Looks Like We Made It …

Image of Bizarro Comic

Well, dawn has broken on December 21.

Peeking out of my curtains, I see no zombie apocalypse, no Mayan-speaking vengeance deities, no vampires or trolls or angry visitors from other planets.

Granted, the day is still young, but I’m going to call it good.

So we made it.

After a very, very hard end of the year. A lot of extremely bad things happened, and most of us are still reeling a little.

But we’re still here. And once we’ve ordered a Gaping Void I survived the Mayan Apocalypse t-shirt, apparently we still have to make a living for the rest of our lives.

So what’s next?

Here are my thoughts and suggestions for some big themes for next year. Business is moving, and if we move with it, we can make amazing things happen.

Here’s how I see it.

1. Stop living someone else’s dream

These are strange times, unpredictable and fast-moving.

Which is stressful. But it also opens up tremendous opportunities.

Maybe 2013 is the year you entertain the idea that you don’t have to live anyone else’s idea of a “normal” life, or work at what you always thought was a “normal” job.

Maybe this is the year you start something of your own, or make the company you’re in now smarter and better.

There’s something you want to see more of in the world. This just might be the year you start taking your dream seriously.

2. Start singing with your own voice

The one thing the Internet doesn’t need is any more clones.

No more buzzword bingo. No more weak copycats. No more lame “me-too” content.

What we don’t have enough of yet is you. The best version of you — the smartest, most passionate stuff you have to offer. We’re waiting for that.

I’m not talking about throwing public tantrums in the name of “authenticity.” We have enough train wrecks to gawk at.

I’m talking about being honest enough to quit pretending you’re someone else, and to quit being nice at the expense of telling the truth. To recognize that you have something unique and valuable to offer.

Hone the hell out of that, and bring it forth.

3. Claim your authority

As Brian said, 2013 will be the year of the online writer. The coming content revolution needs an army of professional, serious wordsmiths who know how to create something special.

Are there plenty of companies who still don’t get it, who will try to get by with penny-a-page junk content?

Sure there are. And those companies will fall. Don’t worry about them.

Find the ones who know what they should be doing, but have no idea how to do it. They’re dying to make a connection with someone like you, someone who can write the words that will inspire their audience. We’ll be talking more next year about how you can find the clients who are hungry for smart, savvy writers.

4. Help someone

You know a lot. You might not always feel it, but you really get how the social web works, and you know the difference between good writing and lazy writing.

Are there people who know more than you do? Always.

Can you find some people who know a lot less than you do, who could really use your knowledge and abilities?


Go find those people and make yourself useful solving their problems. That’s the best foundation for any business.

5. Reject cynicism

You can be cool, or you can create something worth talking about. It’s hard to do both. (We’ll have to assume for the moment that you are not Steve Jobs.)

Turn away from companies or colleagues who think they can justify shady behavior by saying “It’s just business.” Business crumbles without trust and respect.

Turn away from the hipster crowd who are afraid to talk about anything that isn’t new and shiny. Being of real service means sifting through the noise to figure out what’s going to endure.

The ones who say it’s a dog eat dog world? Yeah, those are dogs. You don’t need them.

We’ll see you in 2013 …

As we often do, the Copyblogger team will be taking a brief break at the end of the year to enjoy some family time.

One of the things we do is get together with some laptops and pads of paper and a whole bunch of coffee and play around with interesting ideas we can implement in the upcoming year. I encourage you to do the same.

Hit your favorite coffee shop. Sketch out some ideas. Make them big or small, but make it something that excites you.

What could you do for a living in 2013 that would really turn your crank? That would genuinely be worth doing? Make a few days before the end of the year to sketch out a couple of crazy dreams.

And we’ll look for you on the flip side …

Post image from Bizarro Comics

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Reader Comments (46)

  1. says

    I have wondered for years why it’s so intimidating to just be me, in my writing and posting and even shopping at Dollar General. Most people don’t like anything that is different, so I have attempted to blend in. It just didn’t work. You are such a consistent, persistent voice luring us all out of our pitiful attempts to please others by not rocking the boat. You, Sonia, are a boat-rocker! This is the perfect time for all boat-rockers to unite, isn’t it? It’s a sea change in the world and on the web. Writers set words in motion, in ever-expansive waves that never end. Don’t you just love that?

  2. says

    Loved this: “No more buzzword bingo. No more weak copycats. No more lame “me-too” content.” I crave a deeper conversation about marketing and especially digital marketing. And I’m not alone. (See SlowMarketing.org for proof.) Can we please stop downloading shit to our hardrives and start thinking and experimenting and looking for a NEW way? I really DO want this to be the end of the world “as we knew it.”

  3. says

    Seeing as how I have no less than 3 books coming out in 2013, I’m glad it’s the year of the online writer. woohoo! A little let down by the mayans forecast, I’m not sure what to do my apocalyptic stockpiles of wooden stakes and cans of baked beans now…

  4. Diane Conklin says

    Just what I needed to read this Friday morning late in the year 2012 as I ponder my path for 2013. Thanks for the thought inspiring post.

  5. says

    This is great! wasn’t worried about today, but it’s also a new year, time for new changes and designing your own life. For the first time I’ve got all my goals and life plan layed out for 2013 and I’ve got some big goals so ready for the new year! Thanks for all your great content in 2012 copyblogger!

  6. Ron says

    Reminds of something I heard…someone called a “Mustang” a “me to” vehicle.
    Joe : Hey, I’ve gotta Mustang……….
    Bill, gleefully : Me too……
    Wouldnt be any vehicles on the road if it wasn’t for “stangs :-)

  7. says

    Hi Sonia,

    This was just the pep talk I needed to end the year. I couldn’t look at the children’s pictures during the moment of silence. I haven’t been able to write because of the cynics. My blog hasn’t grown much in 2012, I’m hosting 30 people Christmas Eve–I’m feeling scattered and defeated.

