The problem with doing what I do online is that I have no idea how to describe what it is that I do. You may think that’s dumb fodder for a Wrap-Up intro, but since I’ve established that gloomy 80′s guitarists and product placement tattoos are fair game, an identity crisis should fit right in.
Telling folks that I build blogs and websites is accurate but doesn’t give the whole picture, since I also do consulting and create courses and other stuff.
If I tell them I’m a blogger, they get all confused and think it’s slang for “unemployed.”
So if anyone else has the same quandary and has solved it, let me know what you tell people when they ask. Until then, my temporary solution is to tell people I sell drugs and smuggle black market cattle.
While I sort out who exactly I am, feel free to check out what happened this week on Copyblogger:
The way Hugh McLeod gives us good lessons while also blatantly insulting us is really near and dear to my heart, since it’s something I’ve done occasionally in the past. So you’ll want to focus your ugly self on this one.
Although he’s gotten a lot of mass media exposure over the last decade, Hugh’s own popularity has ultimately come from one person telling another who tells another. The bottom line is that if you’re not doing one specific, simple thing in your marketing, you’re missing the boat.
I’m not going to tell you what that thing is, so you’ll have to read the post. It’s a clever copywriting technique much like blatantly insulting you is, dummy.
I actually don’t like guarantees at all, but I’m going to faithfully write this up anyway so that Dean Rieck won’t end up outside my house with a tire iron. Again.
But actually, my dislike of guarantees is one of those instances where my personal feelings are dead wrong, much like my appreciation of The Smurfs. The truth is that you can have great stuff, but there’s still a huge barrier to buying that great stuff in the minds of an increasingly skeptical breed of customers a lot of the time. Overcoming that mental hurdle and getting more people to buy is where the guarantee comes in.
So I’d never realized that the Electric Light Orchestra’s signature spaceship thing is essentially a giant Simon Says. When one of those little scout ships wanted to dock on it, I’ll bet the pilot would have to hit an annoying long series of colored buttons and if he got it wrong, it’d give him this “EEEEEEEH” fail sound and then the Simon Says would shoot him out of the sky.
After this realization, imagine my consternation when I realized that Chris Garrett wasn’t actually writing about Electric Light Orchestra at all in this post. He is instead coining an acronym of the three things to remember to connect better with your list subscribers so that you can get more sales and generally not irritate them.
And, I suppose, allow them to hold on tight to their dreams. Yes kids, that’s an ELO song reference.
This post by Joy Tanksley is all about developing your blog’s “voice,” a hard-to-define concept referring to how you sound and seem in the minds of your readers — kind of like your “style,” but with a bit more to it. Voice is pretty important, because the same basic concepts can be discussed in two different voices on two different blogs, and one of those voices will resonate with readers while the other will clank and nobody will want to keep listening.
Personally, on my blog, I’ve taken the voice concept almost literally and am trying for an “in your head” audio quality that combines Orson Wells with High-Pitch Erik from the Howard Stern show. I know it works, too, because I get emails constantly saying things like, “When I read your site, it’s like I’m listening to a dramatic radio play that makes me feel like an obese, mentally slow giant who is afraid of fish.”
I don’t want to put words (or anything else, really) in Steve Errey’s mouth, but I think this post is one of those “a-ha!” things where at the end, you realize he’s not trying to steer you away from success so much as redefine what success means. Then, by doing that, you might discover that you’ve accidentally found success along the way. It’s similar in concept to a heartwarming story about a boy who believed in magic, then stopped believing, then discovered that the magic was inside of himself.
(At this point, I’m going to resist my impulse to make a reference to Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing.” Wait. Too late.)
So if you’re aiming for success, your compass should be adjusted. I don’t want to blow the post for you, but think confidence.
P.S: Speaking of confidence, I don’t recommend engaging in this “confidence game” I once played with a nice young fellow. It was fun, but somehow I ended giving him my house and life savings.
About the Author: Johnny B. Truant is a writer or something, which means he kind of makes words, but also builds blogs and websites for people. Johnny also builds popular business courses and is somehow involved in internet marketing and various other wholesome activities.