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An Open Letter to All the Bloggers Cluttering the Web with Forgettable Content

An Open Letter to All the Bloggers Cluttering the Web with Forgettable Content

Have you ever gotten an email from a reader who said your writing changed their life?

How about other bloggers? Are they still talking about a particular post years after you published it?

Or is it the opposite?

Visitors just seem to come and go, never commenting, never linking, never sharing, just quickly scanning your posts and then moving on, forgetting about you forever.

If that’s the boat you’re in, I certainly sympathize, but brace yourself, because what I’m about to say will be painful:

You’re not trying hard enough.

Yes, I know those are impossibly high standards. Yes, I know it takes everyone time to learn their craft. Yes, I know there are only a few dozen bloggers in the world who can answer yes to both of those questions.

But if you’ve been blogging for a year or two, and you still can’t answer yes to either of them, then Houston, we have a problem.

Fortunately, it’s a problem we can fix. Let’s start by going back to where it all started.

Visions of Awesomeness

Remember when you were little and your teacher asked you what you wanted to be when you grew up?

Your hand shot up and you answered excitedly, I want to be an astronaut and fly a rocket to the moon! Or I want to be a ballerina and dance The Nutcracker! Or a want to be a fireman and save lives!

You imagined a really grand vision for yourself didn’t you?

You were the great explorer. The famous artist. The hero.

You wanted to be awesome, right?

So that one day you could strike that superhero pose up there on that mountaintop, red cape billowing in the breeze. Basking in the glow of heavenly golden light as the gods shower their praise down upon you for saving the world from mediocrity.

But then something happened…(cue ominous music)

The Curse Of Competence

When you first dreamed of becoming a writer, I’m betting you weren’t longing to become a highly competent copywriter for some big corporation where your work could remain totally anonymous for all time, now did you?

But somewhere along the way you “grew up,” traded in your childish dreams of awesomeness and settled for something…well, a little more realistic: a job that still utilized your “skillset” and allowed you to live close to the dream.

It was just someone else’s dream you were now supporting.

But you did establish yourself a solid reputation.

Competent. Reliable… Forgettable.

The Power Of Unrealistic Expectations

Fortunately for the rest of humanity, there have always been those throughout history who were a little less “realistic” about their own potential. Through every example of their remarkable work they held up a mirror and showed us what we are truly capable of.

See if you can answer the following:

Mark Twain’s classic book, The Adventures of Huckleberry ___________

Created the most famous amusement park in the world around a cast of animated characters we have known and loved for years: ______________

Sculpted The Statue Of David_________________

Is it possible you could have taken more than a half second to answer any of the above? Highly unlikely, right?

They created art that has touched the hearts and souls of countless millions and continues to resonate across the generations.

Art that represents the zenith of our human potential.

Art that is timeless.

Now Let’s Talk About Your Blog

I know, it seems almost scandalous to utter that word in the same breath as Michaelangelo, right?

‘But wait a minute,’ you say.

‘You’re comparing a blog to serious art? Like a fine piece of music or a classic painting or fine literature? Seriously? That’s not even fair.’

‘I just wanted to rant about my overealous devotion to ham radio operators. Isn’t that where this whole blogging thing began? As a way to express myself online? Who said anything about art?’

Exactly!

Want to know why no one cares about your blog?

Ummm, it’s about those ham radio operators. (cue crickets)

Want to be remembered?

Create awesome art.

Of course, there’s one little problem:

That Four Letter “F” Word That’s F^*#ing Up Your Art

Here it comes. The four letter word…(cue the scary music again)

Fear.

More specifically, the fear of rejection.

You either conquer this beast or it will paralyze you.

You think you’ve felt the sting of rejection?

Try this on for size.

Stephen King has sold over 350 million copies of his bone chilling horror stories. But he wasn’t exactly an overnight success.

He began submitting articles to magazines at a very young age to try to make money for his family. And he would post every rejection letter on the wall with a nail. He didn’t actually get published until he was 20.

He writes:

“By the time I was fourteen … the nail in my wall would no longer support the weight of the rejection slips impaled upon it. I replaced the nail with a spike and kept on writing.”

Then he wrote Carrie and the rest is history.

Walt Disney was rejected for funding the building of Disneyland more than 500 times! Imagine striking out that many times and still believing in the dream so fiercely that you step up to the plate one more time and knock it out of the park?

Jimi Hendrix toured the country playing gig after gig where no one got his act. They thought he was a freak.

Even after he was introduced to major industry executives who could have made his career right then and there, they still rejected him saying they didn’t like his music and his act was too far out.

Jimi Hendrix had to move all the way across the ocean to London before he finally found his audience.

Think you can hang out like that in total obscurity and keep on keeping on. Carry that weight?

Ah, I see some hands going up out there in the audience. You say you choose to be awesome? You can hang? Excellent. Jon salutes your choice.

Now you have to do the work.

The Rennaissance Will Not Be Televised

You’re smart. You’re savvy (Hey, you’re reading BBT right?). You’ve spent countless hours researching your niche. Learning from the masters in your field by reading their blogs and books. Maybe taking their online courses. Figuring out how you will carve out your own unique niche.

Gold star for doing your homework.

But guess what?

If you want to become someone who creates timeless art you’re going to have to actually get off your ass and start doing something.

Less Squawking, More Painting

At some point you have to conclude your research. Stop reading other people’s work and start considering your own voice. Your art.

That means you have to stop squawking like a parrot, regurgitating and retweeting someone else’s content over and over again under the guise that these are your original thoughts.

Because that other person? The originator of that content? She’s getting all the real recognition.

Authenticity: The Secret Sauce Of Timeless Art

There is no recipe for creating timeless art. Many elements have to come together. But you can say that most timeless art has certain things in common. One of the key elements is authenticity.

Think about those artists from that list above. Their work is instantly recognizable when you see it or hear it or read it. It’s totally authentic.

If you’re ever going to even have a shot at timelessness, you’re going to have to produce an authentic thought of your own.

But what exactly does that mean, authentic?

And where can I find it?

In my studio, there’s a framed poster on my desk that fuels my imagination and speaks directly to this question. It’s from acclaimed filmmaker, Jim Jarmusch.

“Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery – celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from – it’s where you take them to.”

Listen closely to Jimi Hendrix. You can hear the influences. Buddy Guy, Elmore James, Little Richard, and many more. But no one sounds like Jimi Hendrix. There is only one.

And…ACTION!

Now, you’re going to have to actually do this thing.

That means stare down that blank sheet of paper (OK, your computer screen), take a deep breath and start writing your own very crazy idea that doesn’t sound like any of those other guys.

It will probably suck at first. How will you make it better?

Read this post by Brian Clark.

Is there a message here? Yes, here it is:

YOU HAVE TO WRITE A SHITLOAD IF YOU EVER WANT TO GET GOOD AT IT! YOU HAVE TO DO THE WORK! AND THERE ARE NO SHORTCUTS TO GREATNESS!

Wave Your Freak Flag High

The weirder it starts to look (the more it resembles nothing else out there), the more your lizard brain screams that you have to shut this insane idea down now or you’re going to die from exposure to deadly predators.

That’s when you have to dig in deep and keep going, riddled with fear and panic that this idea could absolutely fail.

That’s right. This might not work out for you.

And guess what? It’s OK if it doesn’t. You’ll do it again. Only better the next time.

But only if you…

Ship Or Get Off The Pot.

If you ever want a shot at worldwide recognition you have to begin by putting your work out there where people can find it and interact with it.

