This is a guest contribution from Rebekah Lambert, copywriter and owner of Unashamedly Creative.
Blogging is super fun, right? You get to write your own stories, express opinions, share what you learn, explore ideas, encourage debate and create a wonderful world of content that attracts like minded people.
However with all this joy inside the happy little garden of the blogosphere, there are some really poisonous, destructive people waiting to chop you down and smear their negativity all over that joy.
I call them the 7 Blogging Angels of DOOM!
And while they still manage to get their toxic tendrils in my head on occasion, most of the time, their negativity doesn’t take root- or doesn’t have hold for long.
This is my guide to knowing thy enemy and counter why they do the things they do in the first place!
Wrong-athor: “That’s not how you do it!”
Wrongathor is a lemon lipped little critter, motivated by feeling intellectually superior. They really enjoy telling you you’ve got it wrong. From how you blog to the opinions you express, you can count on Wrongathor to come up with 47 different reasons why your opinion isn’t valid, your research is cock eyed and you’re just wrong, wrong, wrong!
True to their character, the Wrongathor will be unable to admit they are wrong, even when they are.
If you want to get a Wrongathor off your case invite them to express their opinion as a guest blog, with research and links to back up their idea.
They’ll either back off muttering about how unworthy of your precious time they are, or jump at the opportunity. Either way, it’ll usually dampen their catcalls and screeches- and may even turn them into a loyalist because you’ve given them an opportunity to speak (something Wrongathors simply LOVE to do).
SEO-ola: “Without SEO, you are NOTHING!”
To an SEO-ola, being on top of a search is everything!
SEO-ola sees Google as some kind of scoreboard and will usually come complete with all kinds of nightmare stories about the internet being a place where no-one can hear you scream without a proper ranking. They are technically savvy, and have a benchmark of ranking well to shove down your neck- and won’t hesitate to use every opportunity to make you feel like you are languishing in obscurity ‘coz the big Google scoreboard says so!
SEO-ola has hung their hat on being great at ranking on Google. Find the ones that get a kick out of helping others and open yourself up to learning from them. Offer to help them, promote them in your own way, and they may even swap the joy they get from ranking well with you for your skills.
Knowing SEO can’t hurt you, so friendship is the best approach here.
Uselessys: “Why bother? You’ll fail anyway”
Poor old Uselessys- everything in life is a big fat sigh away from being yet another sign of an utterly pointless existence. Everyone is out to get them, the whole world doesn’t care, trying something new is pointless because it’s all been done before? Happiness, fame or enjoying life is something that happens to other people.
Raining on your parade is their way of making sure that you, you poor naive, happy little scamp, don’t let your enthusiasm lead you to a devastating fate.
You can’t cure someone else’s misery. Most of the time, Uselessys has chosen a path and no amount of pouring in positive thoughts, self esteem or encouragement will change their mind. The best measure here is ignore them.
They won’t get your happiness, and it’s not up to you to justify it. Just make sure you don’t come to them to vent when things are tough, and keep on trucking.
Big Chief BullyPants: “It’s all about me, me, ME!”
Big Chief BullyPants can’t stand it when someone else tries to wrestle the spotlight from them.Whether they’ve imagined it or not makes absolutely no difference. To them, controlling the status quo, making sure they are in charge of everyone, and ensuring you don’t get a look in is all part of the game.
They are unable to respond to criticism, feedback or someone disagreeing with their opinion. As far as they are concerned, there is no right or wrong and no place where everyone fits. Unless of course where you want to fit is sitting at their feet looking upwards.
If you have dealings with them, tantrums will be common. Unfortunately, they will make it their business to lean over the top of you like a dark storm cloud.
If you get the sense that Big Chief BullyPants doesn’t play with others, you’re dead right. Silence is a brilliant technique because it gives them nothing to stand on.
If you have to deal with them on a regular basis, giving them something they can be in charge of that doesn’t involve other people is your best bet. Putting them in a leadership role involving people will usually encourage their stand over tactics, but giving them someone without a human can satiate their love of power and make them feel important.
If you have nothing to give them, adopt the toddler approach. Ignore them when they are out of control, don’t let them run the show, put them on time outs if necessary and reward good behaviour with plenty of praise.
Annie 1 Candothat: “Oh please, my cat could do better!”
Annie is a 5 minute expert. She only has to look at a concept sideways and she knows what’s what. Not known for seeking out too much depth, Annie is the sort of person who does a few things well and thinks by nature, the rest is in the bag!
The standard Annie counter is demonstrating what goes in to doing what you do. Have a conversation with them, show them your plans, send them a few links, recommend some helpful books and videos, and most of the time, Annie will be uttering “wow, I never knew how much went into it!” before you can bat an eyelid.
Vomitron: “You must write DAILY to succeed!”
Vomitron skipped the memo on relevance and went straight the paragraph about blogging often improving search rankings, and has been stuck there ever since. They don’t get that an informative post every week is far better than a nothing piece every day. To them, one line mini blogs of commonly known info is quite fine and are puzzled by people who throw a little more into things.
Go easy on old Vomitron, bad habits are hard to retrain. Demonstrating how social sharing helps rankings more and that this kind of peer validation only usually comes with content human beings (not search engines) like is key.
Asking questions about what they actually care about, sharing articles that show a tremendous following that have depth and layers, and gently pushing them into the new world with encouragement will have them calming down their pukedom and getting back to decent writing in no time.
Nitpacka: “But what about paragraph 4 section c…”
Nitpicka has already made up their mind about you and is looking for the one liner they can attach to in order to take you down. They’ll pick something completely trivial in a blog and make that 20 word their lynch pin for a thousand word campaign.
The Beastie Boy’s lyric “They can’t, they won’t, and they don’t stop” has had a lasting effect, that’s for sure.
Some Nitpicka’s do no research whatsoever and come entirely from the gut. You’ll spot this kind because their argument won’t reference things of any great note. Therefore they are usually defused with a quick injection of factual information. Or at least sent to the benches, looking a little sillier.
Others come prepared with facts for that one line, and forget the whole picture. It is this entire picture you need to focus on. You need to keep reminding them they’ve picked a drop from an ocean and are basing the entire contents of their argument on it.
All else fails, wear ear muffs
The doom bloggers do have their own valid points, but so do you. Being different, having a diverse approach and remaining true to your own goals and voice is what will make your blog work for you in the long term.
Yes, you will have to face off with tumbleweeds on your blog when you first start. No, not everyone will understand why you do it. And maybe some will seem to do it better. But isn’t that like anything in life?
The truth of the matter is, if the bloggers of doom had it right, they’d be famous. Or they’d have blogging so sewn up that none of us would want a look in. Or they wouldn’t be so worried about anybody else they’d feel the need to breathe down your neck because they’d be too busy blogging.
So don’t let the doomsters get you down. Blog on fellow word nerds and don’t look the bloggers of Doom get to you.
What other bloggers of doom have you come across? What do you to put a sock in their mouths?
Rebekah’s a word weaving ninja who combines 17 years marketing experience with creativity and in-depth knowledge of consumer behaviour to build copy and campaigns customers love. Well, at least that’s what her mum keeps telling her. You can catch up with her rambles at Unashamedly Creative or read some confessions here.