Sometimes the action’s in the comments. In my recent post, The Bass-Ackwards Method of Starting a Business from Your Blog, my friend and productivity ninja Dave Navarro just up and decided he was going to tell commentors they could ask me their toughest questions on blogging. I gave him a hard time about it, but really it was a great idea. The only reason I haven’t offered to take questions before is because Darren Rowse answers questions all the time and I wouldn’t want to be seen as a copycat. But since this was instigated from outside, it’s all good.
So Hunter Nuttall busts out with the best question ever:
So if I may, Michael, my question is this: Whatâ€™s the best way to make it as a blogger? The way of the Jedi, or the way of the Sith?
Thatâ€™s the best metaphor Iâ€™ve got right now, but by Jedi I mean one who focuses on providing value. Great original content, thoughtful recommendations, responding to comments, linking to PR 0 sites when appropriate, giving away some stuff for free that you could conceivably charge for, stumbling and digging only the best, etc.
By Sith, I mean one who focuses on tactics. Decent content written quickly, numbers in headlines, pictures of people jumping, promoting whatever affiliate programs pay the most, linking every decent keyword in your posts to your home page, not responding to comments, no unnecessary link love, charging as much as you can for everything you can, emailing everyone to ask for diggs and stumbles every time, etc.
I know this is a bit black and white, but what shade of gray is the answer?
Here is my response:
@Hunter – you already know the answer, Paduan: think of who the most successful bloggers are and ask yourself if they are Jedi or Sith.
The tactics you listed as belonging to Sith donâ€™t seem terribly evil to me, just less effective than Jedi tactics. The real difference between the two is that for Jedi, it is the means which justifies the ends, and for a Sith, the ends justify the means.
So… what shade of gray is the answer? It would seem a very light shade of gray is the answer!
In all seriousness: consider the most successful bloggers you know–which path do you think they took? Every single one I can think of (except John Chow) followed the way of the Jedi.
Do not give in to the Dark Side, my younglings.
PS – “younglings” has got to be one of the stupidest words ever.
PPS – The only good Star Wars films were episodes IV and V. Everything else sucked.