Reciprocity for Bloggers

If you are new or old to blogging you know that in order to keep momentum and anchor your page, you have to perform some kind acts in order to get people to assist you on your journey. Blogging is not a lone activity because ideally you should be crafting the blog towards your audience. Reciprocity is returning the favour. Someone took some time to share your offerings to their community at large or endorse your words so you owe it to them to return that favour.

Neil Patel of Quicksprout.com lists reciprocity in one of his top 6 tactics to gain influence.

“The principle of reciprocity is one of the main principles of influence.

In simple terms: if you do something for someone, they are likely to return the favor.”

There are a number of ways you can make it difficult to reciprocate

Ever had that dilemma where you are trying to reciprocate but the lucky individual you are rewarding has nothing of sufficient quality that you could share in your networks?

Are you concerned that you are a sharing snob?

It is difficult when you get people outside of your sphere, your niche, your topic, who produce content that you find difficult to share. Hitting that like, favourite, share, reshare or +1 may be hard to commit. Commenting may be difficult because you have no affinity with what is being said and to comment poorly on a topic you are not versed in might come across making you look bad.

I try to reciprocate as often as I can because it helps build a bond between myself and a potential friend. Notice that I don’t say “lead” as they come later. The fact is that you need friends in a community and you don’t receive them without showing your value to them. Friends, as in real life, don’t last forever but should never be underestimated.

Certain individuals can make their content difficult to share.

You can still share things you disagree with

if you pose a respectful but questioning comment.

But not all content is a good match for your audience and you can act to confuse those who come to you.

It’s not always because the content was badly crafted

The content just doesn’t fit with what you know your audience will respond to. You may have your own personal feelings on the subject area and it crosses a barrier that you cannot share. It might be too salesy and promote services or providers you’ve experienced difficulties with. It might be that you want to play down your association with the originator because their inclusion may have a detrimental effect on your following and your target demographic. For whatever reason, it is a bad share.

There isn’t always much you can do about that but if you feel it necessary you can always have a conversation with that individual and see if there is a way to take it beyond the limitations of the content.

Often your friends can be your rivals

The word “Co-opetition”, a business term of phrase, suggest that if similar businesses lend each other a hand or locate in a similar space, they will perform better as a group by drawing in more of the same kind of custom. This is why jewelers co-locate, why you might see rival coffee shops along the same street and why guest posting is a “thing”.

Rivals are healthy friends. They can help you keep your focus either by deciding to steer away from what they are covering or cover it better.

Commenting isn’t as natural as you think

and this is why so few people do it.

The same can be said for likes, favourites, plusses, upvotes, shares and reshares. Getting people to click is a psychology in itself.

This is why it is important to reciprocate especially in the early days of your creations.

Now of course you could look at me after reading that last sentence and think, hey! That’s easy to say but I can’t be bothered to share and share alike. I just want people to share and make my stuff go viral, I don’t want to do all this work for them.

Optimus Prime and Sam by JavierReyes on DeviantArt

It sadly doesn’t work that way. You’ve got to be like Optimus Prime because he’s a badass robot. He embraced Sam like a brother from another mother. You have to do the same with your audience.*

*Technically you don’t have to be a badass robot. Sisterly love also works but no heavy petting because that goes into darker territory. Deformed children and the like. Just saying!

Reward

Rewards are an important psychological factor in maintaining friendships and positive relationships. Those companies who seek to retain custom use rewards to incentivise. Reciprocity or returning the favour is a reward for bloggers.

Reward has a positive connotation. As a child you are rewarded for good behaviour and those sorts of lessons remain with you throughout your adult life.

The difference between friends and true readers

If you pick any Big Wig or semi pro blogger and look at the people who most commonly reward them, you’ll notice that they are converts. They’ve been following for some time, have their own weight and normally add positives even when negatives are published.

True readers, those of passive voice; absorb the noise and analyse, make quick decisions, decide in the first 10 seconds if the article is going to take them in the right place, then stay or leave. Big Wigs and Semi Pros win by having more noise. Google rewards those who know what they are talking about and social signals are taken into consideration.

What are true readers?

True readers can be like you and me. Remember a time before you were a blogger? You made scant comments, infrequent likes, barely caring as you jumped from page to page, just absorbing what you needed. Approximately 85% of visitors don’t want to interact with you in any shape or form even if you made it easier than drinking a cup of coffee. In the early days it’s more about the reciprocators and how they can help shape your social signals.

