One of the most common requests I get from novice bloggers is to critique their site. I almost never do so for two very good reasons. First, I don’t have the time to honor each request. Second, and more importantly, it is important that every blogger develop their own voice without my current biases pushing them in one direction or the next.
Every A-list blogger has developed a distinctive voice over hundreds, if not thousands, of posts. When you visit The Reformed Broker, Crossing Wall Street or Pragmatic Capitalism you know you are not any one else’s site. This is why these guys are some of the best in the business.
This point was driven home by some comments Ira Glass, of This American Life, recently made on NPR. He talks about the gap between your initial (creative) work and where you ultimately want it to be. Glass says:
For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit.
This is why so many who start blogging, which is deceptively easy to do, quit. Not only do novice bloggers not get an instant hit of traffic (and attention). The posts they do are just not as good as they could be, or they want them to be. In that regard blogging and trading are quite similar.
Very few traders start off with a string of winning trades. Those that do might very well be at a disadvantage. They say the worst thing a new trader can experience is success with his or her first trades. This initial flush of success breeds overconfidence and that overconfidence eventually leads to a debilitating trade or two.
There is only one way to get past this initial stage of less than satisfactory results: staying in the game. Success at blogging (or trading) may eventually come, but you will only realize that in retrospect. Those that quit along the way will just never know.