And you’re not going to have anyone else to blame for this. You own it. Unbelievable as it may sound, your work could actually succeed too. It might just resonate with an audience.

There’s only one way to find out.

(Yes, that means you actually have to hit the Publish button.)

Do You Want To Change The World?

Think about those artists mentioned above for a minute.

They seem somehow different from you and me, don’t they? Their vision was a bit more grand. You don’t get the impression they spent much time waxing poetic about ham radio operators, do you?

Each of them changed the world in their own unique way.

So maybe the real question to ask here is how about you?

There are maybe a tiny handful of creators out there today who are even bold enough to attempt to elevate blogging to the standard of high art. Here is a short list. You’ll probably have your own favorites (feel free to list them in the comments).

Seth Godin: aka His Sethness

If blogging had a Mount Olympus then Seth Godin would likely play Zeus. Anyone whose name elicits a “Duh?” response for seemingly stating the obvious here, deserves their place on the throne. So let’s move on and talk about some of the demi-gods who are changing the new world.

Hugh MacLeod: The Gary Larson Of The Blogosphere

Hugh MacLeod started out creating brilliant cartoons with witty captions on the back of business cards. He now creates inspirational art for businesses and sells his works online as prints and T-shirts.

Back in 2004, he offered a free download called How To Be Creative, a conglomeration of posts from his blog, Gaping Void. That post ultimately became a bestselling book, Ignore Everybody. It got downloaded hundreds of thousands of times, which showed us a couple of key insights.

1. There were a whole lot of people in the world very interested in how to assert their creativity.

2. Blogging as an artform had the power to influence a global audience.

Jon Morrow: or How To Blog Like Waldo

Jon Morrow is another one of those rare writers who approaches blogging like Emerson approached writing essays. In other words, everything he publishes is written as though it will be viewed through the lens of history.

His insanely popular post, On Dying, Mothers and Fighting For Your Ideas was a blogging tour de force. It’s an article you could have read in The New Yorker or Vanity Fair. It was that well written and pointed to the possibilities of blogging as an artform to be reckoned with.

Leo Babauta: The Yoda Of The Digital Universe

Leo Babauta at Zen Habits has over a million readers. Here’s why: He offers down to earth, straight ahead advice on how to live more simply in a complicated world.

Leo’s writing, like his website, is stark, clean and powerful art. It reminds you of Picasso’s line drawings.

Sonia Simone: The Grand Matriarch Of Online Marketing

Copyblogger’s Sonia Simone has an uncanny ability to see the entire online marketing playing field and spin it into clever stories that inspire and educate all the various tribes at the same time.

She taught us a valuable lesson in a post called Is Your Tribe Holding You Down? That two tribes (the Cool Kids and the IMers) can have totally opposing views on the same subject (online marketing). Yet each has valuable secrets the other could benefit from. It was a bit like West Side Story for online marketing.

From this post, she formed the Third Tribe, an awesome community that melds together the greatest ideas from each of those tribes.

Brian Clark: The Bill Gates Of Content Marketing

Copyblogger founder, Brian Clark disguises a highly successful software company as an insanely helpful blog to copywriters and content marketers. He also wrote a really important little post himself.

His very short and seriously awesome infographic, 10 Steps To Becoming A Better Writer should be required by law to be posted on the walls of every single person who ever chose to call themselves a writer.

In short, it’s the secret to becoming a great writer. If you haven’t read it, I don’t want to give away the secret. Click on the link. Then print it.

These are but a few people who are changing the new world today. Who have turned blogging into an artform. Maybe it’s too soon to call their work timeless. Blogging isn’t old enough yet. But we can always recognize awesome art.

And where there’s great art there is commerce.

You Can’t Touch This!

Did you ever wonder why the super rich buy priceless artwork? Why that hedge fund manager who always dreamed of playing music keeps that broken Jimi Hendrix guitar and other memorabilia in a sealed glass case?

It’s not the investment.

Oh sure, their net worth will increase. But the truth is that what they really want is to get a little closer to the dream they could never achieve. To touch the hand of the creator themselves.

Because the real power lies with the artist.

Always remember that.

The Difference Between Timeless And Anonymous

Want to know what really separates those iconic figures from you?

No, it isn’t some God given talent they were born with that you’ll never possess. It’s not the benefit of a privileged family connection that started them off with some advantage you’ll never have.

It’s having the tenacity and perseverance to wake up day after day, year after year sometimes (more often than most would care to admit), staring into the vacuum of uncertainty and rejection.

And then sitting down again to do the hard work of honing your craft to mastery because you believe in yourself and your art fiercely enough to keep pushing forward when there’s no one cheering you on.

The Myth Of Awesomeness

Even after you’ve finally committed yourself to get up there and swing for the fences with your art, the truth is you’re going to strike out a lot. You’ll certainly score some runs. The occasional double. And a lot of foul balls.

The truth is you may only achieve awesomeness once or twice in your whole life if you’re lucky. But if it’s the real genie, that’s all you’ll ever need to do.

That’s the grand slam.

J.K. Rowling could tell you a thing or two about being awesome only once. When she gave birth to Harry Potter.

That’s what we’re after here, right?

Choose Awesomeness. The World Needs You.

People don’t set out to become timeless artists. You have no say in that matter anyway. History alone will decide that.

But you can choose awesomeness.

You can choose to blow people’s minds. You can choose to show us the limitless possibility of our human potential, reflected in your awesome work.

And as strange as it may sound, your crazy idea may be the one story the world has been waiting a lifetime to hear.

And if it feels a bit lonely out there in obscurity right now, know that you’re in good company. Every great artist the world has ever known has stood there before you.

Go ahead. Hit that Publish button and stand proud.

The sun is shining and the wind feels right.

Seems like a great day to fly that red cape!

About the Author: Mark Hermann is a music producer, songwriter and blogger with the occasional whimsy to produce mosaic art. He teaches musicians & other creators how to unearth their inner rock star and deliver the soundtrack to their story. Read more of his stories about how to discover your own personal legend at Rock and Roll Zen. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

An Open Letter to All the Bloggers Cluttering the Web with Forgettable Content by

169 Comments

  1. Carmen Allan-Petale
    Apr 04, 2013 @ 05:10:37

    A great post! Very inspirational. I follow most of those writers you mention, but thanks for sharing with me a few more. :-)

    Reply

    • Mark Hermann
      Apr 04, 2013 @ 06:01:45

      You’re welcome, Carmen. You can never have too much awesome inspiration in your life.

      Reply

      • Yari Lendy
        Jun 13, 2013 @ 10:17:43

        This is an absolutely wonderful post, really. The roadblocks that you’ve mentioned are some of the most common excuses for most wanna be bloggers. I think almost every blogger, or wanna be entrepreneur for that matter, can relate to this post very easily.

        I guess the biggest fear stopping most newbies from leaving the “dreaming zone” is uncertainty. They’re just not sure what will actually work for them.

        Thank you for this inspiring post

  2. John Yeoman
    Apr 04, 2013 @ 05:12:24

    Great ideas, Mark. Stripped down to its naked truth: stop writing about you, start writing about your reader. They’ll love you for it, because you’ll be them. And who doesn’t love to, uh, love themselves?

