I’m heading off on a trip for a while, but I came across a few things in the past few days that I thought I would touch on quickly. A lot of blogs have weekly roundups, so maybe this will be a continuing theme.
Below is some minor criticism of some quite good sites, and also an interview with a new favourite author of mine.
Marketing Your Marketing Book Can Be Some Tedious Marketing To Actually Read
Entrepreneur, mediapreneur, marketer, speaker and author David Siteman Garland is the Founder of The Rise To The Top, The #1 Non-Boring Resource For Building Your Business Smarter, Faster, Cheaper and upcoming author of Smarter, Faster, Cheaper: Non-Boring, Fluff-free Strategies for Marketing and Promoting Your Business (Wiley Publishing). He writes/hosts RISE, a a web show for entrepreneurs, forward-thinkers, business owners and marketers, as well as The Rise To The Top TV show on ABC.
Paragraphs like the above drive me crazy, because they can be really difficult to read completely. What usually ends up happening is that I see a long list of word comma word comma, etc. and I just skip that entire paragraph. Trying to cram so much information into such a small space is really hard on the eyes. It’s practically spam without actually being spam.
Considering we are viewing a site with the name Rise to the Top plastered quite dominantly on the top of the page, and have a big side bar with the book’s title on it, I don’t think it’s necessary to repeat the site and book’s title in the About page. That phrase is found repeatedly throughout the website, as well. I think we get it: you have a book coming out and you want us to buy it. I am sure there are more subtle ways to inform us of a book without “shoving it down our throat,” a phrase David has used in his latest interview but fails to apply to his site.
A Manifesto is More Than a Book
A manifesto is a public declaration of principles and intentions, often political in nature.
I discovered a blog this week that seems to be fairly popular already, Think Traffic. The post that stood out the most for me that made me click over to the blog was: The Blogger’s Guide to Unleashing a Manifesto (or, How to Attract 7,986 More Visitors to Your Blog in 5 Days). The post itself is about creating your own eBook, but I clicked through to read about the eBook itself, 18 Months, 2 Blogs, Six Figures.
The book is quite informative and builds upon the success stories I have read elsewhere. It’s also a quick read coming in under 70 pages. Now, the bone to pick with this is that when I read the term “manifesto,” I am expecting to read something that slams into me and teaches me something about the artist/author. A manifesto should really help tell me the motivations and inspirations behind the artist to keep doing what they’re doing. What I don’t expect to read is another How To book.
A manifesto can come in many shapes and lengths. In University, one of my theatre classes asked us to separate into groups and create theatre companies, complete with seasons of plays, theatre/location, and a manifesto. Being more of a radical, I pushed our group to create a one-off manifesto, something that was not concrete and could be held in the hand or referred to again. We wrote it out on the chalkboard for our presentation, and then sat down at our spots again. I can’t even describe the reaction we received from the other students and the professor: intrigued, pissed off, enlightened – a rainbow of reactions.
For a blog, I want a manifesto that reads more like my About page. Here is one of my closing lines:
That is my aim with this blog, to cover large ideas and develop new ones by connecting the dots, an interdisciplinary blog of sorts. And, hopefully, it will inspire someone to break out of their niche and explore other areas of the internet and the world.
It explains what I want to do with this blog and why in two sentences.
Manifesting Blog Posts Into Evergreens
One of the latest interviews that Rise to the Top hosted was with author Timothy Ferris. The 30 minute interview is an informative piece, and makes me wish Timothy had done the narrating of Four Hour Work Week when I listened to it on audiobook. A point that I want to highlight is the subtle manifesto that was hinted at during the interview. Before writing each blog post, he sets out to create something that will have more value when it is read in a year or more than it will after he hits publish. He calls it an evergreen, and once I heard the term, it felt like a tree had fallen on top of me. It makes me rethink what I am writing about here, and how successful bloggers truly rise to the top of their niche.
It isn’t their niche that makes them successful.
It isn’t publishing regularly and marketing themselves that make them successful.
It isn’t creating good content to be read that makes them successful.
It is creating the evergreens: content that is great and stands the tests of time, and will be more relevant ten years from now than it will be tomorrow.
I want to explore this idea further in the future, but for now, listen to the interview. You can thank me later.