Let me start off by saying that this blog post is not meant as advice. Because if it were advice, the sheer magnitude of my hypocrisy would create a tear in the space-time continuum, and we’d all die. And while I’m all for causing the downfall of humanity, it’s not the right time. Yet.

Maybe it’s just me, but it sure seems like 95% of the blogs out there are complete and utter shit, although not for the reasons you probably think I mean. I’m not even counting blogs that have original-but-stupid ideas and opinions. I’m talking specifically about the blogs that have created an entire following around giving people advice that isn’t really advice.

“If you want to get more customers, you have to get their attention first!” No shit, sherlock.

“If you want to convert users to customers, you have to give them something of value.” Thanks, Captain Obvious.

“If you want to build your blog readership, write about what you know.”

Are you fucking kidding me? Seriously?  (And don’t even get me started on the search engine optimization people.)

I would rather read a blog that I patently disagree with, whose ideas are completely idiotic, than to read a blog that can’t manage a single fucking original thought once in a while. Even if you can’t be right, at least be original for fuck’s sake.

Blogging has turned into a festering cesspool of people who are exalted as brilliant because they say exactly what people already know. “Wow – I couldn’t agree more! He’s so smart!”

And that’s why it works. People like to feel smart, so when others post something they agree with, they feel good that their completely obvious idea has been validated by someone else. Nevermind the fact that it was validated by someone else because it’s COMMON FUCKING SENSE. It’s like watching an episode of Crossing Over with John Edwards. “I’m sensing a name that starts with J…. John… James… Jerry… ”

If the people reading these blogs actually feel like they have stumbled across some hidden nugget of wisdom, they should probably reconsider a career in marketing and start thinking about one that involves a name tag, and memorizing the phrase “Do you want fries with that?”

The only thing that annoys me more than the people who post this drivel are the thousands of people who don’t realize that they are seriously overestimating their own potential, and who only encourage bloggers to post more of this crap by telling them how wise they are.

That, and the irony of these bloggers telling people they need to be original and offer something of value in order to be successful.

It’s created this vile, retarded Ouroboros and it pisses me off.

People have made a career out of telling people what they already know because those people need and desire to be told what they already know. To that effect, I suppose they actually have at least taken their own advice. So that’s something. I guess. It’s become an insidious self-fulfilling prophesy. Jackholes who overstate the obvious become known for their wisdom by the dipshits who only think they’re wise because it wasn’t obvious to them.

Seriously, people. The very best marketers out there are the ones who understand human nature. They understand what makes people feel good, their selfish and petty motivations, their fears. They understand people, and it comes naturally to them.

If you’re not one of those people, find a new fucking career. And for the love of GOD stop blogging.

And stop reading blogs that try to convince you that you’re something more than the utterly average human being you really are. You will never be more than second-rate at your very, very best. On your very best day, you will be about as good at your job as a first year intern. Maybe. If you’re lucky. And if the intern is really high most of the time.

There’s no shame in admitting that marketing doesn’t come naturally to you. And if you’re really dead-set on this as your career path, spend your time reading psychology books, not blog posts by people who are no more qualified to be giving advice than you are. When you understand what motivates people, for good or evil, you become good at marketing. Whether you want to be or not.

If you need someone to tell you that social media only works when you are *social*, you’re a moron. If you believe that anyone who is telling you that you need to create fresh ideas with original thought is actually original or fresh, you’re a moron. And frankly, you deserve each other.

Put down the kool-aid, and go back to doing whatever the fuck it was you were doing for a living before the barrier to entry on the internet became low enough to let you start a blog.

Image credit: Hubspot

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I’m a tech geek/dev/infosec-nerd/scuba diver/blacksmith/sword-fighter/crime fighter/ENTP/warcrafter/activist. I'm the CTO at Mass Mosaic and the CEO of Grokability, Inc. in San Diego, CA. Tweet at me @snipeyhead or read more...

  • Not to be immature or anything but…+1
    Your post pretty much says it all, personally I find informative blogs like RackerHackers the most useful, because they contain information, funny tidbits, etc. I don't want to read a blog to tell me what I already know :]

  • uummm…..fuck yes?

  • I, personally, am sick of hearing how great that “one” blogger is. You know…THAT guy. The one who writes all those e-books. Who everyone thinks is the greatest thing since sliced bread.

    Nothing against him personally. But it's his disciples that drive me nuts.

    Like when he rattles off a quick post about nothing. Like the sun will rise tomorrow morning, or that we need food and water to stay alive.

    And suddenly, all the wannabees come crawling out of the woodwork, and flock to Twitter and FB, like flies on spit. They quote him, praise him, and want to father his children, like he's the Oracle of Delphi or something. And tell us we MUST buy his book. It will “change our lives”.

    But basically, all he did was state the blatantly obvious.

    Makes me wonder…am I the ONLY one who sees that the Emperor doesn't wear any clothes?

    Sometimes I think I am…

  • Best use of the word Ouroboros this week!! Dangit now you're making me question my amazingly valuable content and blinding originality. I want a cookie.

  • “The one who writes all those e-books.”

