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VOLTRON Method of Blogging Will Help You Compete With Mainstream

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Some of you are very young, so you probably have no idea what I am talking about when I say VOLTRON, so the first thing I need you to do is to watch this video.

I wrote before about the Death of the Golden Age of Independent Sports Blogging. It was pretty depressing stuff, but just like the phoenix it is possible to rise from the ashes and still compete with the big boys and succeed in the industry.

I am an only child, lone wolf and if I was in New Edition I would have been Bobby Brown (minus the drug issues). My dad told me never strive to be #2, Jay Z told me Mase had to check his own videos because he’ll always be #2 and sports taught me people only remember the winners not the runner-up.

So, when I started BSO, it was strictly a solo venture. My idea, my plan, my words and if I was going to fail it was going to be because of me and no one else.

At the beginning that was fine, because online media as a whole wasn’t considered a legitimate news source. Sports Blogs at the time were seen as a place to vent (editorialize) about things that were going on in sports. Many sites didn’t post more than 1 or 2 stories a day and you had a lot of time to craft whatever you were going to write about.

When the great flood of Sports Blogs happened around 2009, along with the rise of social media, all that changed. Information got out to the masses faster & the mainstream media started using social media to break news. At that time, as an independent site you had to keep up.  You had to beat the mainstream media to the news to get notice and you had to produce a lot of content to keep readers. it was hard in 2009, it is damn near impossible in 2015 to do it alone.

One of my goals with BSO was to develop new talent, but I would have to cede some control of the site. Any website owner would tell you that is extremely hard to do.  It is like leaving your baby with someone you just met, it makes you uneasy. But, as things changed, you have to learn how to adapt to those changes. The reason BSO has been able to stay afloat while others have drowned is mostly because of the excellent staff I have put together. I am only one person, there is no way I would be able to compete against corporate sites alone, so I got help. The suggestions I am going to give you below are to make sure you can keep your head above water until your big break happens (don’t worry it will).

Because I don’t want this to turn into a 10k word post I am not going to discuss my feelings on what happened to Sven in Voltron, but let’s just say I am not happy about it.

Now, that we have that out-of-the-way let’s get started.

1- THERE HAS TO BE A LEADER

Keith pilots the Black Lion is the leader of the Voltron force, he famously forms the head (Sven originally was the leader, but I am not going to get into all that as I said).

Every site needs a leader, someone who is passionate about their job and works harder than anyone else on the team. Someone who has a vision, a plan and a philosophy everyone buys into. Doesn’t matter if you are the leader, if you the other Lions aren’t listening to anything you are saying. Voltron, sports or websites, unless you have someone at the top who can handle everything, your franchise will fall apart.

If you own a website, you have to be that person. You have to take control, not be timid and be the person people want to follow.

2- YOU CAN’T ALL BE THE SAME LION

When the Voltron series first starts, they have no idea where the Lions are hidden. You are the Leader, you have found the Black Lion, now you have to find the other Lions.

The interesting thing about Voltron is all the Lions serve a different purpose. The Black Lion is the head, The Red Lion is Fire, The Blue Lion is Water, The Green Lion is Earth & The Yellow Lion is Wind. Each individual who pilots the Lions are very different in personality wise.

To be an effective site, you have to make sure every person on your team brings something unique to your site. BSO wouldn’t work with 10 Robert Littals. It works because I have different personalities, with different talents, voices and perspectives on things. In turn that expands our audience, I am not a sneakerhead or UFC fan, but I understand that there is an audience for everything, so covering as much as possible helps you reach more people.

Even if you are a niche or regional site, finding people who have strengths in things you have weaknesses in, will help expand your brand and your reach. Find as many different Lions as you can.

3- VOLTRON CAN’T FORM UNLESS ALL THE LIONS ARE ON THE SAME PAGE

The Lions themselves are individuals, but to form Voltron they have to work together as one. When you putting together a team, you have to make sure everyone understand the goal of your site. You as the leader have to know who you want controlling your Lions.

Years ago, anyone who wanted to write for BSO, I just let them, but it was a bad mix and very unorganized. It was only until I started IDing people who fit into the BSO mold did this start to happen.

4- SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO LET SOMEONE ELSE LEAD THE TEAM

There are going to be times the Lions will have to fend for themselves and you have to give them the confidence to lead in your absence.

No one can do it all on their own and if you are being an effective leader, that will mean at times you will need a break (burnout is high in website owners). You have trust your team to keep your vision going even when you aren’t around.

You also have to check your ego at the door. Many sites, even if they have contributors go out of their way to not give those contributors any type of notoriety. I feel if you are independent you have to do the opposite. You have to let your team take down Lotor and get their shine on.

Lotor PrinceOfDoom

5- IT IS OK TO HAVE A PRINCESS CONTROL A LION

Doesn’t matter if it is traditional, new or online media, it is still dominated by white males. Part of staying ahead of the game is doing the opposite of what everyone else is doing. Hiring women and minorities for your team makes you standout and more importantly gives you voices that people aren’t use to hearing.

Remember, the key is being a step ahead of the game, doing things out of the box and giving people an opportunity who otherwise wouldn’t.

In closing, it is very difficult these days to run a one person sports website and survive in these shark infested media waters.

You need help, a team, a Voltron force. It is very difficult finding the right people, but when you do they become invaluable and will help you make your site the best site it can be. So, even if it takes weeks, months or years, keep looking, eventually it will all come into place and you will be taking down mainstream media just like this.



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