The Battles We Wage

 

 

battles we wageAs a blogger we want to rise to the top. We want our articles to be found, shared, commented upon as that ultimately draws attention to us and makes us achieve our goals. We want to be noticed and most of the time will stop at nothing, so we think. There is the little voice inside us called integrity that comes out. If I share you will you share me? Does that play a role? Sure it does. Should it? Nah, but we are human and that does matter. We build communities treating people better than we want to be treated and hope we surround ourselves with people that share that same sentiment but we know that is so not true.

There are some that seem to jump onto circuit at what seems out of nowhere. Who the hell are they and why are they getting so much attention? I have been here day after day, week after week writing and writing, sharing and engaging and they are getting so much attention. We look at their blog and think, well it is good but it is not all that great. Then we start to play detective and see what they did to get to where they are. Was it simply consistently writing great content? Well maybe there blog is better than ours we start to think or maybe, just maybe, they sold their soul for a retweets, comments and traffic.

The Battles We Wage

We wage battles within ourselves. We have goals for the blog, we have unrealistic realistic expectations of what success we will have. We will get 50,000 + followers on Twitter, 50+ comments each day, 500 retweets, all within 6-12 months. Everyone talks about how easy it is, give some free tips so if we follow that, we will attain these goals. As many laugh we cannot deny that we had some high expectations.  Then we think about those other people and how did they attain all that so fast? What are we doing wrong as we deserve just as much attention as them. Well that is our opinion and to many times is the only one that matter. Then we start to think  … did they ask for retweets from the a-listers; have meetings, were given inside advice or is it something more (never thinking they worked really hard for years and were just never on our radar).

Integrity in Blogging

We all have integrity. While it may not seem like some have any, we have to believe that they do. Maybe I live in a fantasy world or have been incredibly lucky in my connections. Growing in social media is being there before the sale. Does this mean that to attain our goals we have to go out there and compromise what we believe in by asking for retweets, comments, mentions from someone bigger than us and sometimes even out of our general audience? This feels so dirty as being someone who likes to earn the good old fashioned way, it can be a struggle.

Then I think that we have to consider that there are thousands of people vying for the same attention and sharing the stage. Does this attention mean that we have to sell our souls and ask for that retweet in DM’s, “out” someone or write repetitive viscous blogs, tweets and comments attacking someone so that we can hit the radar of the a-listers and ride their coattails? Is this the only way to push someone else aside and achieve the instant success that we feel we deserve? It could be argued that this way a foundation is being built, we are meeting our standards despite being borrowed eyes and short lived. People will start talking and the shift is to maximizing the popularity by shoving every thought, idea, blog post, product or service offering down the throats of this new audience. Mindset is to “steal” the audience from the a-lister and give the same if not better offering so they will forget the other person(s). Laugh all you want, but we have seen it in action. It makes us question: Are there any self standards that are left or is everything for sale?

Are We Selling Our Souls With Asking?

If we write something that we are really proud of, are we selling out souls by asking the popular and elite to retweet it, Like it, Stumble it, etc? I am not so sure. I have never done it but that does not mean that I will not ever. Part of me thinks that why post it on your blog when you can submit it for a guest post? I know, I know, then it takes the traffic off of your site (forgetting the credibility of appearing on the bigger, more popular site). Then I think, sometimes we all need help and asking for it is nothing to be ashamed of. Is this crossing the line of help?

Asking someone to increase our traffic is a great boost but if the audience they are sharing it with are not our target, buyers and/or potential clients, we are feeding the ego and not the wallet. Drawing attention to us does bring in some new connections that can lead to some big things. However we have to be able to back it up. If we are asking for retweets, people will talk and before long, our secret is out there that we were the beggar. But it brings me back, if you do not ask, you will not get the help you need. Then again you can guest post and then after some guest posts if you still need the boost, then ask. I guess I am torn on this.

