Skip this post if you’re not interested in complicated thoughts about the marketing of blogs :)
A recent comment from a new friend in blogosphere indicates that I may not be doing enough to market this blog. It’s funny, but I am one of those people who are immensely attracted to the concepts of branding and advertising (ethical and genuine campaigns only) and have invested a lot of time and effort in marketing and branding - for example - KM initiatives in my organization. But when it comes to my blog, I am not very keen to market it or brand it. I’d rather keep blogging like nothing mattered and let blog-readers enter this blog at their own risk. I don’t want to be sued for ‘over selling’ a crazy blog :) Amusingly enough, I had just started brewing something about my blogging philosophy when this comment was dropped on my blog. Here, I present you with the complete post that has been sort of re-brewed to suit the context that the comment brings in.
Live for a cause, not applause; Live to express, not impress.
I think this is the same as saying “Be yourself” because I believe that we are not intrinsically attracted to acknowledgement and fame. It is the society that we live in which intoxicates us with these qualities. Anyways, the people who are lucky enough to have retained the quality of intrinsic motivation would agree with the phrase above, whole heartedly. And the fact is that a person who lives for a cause is the one who will truly get applauded. And a person who lives to express rather than impress is the one who is truly impressive.
This is pretty much what I have intended my blogging philosophy to be like. Blog for a cause, not applause. Blog to express, not impress. There was a time when I did not dwell upon what my blog-readers might say or want before blogging my thoughts – because I knew nothing about my blog-readers and even whether there existed any, apart from my close friends. That, perhaps, made my posts sound extremely raw, honest, unfiltered and crazy. I did not consciously market my blog except for a couple of instances wherein I was eager to get feedback. But as I started getting attention from a handful of people who happened to visit my blog due to serendipitous endeavors, there were admittedly occasions when I had to think twice before expressing myself and I felt myself focus on what my blog-readers wanted as much as what I myself wanted to talk about. Now, this is akin to what we call a customer-centric approach. Nothing wrong about it, mind you. But, at times, it can stifle one’s inner voice a bit. Unless one has the maturity and intellect to draw a balance between the readers’ expectations and what one really wants to talk about. One ought to learn to take the feedback, queries, inputs et al and do with it what it deserves – see it as an encouragement, opportunity to think different etc. Even if one is temporarily affected and influenced by the attention one is getting and that is unfortunately hampering one’s natural style, if one is the intrinsically motivated types, time will certainly take one back to one’s original style.
All said and done, I’ve, admittedly, been fence-sitting when it comes to deciding between consciously marketing my blog versus not doing anything about getting more people into my blog due to such complications. I don’t want to consciously market my blog on the lines of a product with a huge branding and advertising budget. I am clear about that. I might mention it in some forums – as a part of my signature - mainly to quell my curiosity in terms of how many minds have similar views/ counter views and learn from those. At the same time, I realize that not inviting people actively does not help me tap into the potential knowledge that I would gain access to via feedback, comments, additional sources, and blog networks etc.
Whew! All this thinking about blog-marketing drains me somewhat. I don’t think I enjoy thinking about it too much. I think the best thing to do is to let the traffic come in naturally and at its own pace while leaving a few scattered messages about the blog in appropriate forums. Leaving comments on other blog-posts and linking to other blog-posts are two things that will improve one’s blog-network but that is something you ought to do only when you have a genuine opinion.
What’s your blogging philosophy? Is there something I can learn from you? :)