Quick question- why do even bother blogging anymore?
If we were being honest here, most would likely answer that they blog purely for the search optimization perks that come from fresh content. And don’t get me wrong; that’s a great reason…especially since it helps you occasionally earn a few backlinks or possibly a few new clients along the way.
But what if I told you that people forge life-changing partnerships all of the time just off a well-written blog post, introduction letter or marketing pitch?
It happens every single day.
For example, I’ve had an incredibly large influencer in the online marketing realm reach out earlier today and ask if I want to sit down for lunch. If the meeting goes as well as I’m hoping it will, it could absolutely change my life with a job opportunity or some type of partnership. And it all came from a simple blog post about how to engage your customers.
That brief conversation got me thinking- can people’s lives really change in the blink of an eye off of something as insignificant as a blog post? So I began to do a little bit of research and you’ll be surprised at what I found- dozens of billionaires once sat right where you and I are today.
And all it took was that one awesome contact; that one defining moment…and everything changed in an instant. Donald Trump. Mark Cuban. Bill Gates. I kept finding the same types of rags to riches stories over and over again, simply because the person took a chance and put themselves out there for the world to see.
Here are just a few of the more entertaining stories I found about a few written words changing someone’s life-
Edgar Allen Poe’s Letter to Charles Dickens
In the mid 1830’s, an aspiring young Edgar Allen Poe was so impressed with the writings of Charles Dickens in England that he decided to send a letter asking for advice. Since Poe was virtually unknown at this time with only a few published poems, he knew that not just any letter would do. Experts recount that Poe spent weeks perfecting every single word in that letter to ensure that Dickens would be so impressed, he would have no choice but to reply.
Well, that first letter did make it to Dickens and history clearly shows that it carried the intended effect- the pair became regular pen pals from that point forward. In fact, Dickens travelled all the way to Philadelphia in 1839 to meet Poe in person. Many believe that Dickens’s novel “Barnaby Rudge” was the inspiration for Poe’s famous poem “The Raven.”
In case you’re wondering why this story really matters, Poe was not completely sold on a career in writing until he proved it to himself through this incredible validation. So without this one simple life-changing letter, you’d probably be sitting there thinking, “Edgar Allen Who?”
Twelve Year Old Kid Writes NFL Executives
Late last year, twelve year old Cade Pope started taking an interest in football and decided that it was time to select a favorite NFL team. But since he didn’t know a thing about football, his young mind decided that the best move was to simply write every single NFL owner and ask them about their respective franchises.
As you can probably imaging, Cade’s mother was not expecting much of a response. About two weeks later, however, the owner of the Carolina Panthers (Jerry Richardson) sent Cade a signed football helmet and a hand-written letter praising him for reaching out. The story has since gone viral and the Pope family has been showered with kind words and affection from millions around the entire globe.
Now, it may not seem like Cade’s simple letter was life-changing by any means, but you must not fully remember what it’s like to be twelve years old. For a kid, that’s about as life-changing as you can get.
Steve Jobs Places Redefines Apple w/ Personal Message
In the late 1990’s, Apple was literally on the brink of financial ruin when Steve Jobs decided to launch his “Think Different” campaign on national television. As you can see from the video above, it is a personal statement that Jobs personally drafted to inspire others to think outside of the box and become an innovator and a dreamer within their own personal lives.
And virtually overnight, this one simple statement made Apple relevant to consumers all over again. Think about that for a moment- if Jobs had not opened up to the American public the way that he did, your iPods, iPads and the iTunes store could have remained just another good idea that was never capitalized on.
Can a Blog Post Really Change Your Life?
Here’s my message for all of you writers, marketers, small business owners and bloggers out there- great words really do matter. If you have something to say that the world may be interested in hearing, then say it loud and clear and share it with everyone you know. There is absolutely no telling who may read your words and how it could create a life-changing moment for you or someone that’s listening in.
Ultimately, that’s what blogging is all about in the first place. If you inspire your readers, more often than not they’ll become followers and eventually customers. And every now and then, it opens doors that you otherwise couldn’t even imagine. Just ask people like Pete Cashmore, Timothy Sykes or Michael Arrington…they were once sitting behind their keyboards typing away exactly like we do.
So what can you tell the world to make everything change within your professional career? I am eagerly listening.