Hey Blogger, You’re Really Not That Important. Seriously.

by Marcus Sheridan

Think you're a blogging rock star?? Well....

Hey Bloggers, you’re really not that important. Seriously.’—Those were the words of very popular social media blogger/consultant Jason Falls as he begun his seminar at Blog World New York a few months ago. And to be honest, at first his words threw me aback. ‘What do you mean dude, we’re at a blogging convention for Pete’s sake??’ was the thought that came to mind. But as I listened to Jason (A+ speaker btw) and caught on to what he was saying, I realized that he was doing his best to keep us, as bloggers, grounded. And boy is this sound advice.

Blogging Pride Cycles

Ever since blog world, I’ve thought about Jason’s words. I’ve also been studying blogging  pride cycles (as I like to call them)—watching  how different people react to success, or failure, in diverse ways.

When we start a blog, most of us are just hoping to get noticed by a few people, get a comment here or there, and maybe even build an audience at some point. For the majority, the latter never happens. After a few weeks or months of seeing little to no results, we simply give up. But then there is another set of folks, certainly the minority, that are able to break through that initial slow period and gain traction. And as the traction builds, so does the audience, the comments, the tweets, the shares, etc.

Over time, a blogger who once would practically pay someone to leave a comment or share his/her material is now getting noticed by hundreds, maybe even thousands of people in a day. And with so many readers, the compliments also pour in. The ‘this was brilliant’ or ‘you’re a genius’ statements start to fill the comment stream or inbox, and with such compliments a blogger can react in diverse ways.

A Change Within

For some, such words and compliments only humble a person even further. For others, it starts to produce a change within—to a point where all of the sudden they believe the hype. In fact, they don’t just believe it, they embrace it. They swim in it. Instead of thinking about the ‘little things’ that got them where they are (like great content, service to others, constant networking, etc) they are more concerned about perpetuating their own genius.

A few months ago I wrote one of the more contemplative pieces I’ve ever done here on TSL. The title was “Massive Blog Growth: Do You Really Have the Time It Takes” and among many ‘personal’ thoughts it discussed how I feel the same today as when I first started blogging, despite the fact that I’ve been able to experience what some would consider  a very successful blog and community. Today, when I write a post that gets 100 comments or so, I still find myself wondering why in the world all these wonderful people bother to stop in and offer their support. Frankly, I find it absolutely amazing, humbling, and motivating as well. And one thing is for sure—I do not see myself above my audience in any way.

Maintaining a sense of humility and beginnings is one of the great keys to blogging success in my opinion, and I’m clearly not alone in my efforts to stay grounded. For example, when I met the Gini Dietrich in person at Blog World, I was simply amazed with her humble and kind nature. Without question she didn’t see herself as ‘high and mighty’. In fact, if you ever had a conversation with her, you’d never know her blog has won basically every dang PR award for bloggers this decade.

Other hugely successful bloggers at BW, like Lee Odden and Jonathan Fields were the exact same. When approached, they treated me as an equal (despite not knowing who the heck I was), and not an ounce of haughtiness nor self-righteousness seemed to be a part of their makeup in any form.

Our Need to Stay Grounded

My point in saying this is simple. We, as bloggers, must remain grounded. Even the great Seth Godin is not recognized by 99% of the world. Can you believe that? But it’s true. Heck, I refer to his books all the time with friends, only to get odd looks.

But this doesn’t mean Seth, or any other blogger for that matter, isn’t doing great things. In fact, I honestly feel the blogging movement is changing the world as we know it. But we all need to be careful not to let all those comments, tweets, likes, and lavish praise affect who we are in the grand scheme of things. Let’s not allow our pride to deter us from keeping that beginning-blogger’s zeal and humility that got us to where we are in the first place. When it comes down to it, we simply need to be our best and serve others in the process. By so doing, we’ll surely remember who we are and how we reached our ‘success’ in the first place……

To close, I simply must share the coolest Facebook status I’ve ever read in my life, posted by Danny Brown this past weekend, as it masterfully applies to the subject at hand:

You’re Internet famous? Awesome – that places you at the same awareness level of Bavarian Dog Poo Cake in the eyes of Joe Public.

