We've all heard the story before. The young ingenue blogger, the fledgling tech start up, the independent fashion designer – suddenly thrust into the spotlight. Virtually out of nowhere they're a star, with major traffic, press coverage, and everyone is clamoring to get in with the new hot thing. They're an overnight success, right?
Most of the time – not exactly. While attention, fame, and success can arrive swiftly and on a massive scale, it's important, essential even, to remember that what seems like an overnight success is usually the product of more hard work, time, and energy than we might ever imagine.
Years In The Making
Think about a company like Pinterest. Overnight success, right? Actually, the site was launched back in January 2010, and had just 5,000 users by that August. It wasn't until late 2011 that Pinterest reached over 4 million visitors, then skyrocketed to nearly 12 million visitors in January of 2012. It's huge now, but the founders nearly went broke trying to get to this point, and worked crazy hard to make it happen.
If there really is such a thing as an overnight success, it's an extreme exception to the rule. Most of the great bloggers out there have been at it for a long time, and pardon my French, but they've worked their asses off for it. They may have become popular quickly, but they weren't doing nothing before it happened.
Take Leandra Medine, and her blog, The Man Repeller. She was a journalism student before she was a blogger, honing her writing skills and channeling her unique voice. She started her blog in April of 2010, and arguably didn't become a phenomenon until well into 2011. Even Atlantic-Pacific‘s Blair Eadie, who seemed to burst onto the blogger scene has been fine-tuning her photography, her look and her brand for years (She also started blogging in 2010).
Practice, Practice, Practice
Even the bloggers you might call “the old guard,” like BryanBoy, Cupcakes and Cashmere, and Style Bubble were actively blogging, chatting in forums and becoming fluent in the online language that became the blogging style we know in 2012. Before The Coveted, IFB's founder Jennine Jacob was talking in forums in 1998 – did you even realize the Internet was around then!?
Sure, it's ideal to have a natural talent for photography, writing or whatever you may be pursuing, but more often than not you'll find that it's practice and patience that get you to the top of the heap. Sure it helps to have a well-placed friend who can put your blog in front of the right eyes. That may be the catalyst for that growth you seek, but the truth is, most people aren't going to put their name behind something they don't think is any good – so be good. Be worthy of that one-in-a-million shot by practicing, improving, trying, failing and trying again.
Even if there is such a thing as an overnight success, so what? Take every small achievement of your blog and use it to propel you to the next leap. Every new follower, every comment, every unique page view, it means you're doing something right.
What do you think about overnight success? Do you think it's a myth or a reality?
image credit: Atlantic-Pacific