Many of the students look at you with rather foolish looks on their faces, perhaps a few point and laugh. But you press on and complete that day’s lesson, even though it’s so incredibly easy it’s just pathetic.
I got kicked out of the Entrepreneurs, Self-Employed & Small Business community today on Google+.
Now, I’ve been kicked out of the following groups and forums since January 2013, when I got into self-publishing and all the rest of it:
- Amazon KDP Forum;
- Copyblogger’s Website;
- Copyblogger’s Google+ Page;
- The Passive Voice;
- 1-2 Facebook Author Groups.
Here’s my philosophy: If I really wanted to be a part of your group or community I wouldn’t raise a ruckus – I’d sit quietly and let you or whoever the authority figures are run the show. I wouldn’t rock the boat, and I certainly wouldn’t say what I think, not if that meant it might offend you, and possibly get me kicked out of the group. In fact, I’d better just sugarcoat everything and not offend anyone, as doing otherwise might lead to my eventual removal.
So what am I losing when that happens? Mainly whatever benefits that group brings to me. In the case of most groups, their greatest benefits to me are:
- I can share links to my website
- I can share links to other websites;
- I can share links to my books;
- I can talk about my self-publishing experiences;
- I can steer people clear of my mistakes;
- I can learn how the market is treating others;
- I can brag;
- I can boast;
- I can commiserate;
- I can…you get the idea.
You and I both know that a lot of the stuff out there today is just rubbish, and worse, recycled rubbish. It’s the same jizz and jazz that’s been going around for the past year or longer and I’d be willing to be since caveman and pictograph days. It’s a lot of people not knowing what to do and looking to the smart people in the room. It’s a lot of smart people looking back and hoping they’re not found out. It's that elementary school we talked about.
That’s how many social media groups and niche websites are to me, and that’s how many groups and websites are to you, and you know this – why not admit it?
- How many times do you need to hear the same concerns over covers, the same complaints over reviews, the same nonsense about marketing?
- How many times do you need to be told that it’s great content above all else, that link-building is an art, not a science, and that SEO is dead but alive again although on its last breath?
- How many times do you need to be Ra-Ra’ed and cheered and patted on the back? How many times do you have to be expected to do it for others? How long do you have to put up with this shit?
I put a post in another Google+ group this past week, eBook Publishing, asking if there was any interaction in the group. I got a few comments and pretty much came to the realization I should drop that group in favor of another that might have more benefit for me. Lots of sites are like this.
On some websites I voluntarily remove myself, either because I know I’ll eventually piss off the site owner or because the site has lost value or utility to me. A good example of this is Joe Konrath’s site, which I’ve written about before.
I took it off the bookmark bar awhile ago and forgot about it. But then I saw a link to it on the Passive Voice the other week and visited. Seeing it was the same tired rants as always, I nodded my head realizing my earlier decision had been correct.
Sometimes I make mistakes, such as with Boost Blog Traffic, which is a good site, and which I removed some time ago. I visited awhile ago – again, probably because I saw a link to it somewhere else – and saw they had some good stuff. But I forgot to re-add them to the bookmark bar and forgot about them again. Now each time I think about them, so much time has gone by that, really, what’s the point?
I’ve made mistakes the other way as well. Copyblogger is a fine example of this. Once upon a time this site was pretty good, had relevant and useful content, and was reliable. After a time they told their users to stop visiting by going to another network, got lots of new writers, and then stopped posting on a reliable and consistent basis. Overall, their move to more of a paid-based service told a large segment of their audiences to ‘go fuck themselves.’
The Book Designer is a site doing this now, one that has lots of writers putting up content instead of the original site owner, much to its detriment in my opinion.
There are no degrees given out for this, like at universities, no four years and your learning time on a site done. Site owners try to stay relevant, but you try writing 500 or 1,000 blog posts and see how easy new ideas fly off the fingertips.
That's why they're so happy when they have audience turnover...perhaps one of the most sought-after things in content marketing and blogging, yet one talked so little about.
But like mushrooms after a rain, new voices shoot up and new ideas come forth, often ideas that those older sites or individuals don’t like…history is full of examples. Today that’s websites, perhaps like mine, though maybe to many I’m one of those archaic dinosaurs. I have been around 18 months after all – I heard that was the new 5-year mark the other day, the new 65.
And so that brings us to the present, our move toward the busier holiday season. What does that mean for you? I have no idea.
For me it means a lot of doing what I’ve been doing for the previous eight and a half months of this year, which is social media marketing and a helluva lot of writing.
Sometimes that rubs people the wrong way, and for that I’d have to go with one of my favorite Willie Nelson quotes:
“If I hurt your feelings, I’m sorry. If I made you angry, fuck you.”