“I walk a mile in your shoes. Now I’m a mile away. And I’ve got your shoes.” Kings of Leon
Last week, influential writer Danny Brown announced that he was changing tack on his hugely popular blog. He said that he’s decided to move away from the marketing and social media topics that have formed the bedrock of his blog for six years, and write more about the things that interest him in a broader sense.
While it comes as a surprise, it’s certainly not a shock. Danny’s never been one for following the status quo. He’s always called a spade a spade. And he’s always looked to progress thinking and conversation rather than repeating the same, tired old stuff. In short, he does things the way he wants to do them.
That’s what, to my mind, makes him stand head and shoulders above other bloggers. A lot of writers could learn from his example.
Following Your Own Path
Danny’s decision set me thinking. The communications landscape is a crowded space. Creating any sort of cut-through is becoming harder and harder, and it’s becoming very difficult to be heard.
In fact, even writing anything original is becoming a challenge. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had an idea for a post, but ditched it after a few minutes’ research when I’ve discovered something similar written elsewhere. Sure I might say things differently, but unless I have a markedly different opinion, why spend time simply adding to the noise?
And that, along with having three kids to look after, is why my own blogging output is nowhere near as prolific or regular as it used to be. A few years back I was publishing three times a week, every week. Now it’s only once a week on average. I beat myself up about it sometimes.
But what’s the point of writing stuff for the sake of it?
I don’t even subscribe to that many blogs any more, preferring to discover content through mobile app, Zite.
They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. But not when it comes to blogging it isn’t. Too many comms bloggers try and compete with the big, multi-authored blogs in the communications world, and there’s no way they’ll succeed. They get so far and then find themselves with waning reader interest and a redundant content strategy. It’s nonsense.
Bucking the Trend
Speaking personally, Danny Brown has been the single biggest influence on the way my own blogging ‘style’ has evolved in the last few years. I get criticised occasionally for my “cynical” and no-nonsense tone of voice. But that’s who I am. And, without wishing to sound like a fan boy, Danny gave me the confidence to voice what I like to refer to as a ‘healthy scepticism’, even if it sometimes goes against the grain.
There’s an awful lot to be said for doing things your own way on your blog, even if that means writing less often to try and maintain originality, and perhaps forgoing mass eyeballs. It garners respect and, as an independent blogger, it gives you a point of difference from the content machines that are increasingly becoming the way the blogosphere works.
So if you’re blogging about PR, comms or marketing, please do it like Danny, and do things your own way. Whatever that may be.
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Posted by Paul Sutton