Have you ever thought about what superpower you’d love to have?
I’ve probably put more thought into this than is logical, considering superpowers don’t exist.
After being introduced to superheroes after seeing the X-Men movie, I decided that as impressive as controlling the weather or metal or another person’s brain would be, I wanted something simpler: invisibility.
Think about it: you could sneak into anywhere at any time and never be seen.
You could surreptitiously move into an unoccupied room and disappear from a boring party situation, just like Bilbo after putting on the One Ring.
You could even play an awesome game of hide-and-seek with your kids, who’d have to use their own superpowers to find you, of course.
But invisibility is only useful to a degree (your heat signature would still be picked up by an infrared sensor, for example), and there’s also plenty of places it’s downright deadly.
Like on the internet.
The Problem with Being Invisible in a Digital Realm
Online invisibility is a blogger’s worst nightmare.
It means no one hears what you have to say, or even if they hear you, they don’t respond at all.
No one sees your blog posts, and if they do, they don’t share or comment. No one buys your products, and if they do, it’s not enough money for you to maintain a business or lifestyle.
When you’re invisible online, it essentially means you don’t exist.
And that’s a sure-fire way to kill off your blogging career.
You know all those people you wish would shut up on forums? At least someone knows they’re alive.
And that’s the status you want to find online, too: not the annoying, trolling part – the alive part.
How to Resuscitate Your Blog with Your Superpowers
Fortunately, there are a few blogging superpowers you can implement right now that will help you come alive and escape the curse of invisibility.
You’ll have to train yourself to use them properly, and practice will be necessary to get them right, but once you do, you’ll be an unstoppable blogging force for good in this internet world.
Have you considered the possibility that you’re invisible online because you’re too uptight?
Maybe you’ve been avoiding getting involved in Twitter or Google+, or maybe you flat-out refuse to skip your weekly post even though it’s past midnight and you’re dead tired.
That mentality needs to stop. Right. Now.
It’s dangerous and yes, even foolish. It can only result in missed opportunities, bad writing habits, and less visibility, not more of it.
That’s why as a blogger, you need to be willing to adapt to whatever situations arise. You need to be flexible and accept the fact that the field of blogging is always expanding and changing. Change with it.
Think of Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic from Fantastic Four, or Helen Parr/Elastigirl from The Incredibles. They can stretch their bodies into any shape or form necessary to survive and win battles against their enemies.
The more you stretch yourself and the more flexible you become in the blogging world, the more likely you’ll write epic posts, beat the competition, and have people notice you.
The next time you feel like cringing at promoting your posts on Google+, remember that Mr. Fantastic and Elastigirl survive by being flexible. Then go be flexible with your blogging habits and expectations so you can survive the invisibility of the internet.
I was wrong all those years ago: mind reading would be very helpful.
So many problems could be solved if we could read each other’s minds.
Of course, there’d also be consequences with digging too far into someone’s thoughts. But imagine how wonderful it’d be for you to tell your partner you’d like to leave the bad movie you’re both politely suffering through, or how awesome it’d be to figure out what that car salesman’s really thinking behind his toothy grins.
And if telepathy were applied to blogging, you could figure out exactly what your readers are thinking about your work.
Imagine that! You’d never again have to ask yourself “what do my readers want?”
Unfortunately, this ability isn’t realistic (for now…), but you can take a lot of blogging cues from telepathic powers.
For example, start listening intently to your readers’ feedback as if you were telepathic. Figure out what little (or not-so-little) hints they’re dropping about what they like or don’t like about your blog. Learn to anticipate what they expect of you.
Arguably the best example of a telepathic superhero is Professor Charles Xavier, or Professor X, of the X-Men universe. On a mission to help mutants and humans live together peacefully, Professor Xavier always tries to use his telepathic powers for good and to improve the lives of those around him.
You can do the same thing for your blog readers. Get to know their thoughts, and then work hard to provide what they want. Professor X would be proud.
3. Intelligence + Resources
You’re right – this doesn’t quite sound like a superpower. But I think it’s the most important one of all.
Think about it: in order to be flexible (superpower #1) and have a telepathic understanding of what your customers want (superpower #2), you need to be smart about running your blog and using all available resources possible.
The combination of intelligence and resources is powerful.
It’s why I love Batman so much. Critics claim that he’s not a “real” superhero because he doesn’t have superpowers; I tend to think they’re just jealous and have too limited a view on what superpowers are.
Don’t know about you, but if smart guys who have crap-loads of money to spend invest it somewhere beneficial, I consider that a super ability, especially when many Americans live in debt their entire lives.
And the wonderful thing about Bruce Wayne’s choice to be Batman is that he invests his intelligence and resources into defending Gotham from evil. He spends millions of dollars on his snazzy and wickedly sexy gadgets and toys… (sorry, had to wipe some drool off the keyboard), to make his city a better place.
Now you may not have all the money of Batman, and you may not think you’re as smart as him, but it doesn’t matter. You’re your own superhero of your blog, and that’s what you need to focus on.
Pay attention to what is working for your blog and what’s not, and delve into those resources available to you to help it grow. These could be anything from friends and family who leave comments to start a conversation, taking that blogging class you’ve had your eye on, or even signing up for Google Analytics if you haven’t already.
Take some cues from Batman and put your brains and bucks to work where they’ll matter most for your blog.
Now that you know what superpowers can save your blog from demise, it’s time to go out there and implement them against the negative force of online invisibility.
Maybe you’ve already mastered one of these superpowers, but need to work on others. Or maybe you’ve thought of some other powers that weren’t listed here that you can use. (I may have thought of some more while writing this, too… anyone interested in a part 2?)
No matter what blogging superpower you use, use it right, and use it well. “With great power comes great responsibility,” after all.
What superpowers do you need to help save your blog and get out of the trap of online invisibility? Are there any other ideas you’re going to implement instead?