I came across yet yet another reference to Steven Pressfield’s The War Of Art (I really will have to break the cover sometime soon). This most recent post I came across was at the Pushing Social blog, in a post called, ‘The Tale Of Two Bloggers’. I described a hypothetical couple of bloggers, each publishing on the same topic in the same industry, yet one developed a successful blog while the other didn’t. The distinction for the successful blogger was that she wrote for herself rather than her readers.
The analogy used in Pressfield’s book is of Arnold Schwarzenegger in the gym. When he’s in the gym, he’s following his passion. He owns that gym and uses it as a tool of his self-identity.
To an extent, this idea flies in the face of the concepts of SEO, keyword research, and publishing for an identified market. The idea is that if you create based on your true passion, that passion will show through in the quality of your work. The example I often use in my classes is the hypothetical cricket fielder who writes the world’s greatest book on the slip position technique. Even though it’s the greatest book on the topic, if people aren’t looking for that topic he’ll have a tough time making sales.
I’m not ready to fully endorse the idea for bloggers and internet merketers, but it’s interesting food for thought. I would like to think that the chef at my favorite restaurant prepares food the way his passion leads him, and not because he’s just following the standard recipe for the market-proven Skilletini. Certainly there are successful producers in various fields whose passion for their product is limited to the money they can make on it. That said, I imagine it would be hard to find these people since coming out and saying, “I’m just in it for the money” would be detrimental for business.
It’s certainly ‘food for blogging thought’, and can help you in the creation of your own blogging strategy. Think about some of your favorite blogs, and what is it about them that appeals to you? Take a critical look and think about the motive behind the blog. Do you think the blogger would still publish if they only had 20% of their current audience? What blogs do you like because the blogger is truly writing for him/herself?