No matter how many gurus, coaches, fellow bloggers or real estate agents tell you that you must. The recent featured post by Jermey Blanton prompted this post (and one of only two dissenting comments), so for those of you who missed it – go read it. The gist, if I may, amounts to advice to just jump in and start outputting content, the more crap you write, the better you’ll get, and someone human or bot is bound to find you eventually. The only bad content is content that doesn’t get written, and so forth. Yes, I am over-simplifying, hence, read the original which is linked.
The thing is, every time I see a half-assed effort at communicating, whether it’s via a blog, an email or a status update or comment on AR, FB and a multitude of other places on the net – I cringe. I cringe both, as a consumer and a marketer. When stuff that is written is simply mediocre, once I am done cringing, I forget about it, but if something is so undeniably bad that I retain any bit of information associated with the post or comment, I file that name or brand as one to deliberately and actively stay away from. So ALL future posts and comments from that author will be ignored, actively. Should a question of a recommendation or a referral come up, my brain will analyze the file of who NOT to refer business to, which in this day and age of virtual relationships will largely be comprised of people I’ve never met, and the only thing they could have done to influence how I view them was by their writing.
There is far too much crap written daily, hourly, minutely. To think that by writing larger and larger quantities of crap you are going to get better at writing is pretty naïve. You would do better for yourself by reading great stuff and learning from it then by writing mediocre content. And should your goal be to only be found by Google, unless google’s bots at the end of the day will be purchasing your product or service, I can’t imagine that strategy being successful either.
I have been blogging for a few years. I’ve built a few virtual relationships with people I feel I know enough and trust enough to refer business to. My trust has nothing or little to do with their abilities and talents in their respective fields. Truth be told, I never asked for their resume. I go by what and how they say online. I go by how passionate and thoughtful they are in their responses, comments, status updates. The bland, the boring, the careless just doesn’t cut it for me, and I don’t think any of these can be overcome or compensated for by sheer quantity.
Should a consumer actually stumble upon something you wrote somewhere – will they actually connect with you, on any level, or will they simply move on? In my experience, if you write crap, they’ll move on, and justifiably so. You might be growing a number of Twitter followers and FB fans or AR subscribers based on the quantity of your output, but I’d much rather have a few hundred people in my social and blogging circles who honestly and truly give a shit about what I have to say than thousands who click the like or suggest button as just one of the things on their to do list for social engagements for the day... And above all, I'd much rather discover new people I like via thoughtful commentary on any subject than trolling the net for who outputs the most content on any given day. Last I checked, relationships were NOT a numbers game, althought it appears it's treated as such much too often. Do you build relationships by throwing crap against the wall and hoping it sticks?