For this article, I'm going to adapt a chapter from my 2016 eBook, Online Rockstar: The Digital Entrepreneur's Guidebook to Creating an Online Business that Rocks.
Most businesses are ordinary. They’re like department stores with very little personality and no overall strategy to succeed beyond a few products on shelves.
Rockstar MBs are structured like a religion that converts readers into believers faster than a store can sell products.
Rockstar MBs are more than just blogs because:
- They’re structured like a religion, not a business.
- They attract devoted readers more easily than ordinary blogs.
- They make more money, faster than traditional blogs.
If you want to build a blog that creates value, gives readers what they’re looking for, and creates a revenue stream that you can live on, you need the Rockstar Blog-Religion strategy.
A truly successful business has all the hallmarks of a popular religion.
Consider how Apple Computer is like a Religion...
There's a charismatic figure guiding the direction and philosophy of the organization. (Steve Jobs - even though Jobs is no longer with us, his vision still guides the company - perhaps in an even more powerful way than when he was living.)
- There are followers - those who choose to follow the Guru or Leader of the group. (Mac, iPad, iPhone users)
- There are guiding principles that govern how followers should interact with the world. (Simple lines, elegant design)
- There are varying degrees of membership. (iPhone users, iPad Users, MacBook Pro users)
- There are meeting places and a pilgrimage where followers receive training and then go out into the world to convert others. (MacWorld Conference & Expo)
- There are even holy books of sorts that ties everything together. (MacWorld Magazine, the Apple website)
OK, before this starts to sound high-churchy, let me talk about Star Wars. (Gotta luv that segue…)
The Tao, The Force, & The Formless
Tao is ancient Chinese philosophy. I'm no authority on Taoism, but what I do know is that the Tao is kind of like The Force in the Star Wars films. (Gimme some license here.)
It's the unseen energy that holds the universe together. Some religions and philosophies call this God, Supreme Consciousness, Brahman, The Flying Spaghetti Monster, and a whole host of other names. Wallace Wattles, writing in The Science of Getting Rich back in 1910, called it the Formless and Thinking Substance while Sufism refers to the One, the Most Tenderly Compassionate, Allah.
Call it what you will, Nature, God, Universe, or Clapton…but many believe there is an entity that is bigger than you and me and it governs how we live, breathe, and stay planted on the earth. Whether you believe that or not, it serves as a great model for your Rockstar Business.
There needs to be a glue that holds your MB together; a formless substance that attracts others.
The Barry Krishnas
Heidi Tran is a past client. She's an instructional designer, freelance copywriter, and marketing consultant and we've worked together on a couple of occasions. Here's a comment she made about our relationship in a forum:
"I'm using what I learned about writing that letter to create a new campaign for a business expo I'm attending. Although writing a good letter involves some work, I'm enjoying it so much more now that I actually know what I'm doing. It's also making what I write for others so much easier.
I may start a new religion... The Sect of the Enlightened Copywriters? The Morrisites? ...The Barry Krishnas?"
The Barry Krishnas...that cracks me up! OK, while I'm NOT going to market myself as Barry Krishna, I am going to say that religion is a great metaphor for a Rockstar Business.
Why religion is a great working model for your Rockstar Blog
When you start your own 'religion' around your blog you instantly become a brand. (Read this 200 word post on Fizzle for a primer on personal branding.) Evidence for this is everywhere: Microsoft, Starbucks, Apple Computer. - they all have charismatic leaders, principles to which their followers adhere, and each turns out passionately vocal evangelists.
You'd like your own evangelist, right? In a Rockstar Business we call them Raving Fans! Someone who can't stop saying enough good things about you? Maybe a couple thousand of 'em?
Hey, what business wouldn't want their own Raving Fans roaming the streets and shouting out the gospel according to [YOU]!
Is it really possible to create a following of devotees who preach your version of the Good News? Yes, it's possible if you begin doing these three things.
Keys to Creating a Rockstar Blog
1. Care for your readers and clients
That's right; you really need to care for your fans and clients. When you care about people, you hold their interest at heart. You don't try to sell them just anything. You find out how they feel and what's bothering them and then find ways to help.
Caring for readers' should to be at the core of your Rockstar Business. When fans feel cared for, they stay. When they feel ignored, they find other places where they feel cared for and taken care of. ☺
Fail to care enough and you'll learn the same lesson that many members of the clergy have learned: people vote with their feet as well as their wallets.
While caring is absolutely vital to creating fervent following, guiding them is essential.
2. Guide your readers
As the …uh…Rockstar of your Rockstar Business, it's your duty to guide your readers toward a better life. That means reminding them often of how you can help them move forward. (Hmm, sounds a lot like email marketing and a structured product sequence, eh?)
Spend time developing workshops or products that meet their needs and don't just fleece their Paypal accounts. To only offer advice without providing a safe environment within which to develop the skills would be similar to a engaging in a one sided relationship where no one gets their needs met.
True guidance is about caring for those who look to you for advice and guidance. If you don't do it, someone else will. They're your flock: Guide them to greener pastures.
3. Protect your readers
Like any parent, I'd lay down my life in a heartbeat to protect one of my children from harm. It's built in to a loving parent's genome.
In business, it is our duty to protect our clients as well. In caring for and guiding them, we also need to protect them from poor decisions, careless marketing, and at times, maybe our competition.
But there's also an element of risk in protection because it assumes that you know what's best. And that's how it should be. You either become the expert in solving the problems your readers face or you don't engage them as a reader or client.
When you commit to caring for, guiding, and protecting your clients, you'll begin to attract followers. The followers will become your devotees and given subsequent care, guidance, and protection, they'll willingly shout your good news from their rooftops.
Your army of evangelists and raving fans will go forth and spread the word about how you...yes, YOU…and how you are.... the chosen one...in your field. When you do it right, they'll follow you into the Promised Land. ☺