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Nice Bloggers Finish Last

Internet marketers can learn a lot from the X Factor. Take Simon Cowell. He’s not a particular nice guy but he’s interesting (and usually right). Louis Walsh is nice but… Also The Apprentice. Sir Alan Sugar looks mean and cuts wannabes down to size. And that’s part of the attraction.

So, how can you apply this to your blog? And would it work?

Nice Bloggers Lack Personality

A quick scan of the Power 150 demonstrates this. While there are ‘nice’ bloggers out there, for example, Brian Clark, he does have strong opinions, especially in his podcast. Sonia Simone doesn’t pull any punches either.

Seth Godin, arguably the most influential web marketer summed it up in an interview with Personal MBA, “Try to find things people will criticize.”

Looking for another example?

Colin Powell, the Ex-US Secretary of State and retired 4-star general, said this in his leadership presentation, “Being responsible sometimes means pissing people off.”

The common thread amongst these comments is that abuse, criticism, and mocking comes with the territory. If you plan to succeed, get ready and accept this.

Nice Bloggers Have Little to Say

Let’s go back to the web for a second.

The probem for me – and maybe you’re the same – is that most bloggers aren’t very memorable.

I start and then… feel I’ve read their posts before.

It’s like they are reshashing other posts and giving it the mildest of twists instead of taking the effort to write something original.

So, how do you cure this?

You need to make a commitment to yourself first. Then others.

Commit to writing something that:

  • Expresses an opinion
  • Conflicts with others
  • Polarize others
  • Creates controversy
  • Is remarkable

Interesting Bloggers Come First

Let’s look at these one at a time:

  • Express an opinion Microsoft Sucks! Robert Scoble is a good example of this. He used to work at Microsoft interviewing people and upset some suits in the process. However, he had the smarts to turn this to his advantage and positioned himself as a ‘seeker after truth’ type in video journalism. Michael Moore is not dissimilar.
  • Create Conflict – John Chow upset Google so much they removed him from the index. Problem was his following was so large, they had to reinstate him.
  • Polarize others – Gary Vaynerchuk’s wine blog was seen as heresy by the industry. He wasn’t serious enough, they stormed. And he swore. A lot! Did it harm his business. Check out his blog (228 comments on this post) and make a guess.
  • Controversy –  How do you punch a dolphin? The Oatmeal found out and got 33,000 Facebook shares in the process.
  • Be remarkable – I saved the best til last. Write something that others can remark on. That’s what it means to be ‘remarkable’ on the web. Can others remark on it? If not, why?

Don’t Forget! The point isn’t to be rude for the sake of it. Rather, look for ways to make yourself stand out. Every day 175000 blogs are created. If you’re not doing something remarkable, you won’t get through the noise.

What you think? Don’t hold back 🙂


Ivan helps people run their online business more effectively. Find out at www.ivanwalsh.com http://www.ivanwalsh.com

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Comments
  • “Punch a dolphin” lol …haven’t heard of that one.nnInteresting read Ivan. Thanks for the share.

  • Hi Ivan,u00a0nnGreat message but some people get confused.u00a0I think it’s important to note thatu00a0that unless your opinions and/or beliefs and well thought out, and backed up by somethingu00a0substantive – it’s easy to spot or easy to get found out.u00a0I’ve seen people do or advise controversy for the sake of! While there might be short-term gain, I remain unconvinced as to it’s long-term advantage… If it smells like a rat? u00a0u00a0

  • Hi Ivan,u00a0nnGreat message but some people get confused.u00a0I think it’s important to note thatu00a0that unless your opinions and/or beliefs and well thought out, and backed up by somethingu00a0substantive – it’s easy to spot or easy to get found out.u00a0I’ve seen people do or advise controversy for the sake of! While there might be short-term gain, I remain unconvinced as to it’s long-term advantage… If it smells like a rat? u00a0u00a0

  • Great post Ivan. u00a0I avoid trying to be boring and also try to get a point across. u00a0Essentially I have one theme on a personal blog – say what most other people think but will have the balls to deliver. u00a0I have cheesed people off, but generally theu00a0consensusu00a0is they agree.nnOnce again, great post – I hope it makes it into the top ten on BizSugar!