    Reply

    • Mark Hermann
      Apr 04, 2013 @ 06:04:52

      So right, John. But it’s not only about writing about your reader. It’s becoming a beacon of inspiration to them. Like the truly great artists of the world who can show them what they are capable of (so they can love themselves even more ;-)

      Reply

  3. Heather Thorkelson
    Apr 04, 2013 @ 05:30:32

    Excellent piece of “art” there, Mark! This post is jam packed full of real talk and I feel like it’s something we should all come back and read again and again. I know not everyone accepts the fact that we have to practice the sh*t out of writing to get good at it, and not everyone gets that content creation IS art. But your point, “…where there’s great art there is commerce” is a really important one and I think this reinforces the need for all entrepreneurs to exercise patience and dogged tenacity just as much as they flex their marketing and social media muscles.

    Reply

    • Mark Hermann
      Apr 04, 2013 @ 06:10:55

      Thanks Heather. That’s the reason I wrote this. There’s a ton of information and blogs out there about how to promote your content, how to monetize it, how to spread the message.

      But most people forget you have to create something great that’s worth spreading. Everyone mentioned in this article did just that AND just so happened to make a lot of $$ too. But you know that wasn’t their initial motivation. Great insight. Thank you.

      Reply

  4. Shane Arthur
    Apr 04, 2013 @ 06:01:22

    I thoroughly enjoyed the soundtrack of this story.

    Reply

    • Mark Hermann
      Apr 04, 2013 @ 06:06:00

      Thanks, Shane. Always happy when people can groove to the soundtrack :-)

      Reply

  5. Danno
    Apr 04, 2013 @ 06:08:02

    It’s a happy day when a “boring article on writing” mentions Elmore James!

    Reply

    • Mark Hermann
      Apr 04, 2013 @ 06:13:05

      Amen Danno. It’s a law of physics (and music) that you can’t be boring and make mention of Elmore James in the same piece.

      Reply

  6. Rachelle Strauss
    Apr 04, 2013 @ 06:17:23

    **stands and applauds** Oh man, I feel all fired up and ready to hit the keyboard again!

    I ran a successful blog a few years ago about waste and recycling of all things. I blogged every day, EVERY DAY for two or three years and created a large following.

    I’m not exactly A-list material, but people stop me in the street and tell me that when they are about to throw something away they can see MY FACE looking at them – a little like the devil that appears on your shoulder when you’re about to tuck into that fourth cream cake. They see my face and it asks “What would Rae do?” and they scuttle off to the recycling bin instead.

    The greatest thing I learned through blogging was to be authentic. I don’t preach about waste and recycling and tell people what to do; I share my journey warts and all (aka http://myzerowaste.com/2008/06/its-been-a-funny-kind-of-day/).

    I share about the bag of slimy stuff that is crawling out of my fridge and the piece of plastic crap I bought that will end up in landfill next week. And you know why people love it? Because they can RELATE to it…

    My niche might be a weird one, but dealing with rubbish and waste is something we all have to contend with.

    By blogging you have the honour of walking part of your journey with others and it makes for a much more interesting ride doesn’t it?

    So I don’t take offense at being told I’m not trying hard enough; it’s given me the kick up the derrière I need to get my new blog rocking some follower love…

    Reply

    • Mark Hermann
      Apr 04, 2013 @ 06:36:44

      Hey Rachelle, Weird is the new cool. And isn’t it great to know that there are a whole lot of “weirdos” out there who think just like you? They were just looking for a leader. You filled that role. That’s what we all need to do.

      Jimi Hendrix was a little weird. Stephen King too.

      Celebrate your weirdness. It’s quickly becoming the new mainstream.

      Reply

  7. David Schlebusch
    Apr 04, 2013 @ 06:18:11

    Truly enjoyed reading this. Real eye opener,a great help and inspirational post. Will make that nail on the wall longer – for sure!

    Reply

    • Mark Hermann
      Apr 04, 2013 @ 06:38:34

      Do that, David. The next time you pick up the hammer to bang it back into the wall, the wall might just come down. And behind it might be a beautiful future!

      Reply

  8. Sherice Jacob
    Apr 04, 2013 @ 06:50:01

    I have nothing to add except a virtual standing ovation. Well done! *roaring applause*

    Reply

    • Mark Hermann
      Apr 04, 2013 @ 07:01:55

      Sherice,

      Thank you and goodnight!

      Elvis has left the building :-)

      Reply

  9. Natalija
    Apr 04, 2013 @ 07:15:25

    Thank you for a great post. It’s one that should be read by everyone and then read again at least once a week until we get the message. And a huge thanks to technology that makes it possible to discover the many great talents the world has to offer.

    The reason this post resonates so much is that it is one of those “smack you in the face with reality” talks I often get from my German husband. I must admit I prefer that harsh reality, albeit difficult to digest at first, to the placating, conflict avoiding, American mentality. Just yesterday morning we were discussing blogs and how you can view them as art or as information. I choose to view mine as art because Wikipedia already has that market covered. Why regurgitate facts when you can create your own art.

    Reply

    • Mark Hermann
      Apr 04, 2013 @ 07:26:57

      Amen Natalija, Sometimes the harsh truth is what snaps us out of breathing in that stale, middle of the road kumbaya hot air that so clogs the blogosphere and pushes us out into the fresh air where we can see clearly again what’s possible and how far you need to go to get there. Thanks for that fresh insight.

      Reply

  10. gail
    Apr 04, 2013 @ 07:36:27

    Yes! It is for ART’s sake! It’s not just about the doing of putting in the hours, coming in over par, then squawking and giving up far too soon. Thank you for this shout out to be tenacious, to approach each attempt artfully and for your inspirational post!

    Reply

    • Mark Hermann
      Apr 04, 2013 @ 08:18:52

      You’re welcome, Gail. At the end of the day do you really want to be remembered for your awesome competence?

      Reply

  11. John Morlan
    Apr 04, 2013 @ 07:47:45

    Thanks for the kick in the pants!

    Perfect timing and you have reminded me to

    “Stop reading other people’s work and start considering your own voice. Your art.”

    I will free my voice and ship by sunset!

    Reply

    • Mark Hermann
      Apr 04, 2013 @ 08:22:01

      You’re welcome, John. Can you just picture Stephen King sitting there in front of his Hootsuite dashboard waiting to ReTweet a really good post?

      I prefer Emerson’s great quote: “Do your work and I will know you.” Amen!

      Reply

  12. Debbie
    Apr 04, 2013 @ 07:50:56

    I really like this and you are right. I have a habit of reading to many post and not just writing, writing and more writing.

    Thanks for the pep talk.
    Debbie

    Reply

  13. Leanne Regalla
    Apr 04, 2013 @ 08:40:43

    Great post, Mark! Home run. Congrats!

    As a musician, songwriter, and blogger myself, I can so relate to this. It just seems an automatic habit to approach blogging as an art and a craft that needs to be practiced and honed (to me).

    Seems I’ve visited your blog before, I’ll be back to check it out again for sure. ;)

    Reply

    • Mark Hermann
      Apr 04, 2013 @ 09:06:31

      Hey Leanne, You know from songwriting that an OK or even very good song isn’t going to get you to the top of iTunes or a big loyal following. You have to put your all into it, every time. Glad you could relate.

      Reply

  14. Brian Clark
    Apr 04, 2013 @ 08:42:29

    Bill Gates? I prefer Steve Jobs, but at least Bill is still alive. Thanks Mark, excellent article. ;-)

    Reply

    • Mark Hermann
      Apr 04, 2013 @ 09:02:47

      I was in a real quandary about that, Brian. I would have gone with Steve too but I chose currently alive and awesome over dead and immortal. Hope you understand. And you win on the philanthropy association too. ;-)

      Reply

  15. Angela Goodeve
    Apr 04, 2013 @ 08:46:24

    Just what I needed today to spark some inspiration! I have been told that my best posts are those that spoke directly from my heart and own experiences…just goes to show that when you are being the authentic you, people respond!