Ahhh, gotta love that Mr. Brown ;-)

Your Turn:

What are your thoughts on blogging ‘pride cycles’? Why do some folks ‘forget who they are’ when they experience success while others remain incredibly grounded? Also, can you think of a ‘successful’ blogger(s) you’ve met that impressed you with their humble and unassuming manner? Jump right in folks, I’d love to see where this discussion takes us…

 

 

Mad Marketing Podcast

If you like the articles, you'll love Marcus' podcast and insightful tips on business and life.

Click to listen

Subscribe to Future Articles

Read Marcus' future articles and stay on the cutting edge of business, marketing, and life success tips!

Click to subscribe

{ 163 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah Arrow July 19, 2011 at

Why do some bloggers forget who they are? Because as they grow they forget the sheer volume of work it took to make them an overnight success. They start to feel like they are someone and with success comes the mirror that amplifies our weaknesses :(

They are human, vulnerable and out of their depth. Their priorities become different ones.

If I ever get like that throw some water over me please…

Reply

Marcus Sheridan July 20, 2011 at

Ahhh Sarah, just by reading your stuff I know you’ll never need that water— you care too much about what you do. ;-)

Thanks for starting this off lady!

Marcus

Reply

rakesh kumar March 5, 2013 at

It also seems that you are still struggling to be a successful blogger. When a blogger gets some sort of success, it is not his/her fault but it is the time constraints that make them arrogant. So lets try to understand that person also.

Reply

Danny @ Firepole Marketing July 19, 2011 at

It’s amazing how quickly a bit of internet fame can go to our heads… I guess that happens most to the people who are in it for the validation, more than anything else… ;)

Reply

Marcus Sheridan July 20, 2011 at

You said the magic ‘V’ word Danny ;-) And is there any place that ‘validates’ more than the internet? I seriously doubt it….but the moment we stop seeking everyone’s validation, and start following our gut, is the moment everything changes for the better in my opinion.

Thanks for dropping in Danny :-)

Marcus

Reply

Martina July 19, 2011 at

Marcus, is this not the pride that consumes most of us when we get noticed, or are found suddenly to be good at something. We are human, and pride is one of our greatest downfalls. People have to learn to manage themselves, and not let being proud about something turn to arrogance.
Read an interesting phrase recently (can’t find the reference right now) Humbition. It is great to be ambitious, but as you rise, don’t forget to take your humility with you.
I haven’t met any famous bloggers, but I have spent time on the phone with Dan Rockwell who does Leadershipfreak. We talked about some leadership issues I was having at church, and he offered suggestions and shared his insight. How great is that???

Reply

Marcus Sheridan July 20, 2011 at

Humbition

Hmmm, I LOVE that Martina! Seriously, it’s perfect for what we’re talking about here.

And yes, there is nothing better than a famous person in their field taking the time to show they care, even about the ‘common folks’ like you and I ;-)

Great seeing you Martina, as always,

Marcus

Reply

Harriet Cabelly July 19, 2011 at

Great piece, as always.
Lori Deschene of the Tiny Buddha site is one such person – humble, unassuming, and grounded; and sincerely caring and helpful in her desire to have others become successful too. Her website/blog is amazingly popular and widespread- http://www.tinybuddha.com
I’ve gotten to know her through the blogging community.

Ego seems to lift people off their grounded station and into a flight of arrogance, forgetting where they came from. As with people who become ‘famous’ and powerful, so to with some bloggers or anyone who’s gotten lots of attention, where the praise and sense of importance goes to their head, and heart and soul, they loose that down-to-earth quality. And of course some never had it to begin with. Too bad for them.

Reply

Barbara July 19, 2011 at

I love Lori and Tiny Buddha. I was fortunate enough to have a guest post there recently and she is the most gracious person you will ever meet.

Reply

Marcus Sheridan July 20, 2011 at

Awesome Barbara, go girl!

Reply

Marcus Sheridan July 20, 2011 at

Too bad for them is right Harriet. It’s really a darn shame when success gets to someone’s head, but such is life I guess.

I’d not heard of Lori’s blog before, so I’ll certainly check it out, and thanks so much for shining a little light on her as well!

