Jul 31, 2012

3 Olympic Lessons for World-Class Blogging

 Missy Franklin wins gold at the London 2012 Olympics
Golden girl Missy Franklin
shows her stripes in London

I have a confession to make: I’m an Olympics junkie. Once every four years, I find myself glued—glued—to the TV watching sports I wouldn’t give a hoot about any other time. And the London 2012 Olympics are no exception.

So as I was watching beach volleyball (yes, beach volleyball) this weekend, I started thinking, “What can we as bloggers can learn from these young superstars?”

The answer is: a lot.

1. Know Your Strengths

Team USA boxer Marlen Esparza can wow the world in the ring … but ask her to rock the parallel bars and you’re likely to be underwhelmed. Early on in life, these athletes discovered they had a gift for a certain sport. Then they spent the next decade or more honing the specific skill sets they needed to excel.

As a blogger, I have a choice: I can waste my time wishing I had Chris Brogan‘s brilliant insights or Guy Kawasaki‘s engaging style … or I can focus my energies on growing and showing my own strengths.

Key Takeaway: Know what sets you apart and rock it!

2. Keep On Keepin’ On

As I watch the breathtaking performances of our Olympic athletes, I try to be very conscious of what we don’t see: the years and years and years of early mornings, rain-or-shine practice sessions, working through illness, working through injury, sacrificing anything resembling a personal life in pursuit of that Olympic dream.

As a blogger, my #1 rule for myself is this: Keep going. If I don’t feel like writing, I keep going. If I’m strapped for good ideas, I keep going with whatever ideas I do have. If I’m feeling like a fake, I keep going.

And sometimes it’s hard. But little by little, I find I get better at what I do.

Key Takeaway: Keep going, no matter what.

3. Be a Team Player

Even in individual sports, there’s a tremendous amount of team spirit among our athletes. These men and women will give every ounce of effort to beat their teammates in competition, but underneath it all is a deep understanding that they’re all in this together.

As bloggers, we’re all teammates in this grand sport of producing quality content for the Web 2.0. We each have our strengths (see #1) and our challenges, and when we come together, we create a whole that’s more than the sum of its parts.

Key Takeaway: Engage with, encourage, and promote other bloggers at every opportunity.

So, those are my thoughts on what bloggers can learn from our Olympians—what are yours? Please share your thoughts with us in the Comments; we’d love to hear from you!

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Rachel Parker

A self-proclaimed geek who can recite entire episodes of South Park by heart, Rachel Parker helps businesses publish content that connects with their audience … and converts those followers into customers. She’s also the host of the Content Marketing Podcast and a sought-after speaker, having presented to many major business and marketing organizations.

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