  • Hi Thom,nnYep, he creates quite a storm on Twitter as well, rubbing people up the wrong way :)His business is going thru the roof, so he’s doing something right 🙂

  • Hi Niall,u00a0nnYes, it does wear this if ALL you’re doing is ranting.nnThe thing about guys like Simon Cowell is that, while he can be rude, he’s very perceptive and (usually) on the money.u00a0That’s the part most ‘would-bes’ miss.u00a0nnWhat urged me to write the post was seeing some good friends walk on eggshells in case they offended someone with their opinions.nnYou got to have an opinion, right?u00a0nnIvan

  • Hi Connor,u00a0nnGuy Kawasaki made the point that blogging is ‘entertainment’.u00a0nnAnd if you think of it like that, a lot changes.nnOneu00a0doesn’tu00a0always need to be aggressive but to say something that brings others into the conversation.nnNewspapers do this very well. Look at how the Daily Mail provokes outrage in readers every day. It’s interesting to sit back and watch how the heading, style, and tone all combine to polarize the readers.u00a0nnIvan

  • Right!u00a0

  • I love that Ivan.u00a0 When I first started blogging I was advised to “not ruffle any feathers” if I wanted to get a following.u00a0 However, ruffling feathers is part of what I do (in a nice way) and I quite like it, it gets people thinking which is my intention.u00a0 That said I don’t set out to annoy just for sake of it, that defeats the whole purpose of it, minds close off then.

  • Mediocrity Breeds Complacency. We have a huge inner conflict – we want friends but we also want to be special.nHowever it’s important to be ourselves – everyone else is taken!nnGreat post – can’t imagine it will ruffle feathers or piss anyone off but a commenter might ;)n

  • Thanks Niall. I knew that Nellie would be interesting to interview but even more so with the suggestions of balancing a personal and business relationship with her husband. Hopefully it will be some help to other couples that work together

  • Debi Harper

    Excellent article,must introduce the date night:) and take it just as seriously as a big client meeting. I like to veg in front of the tv in the evening, must make more of an effort lol They sound like a great team.

  • Smallbiztrends

    Oh my goodness!  I love this.

    I have met Nellie twice now in person, and I assure you she is as genuine and wonderfully nice IRL (in real life) as online.

    – Anita

  • Thanks Anita. I’m glad that came across in the interview too as Nellie certainly seems lovely.

  • Nellie Akalp

    Anita – Thank you so very much!!! 🙂 – Nellie

  • Nellie Akalp

    Debi – Yes it takes an effort but it is a MUST in the end to take some time for each other. 🙂 Thank you for reading and commenting! – Nellie

  • Nellie Akalp

    Thank you for reading and for commenting, Niall! – Nellie

  • A wonderful interview, Sian and Nellie. A pleasure to read, and very informative. Provision of “personal service” really comes across with Nellie, and these qualities are in your personal life and your business life – a marriage made in heaven really 🙂
    Thanks for sharing, both of you.

  • I have listened to Small Business Trends Radio’s podcast interview with Nellie and enjoyed the conversation very much. As business minded individual interested in a rational philosophy and the proud owner of EGO blog, I must say that your ego, i.e, your own life, should be involved in your business and your should take pride in putting your ideas into action. I understand that the word “ego” has got a bad rap in a way, but the original meaning of the concept is a good one. The word ego comes from the Latin word, I (am).

  • Well said 🙂 Thanks for commenting and sharing 🙂

  • Thanks Elaine – I agree that is what comes across which is why I was so interested in interviewing Nellie

  • Dylan Moran

    Thanks Sian to feature the article and give initial support.




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