Growing Without Sacrificing Our Integrity

Can we grow without sacrificing our integrity/selling our soul? It is a slower process but we have to think about what we can control (interesting as I have heard that somewhere and it is by far the most sound advice). We cannot necessarily control who reads the blog, we cannot control who retweets it but we can control what we write, what we do with what we write and how we put ourselves out there. If I retweet someone 10x and they never retweet me are they someone I should abandon? Some would, I will not. What I share is content that is worthy of sharing with my connections as I feel it will be useful to them. There is also that side of me that feels that someday they will connect with what I am creating and find it worthy of sharing with their audience (then again I am the same one that swore up and down, left and right that I would get an A with a professor and took 5 classes with him which got me my only 5 B’s).

Is the Battle Worth It?

Some are and some are not. This entire post is talking about people whom we feel rose to the top when we felt we should have. So much time is spent on this and time that could be spent researching and learning. We have to continuously look for new connections that we feel are our target, build relationships, maintain relationships, stay on top of the newest products, tools, upgrades as well as servicing our clients, keeping in touch with our friends, maintaining a home and a family life. When we start to break it down, is the battle worth it? Does it really matter that he or she is achieving the success we wanted? In a way it does but in the grand scheme of it all does it? If you worked really hard, stayed focused on you and your goals, it should not. What about being happy for others? That does matter. Our battles are internal but we act them out externally. The only/best way that we know, as damit, we are going to get that attention one way or another. When we wage these battles, we have to remember one thing … there  has to be a willing party to participate. If not, we are just losing ground and placing barriers/creating excuses for not achieving what we feel we should be.

What battles are you waging?

photo credit: JayT47

  • I don’t really think asking for a share is compromising one’s integrity. You’re not bribing anyone, or pointing a gun at anyone’s head, you’re simply asking, if you get a no or an ignore, so be it, no one’s getting hurt right?
    If you really have something you believe in, I think it’s fair to leverage your network to promote it, and I don’t mind when others do it as well. Of course, it has to be worth it, and it’s not something you can do once a week for obvious reasons. It’s some sort of “final weapon” you have to know when it’s proper to use, like in a videogame.

    • Gabriele

      A share to your community, you need to ask for. A share from an alister just because of their social status, is compromising integrity. We are asking them to promote us because we want to be exposed to their audience in a short cut way and not earn it.

      I love the video game analogy. I agree with the final weapon but the final weapon when you got through all the levels and are at the finish line.

  • Suzanne,
    You have covered this topic so well! I could respond to so many points but this one jumped out at me: “If I retweet someone 10x and they never retweet me are they someone I should abandon?” I try to find good content to RT for my followers (not many of them yet, but I’m still thinking of them!) because I figure people follow me because they want to hear more of what I might say or RT. I try not to think about whether or not they RT my stuff.

    There are a lot of great points here Suzanne. Mind if I RT it! 😉

    • Lori

      It is hard not to think about if they will notice and retweet us. It is human nature and how we allow ourselves/or not get wrapped up in it all and stay focused on what we are doing is how we are most helpful to ourselves and others.

      Social media is not about what I do for you = what you do for me. That is just all of us who are blogging in the same industry or similar sharing back and forth to build authority and ego. Where do the clients and customers come in?

  • There is so much yummy food for thought here. I truly believe that this is your best post ever, or one of your best. You really get to the crux of the issue, and you drive home why it’s so important for us to consider our own Social Media experience as a marathon, not a race. You just can’t let yourself be distracted by what that person is doing over there. Easier said than done.

    And that advice about control….gosh, that must’ve come from someone BRILLIANT 😉

    • Completely and utterly brilliant! It makes sense but not always at first when we hear it. Break it down and you see where you can control what you can and focus on that.

      This is a topic that we struggle with. We want to be successful and do compare ourselves others. We look over because we want the reassurance that what we are doing is right. Right to who? If a PR agency is doing X should you and I as ad agencies follow? Social media has caused us to stop being our own industry and cluster us with the group. If blogging 15x a day works for Mashable, it has to work for us. Not realizing it took Pete Cashmore years to get there.

      Success in business defined so differently than success in blogging. In business we go after the ones that want our product/service; in blogging we go after the masses. Sounds kind of like what everyone is saying about billboards and why to avoid them.

      Certainly we will flush that out in one of our chats!

