Blog Marketing Skill #1: Master the Ego
Blogs are all about ego. Anyone who disagrees is just kidding themselves. Of course, ego is a word that comes with all sorts of connotations. Many people assume it is bad. To a degree, marketing has always been about ego, because it is a necessary element of each of your personalities. However, here is the biggest flawed assumption about ego: having an ego is not the same thing as being egotistical. Ego, in itself, is not bad - it's natural. The reason I am reminded of this fact now is that Guy Kawasaki recently launched a site called Alltop.com that has been generating some great (and heated) conversation online. The site is essentially a simplified aggregation of blogs categorized in a several different categories including fashion, green, celebrities, and "ego" among many others.
The conversation basically breaks into three points of view:
- This is nothing new and is available through other tools like Netvibes or PopUrls
- This fosters the kind of A-lister vs. other bloggers rhetoric that Guy himself has railed against
- Offense at being included in the group provocatively titled "Egos"
Personally, I think the site offers one of the simplest UI models that you can have, whether is just took a day to build or is more complicated than that. I wish our Blogfeeds http://blogfeeds.ogilvypr.com (a similar concept to Alltop) were built on an interface like this. But obviously there are probably other solutions out there to accomplish this as well. Which really brings me to the title of this post ... blog marketing skill #1. Whether you are a blogger or do outreach to bloggers, you will rapidly have to learn that ego is all important. I would argue that many of the most commonly cited blog outreach campaigns where products were offered, such as the Microsoft Laptop Giveaway or the Nikon D80 program as two case studies were mainly criticized negatively by those who had bruised egos from not being included.
What Guy knows about blog ego is that having one of his categories for the site titled in this way is sure to stand out and get people's reactions. Along the way, his site (which may very well be only slightly different from other competitive sites in terms of functionality) gets a lot more attention, conversation and traffic. Since the site's launch, Guy has also been actively commenting on posts, and inviting bloggers to share their thoughts (full disclosure, he also sent me a note - but I had this post half written over the weekend anyway). All of this adds up to what anyone would have to consider a successful launch into the blogosphere of a new service. He has used his reputation to build a buzz, got some top "egos" writing about the site and created just enough controversy to make the site memorable. Don't let ego get in the way of letting you see the obvious marketing lesson here.