    Thanks!

    Ang :)

    Reply

    • Mark Hermann
      Apr 04, 2013 @ 09:04:08

      Heart and authenticity always wins the day, Angela :-)

      Reply

  16. Mary Diamond
    Apr 04, 2013 @ 08:49:31

    Wow. Blogs like this are so great for motivating me when I’ve rationalized by way through WEEKS of not writing. Thanks for this kick in the pants, I can’t wait to get back to my writing space and start pumping out the word counts…

    It’s in me, I just know it. I’ve gotta tap into that awesome by tapping out a few (hundred) more blogs!

    Reply

    • Mark Hermann
      Apr 04, 2013 @ 09:09:54

      Hey Mary, if you ever find yourself lagging again in your writing enthusiasm, see Brian’s awesome infographic again. (Really, print it out and stick it in front of your writing space). It’s all the reminder you’ll ever need.

      Reply

      • Mary Diamond
        Apr 04, 2013 @ 09:14:55

        I have it open in one of my bajillion tabs RIGHT NOW for that very reason! Good stuff, all around.

        Somehow paper still trumps the internet when you have so many tabs and so little time. I can’t accidentally close a poster!

  17. Sheri Conaway
    Apr 04, 2013 @ 08:56:04

    After reading posts about how important it is to keep a blog short (650 words or less), I was starting to get a bit defensive about my 1000-2000 word novelettes, justifying them by stating (rightfully so) that my purpose in writing the blog was just that. To commit to writing every single day at about the same time so that I formed a habit of writing. Thank you for your wonderful post supporting my view of blogdom (not to sell a product or a service, but to write and maybe, on occasion, come up with something that resonates with others and makes them stop and go “hmmmm”.

    Reply

  18. Bree
    Apr 04, 2013 @ 09:12:44

    I’d have to disagree with your “it’s not a God-given talent” thing, but only to a degree. :)

    Lots of people are given incredible gifts and talents, so it’s dangerous to tell them these don’t matter.

    However, it’s VERY GOOD to point out (as you did) that only when you are motivated and dedicated to USING those talents will they be even more useful to the world.

    They’ll matter the most at that point!

    Reply

    • Mark Hermann
      Apr 04, 2013 @ 09:23:40

      Hey Bree, yes, that’s a long conversation about where the talent actually comes from. But you got the important part: use it or lose it. And if you choose to use it, work it…hard!

      Reply

  19. Mark Hermann
    Apr 04, 2013 @ 09:20:26

    Hey Sheri, I’ve been known to ask people this question: Who’s a better writer? Seth Godin or James Michener? One tells a great story in 80 pages and the other in 1000.

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that longevity is the new brevity. (there, I said it)

    Reply

  20. Michael Shook
    Apr 04, 2013 @ 09:24:01

    Thank you Mark, this is just what I needed to read today. Inside I knew who I was and what I wanted to say, but sometimes those ideas just kind of got stuck and wouldn’t come out.

    It is OK to be who I am, and I really appreciate you writing this piece just for me :-)

    Reply

    • Mark Hermann
      Apr 04, 2013 @ 09:31:54

      You’re welcome, Michael. It’s more than OK to be who you are. It’s required if you want to make a difference.

      Reply

      • Michael Shook
        Apr 04, 2013 @ 12:58:12

        I like that “It’s Required To make A Difference”

        Thank you.

      • Michael Shook
        Apr 04, 2013 @ 12:59:19

        I would like it a lot better if I quoted it the way it was written: “It’s required if you want to make a difference.” ;-0

  21. Carol Tice | Make a Living Writing
    Apr 04, 2013 @ 09:24:27

    Great post!

    I remember when I first heard Jon say that if somebody doesn’t write saying you changed their life — and someone else write you that they’re so angry about what you wrote that they’re unsubscribing — you’re doing it wrong.

    Proud to say I’ve had both happen more than once now. ;-)

    Reply

    • Mark Hermann
      Apr 04, 2013 @ 09:30:39

      Thanks Carol. As an avid follower of your blog I have to believe you’ve probably gotten more of the former response, rather than the latter. :-)

      Reply

    • wendy mccance
      Apr 11, 2013 @ 03:49:03

      I completely agree with what Carol said. You know you are writing a compelling piece when it tugs at another person’s soul. Those long comments back and the personal story that accompanies it is pure gold. You have hit on the right topic and the right way to express it. I’d like to add that if you don’t comment back, you are missing out on a very important component. Connecting with your reader means so much to the person willing to expose themselves as well.

      Reply

  22. The Eight Letter “T” Word That Can Save Your A**. | Murph's Blog
    Apr 04, 2013 @ 09:27:03

    [...] titled, “An Open Letter to All the Bloggers Cluttering the Web with Forgettable Content.” (http://boostblogtraffic.com/forgettable-content/) It’s about boring blogs, of course. But its message to me was different, and even more [...]

    Reply

  23. Mark
    Apr 04, 2013 @ 09:30:56

    This is a beautiful piece of blogger art, Mark…

    Words unlock the artist in individuals. These words are certain to have an impact on aspiring bloggers across the blogosphere for many years to come…

    Awesomeness, sir!

    Reply

    • Mark Hermann
      Apr 04, 2013 @ 09:34:04

      I really appreciate that, Mark. (and great name BTW) :-)

      Reply

      • Mark
        Apr 04, 2013 @ 09:41:50

        Geesh, I didn’t think you would ever reply to my comment :p

        Just re-reading your article… getting it all up in my bones…

        Rock on, Mark!

  24. Dara
    Apr 04, 2013 @ 09:47:13

    Great article! I’ve definitely needed some motivation lately and have been putting off really diving into my blog for a few months. Thanks for giving me that pep talk that I needed!

    Reply

    • Mark Hermann
      Apr 04, 2013 @ 10:06:32

      You’re welcome, Dara. Everyone needs a good pep talk now and again. I know I do.

      Reply

  25. Hutch
    Apr 04, 2013 @ 09:48:53

    I want to say thanks for putting this together. I have read these same words before but, because of your style (or my preparedness) this really struck a chord with me. This changes the way I think about the craft, it’s art, not technology.

    Blessings

    Reply

    • Mark Hermann
      Apr 04, 2013 @ 10:10:20

      That’s a good point, Hutch.

      I tell people that in music there are only 12 notes. Some people say it’s all been done already with those 12 notes. Then someone comes along and puts them together in a new way and writes the next killer song. Same goes for words too.

      Reply

  26. Iain Robson
    Apr 04, 2013 @ 09:59:02

    I had to laugh to myself when I read the part when you said take action and stop doing research, and then you gave me more things to read.

    While I’m not bashing you, I just thought it was comical.

    Having said that, it was a great read. Many points that need to be considered.

    And of course take action.

    Reply

    • Mark Hermann
      Apr 04, 2013 @ 10:11:47

      Hey Iain,

      Levity I get. Brevity, not so much. Glad you got the good points.

      Reply

  27. Lorraine McNulty
    Apr 04, 2013 @ 10:18:21

    Thanks for the inspiration. Time to crank up some tunes and find some awesomeness!
    And time to get the thoughts rattling around my head out there :)
    Who knows I may just create some art of my own!

    Reply

    • Mark Hermann
      Apr 04, 2013 @ 10:38:32

      Lorraine, You’re welcome. Making art is good.

