I recall a collection of bloggers complaining about big media brands being “content mills”.
Forbes, Entrepreneur and Business Insider publish a seeming absurd amount of plain, basic content whose message has been repeated, millions of times, all around the cyber world.
Each site publishes content similar enough again and again that one could deem it semi-duplicate.
The iconic brands proceed to mass blast the plain, simple content to millions of human beings.
What is the result?
You, me, everybody and their brother knows Forbes, Entrepreneur and Business Insider.
Beware the Sleeping Mind
Critical bloggers skewer these sites as add low-quality noise to the web. But that is what the sleeping mind does; it condemns versus learning that the object of criticism reflects some nugget of success, some truth bomb, some freedom multiplier that the critic would rather not see.
For example, rather than agree with the critics about the content mill nature, short-form, plain, bland content blasted to a massive group of people I thought to myself:
“How can I seize some elements of their successful strategy and use them for Blogging From Paradise?”
I cannot replicate their success strategy now because I own no company nor tens of millions in marketing and promotion dollars within my blogging budget.
However, I can execute a modest promotional blast by:
- promoting 25-50 or more Blogging From Paradise posts daily to Twitter (Twitter permits 1000 daily updates)
- promoting 5-10 blog posts on my Facebook Page
- promoting 5-10 blog posts on my Facebook profile
- promoting 5-10 blog posts on my LinkedIn profile
- guest blogging
- commenting genuinely on blogs
If you cannot beat 'em, stop criticizing 'em and partially join 'em. Or study the success secrets revealed by objects of your criticism to appreciate elements of their strategy and to use some of their tactics at your current day level of scale.
I can't blast 100 plus posts to 50,000,000 people across a wide range of marketing channels now.
But I can guest blog for Don and his successful community, comment genuinely on blogs from my niche and network on Twitter as I promote my blog posts aggressively on a daily basis.
However, just because I appreciate the scale of big name brands does not mean I agree with publishing thin blog posts of generally rehashed information. I applaud their success but do not believe an individual blogger should publish thin, average-level, plain content to blast mercilessly.
Individual bloggers usually do best by:
- blogging in their authentic voice
- adding personal stories to posts to stand out from the crowd
- publishing long-form content spanning 1000 to 1500 words most of the time
Stay true to your values. Be clear on your direction. Simply because you seize and use a few keys for success from someone or some business you formerly criticized does not mean you will try out or use every key on their rung.
Appreciate Versus Criticizing
Everyone or every entity you criticize contains some seed for appreciating.
Train your mind to cultivate that seed through the practice of expressing gratitude.
I feel deeply grateful that these big name brands gave me the clarity to promote the living stuffing out of my blog posts across multiple channels online for a growing tribe. Each iconic company taught me to think big versus thinking small.
Thinking little proved to be one of my biggest blogging and business problems.
Thinking big helped me quite a bit.
Unless I appreciated the hustle of each iconic business brand I'd still be stuck complaining about them and struggling by not seeing the keys to success that each offered me.
I recall a relatively well known self-help coach and businessman who professed to despising Tony Robbins until he owned his jealousy of the Why Guy's stunning success. But that was only step #1 in the process. Owning jealously only admits why you appeared to hate the guy.
The next step is to discern what that guy does well. In Tony's case, his passionate energy and epic level of scale may be 2 success keys for the former hater to admire, study, learn and use for his business coaching success.
Turn your abject criticism into appreciation.
Train your mind to see the keys to success instead of what you dislike about an individual.
Critic Nudged Me Toward Success
I remember one of the first commentors on my blog.
She loved my first few eBooks and really enjoyed my first few blog posts.
But she changed her tone after reading my proceeding blog posts.
She complained about the post quality, clarity and overall delivery and abruptly stopped following my blog.
My tribe loved the posts; I loved writing the posts and felt clear on this content.
Initially, I criticized her criticism until appreciating her and the key to success she revealed to me: she did not fearing sharing her genuine thoughts in a public setting.
I followed her lead to create even more genuine blog posts and eBooks.
I should look her up online and thank her for putting me on a more successful path!
Tough not to get defensive when we're criticized, but like you said, it can be helpful to consider whether or not it is justified and see if we can learn anything from it. Someone is always going to have something negative to say if a post gets enough traction unfortunately, so pro bloggers also have to grow a thick skin, but still consider if there is a kernel of truth that could help improve things.
Building thick skin helps a bunch, as does seeing those little bits of truth that may be evident.