How Modesty On The Internet Can Actually Build Your Following
It’s no secret that the Internet can get a little crowded. But if your strategy is to “scream the loudest,” you are headed in the wrong direction.
Enter Modesty – that old school personality trait that is often paired with words like “tasteful” and “restrained.” It may seem like being modest will result in failure. But by gaining the respect of your most influential readers, you promote your brand in the most positive light. When you cater to the super re-tweeters and personal brand enthusiasts, though your reputation will be more like theirs.
To prevent this, here are some tips on not being“that guy,” and not accidentally attracting “that guy.”
As You Brainstorm
Think about real problems in your own life that relate to your content.
When Julia Scott, a finance writer on Mint.com decided to write about What type of diapers are more cost-efficient, she was not just catering to what she thought her readers wanted. Sometimes, your real problem is more interesting to read than someone else’s assumed problem.
Read other blogs.
Not knowing what your competition is talking about means you don’t know what is original, or if something is already done.
For example, I know Copyblogger wrote about modesty in his post “How To Blog Like James Bond,” so I didn’t cover the same tips as he did.
Save posts you enjoy.
The right articles can be inspirational for your writing. They can even be used as building blocks for your actual post (see below).
While You are Writing
Refer to another good work.
When done correctly, it can be really effective – see The Content Strategist piece about the Sartorialist’s Content Strategy that is based on his interview with Business of Fashion.
But the key here is to build on top of them instead of copying them.
Use their ideas as a jumping off point; But don’t quote their piece too extensively, present their ideas as yours, or misrepresent what they wrote.
If you reference anyone’s idea, give them credit.
Whether it’s a link or a “via,” it’s nice to reward them in a bit of SEO juice.
Don’t write too much.
And don’t sound like you know everything, especially if you don’t.
Once You’ve Published
Don’t be Too Spammy with Social Media.
Of course, this is dependent on the medium – mentioning relevant sources with an @ is cool on Twitter, but a bit weirder on Facebook – but if you think it might be annoying, it probably is.
Have a Little Faith in your Community.
Don’t stress too much about direct measurements like retweets as you watch your analytics. Sometimes a blogpost becomes more effective in the long tail, where it becomes a resource rather than news.
- How To Brainstorm Incredible Blog Posts Like Copyblogger (contently.com)
- “How To Blog Like James Bond,” (Copyblogger.com)
- 8 Tips For Measuring Engagement Of Your Blog Readers (contently.com)