      Reply

  28. Willi Morris
    Apr 04, 2013 @ 10:20:08

    Woo! What a punch to the face. I scanned this, because it hurt so much, so I will have to go back over it very carefully later.

    “Authenticity” is a buzzword I’ve heard before, but you’ve described it such in a way that’s frank and eloquent (and unforgettable, hey!) at the same time.

    I still haven’t read enough of Seth Godin to consider him Zeus, but I agree with the others! :-)

    Reply

    • Mark Hermann
      Apr 04, 2013 @ 10:37:05

      Hi Willi, if you want to test my theory on Seth Godin, go to your computer now. Go to Google and type in the word, seth. Then behold. The first thing that comes up is the Wiki definition of the name, Seth. The second is Seth Godin’s blog.

      If the internet is the universe, what do you think?

      Reply

  29. Dolly Garland
    Apr 04, 2013 @ 10:53:13

    Every now and again, we need this reminder. When the to-do list gets bigger and bigger, and you are worrying about just writing the next post – it’s useful to remember that it’s not just the next post. It’s a piece of art. It’s a piece of writing. It’s a piece of dream.

    Most of all, what you are putting out there in the world, shows what you can do. So a crap piece of writing shows, well, crap!

    Thank you, Mark, for this powerful, passionate post.

    Reply

    • Mark Hermann
      Apr 04, 2013 @ 12:08:16

      I couldn’t have said it any better, Dolly. Yeah, there’s not much point getting out that next post if it’s not going to be memorable (see picture above for reference) ;-)

      Reply

  30. Patricia Proctor
    Apr 04, 2013 @ 11:18:02

    Beautiful article.
    Yesterday on my blog I wrote about being free to accept poverty if it means being free to do what you want.

    Then today the poverty bit seemed to take over the steering wheel and insisted on driving me back onto the “make a living like a normal person” freeway.

    Your post has helped me to take the next exit (again) and stay on course with following my dream and passion.

    Huge thanks

    Reply

    • Mark Hermann
      Apr 04, 2013 @ 12:11:41

      Hi Patricia,

      You’re welcome. Glad you took that exit. I find poverty and freedom kind of impossible to co-exist in the same sentence. (Unless your life is simple enough to not need much of anything). That doesn’t work for me, living in NYC with a family.

      Reply

  31. Patricia Proctor
    Apr 04, 2013 @ 11:19:34

    ooops! mispelled my own website url. Naturally.

    Reply

  32. Alexandra Young
    Apr 04, 2013 @ 11:51:45

    “Because the real power lies with the artist.”

    Love that.

    Thank you.

    Mark, I think you pinpointed the issue that many of us are experiencing. I`d forgotten the countless rejections Stephen King spoke of in his book. Thank you for sharing about Hendrix and Disney`s challenges too.

    You’ve reminded me there is a key step before an audience accepting or rejecting you and your art – and that’s you have to do it!

    Again, thanks.

    Reply

    • Mark Hermann
      Apr 04, 2013 @ 12:15:34

      You’re welcome, Alexandra. Learning about their rejections and challenges were a good reminder for me too. We only see the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow when we think of these amazing creators. We tend to forget about the vast desert they all had to cross.

      Reply

  33. Benjamin Hanlon
    Apr 04, 2013 @ 12:00:11

    This is one of the better posts I’ve read in a while. You’ve really nailed it with “Fear” holding a lot of us back.

    It’s hard to expose yourself on the web with your ideas and products, for fear of judgment and failure are naturally ingrained in us.

    This is especially true when feedback on our work or ideas is nonexistent. Sometimes without feedback our fear gets the best of us and really holds us back.

    Great article, I’ll be coming back to this for motivation in the future.

    -Ben

    Reply

  34. Amber-Lee Dibble
    Apr 04, 2013 @ 12:12:32

    WOW.
    That is all… just WOW.
    Oh! and Thank you.

    Reply

  35. Mark Hermann
    Apr 04, 2013 @ 12:21:44

    Indeed, Ben. Fear is the beast we all must encounter (and slay) as creators.

    Regarding that lack of feedback and continuing forward in the darkness. I don’t know if you ever read this amazing article on Study Hacks about Steve Martin. It’s called “The Steve Martin Method: A Master Comedian’s Advice for Becoming Famous.” A must read! Just in case you need a bit more inspiration to keep going.

    Reply

    • Benjamin Hanlon
      Apr 04, 2013 @ 16:40:50

      Thanks Mark,

      No I haven’t read it, I’ll definitely check that out.

      -Ben

      Reply

  36. Jennifer Cunningham
    Apr 04, 2013 @ 13:00:39

    I will start writing even more thought provoking content today. When you are out of synch with the trend those post don’t get read as much. Let’s see what we get.

    Reply

    • Mark Hermann
      Apr 04, 2013 @ 15:12:37

      Hey Jennifer,

      I think there’s a quote by Emerson that speaks to this. “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

      Sound advice indeed.

      Reply

  37. Andrea Gerak
    Apr 04, 2013 @ 13:07:09

    Great piece indeed! Applicable to any art form.

    Reply

    • Mark Hermann
      Apr 04, 2013 @ 15:13:39

      Agreed, Andrea.

      Reply

  38. Robert van Tongeren
    Apr 04, 2013 @ 13:12:30

    Awesome Post Mark! You’ve hit many great notes here. Great job.

    Also a nice remember that I should — no, MUST keep writing the way I want to write.

    Reply

    • Mark Hermann
      Apr 04, 2013 @ 15:14:42

      Thanks Robert.

      Yes, MUST is the key word. Do it, man.

      Reply

  39. Demian Farnworth
    Apr 04, 2013 @ 13:27:22

    Being forgotten scares the daylights out of me.

    Reply

    • Mark Hermann
      Apr 04, 2013 @ 15:16:42

      Me too, Demian.

      I seem to write about this idea of being forgotten (or rather remembered) alot so maybe it’s a deep seated fear.

      Reply

  40. Marketing Day: April 4, 2013
    Apr 04, 2013 @ 14:03:28

    [...] An Open Letter to All the Bloggers Cluttering the Web with Forgettable Content, boostblogtraffic.com [...]

    Reply

  41. Am I writing Forgettable Content? » The Write Side of My Brain
    Apr 04, 2013 @ 16:50:52

    [...] via An Open Letter to All the Bloggers Cluttering the Web with Forgettable Content. [...]

    Reply

  42. Darlene at BlogBoldly
    Apr 04, 2013 @ 18:42:20

    Damn!

    You are good. And I do many GOOD!

    Excellent info.. while entertaining us with humor.

    I was cracking up.. not only with the subtitle of “Less Squawking, More Painting” .. but also the message.

    Yeah, I have to do a reality check when I find myself over researching. 99% of the time it’s fear keeping me busy so I don’t have to face the fear.

    ~ darlene :)

    Reply

    • Mark Hermann
      Apr 05, 2013 @ 06:45:58

      Hey Darlene,

      Glad you found the humor. It’s certainly in my DNA to make light of stuff that can come across as heavy sometimes.

      As for the fear. Face it. put up your dukes and kick its ass!

      Just saying.

      Reply

  43. Warning: Here Comes Murphy!
    Apr 04, 2013 @ 20:12:06

    [...] then I got stuck in traffic, was punched in the gut by Mark Hermann via Jon Morrow’s blog and Mary Jaksch made me [...]

