I think a lot of what we need to know is in the lyrics to this Roy Orbison song, “You Got It.”
- Every time I look into your loving eyes
- I see a love that money just can’t buy
It’s got that great timpani drum at the end to accentuate the point.
What we’re getting at here is that you’ll need someone that’s passionate about what they write. Can money buy that?
Yes, but it’s rare.
It’s rare to find those true experts in a field. Oftentimes they already have their own platform so buying their services isn’t an option.
Besides, they’re own voice is so firmly entrenched that you just can’t replicate it.
The same goes for style and tone. It’s why we like them – they’re different, and sound that way too.
Roy Obrison was different.
He grew up in Texas, born in 1936.
In the early 1950s Orbison and his high school buddies got paid $400 for playing at the dance. He knew he could make some money doing what he loved.
Johnny Cash came through Odessa in 1955 and Roy Orbison met him. Cash told him to head on over to Memphis to talk with Sam Phillips at Sun Records.
People believed in him.
They heard something they liked.
Well...not all did.
Even though Johnny Cash liked Roy Orbison, Sam Philips wasn’t interested in recording him.
Things didn’t work out too well after that and by 1958 Orbison had quit performing. His prized Cadillac was repossessed as well.
By the 1970s Orbison was nearly forgotten and he “began to doubt his talents,” according to biographer Ellis Amburn.
Orbison got his real break when others began to use his work. It was the 1980s and films needed songs. One such was Blue Velvet.
Orbison had refused when David Lynch asked to use the song but the director used it anyways. It brought the singer a whole new level of notoriety.
A short time later Orbison joined a “super group”, one of the first of its kind.
That led to a great Roy Orbison song, “Handle With Care.”
Both Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty co-wrote the song, performed backing vocals on it, and also did some of the instrumentals.
Both were members of the Traveling Wilburys along with Orbison.
The band also contained George Harrison and Bob Dylan. They’d formed in 1988 and put together “Handle with Care” in May. It was released in October and helped the debut album reach #3.
This is a really desperate song.
- …battered around.
- …I’m being shot down.
- …situation’s tolerable.
Wow, why be motivated by this depressive?
Shit, I’ve got enough problems today – why the hell do I need yours?
Alas, if you say something like that you get a response like this:
- I’m so tired of being lonely.
- I still have some love to give
- Won’t you show me that you really care.
Damn, that’s pathetic. Let's begin our lessons.
#1 Everybody’s got somebody to lean on
If you’re putting out whiny and “my life sucks” posts, don’t expect anyone to give a damn about you.
Your blog is not the place for that, nor is it the place to go a month without a post just because things are “not going well for you.”
Do you think anyone cares?
Sure, maybe if you’re a big-name blogger with thousands of Twitter followers and millions of likes on Facebook.
But you’re not that guy. He’s a somebody and you’re a nobody.
So please find someone to lean that’s offline or in an online group or something. Don’t expect your visitors to have sympathy for you. They care about themselves and have tons of their own problems.
Guess what – tons of people are catering to them and trying to solve their problems. If you’re just bitching about yours, prepare for little engagement and hardly any interest in what you’re doing.
“End of the Line” is another good song:
- You can sit around and wait for the phone to ring
- Waiting for someone to tell you everything
- Sit around and wait around for what tomorrow brings
#2 It’s alright if you live the life you please
It’s alright to do what you want, just don’t expect anyone to give a shit.
Take my Montana blog.
I love reading about Montana politics and Montana history. Guess what? Hardly anyone else does.
If I put up a new post it’ll take about 2 to 3 days to get up to 200 views.
If I put out a post like this, one on marketing or some such, it’ll get that in a day or sometimes in a few hours if I’m lucky.
I think you need to realize this, both for that “passion” area of yours and that business area of yours.
What’s more, it’s alright if your ideas and your points and your corresponding headings and headlines are similar to what’s been said before.
Again, don’t expect anyone to give a damn.
We’ve seen that before – you need to woo us.
Roy Orbison wooed us in '89 when he was out on his own. It's a good song...and then there it is, about 1:15 into it:
- I live, my life, to be, with you
- No one can do the things you do
That timpani drum comes back in as if to accentuate the point.
The song has 3 points, really. Let’s go over them.
#3 Anything you want, you got it
This tells your users that whatever they think is relevant, you’ll report on.
When someone says some point that you have no idea about, nod your head and make a notation – that’s what you should be working on next.
- Have you heard about this new thing that’s not that new but which just heard about? Wow, it can…
People like to read that stuff because guess what – they had no idea what it was either!
Just because Chatty-Chet in the comments has to be a know-it all doesn’t mean you can’t benefit. Most of the times he’s too busy chatting to write a blog himself, or doesn’t want to use his real name.
His loss is your gain. Take that information and use it to get ahead.
#4 Anything you need, you got it
This tells your user that whatever information they’re looking for, you have it already.
The key is content curation.
If you’re going about each week and collecting the pertinent articles, pasting the links, and then categorizing them so they make sense, then gosh darn, you’ll sound smarter than everyone else.
It doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be smarter (you have to read them and digest the information, after all), but it does mean you can sound good in conversations.
Using Ctrl+F helps a lot.
If you have a helpful guidebook that allows you to search, wow, you can pull up all kinds of stuff.
Let’s say you’re arguing over the best hashtags to use on Instagram. If you can pull up past articles to bolster your point you’ll fluster the other person and sound better.
Wow, your authority is going up (and maybe your asshole-quotient as well).
#5 Anything at all, you got it
This tells your user that any fucking question they have, you have the answer for it.
Maybe you don’t know. So what – they don’t know that.
Go to Google or Buzz Sumo or your curation guidebook and pull up that answer. Then write some opinions in there of your own and tell it to ‘em.
Make sure you agree when they call you a dumbass as well.
- Yep, you’ve got a point. At the same time, check out this article that bolsters my point (makes you look like a prick) while also pointing out something helpful we both missed (and which will get me that sale instead of you).
Doing things like that is beneficial.
Orbison played it live once, in Belgium on December 4 of that year.
Two days later he died of a heart attack. He was 52 years old.
The film Pretty Woman came out in March 1990 and rejuvenated interest in Roy Orbison.
Sadly, he’d already been dead for more than a year by that point.
The song from the film found new life. Orbison was awarded a Grammy for it in 1991, posthumously of course.
The titular song had been released in 1964 and reached #1 for three weeks. It was the high point of his career.
For the next 25 years he kept at it, however, high points and low…mostly low.
Blogging is much the same. It often feels like nothing’s happening then suddenly you find success…typically when others catch up with what you were doing.
Yeah, you’re already writing some good stuff. Keep at it – it won’t be long