can take something that’s been done before and improve it while putting your own spin on it, you can evolve the idea into something compelling.
You don’t have to do something completely new. You just have to do it better. Evan Williams, the founder of Blogger and Twitter, credits this with being the secret to success.
3. Connect with others
You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time around. Spend time around people you want to be like and who challenge you. Always try to be the dumbest person in the room — not by being stupid, but by surrounding yourself with smart people. You’ll find you’ll have more job security with your own network than you’d ever have at a job.
4. Be strategic
If you try 100 different things starting out, 90 of them will do nothing to move you forward. Ten of them will move the needle, but only one or two of those will catapult you forward. Focus on those.
Hone in on what matters and forget the rest. Know which efforts propel you forward and which efforts kill time.
5. Do something interesting
Don’t fall into the trap of writing about writing. Do something worth talking about. People pay attention to Chris Guillebeau partly because he gives great entrepreneurship advice, but also because he’s traveled to every country in the world, and he’s telling a great story with his life.
Writing becomes easier when you’re doing something worth talking about. (Click here to Tweet this thought.) Be interesting, and people will flock to you.
6. Make your own rules
Stop listening to blogs, reading books and taking advice. They’re good, but at some point you have to close the book and get to work. That thing you want to do? Go do it. More advice, ideas and inspiration won’t cut it. You have to take action.
7. Do something impossible
Once you start to grow, challenge yourself to do something you’re not sure you can accomplish. Something that scares the daylights out of you. Then go out and make it happen. Push yourself, grow and see what happens.
People are attracted to action. It might help your community that much more.