That’s not to say that a larger percentage of true readers can’t be evangelised or stimulated to follow kind gestures, but in the main, those who make the effort are in the minority and normally are not without agenda.

Making content that asks questions as supposed to telling people how it is

I have seen many Big Wig Bloggers shout at those complaining about lack of comments to make sure they ask questions.

but

Should you always craft a piece to be presented in that way if what you need to address should be directed in a more dogmatic fashion?

When people go in search of answers through a search engine they don’t always want to be open to questions or have anything detract from the solution. They want their hand to be held to the answer. If you are looking for a guide, you don’t want to be questioned, if you are in a hurry you don’t want to stop for a survey.

Begging for it and the expectation of “gratuity”

BeggingPug

You will cave! Look into my eyes, you are feeling sleepy.

A difficult subject to broach because there are differing views overall. To maintain your dignity you should never beg for anything. It looks weak overall and can really affect how people view you.

Unlike this pug, begging is frowned upon in the Human world.

Having a negative reaction to a beggar in the street is a natural Human reaction. It is therefore no different online. Having people scrabble for your signups to mailing lists and pushing people down channels they may not really want to go might be your strategy but it also may not be a good one.

The question you should ask:

Will my content be universally acceptable?

In terms of reciprocation, it is not something you can hope to expect every time for the many reasons mentioned above and below. Those who show gratitude do so because your contribution made a difference to them but it is not something you can rely on. Such reciprocation may not be balanced and like for like. You may only ever get that one comment, reshare or like from someone and then nothing ever again regardless of how much you do.

Questioning what you do it for

Nothing living can exist in a vacuum without vital nutrients, its survival 101. You need viewers to give you writing juju otherwise your blog will disappear despite your best efforts.

Reciprocity gives you some reward to your effort. A kind word, a sign of approval. That gives you the energy to carry on.

Of course, you should carry on regardless. Because your notoriety might not be instantly apparent, it might take a person a long while to realise your genius or what you did for them. The might not rock up to you straight away with a share or a like but they definitely haven’t forgotten and if you can do a few more good turns they might be more willing to step forwards.

Truth is, there is no time limit on payback. You could have really loved that new car you bought from that manufacturer you like so much. Five years later when a friend asks for your advice, you steer them in the direction of that reliable motor that never let you down in all the time you had it. Same is true with blogging. Really move a person with your help or anecdotes and you could have countless endorsements without you even realising it.

Does positive reinforcement have a negative overall effect?

There is something that many people ask for and if you have used Facebook, you’ll know exactly what this is. The like button is the reward currency for a piece of content adored by hundreds, possibly thousands.

Many people have asked for an unlike button

but why?

Let’s head back to Roman times where the gesture of the thumb either meant life or death to a Gladiator or Gladiatrix in the arena. If you were that combat aficionado, you would want the thumb to be firmly up by dearest Caesar. If not you would face certain death. Caesar often sought the audience’s collective voice to determine the outcome which would be positive or negative depending on the viewpoint of the individual receiving the judgement.

Moving back to modern times the thumb is in use again but this time you are employed as the armchair Emperor (or Empress) in order to vote up on those topics that deserve congratulations or spectacle.

The problem is that Facebook doesn’t share that other side of the coin. Those who disagree. At worst you can report the content for abuse which requires considerably more effort than liking on your part.

However, sometimes you just want a quick way to disagree

not all social media outlets support positive reinforcement.

• YouTube has dislikes.
• Reddit has downvotes.

To counter what I’ve written so far on this I sought out an alternative view by Social Media Sun author Adam Justice. Adam goes into great length on theories behind why Facebook does not involve a like button and if you’d like to read more on that by all means take a trip with the link below:-

http://socialmediasun.com/the-dislike-button/

Two key paragraphs I pick out are as follows:

“Sometimes a like vote doesn’t seem appropriate, even when you have positive feelings for a particular status update. For instance if I posted that I was just involved in a car wreck, you would have to be bitter towards me to like that situation. I always recommend phrasing status updates so that giving a like is an appropriate reaction. Instead of just letting you know I was involved in a car wreck, a better option would be saying that I was in a car wreck, but didn’t suffer major injuries. Life is confusing enough without ambiguous moral math problems on Facebook so it’s best to make it easy on everyone.”