    'Nuff said.

  • The emperor's new clothes analogy is an excellent one here – good call. I wish I had thought of it. 🙂

  • this is a true hidden nugget of wisdom! *ducks*:::not the face!::::

  • 1) You're an ass. But I love you. 😛
    2) Crickett already beat you to that joke on Twitter. 😛

  • I seriously went straight to my homepage and checked my last 20 entries. I have decided I'm okay.

    Maybe.

    But would I really know if I was an obvious-truth-telling douchebag?

    *yike!*

  • I would totally tell you if you were. 😀

  • But honestly, it's GOOD to always question whether or not you're an obvious-truth-telling-douchebag. Before I finished my own post, I checked my posts as well. I don't actually think that most of the OTTDBs are meaning to be. Some of them are snake-oil salesmen, sure – but it's only through the process of constant self-analysis that was can be sure that we haven't drunk too much of our *own* kool-aid.

  • You really need to synergize the zietgiest and blog subjects that conceptualize the worldview of your readers.

    I threw up a bit in my mouth writing that.

  • You. Beatings.

  • If I had a dollar for every time I've heard that… well I would be rich and in a body cast.

  • Actually I think Bertrand Russell was right, “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.”

  • *unf* *unf* *unf*

  • Yeah, I think so too. That's why articles like this are so awesome. Everyone needs to take a moment and, if they still can, analyse whether they've been deafened by the “Hell yeah”s and the infinite +1s.

    I think I pass, for now. But can you remind me about this article every few months?

    And of course… if I do become a douchebag, I hope you will do the the extreme kindness and TELL ME.

  • Hee.

  • I misread that as “donuts”. I think it scans better that way.

  • Vamsmack

    This is actually why I stopped blogging. I didn't see my opinions as really unique, generally guys like Bynkii, The Angry Drunk manage to write about things close to what I wrote about but in a far more articulate manner. I don't think what I was saying warranted the bandwidth so I stopped, I just wish more people would take the initiative.

  • I think there's a difference, though. Maybe it's all in the approach. Its one thing to find an interesting rock on the street and say “hey – this rock is kind of interesting.” It's something else entirely to wash it off and try to sell it as a rare gemstone that you are being generous enough to share with the world. Or worse yet, to claim that you invented rocks, or rock collecting. I don't want to use the example of polishing a turd, because what they're saying isn't wrong – it's just not news. But it's being preached as gospel.

    I know how you feel though. I feel most of my readers are far more interested in my technical tips and tuts than my opinions. Sometimes I post these rants anyway – but they're as much for me to get them off my chest as they are for anything else. I certainly don't expect anyone to consider me an expert or a guru for them.

  • Vamsmack

    People collect rocks? DAMN IT! That was going to be my first foray into Web 3.0 glory. RockBay! Buy and sell rocks! Manage your rock collection online!

    I guess what I found is that my blog added more to the noise maybe not in marketing but there were already angry assholes screaming on the net and they were more entertaining than I. My approach was 'This is me, This is me screaming into the ether' some people read it and it was mainly a cathartic exercise. That stopped being the case for me so I quit it. I wish these assholes would use your blog post to vet their articles because they can write and some of them very well, it's just what they write is trite.

    You may not consider yourself an expert or guru but I can happily say your tips have definitely helped me out of a few tight spots plus the rants are always a nice bonus.

  • mamakat

    *has never blogged* but i absolutely LOVE when you snipesmack people.

  • God! I have let myself be victimized. Thanks for pointing that out.

    I feel dirty… so so dirty.

    Maybe I am so stupid that the obvious just isn't all that obvious?

  • Since I've really just started my blog in January (and I don't think I've taken the route of OTTDB), this, aside from being gawd-damned HI-larious, is honestly something for me to keep in mind because I do sometimes wade into the adventures of myself as a shameless self-promoting whore.

    And although I'm certain that every field has hordes of these idiots, they seem to be viciously prominent in the magic world. The “I read a book on marketing so I'm going to change the words 'small business' to 'magician' and sell all of the ideas to you for a $1000” crowd makes me want to punch babies. There's entire forums devoted to these idiots who use each other to pump themselves up, continuing the cycle.

    In short, woot to your post.

  • I am frequently asked why I even have a blog if I'm only going to make two or three posts per year. From now on, when someone asks, I'm pointing them here. I only make two or three posts per year because I only have comments original enough to write about two or three times annually. The rest of the year it's pointless drivel that gets to me long after the fact because I don't have my nose up the ass of every celebrity out there, or it's a story so big that the entire world is on it and anything I'd have to say would just be a regurgitation of what's already out there. That said, I shall now skulk back to my four readers – all of whom are blood relations.

  • Ron

    No you're not! NOT by a Long Shot! Not if we're talking about Mr. Orange & Black!! So why does everybody Clam Up when “The Emperor” gets mentioned????????

  • Ron

    My “Comments” have to get “Approved By A Moderator” before they get posted here??? Good luck trying to read the last one! That was Complimentary to this site!!

