Marketing June 22, 2011 Last updated June 22nd, 2011 2,153 Reads share

Nice Bloggers Finish Last

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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 Walsh

Ivan Walsh

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