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Don’t “Stink”; Not Quite A Rebuttal

Posted by on Nov 29, 2010

Last week, Mitch Joel wrote a post on his blog titled Don’t Suck. It’s a tongue in cheek yet kind of harsh statement on what you shouldn’t do if you don’t want certain negative things happening to you online or with your products.

Whereas I kind of like it, and I understand its purpose, I have to kind of counter it in saying that I don’t believe that it necessarily means you or me, well, stink (yeah, I changed up the word; so sue me, but I just don’t like that term) just because you have difficulties doing certain things or achieving certain results. True, there might be something lacking here and there, but that doesn’t mean you stink.

For instance, this missive: “If no one “like”s you on Facebook…” I’m not sure one thing has to do with the other. I see lots of things I like and comment on that I forget to “like”. I have many posts on this blog that people don’t end up “liking” for whatever reason. I see many things on Twitter that other people write that are very good with very few “likes”. I’m just not sure that a Facebook “like” is the end all – be all of one’s popularity or competence.

Another one is “If no one is leaving comments on your Blog…” I’ve talked about it often, as has Sire, in determining that some of the best writing we’ve seen will show up on blogs where almost no one comments, mainly because bloggers haven’t quite figured out the community part of it all. True, there are some folks that have no real sense of community that will do very well, but I tend to think that’s more of a fluke than the norm.

Finally there’s this one: “If no one is clicking on your banner ads…” Almost no one clicks on any of my banner ads, and I think that pertains to lots of other people who blog. Does that mean we all stink, or does it mean that people just aren’t clicking on them because it’s not why they’re visiting your blog, or even website, if you have a sales website, so to speak? Even if I happen to write about a product and add the link to it at that point, and no one clicks on it, does that necessarily mean I stink, or anyone else stinks, because no one clicks on it? And, by extension, does it mean I stink if no one visits any of the products I posted last week on this blog, even if none of those products apply to the audience I’m writing to? Or do I stink because I know the folks visiting this blog aren’t the market for those products and I wrote it anyway?

As I said, I really do understand the premise behind the post, which is this; “be good!” Heck, it’s probably “be outstanding”. Those who exceed will achieve better than those who are just middlin’, who don’t give full effort, who leave the public wishing for more. If you can go over the top with what you do and people see it, they’ll flock to you and your products and you’ll do well. If you don’t give your all, or you present something lackluster that people feel they were cheated on, not only might they ask for a refund but they’re going to spread the word about you and, unless you’re really big already, you’re going to suffer. That’s never good.

I hope you read Mitch’s post (yeah, I like the name :-)) because overall it’s pretty good.

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Hi Mitch

To each his own eh??!! The danger with having one’s own blog is you can write whatever you want on it! This guy saying people suck at anything doesn’t sound very nice. I tend to get put off by those words, even if the rest of the content is okay. Guess I hear the perceived attitude coming across.

There are so many words in the English language we can use to express ourselves. I think to be affirming and encouraging with my readers works a whole lot better than using words like that.

And I definitely don’t stink. How could I with my niche lol Good job Mitch. You know we enjoy your posts cos we keep coming back for more 🙂

Patricia Perth Australia

November 29th, 2010 | 10:26 AM

Thanks Pat. Actually I think he’s a good guy but very direct with some of his language, whereas I tend not to be as direct most of the time. I really do understand his points, but I think the way the article was written left no real room for diversity, if you know what I mean.

November 29th, 2010 | 11:02 AM

Two thumbs up. This post does not stink. You do not stink. And thank you for changing that term.

November 29th, 2010 | 8:34 PM

No problem, Allan; we do what we do. 🙂

November 30th, 2010 | 3:01 AM

I agree with you on all counts. Some people, like myself, go to a blog with a one track mind and that’s to read. We aren’t thinking about Facebook likes and ads. I am there to read. If I remember to then I will like it, if I haven’t already. As far as commenting, there are different reasons why people don’t comment and the lack thereof shouldn’t validate one on how well they write.

November 29th, 2010 | 10:21 PM

Thanks for your comment, Karen. I think overall that it’s not fair to slam someone for things that have way too many reasons for their not being successful, although, as I said to someone else, I’m sure that wasn’t his full intention.

November 30th, 2010 | 3:02 AM

Have you also noticed ‘sidebar blindness’ – ie, you visit a blog, read, and then leave….all the while ignoring the goodness that was waiting for your attention on the sidebar?

I’m guilty of that meself. The ads/other thingees might be great, but I just didn’t *see* them.

November 30th, 2010 | 4:53 AM

Barb, I have to admit that when I’m revisiting blogs I miss those things. But with every new blog I visit I usually want to see the type of advertising and/or products they might have as well as how they’ve laid things out.

November 30th, 2010 | 10:40 AM
Althea Garner:

Basically, Mitch, I think that people try too hard and then become hurt (because they are sensitive) when others don’t ‘like’ what they do or say.

Let’s face it: you can’t be liked by everyone and I long since stopped trying!

The problem that most bloggers have is that they don’t have a niche – they blog for the sake of blogging without having a goal. If your goal is to sell product from your blog site, then your topic is irrelevant, but each topic must be engaging (such as yours is). If, like me, you don’t sell other people’s products, the topic must be targeted and relative to the niche (in my case property).

It doesn’t matter to me whether readers ‘like’ or don’t ‘like’ my topics because the content is designed to be educational or thought provoking and because of this, many people DON’T like what I write (for example rising property taxation). And they don’t have to comment either – just walk away with the knowledge. For me, it shows, when I get that call that says: ‘OK I understand the property taxation issue now and I am ready to move forward with the purchase’. This is far more important to me than being ‘liked’ because it has tangible results – commission.

