I’m about to do the online equivalent of Jackie Chan leaping over a dumpster before round house kicking a 50 year old masked man right in the schnoz. In high heels. And pearls. And maybe a mini-skirt, if spectators are lucky.
You can take that as a warning, and kindly X out now, or you can take it as encouragement to keep on reading. (Clearly I’m bluffing. If you X out now, I will totally judge you. And so will your computer.)
To the point: I’m peeved.
In other words, irked. Riled. Ticked. Or, the ever-popular and preferred word of choice: Pissed.
Not to be confused with the British pissed, which means to be splashingly drunk. Though this definition also comes in handy at times. (Okay, fine, all the time.)
I’m pissed at rules. Protocols. Convention. Ugly, stifling shoulds. Or worse–musts. Particularly related to the blogosphere + online biz world.
I got into business for myself, because I wanted to do things on my own terms. And when I use the phrase ON MY OWN TERMS, there’s one little keyword in there that’s really fucking important. MY. Not your terms. Not the terms of an A-list blogger. And certainly not on the terms of some jackass who has no idea what he’s doing, but happens to have a pretty website and a Paypal account. MY TERMS.
And I’ve been relatively successful in doing so.
For example, IF I WANT TO MOUTH OFF IN A BLOG POST ON MY OWN BLOG, THAT’S PRECISELY WHAT I’M GOING TO DO. And it’s not going to have a concise beginning, middle or end, if I don’t feel like it. It’ll be messy. And raw. And chaotic. And emotional. And fragile.
And as for “proven techniques?” Forget about it.–
I don’t create editorial calendars. Inspiration + relevance cannot be systematically mapped out + planned.
I don’t stick to a strict posting schedule. I write a couple of times a week when the iron strikes red hot + I have something important to say–not because it happens to be Monday. Traditional advice says posting schedules are a good way to “condition your audience.” Fuck that–you are not a pack of dogs.
I don’t interview people who have been interviewed 30,000 umpteen times on every other blog you read. Sure, great strategy to make connections, but I insist on bringing something fresh to the table. It’s a choice between value for you, or value for me. Fortunately, I have faith that if I need to make a connection somewhere, I’ll USE A LITTLE SOMETHING CALLED EMAIL rather than waste everybody’s valuable time.
I don’t give a damn about SEO, or “proven” headline tactics. I write for human beings. You know–the people that are actually reading my work? Yeah, they’re pretty fucking important, wouldn’t you say? You can have the best SEO in the world, but if a human doesn’t click on it, you’re…um…what’s the word? Don’t make me say it again.
I don’t invent forced action lists with 5 steps you can take today! When there’s not actually any useful information, it’s basically the equivalent of the author looking at you in the face and screaming in the voice of a used car salesman, “Hi! I think you’re an idiot! Survey says that you are far more likely to share this post if there is a list of steps to take, so here they are! Even though they are useless and I pulled them out of my ass! Go, now, and be a good little robot. Share! My! Stuff!”
I don’t employ made-up scarcity tactics, proclaiming there’s only X number of copies of a digital product left. Who actually believes that shit, anyway? While it’s true that doing so is more effective in terms of conversions, which is why it’s done, there are more respectful ways to get an audience to take action, and make honest sales.
I don’t try and convince you that you or your efforts are inadequate without whatever it is that I’m selling. This is a learning environment; not a god damn infomercial.–
There’s a lot of people who would tell me that I’m a fool for not paying attention to those things, among others. That I would be even more successful if I adhered to what’s “proven” to be effective. And maybe that’s true.
But you know what?
The shunning of tried and tested “rules,” in favor of treating you like an intelligent human being, rather than just a “subscriber,” or a “reader” or a “lead” or a “sale”–simply FEELS RIGHT.
And all of that messiness. And that rawness. And chaos. And emotion. And the authenticity that springs from all of that? That’s simply me being ME.
And you know what else?
You’re still reading it.
And ultimately, that’s the goal – being able to captivate + command attention in your niche. Attention truly is the currency of the internet, because it allows for ENGAGEMENT. Engagement of a community of like-minded thinkers. I’m here to facilitate your learning, and thriving, and your progress, in helping you become the best version of yourself that YOU CAN BE.
Not what everyone else wants you to be.
Or in the way that everyone else wants you to do it.
I think that educating yourself is necessary. I think that learning about online business tactics is smart. And naturally I encourage it.
Do not take everything you read as gospel. Do not hesitate to think critically and question the rules. Do not be afraid to use a little trial and error, and see what works for YOU. And most of all, do not hesitate to reject a practice if it doesn’t feel right.
Use your head. Keep an open mind. Be creative. Be resourceful. Provide value. Truly listen. And don’t fuck with people.
That’s a pretty solid equation for online success, right there.
But don’t take my word for it.
Get out there, starting defining YOUR OWN terms, learn to trust your instincts, and get your very own Jackie Chan scene going.
After all, you’re an intelligent human being.
It’s time to start acting like it, baby.
Rooting for you with love and kisses and hearts
and everything else that doesn’t seem like it belongs
on a blog called The Middle Finger Project,