Why Most Bloggers are in the Wrong Business

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Are you a steely-eyed content marketing purist?  Do you religiously pound out your 1,000 words come rain or shine?  In your heart, do you believe that soon you will be discovered and your dedication will be rewarded?

Then you should sit down.

Because even though everything you do is important –   It may not be enough.

Let’s take a step back…

I know that being a Tribal leader and nurturing a blog is exhilarating and challenging.

Just like Oprah pours passion into every show, Alton Brown researches another food mystery, and, Lady Gaga finds a new way to titillate her monsters…you sit down to inspire,  train, and mentor your community.

Everyday, you dig down deep and claw out greatness – no matter how you feel or if you are in the mood.You have a responsibility to your audience and you won’t let them down.

When you take a step back friend, it really looks like you are in Show Business.

In fact, it might help you shoulder your load a bit easier if you change your perspective.

Here’s what I mean.

5 Reasons Why You Are In Show Business – Not the Blogging Business

#1. You Have Fans:  Your fans care about you.  Sure their interest is selfish.  You are solving a problem, stoking desire, or fulfilling dreams.  They want more.  But this is also a two-way street.  You get a charge out of them as well.  You love to see the reweets inch up, comments come piling in and having the movers and shakers mention you.

Learn to feed off this give-and-take.

Try this: Treat every comment like it was your first.  Remember when you were thrilled to get that first one-line “great post”?  Think back to how you threw yourself into the response.  Take 24 hours to do that again.  Your fans will love you for it.

#2. You Are Passionate: Erykha Badu says in one of her songs, “I’m an artist – so I take my shit personally”.  Amen.  Never, ever, be neutral about anything you do.  You are a creator.  When you wake up you craft ideas, products, and services that have never existed before.  This creativity requires an artist’s heart and fire.  Stoke yours.

Try this: Imagine that your next post will be the last you’ll ever write.  It will be the only one remembered.  It will be your legacy.  Now sit down and write for 33 minutes.  I mean, beat those keys with flat-out abandon. Don’t edit.  Just write.

Now, publish it. I guarantee that it will shock your niche and make you a superstar.  Passion always does.

#3. You Are An Entertainer: (Gasp) Listen, I gotta be straight with you.  You can’t afford to be boring.  There’s way too much me-too information for you to make a name by being the safe and professional choice.  You need to be fascinating.  You need to get tongues-wagging. People need to know that wild and memorable things happen when you’re around.

Try this: Shock and push yourself by switching mediums.  This means, shoot a video if you always write.  Write a short zinger if you are a long post writer.  Write an epic if you are rely on zingers.  Mix it up and give your community a different look.

…or if you are smart-logical-cool-hand-luke type of writer then take the gloves off and write a throaty rant.  Believe me, this is exactly what the crowd has been waiting to see from you.

#4. You Crave Attention: Supposedly Sharon Stone, early in her career, while leaving a club noticed that there wasn’t any paparazzi waiting for her outside.  Instead of feeling fortunate for a moment of privacy, she wheeled around went back into the club.  She called her agent and gave her a tongue lashing. Within minutes, paparazzi arrived at the club to snap Stone’s picture.

True or not…I like the lesson.

You have to be noticed.  Popularity is currency and you need to earn, spend, and save it wisely.  These are the new rules of influence and you gotta play to win.

Try This: Promote your posts.  Seriously, DM your posts to your regular commenters and ask them to read and retweet them.  Tactfully approach movers and shakers in your niche and invite them to take a look and provide feedback.  Don’t be shy (it doesn’t pay).

#5 You Reinvent Yourself: Have you noticed how the most prolific and loved entertainers constantly reinvent themselves.  They seem to glide through the decades and never lose relevance.  Madonna, Leonard DiCaprio, Robert DeNiro, and Eminem to name a few.

You too need to look for ways to reinvent your approach while staying true to your core.  Your flexibility keeps you current, approachable, and useful to your audience.  It shows that you can grow with your audience.  In the end, you become damn near indispensable.