It’s all in the marketing strategy ~ if you’re selling products in a department store, where the mark up is less on each item but your goal is to sell many items (volume), you put out a catalog of many different products. If you are selling a high ticket item, you are more likely to concentrate on only that one item (niche marketing). There is a big difference between the mark up on a pair of shoes and the commission on a house, yet they are still only one product and ‘liking’ the blog becomes moot. The question is: did it sell the product (by delivering information)?

I’m with Barbara…. I don’t notice the ads because I go to blogs for information – not product.

November 30th, 2010 | 8:46 AM

Althea, you’re kind of hitting on my main point. It’s not necessarily the lack of feedback or a lot of feedback that determines whether someone’s content is good or not. Sure, there’s a lot of bad writing out here, but there’s also some wonderful stuff that’s under appreciated.

November 30th, 2010 | 10:42 AM

I am so with you on this one!

November 30th, 2010 | 10:18 AM

Thanks Carolee.

November 30th, 2010 | 10:42 AM

I’ve often thought that if I had a blog that was orientated towards making money, what would I do differently? And d’you know, the answer has to be ‘nothing’. I’d just be myself. I believe I write well, I believe that the people visiting my blog enjoy it, and I know that most of them return again and again. What more could a blogger-for-money or a blogger-for-not-money want?

As for the ‘suck/stink’ factor… I had a look at that post and I’ve two things to say to the Mitch Joel’s of this world:
1. You’re younger than me.
2. Don’t Fick with me!

November 30th, 2010 | 11:46 AM

LOL! Val, you’re killing me! I’m with you, however, in that I’d have to be me, no matter what I was trying to do.

November 30th, 2010 | 2:20 PM

That was a pretty strong post, I liked it as well. I agree that perhaps the single points of it are sometimes arguable, but the overall mood of the post is something to agree with.
Since I am not much into Facebook I too often don’t “Like” stuff, but it doesn’t mean it sucks. In fact, even if I don’t “Like” it, I will surely Retweet, Digg and Stumble it.

November 30th, 2010 | 11:24 AM

Glad you enjoyed his post, Gabriele. I agree with the overall message as well; I just would have gone about it in a much different way.

November 30th, 2010 | 2:18 PM

Mitch – Couldn’t agree with you more on this topic. Just because your blog isn’t getting comments, Facebook likes, or no one is clicking your banner ads doesn’t mean you “stink”.

You could be doing everything right on your blog but you’re just not attracting any sociable people. I have noticed that the majority of people online that really participate in the online community by commenting and things such as that are other bloggers.

However, most people are usually just tuned into the content being presented to them and then move on without participating in the online community like bloggers like you and I would. It was definitely an interesting read though. Thanks for sharing.

November 30th, 2010 | 11:32 AM

Thanks John; it’s what I do. 🙂 I really do believe there’s lots of good stuff out there; I see a lot of it every day.

November 30th, 2010 | 2:19 PM

At the end everybody need to do the right thing. I also put my personal touch on everything I do and try to do it in the best way so other people may like it too. Of course there will be always two opinions.

December 1st, 2010 | 2:17 AM

Carl, there will always be multiple opinions on things. I’m with you, I try to do my best and then wait to see what becomes of it.

December 1st, 2010 | 11:29 AM

I see the reasoning behind the guy’s post. It’s sort of a call to action and I’ve also seen others use the same technique. All in all if it causes a blogger to change the way he does things in order to get better results then it’s probably done it’s job.

The thing about not getting enough clicks, well that just does not wash with me. Getting more clicks than someone else does not make you better than them, just luckier.

December 2nd, 2010 | 5:10 PM

Sire, I’m not really sure about luckier either. I think some of us work harder to get traffic to our blogs than others and we see results. I also don’t believe that just because people don’t get that traffic or notice means their content is bad.

December 2nd, 2010 | 7:32 PM

True but not all traffic results in click and I for one can attest to not all those click converting to sales.

OK, perhaps not all luck. Perhaps some people have a knack for writing that compels people to click? Now that would make a good eBook.

December 2nd, 2010 | 7:42 PM

Well, I wasn’t talking about sales at all, but about visits in general. The original posts equates actions people take to how good someone’s talent is, and I dispute that.

December 2nd, 2010 | 7:44 PM

True, but then I was only referring to one particular part of your post, and that was the one where the guy was saying; “If no one is clicking on your banner ads…”

That alone has nothing to do with whether or not your blog sucks.

December 2nd, 2010 | 8:01 PM

I agree with you on that part as well.

December 2nd, 2010 | 8:08 PM

Thanks Mitch! You really raised my spirits up!
I was so down this whole week, cause I’ve been trying to promote my blog like crazy, and yet haven’t had the number of visitors, or FB fans I was hoping for!

December 4th, 2010 | 11:25 AM

Takes time, Amr, but I’m glad if this post gave you some solace.

December 4th, 2010 | 11:47 AM

Yes, thats what everyone is telling me
I’ve only launched my blog about 3 weeks ago, I was expecting it to be a one hit wonder from the first day, but I discovered that life ain’t so easy after all 😀

December 4th, 2010 | 11:59 AM

Well, not only that, but you’re in a tough niche so you’re going to really have to work it hard. Not as many people these trying to learn German.

December 4th, 2010 | 12:14 PM