Being appropriate is not something you have to worry about if you are allowed to express both sides of the coin but further in the article Adam goes on to mention that:

“It’s an accepted rule that reviews and feedback will almost exclusively come from users who either display extremely positive or extremely negative sentiments. A neutral experience just isn’t worth the effort it takes to review or comment on content or products. Users who have a negative experience are even more likely to vocalize their opinions than those who have a positive one. You’re fighting a losing battle already when you aim to be liked, so why not take a page from Justin Beiber or Rebecca Black and find your way through dissonance?”

There is a noticeable disparity between negative, positive and neutral responses. As Adam suggests, making the effort to present a neutral comment is far less likely than a strongly charged positive or a steaming negative.

To finish off from Adam’s article (which I recommend you visit if you want to read some more) we reach the meat and potatoes of the problem.

“…25 percent of small business owners hate social media. They feel overwhelmed and dislike the possibility of facing a media disaster that is out of their control.”

This takes me back to an earlier point I mentioned near the start of this article.

“Commenting may be difficult because you have no affinity with what is being said and to comment poorly on a topic you are not versed in might come across making you look bad.”

With such a social platform, how you are perceived by others is important if you want to access the right heights. Go about it wrong and you can plumb the wrong depths. It is sadly like school again all thanks to Mark Zuckerberg. Are you one of the cool kids or one of the dweebs? Do you tread a morally sound line or say whatever you like and get fired whilst slated for eternity?

Some organisations are constant hate figures. Electronic Arts, Microsoft and more besides. Some topics should never be unpeeled like a plaster over gangrene lest you invite wrath. So if you are writing something along these lines you can invite the wrong side of the street to your party.

Social media wasn’t originally designed for business but they showed up anyway

Facebook was designed for people. It then twisted its focus as money became more and more involved. With the benefit of hindsight organisations such as Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+ and LinkedIn have had the chance to present their offerings more towards the business user.

Facebook as a social media site was okay for a time until the corporation creep started to latch on.

Facebook User Facts as of September 2015

*As of 25th September 2015.

You can guess that of this 1.49 billion users includes many businesses. Global corporations aren’t content to be an image on the television or a flash of paint on a billboard. They want to haunt your dreams.

The Popularity Train

Is a train you want to be on if you are looking to kick it big socially but this train is entirely artificial, fickle and time sensitive so be prepared for some head scratching from time to time.

Artificial

There are many inventive ways of you not needing to be behind your keyboard to automatically pump out content, quotes, images and other tidbits. Those celebrity socials have teams do this for them in order to maximise the reach and pull of their account. When celebrities and big business use accounts such as these, you can guarantee that to some degree they are stage-managed by a group of social savvy gurus.

Ricky, if I've told you once, I've told you twice, shut the frick up!

Ricky, if I’ve told you once, I’ve told you twice, shut the frick up!

I had to disengage my following of Ricky Gervais because of the incontinent stream of duff jokes and idiot comments. It was invading my stream on Twitter and I just had to pull the plug. If you’ve had to disavow, unfollow or otherwise shield yourself from these rather garrulous social Dweebasaurus Rex, then you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Fickle

Those followers can change their mind quickly, put a step wrong or go quiet for a little while and they vote with their feet or unsubscribe / unfollow button. The problem is that it is very difficult to get a person back once they’ve stopped following you as it is a psychological barrier akin to an embargo or veto.

Time sensitive

Be late to the party and you can miss out, be too early and you could be shooting in the breeze, it’s an unfortunate catch 22. The more fame you have the less time sensitivity matters because many will look to you for inspiration. If you are fame poor, expect to get your timing wrong more often than not in the early days and when you think you’ve got the hang of it, everything changes. The only constant in life is change and schedules often conflict with spur of the moment occurrences.

In Rough Conclusion

I’ve charted a number of ways that reciprocity can go off the rails and how imperfect the social world is. What you should draw from all of this is the need to define your own standards of quality, what you are happy to share and not share and with whom. You are going to make mistakes because of the artifice, fickle fingers of fate and the time sensitivity of your shared good but you should celebrate those who make an effort (even if they have an agenda).

Now share this or I’ll come around and beat you. Is that incentive enough? Also, blooming comment while you’re at it! Hehe.

