Never in a million years did I think I’d be writing a post about creative blog writing that referenced Seth Godin and knitting while also incorporating Alanis Morissette singing the Black Eyed Peas song “My Humps”.
It must be a full moon or something :) . Here goes…
If you’re a blogger who is genuinely trying to produce quality content, it’s increasingly challenging to distinguish yourself from the digital herd.
Especially if you’re blogging in a popular niche, how do you make yourself stand out? And if the topic of your blog isn’t exactly sexy, how can you make it more interesting?
As I was pondering this, this quote from Seth Godin hit home with me.
Most marketing is intentional. In this ad I will advertise this product.
So is most writing. A knitting blog writes about…wait for it… knitting.
Our mind is prepared for what we are about to receive. If it’s a sales pitch, we’re ready to ignore it. If it’s on a familiar blog, we’re ready for it to be familiar.
Real memories are created by surprises.
Real change is created by unexpected juxtapositions.
Speaking of surprises and unexepected juxtapositions, let’s take a look at Alanis Morissette signing her rendition of “My Humps” by The Black Eyed Peas.
What is intellectual, deep, emotional Alanis doing singing a song with lyrics like “What ya gonna do with all that junk inside your trunk?” More →
Back in the 18th century, you basically had 3 choices of jobs–you could be a blacksmith, a butter churner, or a carriage driver.
Okay, so maybe there were more choices than that (how about tailor, butcher, barber, milk maid, footman), but the point is that there were well-known job titles already in existence for every occupation.
If you were hangin’ out at the local tavern and someone asked you what you did for a living, all you’d have to say is “I’m a blacksmith”, and you’d instantly be greeted with nods of acknowledgment and understanding.
Not so with the internet jobs of today.
To folks who aren’t online much, the internet seems like a sketchy place where folks look at porn and gamble at online casinos :) –sort of a boulevard of broken dreams and sleazy get rich quick schemes, not a place where you conduct a reputable business.
As a result, many of us who are very active within the blogosphere or work online run up against a lot of blank stares and misjudgements when we try to explain to our offline family and friends what in the world we do for a living or why our blogs are so important to us.
This isn’t surprising–we web workers have some of the freakiest and most confusing job titles on the planet.
Off the top of my head, ones that make sense to me, but I know would puzzle 99.9% of mainstream society are: More →
I love the way Roger von Oech challenges me to see things from alternate perspectives. He says:
One of my favorite metaphors was concocted by the American biologist Leigh Van Valen who was inspired by the Red Queen character from Lewis Carrollâ€™s “Through the Looking Glass.”
If you remember, the Red Queen is the one who runs hard but never gets anywhere because everything else in the landscape is also running. As she tells Alice, â€œIt takes all the running you can do to keep in place!â€
Van Valen used the Red Queen as a metaphor for his evolutionary principle that regardless of how well a species adapts to its current environment, it must keep evolving to keep up with its competitors and enemies who are also evolving. Thus, the â€œRed Queenâ€ effect: do nothing and fall behind, or run hard to stay where you are.
Roger lists a few examples of how the “Red Queen Effect” is taking place in modern society– you can see it in the business landscape, new technology development and the arms race, for example.
All around us there’s the seemingly constant need to one-up each other, not necessarily to create groundbreaking ideas and advance society, but simply to keep up with the status quo.
I was thinking: Do these intense evolutionary pressures occur in blogging? More →
That’s cool that they’ve adopted a special name and all, but the last time I checked, this was not new news.
Web workers all over the world, not just San Francisco, have been using coffee houses as mission control for their businesses for as long as Wi-Fi has been in existence.
And remember when folks used to write with pen and paper and old fashioned typewriters?
The Lost Generation was one of the most famous early bedouin tribes. American ex-patriots like Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Henry Miller and Ezra Pound were creating and collaborating in cafes in Paris and other parts of Europe in the early 1900′s. More →
To folks who work traditional jobs, having an online business sounds amazingly fun, liberating and suspiciously like an extended vacation.
Part of this is spot on–you really can’t beat working your own hours from the comfort of your own home and collaborating with colleagues across the globe.
It’s a dream job, but there is a challenging flip side– most of us online biz owners find that we’re perpetually working, constantly online, and eternally trying to sheild ourselves from the virtual tennis balls that are constantly being hurled at our heads in the form of email, IMs, phone calls, RSS feeds and a never-ending source of internet stimuli.
When your dream business starts taking over your entire life, something’s gotta give and steps have to be taken to get your life and your time back under control.
Here are 5 tried and trusted ways to get your online workday back on track: More →