Try This: Go ahead and invest in that blog redesign.  Switch out that twitter pic.  Actually pay for a professional photoshoot.  Spend a little time brainstorming how you can evolve your brand. This will probably be the best investment you’ll ever make in yourself.

Time to Go To Work

Hey, don’t you dare file this post away for later.  Tell me how you are going to flaunt your next post or reinvent your personal brand.  Right now, somebody else is working to make a name for themselves in your niche – how will you beat them to the top?

{Image Credit: Incase}

About Stan

Stan Smith is the Managing Director of Pushing Social a content marketing consultancy for aggressive, results-focused organizations.

36 thoughts on “Why Most Bloggers are in the Wrong Business

  1. Pingback: Do You Have What It Takes To Be a War Time Blogger? | @PushingSocial

  2. Patricia

    Just found your blog thru a recommendation. New to blogging and although I love writing; I get it that I mustn't become predictable! Have written a couple of what I thought were thought provoking and more controversial articles in my chosen niche. One got visitors but no comments (at the beginning of my blogging journey so not many comments anyway). Next article provoked more comments so it must have been a topic people felt more strongly about.
    It's a challenge but I am enjoying the journey. Thanks for the article and I'll be giving your suggestions some thought.
    Patricia Perth Australia
    My recent post Lavender Health-Embracing An Organic Lifestyle

  3. Pingback: Fascination Power Blogging with Mystique

  4. Corporate Photographer London

    I tend to feel I have to blog- even when I am feeling uninspired. Your tips have given me some new ideas on how to inject some extra lift into my blog articles- many thanks Grant

  5. Christy Smith

    I think this is a great reminder Stanford, that our message needs to be different and compelling to be noticed. The lines between blogging and entertainment are fairly blurry- but if you are publishing content you are passionate about, it doesn't hurt to play by the rules of entertainment/popularity to gain additional attention. xD
    My recent post Don’t Let Tools Drive the Strategy

  6. Pingback: Top 5 Social Media Posts From Last Week — August 16, 2010 « Digital Marketing Mercenary

  7. Matt Madeiro

    Classic, man.

    Found this site through the twittervine, but I'm already a fan. This is the exact kind of "light a fire under your ass" sort of post I love to read, especially when it's so no-nonsense and thoroughly applicable to most modern bloggers.

    Keep up the great work Stanford. And keep lighting fires! :)
    My recent post Why I Travel

  8. pushingsocial Post author

    Wow, I appreciate your thoughts. One thing though…I owe a ton to Brian Clark, Sonia Simone and Copyblogger. If my stuff rocks its because they taught me extra well :)

    Keep coming back and I promise to give it 100% – deal?

  9. Clay Forsberg

    I ran across your blog via a retweet from Abbey Kerr. On first read, your blog is the most down to earth, digestible commentary on blogging I've ever read … including copyblogger.com. Your prose is not your standard "how to," but rather a "kick in ass down the road to reality." It's not only entertaining and informational – it's motivational. EXCELLENT : – )

    Good Luck … and keep on task!

    My recent post clayforsberg- Morning walk report- RAIN – –

  10. lickshunmewah

    Hi Stanford

    I found you through a link Annabel posted on twitter…am I glad I did! I enjoyed this very much, especially points #1 and #5.

    I'm in the process of doing something very special with my blog and will most certainly upgrading my twitter account.

    Stay tuned.

    Thanks for sharing.


    My recent post Fear Of Success- How I Nearly Screwed Up

  11. pushingsocial Post author

    You should be pumped! 35-40 comments is very impressive. Give us one quick tip on how you do it…

  12. pushingsocial Post author

    You've been definitely "Crushing It" Annabel. I love the fact that you are going for it. Too many bloggers with amazing talents and passions are being overlooked because they lack the skills to get noticed. Hopefully Pushing Social can help with that! Always appreciate your perspective Annabel – Thanks!