As ever, I am highly available on @blogprefect via the delightful Twitter and I promise not to spam your stream like Ricky! I don’t promise not to haunt your dreams though. You can also contact me via headboy [at] blogprefect [dot] com

 

End of month traffic report August 2015

JAG XFGetting into the swing of things can be difficult but I knew that I had to lay down a few articles to start pointing the ship in the right direction. August hasn’t been a stellar month but I expected it would be rough getting back into things.

Distractions

I’ve had a number of distractions this month. I seem to watch an ever-increasing amount of YouTube videos which is a problem. I have had a particularly addictive game which has also leached a lot of my attention in the shape of AdVenture Capitalist. I’ve also been writing a lot.

Experiments

I’ve been working hard on Twitter trying out different methods of enticing people to my work. I haven’t had much in the way of success so far and as you’ll see further below in my “Referrals” section, there was no Twitter take up last time out. I’ve been using Buffer to schedule these bad boys which does allow me some piece of mind in the fact that I know that the article is being delivered at a good time of day (rather than stupid’o’clock when I’ve finished it).

Shout Outs

As shocking as this is I’ve got nobody to thank this month. There were no comments on any of my articles and very little sharing or other beneficial activities within the communities. Whilst writing this I am aware that September will be a different story but one of the principle aims of a blog is to provide a community with quality info and if I’m not serving that purpose then the stats are meaningless compared to the true aim.

You can contribute in many ways as a visitor to my site and as much as I don’t like criticism, it is an adult thing to accept and rake over. You can contact me in numerous channels through Google+, Twitter, via this site’s email address and the comments below.

Twitter:- @blogprefect

Google+:- +Jackson Davies

Site’s email:- headboy (at) blogprefect.com – Also available in the contact page.

How did the posts do?

Quite a sparse offering this month.

The obligatory End of month report featured but this time it was a roll up from February to July owing to my long time out.

How to Return to a neglected blog performed better and I spent a considerable time on this article.

TweeteAttacks Pro Spammed my Twitter was a spur of the moment article so I didn’t expect too big a splash for this post.

Post-Stats-AUG2015

Alexa Stats

Alexa Stats for this period is a sad story. The numbers are not good and I’ve decided not to include a screen shot at this time. Some numbers are recovering but overall the site has dipped below a level I had seen it grow to. Previously I had managed to chart in the top million on Alexa and am now sinking back to nearly 5 million.

AlexaAug2015

All of the data is now estimated as the bots don’t come back often enough. The only way to see these figures change is to post more and ensure more people view each item. That is not something I can sustain at this time.

Dashboards

GAF Filter

Just a reminder of what all of the 7 measures represent:

  • ATOS: Actual Time On Site. This is always measured through the Analytic Filter as set above.
  • Bounce Rate: This is measured as the base result with no filters. Statistically on blogs this figure is always quite high compared to other sites like Amazon and eBay based on the habits of visitors.  Achieving lower bounce is however a good thing as it means that more visitors are having a look around rather than being satisfied by the one thing they came to look at.
  • Post Performers: This is a measure of how well the best post released in the month of the sample did. The higher the better. This does not account for posts that were released in prior months which have gained some momentum.
  • Gut Feel: This is a personal measure (mine) of how well the site did and an overall feel of the direction.
  • Referrals: The results are taken from WordPress stats (which I sometimes class as unscientific due to how WordPress filters information and bots) which cover a multitude of sources. I always find it interesting to see where visitors are coming from.
  • Page Views: This is the classic measure that many people found particularly important years ago but “hits” aren’t necessarily a good indication of how things are going because you can have a lot of hits but your audience might not be performing the right actions. I include page views to get an idea of how traffic is moving. This is a filtered result which aims to catch those people I would class as having a mild interest.
  • Visits vs Visitors: The final measure determines the rough ratio of visits to visitors. This measure has the filter applied.

Dashboard Aug15 vs Jul15

Actual time on site is an all time record at 20 Minutes and 1 seconds. Very encouraging. Bounce rate is on the way back down. Post performers are up on July but at a low. Referrals has halved in one month due to a downturn in interest on my big hitting post. GAF Page views are down by a third and visits vs visitors are also down.

Referrals

Referrals, previously on a huge high, has settled back to a number that I used to see far more frequently last year. It seems clear that my particularly popular post is becoming less popular which is something I come to expect as a normal trend. Whilst the afterglow hasn’t died completely it doesn’t burn as bright as it did before.