  • Ron – we hold comments for moderation only to combat spam. Comments are generally approved pretty quickly, but we have had issues with spammers in the past, so this is the only way to keep our commenters from getting emailed when a new, spammy reply is posted.

  • Ron

    Thank you Kindly for the Explanation. You are doing the Absolute Correct Thing! Please excuse my “Hair Trigger”, the Post by Friar got my “Short & Curlies” in a Knot, if we're talking about the same guy.

    Also my first time on your site. YEP! Your Blog Above “KICKS ASS”. LOVED IT!!

    “The Only Difference Between Genius & Stupidity Is ……Genius Has It's Limlts!”

    Ron

  • Fiesty and opinionated, backed with intellect and experience. Thanks for reminding us that there remain people who actually think.

    Okay, we admit that we don't know how to write code from shit but we blog anyway – if only in an attempt to call out some of the same “oh my god you're so right and awesome and smart!” brigade. We're tired of this crap, but we're surrounded. It's woven into the fabric of corporate north america, but we're trying to pluck it out – one thread at a time. And now for a drink.

  • MemQue

    More fun is going to the Social Media Douchebag Carnival and asking the fuckwads what they do. You have to resist the urge to slap them, or you can just laugh out loud. Then say “just shiting you” to really confuse them.

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  • Jeffry Pilcher

    For me, the internet would be a more productive and thoughtful space if you got rid of Seth, Brogan and everyone who writes about social media. It's tiring hearing people tweet, retweet and continually repeat the same bromides and platitude. The comments and self-circular feedback these knee-pad wearing sycophants toss back and forth is ridiculous.

  • I know you chose to use marketing as an example and you could replace it with aviation mechanics, accounting or what ever. Yet for marketing I think part of the problem is in marketing there are a lot of graphic design people and sales people. Try looking at any of the job boards for marketing jobs. You will find titles like “Marketing Rep” and the job description speaks of a sales position. If you are so ashamed to be called a sales person then maybe you need to re-evaluate your career. Why call it a marketing rep when it is actually a sales rep.

    Why do graphic designers think they are marketing? Because they can create a beautiful ad? I guess with this logic I am a CPA because through my career I have had to do bookkeeping from time to time. Just because you have dabbled into another area of business does not make you an expert. If you are great at graphic design then be proud of this – don't hide behind the “marketing” banner. As a 20 year marketing vet I can say graphic designers are indispensable partners for me. I know how people react so I know how to market. But I need a creative person to help me bring these ideas to life.

    I guess my rant, or agreement to your post, is that there are a lot of pretenders in the field of marketing. This is why you see so much marketing dribble out there.

    Terry
    http://immergere.tumblr.com/

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  • Haha I fucking love this article. I do blog about blogging, but at least I give people some concrete strategies and action steps instead of just trumpeting the same old obvious vague useless bullshit one-liners.

    Thanks for making me laugh and nod my head in agreement 🙂

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  • Haha, I think I love you!

    Let me just explain the line of thought here 😀

    I was reading a blog post at one pretty famous social-media-mumbo-jumbo blog, and for the first time I got so sick and tiered of reading advice of a recognized expert (recognized by other self proclaimed experts that follow him on twitter and think that is enough to be good at marketing and give advice to business owners) that I decided to leave a comment saying that I completely disagree with what he wrote and that I’m pretty sure that he pulled it out of his ass (I used less provocative wording there) and that he didn’t give any research or case study that would back him up on this claims.

    Off course, what followed was a thread of comments from his loyal readers explaining to me how I don’t get the big picture and saying some completely irrelevant stuff for this discussion that they probably memorized by heart by now… Don’t get me wrong, I knew what I was getting into, it was both funny and sad reading these zombie no brain responses about the glory of the author and his marketing achievements that obviously only work for him because his targeted audience are people that wanna be him… argh…. never mind…

    So I decided to go and Google “social media bullshit” to find some like minded people and see if there’s a list of blogs I should avoid that pull marketing theories and advices out of their asses with no research or case study to prove it. I ended up on this parody page of yours that talks to stupid Twitter experts (digression: I’ve actually seen people that call themselves “Twittsultants” as in Twitter consultant -.- ). In the footer I found your Twitter account which lead me to your Twitter landing page on this website. I then decided to check what you write about and I figured out you’re pretty much in the same industry as I am so I decided to read some blog posts and see if there’s something smart I can learn today and I ended up reading this blog post and I couldn’t agree more with you.

    So… yea, I don’t care if you Tweet a lot, I’m gonna follow you with my corporate Twitter account because you’re awesome! 😀

  • Sam

    Dear, sweet Ceiling Cat this is refreshing to read. For noobies and the naive, I can see how Zen Habits and ProBlogger can seem like holy grails. It took me several months of reading blogging-blogs to realize that too many people are stroking their Pavlina-boners. Blogging about blogging is probably the biggest hypocritical cop out on the tubes…

  • Edward Rendini

    Shit. This post just made me fall in love with you a little. After I’ve spent a lifetime deadening my feelings with the dull blade of misunderstood youth. This is unwelcome Alison. Very unwelcome indeed.