  13. Annabel Candy

    Hi Stanford, I'm feeling your passion radiating out of my computer screen. I'm feeling more and more passionate about blogging every day and it's great to connect with like minds.

    Blogging has brought me so much and that's why I've become so passionate about it and believe everyone should have a blog. Really! I want everyone to experience at least some of the benefits blogging has brought me:)

    In my 18 months of blogging I've been taken on an all expenses paid trip to a social media conference in Shanghai, gained new clients and friends from around the world, met best-selling authors, been featured in print and online media, found new publications for my writing, gained confidence, had my blog posts syndicated and earned money. It's an incredible journey.

    Lots of work and lots to learn but well worth it:

  14. Financial Samurai

    Hey Stanford,

    Nice tips and suggestions! I try and respond to every single one of my comments if they are asking a question, b/c I do care about everybody who comes reads. It seems like the average number of comments per post at Financial Samurai is hovering around 35-40 nowadays which I'm pumped about.

    Found you from BlogCastFM and I'm excited to hear more!


    The Yakezie Network
    My recent post Why Are The Employed So Smug About The Unemployed

  15. pushingsocial Post author

    I don't believe you have to "hope" for people to relate to you. I absolutely believe that everyone has an audience. You don't have to be flamboyant, you just have to learn how to showcase your talents. This isn't about personality types, it's about understanding how to appeal to your audience.

    Don't cut yourself short.

  16. Kathy

    Some people are interesting and some aren't. By blogging you are just throwing yourself out in public and hoping that there are enough people out there like you that will actually relate to you and find you interesting. The more flamboyant people out there will find that they naturally attract more publicity. They will be in show business. The quiet scientist who just wants to be heard will struggle. Both blogs might be worthy and exceptionally valuable to someone though regardless of which path or personality their blog projects. The scientist will have to earn his money from somewhere other than blogging most likely.
    My recent post Website for people who need a blogging guide

  17. steveolenski

    Hi Stanford,

    This post resonated with me something fierce… personally I live for being different, outlandish and allowing my true passion to come bursting thru…

    I love the analogy of Show Business… thats precisely how I see myself.. as an entertainer. Yes, I am a writer, but I'm not like this writer or that writer… I have a style that I think is uniquely my own, yet I am constantly trying to tweak, alter that style just enough…

    I try to write in that style no matter the forum, the medium, the audience… whatever.

    Could be on my work blog (blog.fmidm.com) or my personal one… http://thesteveozone.blogspot.com/ or even here in these hallowed halls of SocialMedia.com http://socialmediatoday.com/steve-olenski/149909/….

    Thanks for this post, really.

    Would love to connect… my Twitter is @steveolenski and/or via LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/in/steveolenski

    Have a great day!
    Steve O
    My recent post Common Sense Isn’t Always So Common…

  18. Michele Price


    I chuckle and giggle every time I read your posts. WHY? You remind me to stay true to who I AM inside and that it is what I AM that brings out those who read me.

    Your creativity in how you pull your own message out from within has me saying WHY didn't I write this piece. And I am ok with that… a good butt kicking even for what I feel is (me way out there gal) is a good thing.

    I love Erykha, I met her when she was pregnant with "one". A really funny story, ask me to share it with you some time.

  19. pushingsocial Post author

    I like your revision…You're right – us bloggers do crave "validation" which is our way of making sure we are meeting the needs of our audience.

  20. pushingsocial Post author

    Add away! Never getting complacent is a important reminder. It's so easy to do and will drive your audience away in no-time.

  21. Through a New Lens

    Great post Stanford. I always love coming and reading what you have to say. Although we think very similarly and a lot of these are things I've tried to implement into my writing, I love a good reminder of things I need to be thinking about. One I would add (although it kind of goes along with your #5) is "Never Get Complacent". Just because you have fans and attention doesn't mean you always will. If you let the steam go out of your sails, you'll never get to where you're going.

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