Since you’re reading this blog, you’re likely a pretty intelligent individual. How do I know that? Well, aside from pandering to your intellectual side, I know that most humans will tend to seek out individuals who are similar to them in some way. Since gender, ethnicity, nationality, and many other visible personality traits are often equalized by the facelessness of the internet, our non-visible traits come to light more easily, specifically intellect.
And might I say, what a big brain you have…right here…on the internet.
A while back, I wrote a rather ranty post discussing how not to blog. Many of you have likely already read that post, and it actually was able to garner a bit of notoriety thanks to 20 Something Bloggers and their Speakeasy Awards. However, what I haven’t shared is why that post was written.
You see, about the time I wrote that post, I was actually in the process of comparing a short story I’d written to that of another blogger. In my opinion, the story I’d written was better than the other story…so much so that I actually called it “a poorly conceived work of fiction” and “inferior to most children’s books” to a friend of mine. Harsh? Absolutely. Over the line? Perhaps. Completely accurate? Yes and no.
On one hand, the assessment of the story was completely accurate. The story’s content wasn’t my ideal subject matter, however I could appreciate that some people enjoy sappy love stories. However, when you use the same verb eight times in a four sentence paragraph and you’re not going for a literary device of some kind, you should probably bust out a thesaurus.
And yet, some time shortly after the start of the pounding migraine that I got from reading the story, I read through the comments of the post itself. People loved the story. And it wasn’t just a “oh, hey, great job!” type of love. It was a “shut up and take my money” type of love. I didn’t get it. How could someone who had written so poorly be so loved by their readers. You know, outside of Snooki or Bill O’Reilly.
Then it hit me like a ton of heavily padded bricks. The story wasn’t what had sold the readers on the tale being told. Rather, it was the interaction that the author of the story had with others (particularly a few high-profile commenters) that made the story so loved. The content wasn’t great, it was just packaged in a pretty container and marketed well. Think Coca-Cola, only in word form.
As a blogger, marketing will rarely be your worst enemy. You can become a successful blogger without having a great marketing strategy on your side. That said, it’s the equivalent of trying to drive from New York to Los Angeles on a child’s pedal bike. You’ll get there with enough time and effort, however you’ll exert far more force than you need to.
Admittedly, I’m not the best marketer around. Hell, I’ve made one blog ad ever and haven’t used it in well over two years. However, had it not been for a brush with a work I considered inferior, I wouldn’t have started marketing at all.
What do you do to market your blog? Do you have any tips/tricks you’d like to share with other readers?