Aug-Referral-2015

Conclusion

August was a recovery month so has been tough going in areas but rosier than June. I look to get back in the driving seat for September.

Open University and the case of returning back to the Final Module

Sadly I’m back into the study again mostly because I failed my economics module and have no real interest in submitting the final project again in a subject I lost all love for. The module was a complete waste and I should have picked the module that I have already started in Design and Innovation which matches what I’m doing perfectly at the moment.

For the blog this means a reduced posting schedule but I pledge to write at least one post per month in addition to the traffic report.

Related Traffic Reports:-

End of Month Traffic Reports February 2015 – July 2015 (omnibus edition)

Big Wig Bloggers

What Is A Big Wig Blogger?

It should be fairly obvious what a Big Wig Blogger is but if you were under any illusion then I would explain that essentially a big wig blogger is a guy or gal who made it. I would go a bit further in that definition to say that a person who both made it and flaunts it.

The definition is quite important as Big Wigs, by nature, are quite vocal about their accomplishments.

This is not a post I’m trying to rank for, its more an explanation for readers who see me incessantly clarify a phrase that I use quite a lot in some of my deeper looks at blogging and those who blog. Now I actually have some point of reference which I can link to.

Big Wig Bloggers Guess Who

6 individuals you might recognise even though I’ve distorted them.

Top Left: Pat Flynn of SmartPassiveIncome.com

Top Middle: Seth Godin of SethGodin.com

Top Right: John Chow of JohnChow.com

Bottom Left: Gary Vaynerchuk of GaryVaynerchuk.com

Bottom Middle: Neil Patel of QuickSprout.com

Bottom Left: Tim Ferriss of FourHourWorkWeek.com

What classifies as making it?

  • Sustaining a decent turn of profit
  • Being a respected authority
  • Being a niche leader

I’m sure you can think of some more titles to throw into that mix but I’ll explain those in more detail.

Sustaining a decent turn of profit

It is rather a sad thing to say that money and profit must always feature at the top of the list but it is the reality we are faced with.

Due to the changing nature of the Internet turning a good profit can be unpredictable and can decline. The aspect of a master is being able to maintain such profits over the long haul by moving with the environment and the customer.

Often the individual will branch as they find areas that they can exploit and talk ad nausea about further entrenching them in a unique corner.

Profit is a sizable motivator for anybody with a business brain.

Being a respected authority

You become the man or woman that forms a “go to” for many items in a subject. This means that you can own a series of loyal fans. Fans can sustain you even if the search engines don’t. Fans are repeat customers. Fans help you. It is beneficial being the first person someone turns to when they have a problem. This means they’ve memorised your website address and can look you up, bypassing the search engine route.

Being a niche leader

This means that not only are you proven as an authority, and can turn a decent profit, but you have a certain amount of control on the direction in which the niche as a whole, turns. You are ahead of the curve because you in part decide the direction of the curve.

Flaunting it?

Big Wigs are very vocal about their achievements because blogging by nature is a sharing place which fosters the notion of sharing positives (and sometimes negatives) with others. Flaunting is an important concept, a privilege of making it.

  • Reputation
  • Using Numbers
  • Dropping Names
Big Wig Flaunting It

A selection of flaunts from the 6 big wigs mentioned above.

Analysing this from left to right we can see the following:-

Gary Vaynerchuk using 30,000 subscribers he terms as “insiders” to tempt you into the mailing list.

Whilst a more modest boast than the others, Seth refers to himself as “best selling author”.

John Chow’s media bar boasts not only 301,273 followers (at time of writing) but 301,273 “active daily readers & followers”.

Pat Flynn’s looming monthly earnings is always a blow away statement. $119,023.72 is an astounding sum.

Tim Ferriss and his rather showy top 10 most highlighted book of all time.

Finally how Neil Patel managed to elevate a site’s traffic to 500 million page views a month.

Reputation

You can hang a lot of business on reputation and reputation management is a key element of a Big Wig Blogger. Reputation can mean repeat or new business guaranteed.

“I know a guy/gal.”

Using Numbers

The psychology of numbers is something that Big Wig Bloggers can use to their advantage; 500,000 followers, 100,000 subscribers, 50,000 members, 10,000 sales. That’s something you have to exploit when you get to be a Big Wig. Big numbers attract and even if you are cynical about using that number advantage, it wins through in copy.