    Reply

  44. Pauline
    Apr 04, 2013 @ 21:17:32

    Wow. – amazing article!

    I remember taking a writing course my
    last semester of college – it was a grad
    requirement I’d managed to skip up to
    that point. At the end of the semester I had
    the sense that I had finally begun to learn how
    to write well.

    More and more lately, I find I want to learn more about
    the craft of writing. I write well by many people’s standards –
    but I want more!

    Curious – while academia isn’t the only place to gain skills as a writer,
    it is one route. Does anyone know if the academic world is expanding its
    offerings for nonfiction writers and bloggers?

    Reply

    • Mark Hermann
      Apr 05, 2013 @ 06:51:03

      Hi Pauline,

      I can’t speak to whether the academic world is expanding its offerings but the best advice I could give is see Brian Clark’s link from the article. Then follow the steps. When you’re finished, go back to step 1 and begin again :-)

      Beyond that, I can tell you I took Jon’s Guestblogging course, which is hands down the most awesome online course I’ve ever taken on how to become a better blogger and do something with that skill (I don’t receive anything for that endorsement. It’s just the truth).

      Hope that helps you.

      Reply

      • Pauline
        Apr 06, 2013 @ 23:16:51

        Thank you, Mark! Appreciate the pointers!

  45. Mascha van Dort
    Apr 05, 2013 @ 06:23:40

    Let’s rock on, fellow Jimi’s of the world, write on new Shakespeares!
    So happy I have had comments like you’ve mentioned. Feels like a ‘You’re on the right path diploma’. Yay!
    Thanks Mark, for your inspiration, It has flown all the way across the ocean to the Netherlands. Keep it coming.

    Reply

    • Mark Hermann
      Apr 05, 2013 @ 06:54:49

      Rock on yourself, Mascha!

      Always great to be reminded that inspiration can reach across the ocean. You got to love the internet!

      I’ll keep rocking. You do the same.

      Reply

  46. Ben Aitken (NTF)
    Apr 06, 2013 @ 02:38:37

    Brilliant post. We all need a kick up the ass from time to time. I was very much in need of a swift boot in the behind and your post has taken aim and booted! It is difficult and complacency can creep in. “I’ve made it, the work will take care of itself!” that sort of thinking creeps in unexpectedly, the reality is, however, you haven’t made it you are only a small step of the way to your true potential, to really make it your really have to keep swinging and looking for that home run (hitting a six is probably more like on my side of the pond!).

    Again, superb post and I have bookmarked so I can revisit and re-read when I next need a kick in the behind :D

    Cheers – Ben (NTF)

    Reply

    • Mark Hermann
      Apr 10, 2013 @ 15:25:36

      Hey Ben, you know all those How to do it like…(insert famous person here) posts? Those are all the folks who hit that homerun or a six, as it were. Whatever that homerun means to you, keep swinging for it! Glad to see the message reach across the pond.

      Cheers!

      Reply

  47. Ed Wait
    Apr 06, 2013 @ 04:19:47

    Inspirational post! It’s funny, the only Stephen King book that I’ve read is the one where he talks about the nail and spike, Stephen King, On Writing. Great book!

    I especially liked the section on Authenticity!

    Thanks for the nice post!

    Reply

    • Mark Hermann
      Apr 10, 2013 @ 15:27:37

      You’re welcome, Ed. I can’t claim the quote on authenticity but I don’t know of a better one to sum it up. Thought people should see that.

      Reply

  48. Blogs | Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing
    Apr 08, 2013 @ 05:40:30

    [...] On Blogs and Blogging From Write with Warnimont: Why and How You Should Give Out an eBook (and more stuff) On Your Blog From Boost Blog Traffic: An Open Letter to All Bloggers Cluttering the Web With Forgettable Content [...]

    Reply

  49. Jared Latigo
    Apr 08, 2013 @ 06:57:52

    Awesome article with very timely and practical advice. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and actually having some research to back up your ideas. Very well put together, thanks for this!

    Reply

    • Mark Hermann
      Apr 10, 2013 @ 15:28:37

      Glad you saw the research aspect, Jared.

      Reply

  50. Roye Okupe
    Apr 09, 2013 @ 10:06:06

    I guess it’s time for me to try again… Thanks for this post, I was close to giving up!

    Reply

    • Mark Hermann
      Apr 10, 2013 @ 15:30:16

      Roye,

      On giving up, see famous Winston Churchill quote.

      Bottom line: Don’t. Ever.

      Reply

  51. Andy Winchester
    Apr 09, 2013 @ 21:04:56

    That is right Mark, When you write a post that you want it to be unforgettable, you must write to your readers not yourself.
    You are an inspirational writer, I like your site

    Reply

    • Mark Hermann
      Apr 10, 2013 @ 15:30:58

      Thanks Andy. Much appreciated :-)

      Reply

  52. terri
    Apr 10, 2013 @ 09:44:43

    Great post! A bit long but EXCELLENT thoughts.

    Reply

    • Mark Hermann
      Apr 10, 2013 @ 15:39:34

      Thanks Terri. Glad you liked it. Brevity was never my strong suit.

      Reply

  53. Vivi
    Apr 10, 2013 @ 09:49:18

    Inspiring post! Thanks for a fine piece. I’ve saved it on my desktop for quick motivation.

    Reply

    • Mark Hermann
      Apr 10, 2013 @ 15:41:17

      Always psyched to motivate, Vivi!

      Reply

  54. Fernando
    Apr 10, 2013 @ 09:56:58

    I wanted to say that you are completely agree about posting daily is almost insane, but it would be unfair without reading all your bestial post. So instead that, I rather complete my reading, learn a lot about it and come back again to re-comment.
    Thank you for let me brainstorm with your written ideas.

    Reply

    • Mark Hermann
      Apr 10, 2013 @ 16:04:00

      You’re welcome, Fernando.

      Reply

  55. John March
    Apr 10, 2013 @ 10:13:57

    Thank you, Jon for an excellent article, great advice and the kick in the ass I needed, right about now.

    Reply

    • Mark Hermann
      Apr 10, 2013 @ 16:05:05

      We all that kick now and again, John.

      Reply

  56. Aly Mashrah
    Apr 10, 2013 @ 10:26:58

    I love this! I spend far too much time online just reading blog posts and articles, and never actually sitting down and writing any, until the last minute. I just launched a new blog this month and am really working on *not* posting everyday and just focusing on the content I produce as well as promoting. Thanks for sharing all these great tips with us!

    Reply

    • Mark Hermann
      Apr 10, 2013 @ 16:07:32

      You’re welcome, Aly. Far better to spend some real time writing a really worth while post than something you spit out because you think you need to post often. You’ll get a lot more mileage out of the former.

      Reply

  57. Robert
    Apr 10, 2013 @ 10:36:06

    As a novice blogger, I find this information very helpful. Can’t wait to read the informaton that was sent to my inbox. Not only do I plan to blog, I plan to write music and eventually write a book. Thanks for this helpful info. http://leadershiptranformation.blogspot.com

    Reply

    • Mark Hermann
      Apr 10, 2013 @ 17:18:46

      I like your plan, Robert.

      Reply

  58. Jonathan Gunson
    Apr 10, 2013 @ 14:25:15

    Mark

    Your point is a powerful echo of Allen Ginsberg: “To gain your own voice, you have to forget about having it heard.”

    You also say ART is required. Well, I read every single word of this post, twice. A work of art.