    Then you give me back the dream: “What we don’t have enough of yet is you. The best version of you — the smartest, most passionate stuff you have to offer. We’re waiting for that.” If this is really true, then I can’t quit. I have to get past the critics. I have to create a Christmas punch that contains spirit and hope to jump head first into the new year.

    Maybe the end of “that” world did end. Maybe I should get one of those t-shirts we talked about in James Chartrand’s Damn Fine Words workshop. “Content: I’m full of it!” but the ” I survived the Mayan Apocalypse t-shirt” really would be fun for the gift exchange–what a hoot!

    Thanks for all you do to build our confidence and skills.

  8. says

    Happy New Year. Thank you for a year of interesting, helpful, and thought provoking content. Thank you for products that make my life easier.

    May all of you at Copyblogger continue to sing your own song in 2013 as well.

  9. Miguel Angel Oropeza says

    Thank you very much to the whole Copyblogger team. I wish you enjoy the year-end and a plenary new year of creativity, joys, challenges, aspirations and achievements. Congratulations!

  10. says

    As the search engines keep getting smarter the Copyblogger way of building sites will continue to work well.

    Thanks for the knowledge you gave this year Simone,


  11. says

    I’m going to print this and post in front of me:

    “No more buzzword bingo. No more weak copycats. No more lame “me-too” content.
    What we don’t have enough of yet is you. The best version of you — the smartest, most passionate stuff you have to offer. We’re waiting for that.”

    THANK YOU for a full year of GREAT content! Content that inspired us to become the best version of ourselves! Content that showed us clues, tactics and strategies to start living a Life rooted in our purpose!

    Let’s rock 2013!

  12. says

    Hey, great post. And that was close! I’d love to see your alternative post–you know the post that you would’ve had to publish if the world in fact did end. Wait…. :p

  13. says

    Thanks for an encouraging look forward. The brainstorming session sounds awesome. I’m determined to be more intentional in the coming year.
    Enjoy your families. Blessings!

  14. says

    2012 WAS the year I took my dream seriously and started my own business – which has now helped thousands of people around the world. 2013 will be the year I triple it in size.

    If you are considering starting something but you haven’t taken the leap yet – DO IT. It will be harder and much more rewarding than you ever imagined!

  15. says

    It’s about time we raise our white flags and surrender to being someone we are not. Instead of spending so much time comparing ourselves to others and copying what we “think” is successful, it’s time to develop our own voice, our own dreams, our own strategies, and let our personalities soar through our businesses and blogs.

    This will be the year that I let my new online business really take root. With the economy the way it is, what other choice is there? NOW is the time. Thanks for the encouraging post and thoughts to dwell on!

  16. says

    Thanks so much for this, Sonia!

    This has been a bold new year for me getting seriously into writing. And I owe you, Brian, Robert, Jon and the whole CB gang a great debt of gratitude for allowing me an opportunity to guest post here at Copyblogger. That was a huge goal achieved already.

    I have big plans for 2013 and they’re about as far away from “Me Too” as I can think.

    Can’t wait to unveil it.

    Go get some rest and rock out. You all deserve it big time!

    Happy Holidays!

  17. says

    Great post Sonia,

    I agree there is far too much mirroring of others online. I think it’s fine to learn from the experts and certainly take their advice, but it can be taken too far.

    With my own golf blog I am focusing on really expressing my true self and letting the readers get to know and understand what I am writing. From there they can make up their own mind whether it’s good or bad.

    They may not always like what I have to say but at least i’m being real and true to myself .

    Good luck to all in 2013

  18. says

    Hey Sonia,
    I always had a nick for writing though I never thought of it as a career option. But 2012 was the year to make me realize my undying love of writing and I finally started my career as a writer. I actually laughed a lot while reading your post (I survived the Mayan apocalypse thing). Some thought provoking lines too, which has actually created a lot of different ideas to try out this new year. Happy Holidays to the whole Copyblogger team. Thanks for sharing!

  19. says

    Wonderful end-of-the-year message Sonia. Yes I am on a Christmas break too – much online time but loving the planning and brainstorm sessions. I’m most of the time with a pen and a notebook and am planning awesome stuff for 2013 :) Have a great holiday time Copyblogger team!

  20. Douglas says

    G’Day Sonia,

    Thank you … a great, succinct read… just a thought …What if we misinterpret the Mayans ?… What if they meant ‘ the end of the World as we have KNOWN it’ ‘ ?? Could they have predicted SIGNIFICANT CHANGE??
    Whilst we’re saying that 2013 ushers in genuine writing talent … value content … higher standards …could this represent ‘ significant change ‘ ??
    Is it possible that, in our high powered technological world, ( contrasted with Mayan times ) we could miss the tree for the leaves ?? ( there’s certainly a proliferation of ‘ leaves ‘ cluttering our lives today!! )
    Just the pondering of an old Aussie Bloke … With Cheers from Aus. … Doug …

  21. says

    Nicely said — your 1st point hit me across the head like a two-by-four. This is the time to take care of me and my family 1st and not someone else!

  22. says

    The lack of the end of the world means I will have to carry on with my work :) I am not unhappy about that as I love my freelance blog writing around the world so it is good that the world did not end. Happy new year to everyone by the way… I hope we all have a good 2013 for our blogs.

  23. says

    Awesome. My resolution for 2013 is not to fit in. I find I make myself miserable trying to be one thing or the next. Enough. Me has to be good enough.

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