It all sniffs like money doesn’t it!

Dropping Names

Schmoozing your pants off is a blogging staple. Networking is a basic requirement for a Big Wig. When you get to be a Big Wig, you start to get these other famous Big Wigs that lend their support because when Big Wigs collaborate, big things happen.

With all names dropped the Big Wig blogger has some form of relationship through meeting them at an event, having casual conversation and otherwise being completely recognised and sanctioned. You can’t buy early access to being made popular.

Where else can Big Wigs win Big?

Being an Intermediary / Brokerage

Some big deals can happen in cyberspace and some of those big deals can be handled through networking. Big Wigs can exploit their knowledge of the market to complete deals between 2 or more external parties. They can acquire a fee just by setting up the players.

Affiliation and affiliate sales work very well for Big Wigs. Big Wigs with large audiences can negotiate higher returns.

Launching Products

Big Wigs can launch their own products that ultimately reward with much greater profits than third party offerings. They can use their existing marketing platform and are able to capture greater take up from tried and tested methods and loyal fans.

Prestige and “Goodwill”

Big Wigs can expect to access greater rates of saving, greater rates of affiliation and can sell their property for more. “Goodwill” in a business context is the measurement of the brand and how that can be used to leverage custom. It can be used when selling a business and Big Wigs can sell their properties for more than those who have not attained the same numbers. Goodwill can be used when negotiating rates and when buying products.

When creating associated offshoots from their main business, a Big Wig can attach the branding which generates a certain level of shared and complimentary prestige.

Celebrity Status

Just by being a Big Wig, certain individuals can profit from endorsements, paid interviews and paid testimonials. Big Wigs as celebrities get invited to lucrative meetings, exclusive conferences and rub shoulders with other celebrities.

The Big Wig Curve

Big Wigs don’t last forever like all things in life.

Big Wig Curve

Inception

This is the tipping point where a blogger on the quest of making it crosses the goal line.

Being considered a Big Wig is an intangible measure. Mostly you would know when other people are singing your praises. Many individuals don’t realise they’ve made it until something prompts them to this observation.

Growth

The stage in which a successful blogger begins to grow into their Big Wig celebrity status.

At this juncture you know you are famous and are building on that reputation. Growth at this stage will skyrocket as you’ve already attained backing and credence by the right people in the right places.

Maturity

The point at which a Big Wig blogger has reached the zenith of their reach.

There is always a peak but you never know you’ve reached it until you start tumbling down the other side. Certain niches and areas of topic can only reach so far but there is no precise measuring stick to say how far that is. Big Wig Bloggers normally span a number of topics with more than one business.

Retirement

The winding down of the empire through sale, handing over or eventual decay.

Some Big Wig Bloggers do choose to retire. Shock horror. It is a hard job keeping at this all the time even with assistants and once a Big Wig wins Big they may wish to spend the fruits of their labour.

Sometimes the site might be made obsolete through changes in technology and audiences moving away from certain niches altogether.

Very rarely, the blogger might die or otherwise be unable to continue.

Pressures on a Big Wig Blogger

Success has some drawbacks because in a Newtonian sense everything you do has an equal and opposite reaction.

Apologies

When you are a little guy or gal and you get it wrong there is no urgent sense that you have to say sorry. If you mess something up as an amateur you can put it down to the learning curve and move on. Most people who have scruples do apologise but when you are small, the amount of people you have to apologise to is tiny.

As an established Big Wig, you don’t have the same option because people look at your achievements more critically. You have to be on the ball and honourable in defeat because you are scrutinised all the time. You may at times need to make a statement to define the issue and you may have had to pass it by your legal bod first before publishing it.

Trolls

Trolls are an unpleasant dimension to the Internet as a whole. The more success you gain, the more envy you are likely to attract. Because I mentioned that Big Wig bloggers are likely to flaunt their success they are going to attract the envy of some. Because a Big Wig is a big target they are also likely to attract more. No matter how you deal with trolls, they are time consuming and can take wind out of a Big Wig sail. Some Big Wig bloggers resort to blanket punishment by removing all commentary from their creations at the cost to dutiful followers.

Casual Brainless Trolls

These guys and dolls are the classic no brained individuals who just do it for a laugh. They don’t keep it up for long.