    ~Jonathan

    ~Jonathan

    Reply

    • Mark Hermann
      Apr 10, 2013 @ 17:21:59

      Thanks, Jonathan. Ginsberg is a reference I’ll happily take as a compliment. He definitely found his own voice.

      Reply

  59. TheHolyHandGrenade
    Apr 10, 2013 @ 16:01:34

    It’s amazing how many people buy into these vague, feel-good fluff pieces. You lost me at “Godin”, buddy. Talk about a guy who has taken the same basic (common sense) concepts and made an empire out of it by re-writing the same 3 books 5 different ways.

    I have no doubt the author means well and has your best interests at heart, writers. But let me cut through the bullshit for you, since many of you seem to be in the 20-to-30-something demographic most susceptible to “the internet of everything awesome is you — you just have to believe, use some catchy e-slogans, and work hard… you’ll be pooping $100 bills this time next year!” syndrome. The internet has changed some things but not others.

    This entire post can be distilled down to about 3 sentences, but leaves an important idea out — reality. Here’s reality: Mark is absolutely correct about putting in the work, not being afraid to fail or take criticism, and finding a unique voice (and that a lot of stuff is frankly ripped off from other people but in creative ways). Without that stuff, you’re hosed. But are any of you REALLY going to tell me you haven’t heard that 50 different ways from 50 different people in the last few years? How many different ways do we have to be told to be “authentic”, “unafraid” and diligent? I grant you it makes for great SEO scores and social shares, but Jesus.

    Here’s what he doesn’t tell you: you can spend the next two years honing your awesome skills and improving your writing idea and you can eventually put your masterwork(s) out there for all to see and generate “the big lead” that could land you in the “bigtime”… BUT if you’re not good at positioning content onto your chosen topic’s Page 1 (Google), NO ONE of any sinigicance (and I mean NO ONE) will find it. You will be be the great orator giving the greatest speech the world has ever known… to an audience of 19 random strangers every week. And how do you avoid that? SEO tricks? Nope (I hate SEO — just more marketing gimmicks for the most part). The bestest content ever written on your topic? Nope. Google doesn’t care how awesome your content is; that’s a myth.

    Inbound Links from multiple, IMPORTANT sites / people. That is the ONLY way you’re getting on that page 1 and getting your work in front of the right people, assuming you want to do it before you join AARP.

    Don’t ever let anyone tell you that “who you know” (which caries a fair amount of luck with it), is not the single most important element of your would-be success, because it is. If you think JK Rowling didn’t know the right people when she conjured Harry Potter and therefore had the chance to put it directly in front of them, you’re out of your fucking mind. So did Godin, so do most people who end up creating iconic works in their field. Very rarely to those works find their way “organically” to the right people (man I hate that word –are we growing lettuce?– but I must connect with you digital spermoids).

    There aren’t many completely self-made genius artists out there. Most of the ones you know, got a great big boost from “the right person at the right time” and the rest they did themselves (i.e. the originality/authenticity, the work part). If you don’t have “the booster” in your circle of friends, think twice before spending every non-day-job-hour of your life in pursuit of “the tome”, because you’re going to crash awfully hard one day when you realize great prose wasn’t enough. That great prose is less important than showing up in the top 10 results on Google… for a popular topic.

    Reply

    • Mark Hermann
      Apr 10, 2013 @ 17:39:44

      I think I could distill your comment down to this:

      If you believe that spending every one of your non day job hours trying to rank in Google’s top 10, as opposed to creating something great is a formula for success…”you’re hosed.”

      Meanwhile, Shakespeare, Dylan, Catcher In The Rye, Jimi Hendrix and maybe even poor Seth Godin too…we’ll probably still be talking about them long after you’ve moved on to more important things..

      Good luck!

      Reply

      • TheHolyHandGrenade
        Apr 10, 2013 @ 17:56:01

        Not surprisingly you missed my entire point. ADD? Me too. It’s rough.

        I am NOT suggesting people spend their life learning the secrets to Google (far from it). I am suggesting great content is only PART of the equation, and that people will need HELP from other important people, linking to their site, in order for Google to consider it relevant enough to be found by the rest of the planet.

        I assume the point of everyone’s work ultimately is to be found easily and enjoyed by many thousands or millions of people. If not then my comment is not for them. ;)

  60. TheHolyHandGrenade
    Apr 10, 2013 @ 16:02:33

    Gah! Crap. Sorry guys, I forgot the . Mark / web master: feel free to throw it in there after “buddy”.

    Reply

  61. wendy mccance
    Apr 11, 2013 @ 03:42:33

    This article was really good. It truly hit all the points on what it takes to be a successful blogger. I do think that blogging is something you have or don’t just like any other form of creative expression. If you have the talent for writing and are obssessed with it, I think you naturally are more willing to expose your soul and let it all hang out. It’s that sense of being so in touch with your deepest thoughts that creates the posts that really grab the reader.

    Reply

    • Mark Hermann
      Apr 11, 2013 @ 16:24:46

      Agreed, Wendy. You certainly have to begin with an affinity for writing to become a successful blogger. Then, yes you need to want to expose your deepest self to create really compelling stories that your readers can relate to.

      But once you have decided to do that, the question becomes are people just born naturally great writers (and therefore potentially great bloggers) or are great writers made? the bi-product of the blood, sweat, tears, pereseverence, etc etc described above.

      I think you know from this piece where I stand on that subject.

      Thanks for your insights.

      Reply

  62. Marketing Coach: Eliminate forgettable content in your blog | Carol Naff, Marketing Coach,
    Apr 11, 2013 @ 13:16:26

    [...] Mark Hermann in Content marketing, Motivation, Standing out wrote sage advice on how to become memorable. In his blog, boostblogtraffic.com, he gives several (as a matter of fact, many) useful tips on becoming memorable. Become original and authentic. Create your own voice and art. Read the full article on Content marketing, Motivation, Standing out [...]

    Reply

  63. Amy Patton
    Apr 12, 2013 @ 15:29:46

    Thanks so much. Needed the encouragement today…was feeling like my red cape had a defect. Here’s to awesomeness! Amy

    Reply

    • Mark Hermann
      Apr 15, 2013 @ 07:21:00

      It’s not a defect, Amy. You just have to keep working at creating something awesome until it produces the wind that will bring that cape to life :-)

      Reply

  64. Tom Southern
    Apr 14, 2013 @ 12:21:25

    Mark, my man! You’ve brought my inner superhero out to do battle with my Fear. Epic writing. Blew me away. Mark Hermann: or the Jimi Hendrix of passionate writing.

    Cheers!

    Reply

    • Mark Hermann
      Apr 15, 2013 @ 07:27:19

      Thanks, Tom. If that’s how you see my work then mission accomplished. That was basically my bullseye. I may have to quote you :-)

      Reply

      • Tom Southern
        Apr 15, 2013 @ 07:44:35

        Cheers! Quote away!

  65. chandan pegu
    Apr 19, 2013 @ 04:53:54

    nice post, i really liked that jimi hendrix part of your post. i have been blogging for awhile and if you have time,please fill free to visit my visit my blog. here’s a link to one of my post http://www.freewillpost.com/2013/04/how-school-destroyed-my-creativity.html

    Reply

  66. Betanuggets: More Squirrel Coffee Please ‹ Betarocket
    Apr 19, 2013 @ 10:09:29

    [...] Finally, a great post on why you should get weird, get writing, and stop producing ordinary blog content (An Open Letter to All the Bloggers Cluttering the Web with Forgettable Blog Content) [...]