  • I’ve built up a relationship with Peter Robert Casey, who was the first credentialed Twitter user for a sports event. He has been a mentor to me as I blog and write about sports. He recently left his job with the Knicks for a new basketball recruiting website. He asked me for five bloggers who he could reach out to in my market (Kansas basketball) so he could reach out to them and establish a relationship. A few days later, he asked me to tweet out a link to my followers.

    I didn’t find it invasive or rude. He was giving me a link to content that he knew my followers would want to read. Social media is about networking. Asking people to RT you is part of that. I don’t have a problem with it as long as it is relevant to the following base.

    • Joe

      That is asking for an intro and not asking an alister to tweet a post. I fully support and encourage people who ask and give intros as that is a part of social media and building a community. Asking someone who is popular or influential privately to read and retweet a post that never reads the blog is what I am referring to.

  • I am going to be up front with my reply. I really like what you wrote here, Suzanne. To be honest, I really do see more and more people selling their soul via social media just to try and connect with some head honcho who considers themselves to be elite. Most of the time, they are only elite in their own mind. I have gotten real tired of the social media space to an extent due to many of the same people showboating in how they are experts at this or that in social media. And then those poor souls who are sucked into believing whatever is spewed from these elite feel like they have to do anything just to feel validated. So, they ask for RT’s, you name it. I would rather stick with integrity than try and get some elite A-lister to make me feel important. That is my 2 cents worth. 🙂

  • I am going to be up front with my reply. I really like what you wrote here, Suzanne. To be honest, I really do see more and more people selling their soul via social media just to try and connect with some head honcho who considers themselves to be elite. Most of the time, they are only elite in their own mind. I have gotten real tired of the social media space to an extent due to many of the same people showboating in how they are experts at this or that in social media. And then those poor souls who are sucked into believing whatever is spewed from these elite feel like they have to do anything just to feel validated. So, they ask for RT’s, you name it. I would rather stick with integrity than try and get some elite A-lister to make me feel important. That is my 2 cents worth. 🙂

    • Mark

      Make me feel important. That says so much as that plays such a role. A retweet from the expert validates us in our minds as if they notice then we are in that elite club. The club that leads to no mans land unless you are getting business out of it. Unless you are blogging for fun and now to monetize of course.

      Funny I always thought slow and steady wins the race.

      Thank you so much for your complimentary words. Makes a difference.

  • Valer

    Hi Suzanne!I’m glad I’ve discovered your blog, and thanks for sharing your profound thoughts.In context of above mentioned content sharing issue, I’d recommend looking into blogupp.com – which is a blogger service that handles content sharing seamlessly.

  • blogging integrity is rare.

    dianabol

  • Interesting post Suzanne – especially the line about ‘feeding the ego and not the wallet’. I don’t agree with the self promoting RT or the requested RT (except to further a community or charitable cause).As the numbers participating in social media grow then by necessity the number of views to any individual blog or twitter stream are diluted. It really has to come back to your goals for developing social content and who your ideal audience is. Quality will always surpass quantity, so asking for RT simply to get additional visits does nothing except stroke egos. On the other hand, when a genuine a-lister reads something I have written or tweeted and chooses to circulate – then I am proud that they do so. I try to focus on adding value and sharing when I come across something worthwhile (even if that person has never reciprocated). The rest will take care of itself

    • Gabriella

      It is really about your own goals and talking to your audience and not the masses to get the traffic numbers. It is easy to get caught up in as we all are here day in and day out and we mostly talk to those in the social media community as our client/potential clients are not always going to the conventions, reading 10 or so marketing blogs a day and commenting, so we are looking for the acceptance from our peers. Reality is that this, while can lead to referrals, is taking the focus away from the proper audience.

      You are exactly right … “the rest will take care of itself”

      Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to share your thoughts.

  • Suzanne,

    Wonderful article and ideas. I must say that at the end of the day your integrity is all that you really have. I’ve been playing and experimenting with social media seriously (make that semi-seriously) for about 2 years now and I continue to learn from it each day. The important thing is that they people that take the short cuts (and quickly get to 50,000 twitter followers) aren’t the ones that I ever learn from. It is the people like yourself that grind it out, day after day, doing what they love.

    You bust your butt doing this. I can totally see that and you have always had my deepest respect. When you talk, I listen. What a wonderful example!

    Jason

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