Don Draper’s Advice: Follow It.
“Says who? Just so you know, the people who talk that way think that monkeys can do this. They take all this monkey crap and just stick it in a briefcase completely unaware that their success depends on something more than their shoeshine. YOU are the product. You…FEELING something. That’s what sells. Not them. Not sex. They can’t do what we do, and they hate us for it.”
A lot of blogs seem to take one of two forms:
1. The infomercial: Post after post “sponsored” by X, whether it be spelled out (“The fine people at X….”) or sneaky, affiliate marketing (“You guys know how much I love Y! You should click on the links that I provide to buy this stuff, I promise!). (Marie summed this up nicely here. )
2. Self-Indulgent Wankery: Blogging is self-indulgent by nature. Nobody is denying this. But good blogs offer something other than “You guys, I am awesome and inspiring. Aren’t I awesome? Look at all these pictures of my awesomeness. I hate to brag, but I’m awesome, you guys.” I parodied this attitude a few months back and that is one of my most popular posts because people found it googling I AM AWESOME. Yeah.
But can we return to my opening quote?
If you don’t recognize the source, you should punch yourself in the face as you are a toolsack that probably doesn’t watch Mad Men.
But I’ll give you some context here:
While coming up with an ad campaign, a copywriter comes up with something her boss finds trite. Her boss is successful because he understands how to make sentiment work in ad campaigns. His best gift is his ability to figure out what people want to hear…and then put it in terms that appeal to them. Personalized messaging. To that end, he’s sees that “sex sells” is a cliche. Yes, sex can draw someone in on a superficial level…but at the end of the day, there is something impersonal and generic about the whole message.
He goes against her instincts and points out the child while pulling out a Valentine his daughter made him from his desk. He falls back on sentiment and personalization because THAT is what resonates with people. She gets what he means and comes up with “What did you bring me, daddy?”
Something someone can feel.
Do you see where I am going here?
When I’m reading what people write, I like to see a trace of WHO they are. I like to see evidence that someone is an actual person who isn’t just spouting cliches or using their writing as a way of convincing themselves of certain things. If you’re trying to be humorous, convince me that you’re actually a funny person – not just someone who is mockingly self-deprecating/mocks others because it fits a certain context. Don’t just walk through how you were given X product and how X product changes your life. Don’t fucking TELL ME you’re inspiring. Do something impressive and let it speak for itself.
In short, YOU ARE THE PRODUCT. And if you market that shit poorly, your brand will only go so far. (See also, this guide to Don Draper’s insights. )
As far as me? Yes, I’m a whiny, bitter, angry, mean spirited bitch. Have I claimed to be anything else? No. I do not make any money blogging. I blog because I like to tell stories and call things like I see them. They’re often stupid stories. Or stupid rants like this one. However, I’d like to think that when you react to the shit I say its because it is legitimately ME. Whether you hate me (and there is plenty of reason to hate me!) or like me, you’re getting shit from my perspective with no attempts to market to anyone or anything. But I suppose that at the end of the day, I’m still the product and I’m sure as hell not pulling the whole ZOMGZ I BLOG FOR MEEEEE crap. (See also, some good advice here. )
And I’d like to think I’m more REALLLLLLLLLLLL than Tooms (if you don’t get THAT either? Why are you alive?) and his creepy child bride.
What say you, audience?
1. What do you look for when you put a blog in your reader? I’m not asking because I can’t think of anything else to write, I’m just wondering how many people feel the same way.
2. What CAN’T YOU STAND about me? Is it the fact that I say lolzerbeams? The fact that I’m relentlessly NOT sunny? The fact that I’m a whiny prison bitch? The fact that I haven’t talked much about running lately? You can tell me. No really, anything you want me to write about? I know I am horrible at responding to comments but I swear I don’t bite…unless you get me drunk first and ask nicely.