    Reply

  67. Lorne Marr
    Apr 22, 2013 @ 05:28:59

    Mark,

    I’m afraid you’re an overly optimistic person :-) I agree that positive thinking, motivation, and iron will are of utmost importance in our lives and could be even regarded as the driving force behind all of our efforts, but sometimes it’s good to take a break for a moment and be honest to oneself. Everyone has to find out what they’re good at, and thus only some of us can offer great breathtaking blog content. Identifying one’s skills and his capacity to improve seems to me more sensible than dreaming about great things and ending up disappointed.

    PS:All of those famous people you mentioned were/are exceptionally skilled and talented, and that’s very important to realize.

    Reply

    • Mark Hermann
      Apr 23, 2013 @ 06:35:46

      Hi Lorne,

      I agree with you that some people are just born and destined to become that special someone via some talent they appear to have been “given”. (i.e. the 5 year old child prodigy pianist playing Carnegie Hall, etc.)

      But I beg to differ.

      What about people like comedian, Steve Martin? He spent basically a decade playing to empty rooms with like 4 people in them (a decade!) Before finally gaining traction and then getting his “big break.”

      So which is it? He always had that special talent and persevered until he got his break? Or did he take a talent that needed to be developed and refined it to mastery until his work became undeniable?

      I’d like to suggest that more of that awesomeness that I spoke about is developed and not inherited. Were those people exceptionally skilled or did they have exceptional dedication and belief in their dreams?

      Reply

      • Lorne Marr
        Apr 30, 2013 @ 02:10:50

        Hi Mark,

        Steve Martin? And what about dozens of painters, philosophers, writers, and musicians who despite their talent struggled all their lives to get some attention, or (some of them) even to earn some money to be able to buy something to eat? Van Gogh, Cezanne, Monet, or great writers like Thoreau, Dickinson, and Kafka to name just a few. And what about Bach?

        You as a musician surely know how tough it is to break through, especially today, when the majority of people consume what they’re offered by mass media and they’re content with it. Being different has always been more burdensome than useful. And you as a musician surely know that nobody without talent will ever be able to equal Jimi Hendrix, B.B.King, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, etc. You can practice hours and hours, but you’ll never acquire the ability to give your music a soul and make it flow, if you’re missing talent. And I’m not talking about skills here.

        @Were those people exceptionally skilled or did they have exceptional dedication and belief in their dreams?@ They had both skills and dedication. Dedication without skills is an incomplete formula and vice versa, of course.

        I appreciate your effort to encourage many people who’d like to become great bloggers, but as I’ve said before, taking a look in the mirror to identify one’s skills and his capacity to improve seems to me more sensible than spending most of the time dreaming.

  68. Barbara Carson
    Apr 22, 2013 @ 10:18:53

    Thanks, Mark! I sent this to my group on Linked In (LinkEds & Writers). Great brain-waking material, focused on the basics I learned at AWAI a few years ago. Keep writing, I’ll be looking for you (sorry, that sounds stalkerish, must go work on my writing…)
    B

    Reply

  69. Missz Yana
    Apr 26, 2013 @ 18:02:59

    Hi.. Thanks :) visit http://one3gp.blogspot.com ♥♥♥

    Reply

  70. Business Tips Booster Pack (5 Free Resources) - Corey J. Pemberton
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  71. Link Feast For Writers, vol. 46 | Reetta Raitanen's Blog
    Apr 28, 2013 @ 04:53:23

    [...] An Open Letter to All the Bloggers Cluttering the Web with Forgettable Content by Mark Hermann [...]

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  72. Victoria Lang
    May 02, 2013 @ 09:39:33

    I stumbled upon your article. Yep it was good for me. If I may, I want to know the website of theolyhandgrenade!

    Reply

  73. Amandah
    May 03, 2013 @ 10:56:30

    Nice post!

    I agree that you need to write for your reader. Hopefully, you know who your readers are. You can’t make assumptions that ALL of your readers are this or that. You may be surprised by the people who read your blog. They may not fit your ‘ideal’ reader. But they get something out of your blog.

    Reply

  74. Ash Roy
    May 08, 2013 @ 05:49:19

    Wow … that pretty much blew my mind!!! Now I’m too intimidated to even start!!! :-(

    …. But I know I must prevail … over my fears … and pursue the awesomeness … that may lead to timelessness …. :-) Awesomeness …. here I come!

    Reply

  75. catywang
    May 11, 2013 @ 07:31:22

    yes, i am in the boat that u descried , and i think i am not do a good job . thanks for your post , i will make some change and keep going

    Reply

  76. Michael
    May 21, 2013 @ 21:42:52

    For me to tell you that I’m now, “inspired” would be an understatement. And yes, that four letter word, F-E-A-R has definitely been holding me back. But seeing how many of famous people (Stephen King, Jimi Hendrix) were rejected numerous times before their, “big break,” makes me feel a little better. I definitely, “see the light,” but it’s dim right now. I need to get my ass in gear, and keep running towards that light until it’s shining brightly in front of me. Thank you for your words of wisdom, Mark!

    Reply

  77. Hannes Uys
    May 26, 2013 @ 05:29:06

    One of the best posts I’ve read – period!

    Reply

  78. Monday Motivation:Choose to be AWESOME
    May 27, 2013 @ 04:01:48

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  79. Tami Von Zalez
    Jun 01, 2013 @ 10:14:07

    Read your article from a link on Moms Make Money.

    I hope to be freakishly awesome!

    thriftshopcommando.blogspot.com

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  80. Faisal
    Jun 02, 2013 @ 03:32:25

    Mark,

    You writing is blowing right into my nose. I’m a wannabe blogger who try to write. What are you saying is truth. That is what happen to me.

    Thanks Mark for a excellent article. Fell free to visit my blog and I’m ready to hear your critics my friends.

    Thank you

    Reply

  81. Krista Low
    Jun 03, 2013 @ 08:22:34

    What a fabulous article! I love the whole premise of harnessing your inner awesomeness! I love the quote you included by Jean-Luc Godard “It’s not where you take things from – it’s where you take them to.” Those words have power. Reading this was really good for me. What am I willing to do to be better? What steps and rejection am I willing to take to get the results I want? This is fabulous! I am bookmarking it right now. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts! Krista @ A Handful of Everything

    Reply

    • Mark Hermann
      Jun 03, 2013 @ 11:02:20

      Thanks Krista,

      Funny how art imitates life. Not but last week I ran into Jim Jarmusch, the film maker who made that quote at a Guitar Center in New York. The art here is that I was quoting him and he was the authentic source of that awesome quote. We will always refer to those who create awesome art.

      Yes, choose awesomeness!

      Reply

  82. חדשות ומבזקים
    Jun 08, 2013 @ 06:41:12

    Thanks for share !!

    Reply

  83. mike kirner
    Jun 16, 2013 @ 03:29:46

    137 comments and they all at least appear to be legit. Looks like you may well be on your way to online engagement immortality. I get comments here and there…but never like this. I need controversy back in my life. Regards

    Reply

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  92. Terry Divyak
    Jan 12, 2014 @ 12:38:23

    Wow, this is inspiring I just feel like I left a rally to gather the troops and go out an kick some serious butt and I’m outta breath. Your Headline ebook is awesome too by the way, this is going to completely revitalize some projects I am working on.

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  104. David
    Sep 21, 2014 @ 13:46:42

    Thanks for this awesome post. I have bookmarked it and this is the 3rd time I’m back. Love reading this every now and then to inspire me and help remind me what creating content online should be about. Keep them coming…

    Reply

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