Pre-Meditated Trolls

These individuals are considerably more dangerous. Mostly the jealous individuals who feel slighted, a devious competitor, or another person who has a personal issue with you or someone else on your comment roll. These types can be in it for the long haul.

Overload

It becomes much more difficult to micro-manage when the size of your intake magnifies to unmanageable sizes. Inboxes can overflow, comment moderation can grind to a halt and much can go unchecked.

The only way to get around this is to involve lower order management and leave it in the hand of paid professionals because there is a limit to what you can automate.

Response Rates

When you reach overload like above, getting back to people in a timely manner can prove taxing. Big Wigs will prioritise on what can make them the most in the smallest amount of time expended which may mean they no longer make the same efforts they did for the individual in the audience.

Comfortable with Formulas

All big corporations face this issue. They become less flexible to new risks and get caught up with trying to perfect functioning models. The eventual demise of a Big Wig can be traced to this one incumbent’s trait as can all Corporations.

IBM and Xerox are both good examples of organisations who had once been trend setters but became bogged down with maintaining the status quo. They had golden opportunities to dominate even more avenues but failed to push the big red button. IBM dominated PCs for years but lost their grip and whilst they are on a resurgence recently as a solutions company, they’ve had some dark periods and some major loss. Xerox could have emerged in many great directions from just printers and high grade photocopiers but they decided not to and have limited their growth as a result.

Formulas avoid risk and risk aversion can eventually be costly.

Even if organisations do supposedly “innovate” it is as a response to the changes that a similar rival made with the benefit of hindsight. With that approach, you’ll never win as much as being the first. Essentially you are perpetually behind the curve.

Greed

Whilst optimising is no sin getting greedy is. I have mentioned the “smell of sell” before and often it has an off putting ambience. The level to which you exploit your audience is a personal choice but Big Wigs use every tool and every avenue to milk you as the “leads” that you are. You become less a fan and more a number.

Marketing is somewhat of a plague. We all know examples of bad marketing. Going to sites that claw at you and having adverts that follow you often feels like an invasion. I can think of many times when I’ve been to America and been weighed down by the horrifying amount of adverts that make many popular shows unwatchable. Could you be making your site unreadable with your “grab marketing”?

Weight of Expectation

The weight of expectation on a Big Wig is immense. Unlike an amateur, they are required to perform consistently, any bum notes are scrutinised and they can’t rely on too many off days when they have other Big Wigs chasing their heels. Big Wigs start developing taxing calendars and over commit themselves.

Time

Time is simply the enemy to a Big Wig. They only have time to manage their sheep and become far less capable of jumping on new things in time.

  • They have less time to spend with their ever growing fans.
  • They have less time to explore before they must comply with their next item on the calendar.
  • They have less time to fight growing competitors.

How can I best win against a Big Wig?

So you are grinding your gears trying to become a Big Wig all by yourself. There are some gaps in the armour that you can exploit.

Being Personal

Because Big Wigs have less time to reach people on a personal level, you have a golden opportunity. Being on the ground level to help someone creates a much stronger relationship.

Being Flexible

Many big companies have sprung up by being quick to market on an idea. It was a big risk but because you got their early, it worked out. Big companies weigh pros and cons up longer and can be slower to market. Sometimes just a matter of timing is more important. If you are flexible with enough small items, you begin to carve out a destiny. When you become big you are less likely to take risks in order to protect the status quo.

Boundless Enthusiasm

Being enthusiastic about your destination means you’ve got motivation and with motivation you can accomplish far more than a person who has reached their personal plateaux. Many ideas often copy old ideas but with the right dose of enthusiasm and a fresh presentation you can storm in from nowhere. Google did it to the search engine world as they weren’t original but they did it simpler. Dyson did it in the vacuum cleaner world with a bagless cyclone design.

Sincerity and Empathy

As Big Wigs grow into their dominance they eventually start losing touch with the Average Joe. Their language changes and no matter how hard they try to register with the common individual, they are streets apart. You, as the little guy or gal, can still see the same dirt on the street as your audience and can use that to your advantage.

 

In conclusion

Big starts come from small beginnings so the saying goes. Everyone knows that blogging isn’t an exact science and that you can’t always apply logic to your audience. It takes time to bed in and be spotted and for a period of time you are going to be producing content that doesn’t live up to its full potential.

 

Over to you

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