Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
April 19, 201111:05 PM

The Chirping Sound Of Crickets

Nothings happen unless you take action.

There is no overnight success stories. Getting an audience, creating engagement and turning that into a semblance of a community is not just about killer content, a Twitter feed or a well-designed Blog. Success may feel like it comes fast for some, but it's usually the result of frequency and consistency layered thickly on top of the quality of content that is being published.

How often and how much?

Who knows? Seth Godin posts daily and sometimes, it's just a couple of lines (but it's always something that makes you think). Chris Brogan will sometimes post multiple times a day and his post are filled with actionable bullet points that will help you jump right into action. Avinash Kaushik will give you two thousand word Blog posts filled with gold ever week or so.

Then, there are the others...

I'm privy to some pretty interesting conversations about Social Media and Digital Marketing. I'm amazed by how surprised many marketing professionals are by the lack of audience that they have when it comes to their Blogs or Twitter feed. The truth is that they are very quick to take stabs at the people who have results and much less inclined to take a serious look at themselves. No matter how great your content is, it's never going to be deeply rooted in people's minds if you don't publish more frequently and with a higher sense of consistency.

If you don't care... no one else will care.

Most people Blog and tweet when time permits. Do you know how to translate that? Let me do that for you: it's just not that important to you. Well, if it's just not that important to you, what makes you think it will have any meaning or importance to the people reading it? When that happens to the content producer (and the stress that comes along with it), what usually winds up happening next is a bunch of forced or rushed posts that don't really add to, contribute to or evolve the thinking.

Publishing is still publishing.

I often Blog about how the more successful Marketers in Social Media treat everything that much more like a publisher than a Marketer. That same thought is valuable here: if you're Blogging or tweeting is sporadic and lacks relevance, frequency and consistency, it's probably being accepted by the public more like Marketing fodder and less like credible content. Embracing a publishing mindset is a critical part of what equates to eventual success. Yes, it's commitment. No, it's not easy. Yes, there are moments when you'll question the very reason to keep at it. No, there are no shortcuts.

....Unless you like the chirping sound of crickets... which also means you shouldn't dump on those who have all of the attention.

By Mitch Joel


Comments Comments Feed
  • Posted by Tony Faustino
    Mitch Joel

    Pages 31 to 34 of Six Pixels of Separation: "In Praise of Slow" is my favorite section of your book because it reinforces the importance of patience and commitment.

    I'm slowly and steadily building my reputation and trustworthiness in my online community. And, "in praise of slow" reminds me I haven't paid my dues yet (e.g., creating a critical mass of quality content on a frequent and consistent basis over many years).

    But, the Godin's, Brogan's, and Kaushik's have published literally thousands of high quality posts. And, those thousands of posts are indexed in the search engines earning inbound links and reputational value via their respective online communities.

    It didn't happen by accident. It happened because of their passionate and personal commitment over the course of years.

    Reply
  • Mitch Joel

    I try to stick to my bi-weekly schedule on my blog, I realize it's fundamental to be consistent and serious about it, 'cause no one else will if you are not. Sometimes I really can't make it, I feel bad about it but I also feel like it's not the end of the world.
    What's more essential is deciding a schedule in first place. I started with 3 times a week, after a few months I realized I couldn't stick to it in the long term so I paced down to 2 times a week. I am comfortable with that so I will stick to that, and treat it as a serious matter like any other part of my job. I have delays in these other parts as well sometimes, so if I have to skip one post as I said I realize it's just part of the equation.

    Reply
  • Posted by Nancy Davis
    Mitch Joel

    I just started my blog this past Sunday. I plan to post daily. I was hesitant about starting, but my "inner Seth" as I call it would not stop until I actually shipped something even if it still is a work in progress.

    The idea was to get it shipped, and work on making it pretty later. If I procrastinated any longer, I would never do it. That first big step is a real leap of faith.

    I have been reading your book, and it really is so well written. I am going to share it with my bosses in the hope that they will read it and adopt some of what you say.

    Reply
  • Posted by Dr. Mark Kubert
    Mitch Joel

    "Yes, it's commitment. No, it's not easy. Yes, there are moments when you'll question the very reason to keep at it. No, there are no shortcuts."

    True for so many things in life. And especially so for anything social media. I think that we often get swept up in the myth of instant success. And as a health care provider I see the same thing with people: motivation decreases when the hoped for results don't immediately appear. Thanks for reminding us all of the actual work that needs to be done.

    Reply
  • Posted by Kent Anderson
    Mitch Joel

    Great post that brings up many important points. When I was asked to create the Scholarly Kitchen, I silently pledged to give it one year of my life to see if it would "take," and to post every weekday. It was a struggle at first, but within a couple of months, I'd attracted new authors, and things got a little easier and definitely more interesting. We kept building, lucky breaks streamed from hard work, and now, 3+ years in, we're a success on many levels.

    I recently had an encounter with a commentator on the blog who wouldn't provide her true email address, and who claimed to be an experienced blogger. I wouldn't accept comments from someone I couldn't contact behind-the-scenes, and her blogging credentials turned out to be three blogs with a handful of old posts on them.

    "All hat, no cattle" as the Texans say.

    Creating an audience out of thin air requires exactly what you say -- caring enough, producing enough, and being interesting enough to create magnetism. It's not about people running out of time -- it's about competing for the time they have.

    Reply
  • Posted by Rdopping
    Mitch Joel

    My wife attended a conference on Marketing & Bus Dev a few months ago where you spoke, Mitch. She was so excited by your contact that she bought your book. We sat down over dinner (and admittedly a few glasses of red) recently and she told me about what she had heard.

    I picked up the book and am now almost complete. What a fantastic reference and brilliant insights! Bravo.

    I have wanted to start my blog some time ago and opted to spend some time learning form the multitude of resources out there. Mitch, you have provided me with some brilliant content and exceptional contacts (via Twitter) which I am using to absorb as much as I can.

    In support of "In Praise for Slow" (great advise) I have started "posting" via email, just last week, to friends and colleagues to see what the initial impact of my ideas has on my local community.

    So far, I have had a few responses and am hoping for some solid feedback in the coming weeks/months to help me fine tune my content. Posting once a week, by email, right now seems to be within my comfort zone and it allows me the time to build a solid framework around the idea that I am working on that week.

    When I decide I am ready to start my blog I hope to have a sense of the value of my ideas and I will have some content to post allowing me some real time to help develop more.

    Thanks again, Mitch.

    Reply
  • Posted by Kneale Mann
    Mitch Joel

    I think it's fairly safe to assume that most of us have made a list of the stuff we'd do and buy if we won the lottery. Oh how life would be grand. And once in a while, on a whim, we buy a ticket - when the jackpot is really big.

    By the time we get back to the car, we are resigned to the fact we probably not going to win but what the heck, it was five bucks.

    I was on a flight to Las Vegas many years ago and overheard to guys talking a couple of rows back. They were calculating how much they were prepared to lose. I'm sure they had fleeting dreams of the super car they'd drive home after hitting the big win but reality won the day.

    On the shuttle from the airport to our hotel, the driver said "Welcome to Las Vegas, please keep in mind this city was not built on the backs of winners. Good luck."

    Somewhere deep down, we want the quick win and feel jealousy toward those who are enjoying their decade long "overnight success". We probably could spend far less time shooting barbs at the successful and ask them how they got there.

    And en mass they will say - no one wins by hoping they will win. Get to work.

    Reply
  • I've been thinking of my blog as my laboratory, where I try out ideas and thoughts. Like you, Mitch, I've been working to leave posts open-ended, recognizing that they are in perpetual draft.

    Yet others say not to put out bad, boring content. In the past, I've only posted when I've had something to say.

    I guess the way I'm working this out in my mind is to always have something to say, huh?

    Reply
  • Posted by Charles Baratta
    Mitch Joel

    I guest the important matter here is how relevant your blog is to your audience. Even if we only post our blog weekly or even not so often. The important thing is the audience will wait for your post because they are anticipating and excited about it.

    Reply
  • We've been trained to honor consistency.

    From being a child who saw the same cartoon at the same time everyday, all the way to an adult who saw the same newspaper, magazine, news broadcast, and TV show come out or on at the same time everyday or every month.

    It's no wonder that when you fight this entrainment, you get resistance. It's common sense. But as we all know, common sense isn't too common.

    Thank you Brian for making me think about this topic as I haven't been exercising as much common sense here as I'd like.

    Reply
  • Posted by Jeremie Averous
    Mitch Joel

    I like to think that discipline of posting on a regular basis is a key fundamentals of creativity. In addition it is forcing us to think out of the box and ship regularly. So, the discipline of posting regulalry is probably as important for the writer as for the recipients!

    Reply
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