Marcus

Reply

Al Smith July 19, 2011 at

What can I say Bro ? You have done it again. This is great for everyone in life, not just bloggers. The topic of humility is a very interesting one. It reminds me of my favorite definition:

“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less”

Everyone handles things differently. The persons true character will shine through when things are going great (gaining audience) or going bad (you’re invisible).
Who will persevere and stay true to themselves and who will give up ? Who will recognize all the people that helped them and who will think “It’s all about me” ?

When we stay grateful, faithful, persistent and humble, remarkable things can come our way. We are totally blessed to be able to express ourselves in this way and hopefully help others and make a real difference in the lives of others.

You do this Marcus. Like I have said before “YOU GET IT”. Thanks for all you do and for your continued support and encouragement. I hope to be able to contribute soon. “The C.A.R.E. Movement” is coming !

Here are a few of my favorite (humble) bloggers:

JK Allen – A Humble Hustler ? Yes, Indeed.
Lori Gosselin – Life for Instance – Humble and Kind.
Sarah Robinson – Escaping Mediocrity – Humble, Helpful.
Frank Jennings – A Spark Starts – Humble and Grateful.

Oh yeah, one more ……….. I guess…… Marcus “The MAN” Sheridan – To me, you represent what blogging is all about. Thank you !

Al

Reply

Jk Allen July 19, 2011 at

Thanks Al! I appreciate the kinds man. A Humble Hustler…has a nice ring to it!

Reply

Marcus Sheridan July 20, 2011 at

Wow Al, I know I speak for everyone when I say your enthusiasm is contagious and so very invigorating to anyone that reads your words my friend. And thanks also for shining light on those great people you mentioned. I’ve read each of their stuff and couldn’t agree more. :-)

Marcus

Reply

Erica Allison July 19, 2011 at

A to the Men and Word to your Mother!

Love it. I have felt the pull of pride that comes with a little bit of blogging recognition, only to have it smashed to bits by my 3 year old or 8 year old who could care less and just want mom to pay attention to their latest feat.

Same for the client who just wants me to do their work and couldn’t even begin to care about my latest blog post. Compare that to the clients who DO care, the ones that I help in their social media efforts. While they want me to know my stuff, they still don’t care how “BIG” my britches are; they want results.

Thanks for the very clear reminder, Marcus!

Reply

john Falchetto July 19, 2011 at

Erica, I hear you, nothing like my daughter to remind me exactly where I stand in the world.

This reminded me of the story about the NYT best seller author who started every conversation to clients reminding them he was on the List. The clients stared and then started the meeting.

Nobody cares about your traffic, comments, RTs, especially not the company which send you bills at the end of the month.

Reply

Erica Allison July 19, 2011 at

Thanks, John! I know you understand that situation loud and clear. Love that blank stare for the guy sharing his NYT accomplishment. Very relevant indeed. :)

Now, if I could only get Klout to start paying those bills that keep coming in!

Reply

Davina K. Brewer July 19, 2011 at

You are so gansta! ;-) And word to results.

Reply

Erica Allison July 19, 2011 at

I know! I’ve noticed I’ve been talking like that lately…must be all the mix of tunes I’m listening to on Spotify (i.e. Pitbull, Usher, to name a few). :) Heh, heh!

Reply

Howie at Sky Pulse Media July 19, 2011 at

Its funny I normally gets 20-40 readers of my posts then every so often a few hundred and yes makes me feel weird. More how do I repeat. But definitely honored and humbled. And when I get a 1000 readers even your kids Erica will know me and be in awe that we are friends 8)

Figure had to go with the theme here!

Reply

Marcus Sheridan July 20, 2011 at

Hahahaha, classic Howie ;-)

Reply

Marcus Sheridan July 20, 2011 at

‘A to the Men’ it is Erica!! :-)

You’ve brought up such a good point. Clients don’t care, at least in most cases, about how great we are at blogging. Like you said, they want results. They want their money’s worth. And comments, likes, and tweets simply ain’t gonna cut it most of the time ;-)

Thanks for being so awesome lady!

Marcus

Reply

Chris Brogan... July 19, 2011 at

I do something quite different. I get into cycles of blogging sensitivity. I write very sensitively about things. I get very defensive. It happens about once every two months.

I have very low self esteem (working on it every day), and so I’m not one to think I’m all that and a bag of chips. I believe you earn your audience every day. And on days when I’m defensive and sensitive, that’s when I fail my audience.

I guess that’s what I’m doing differently that could be done better.

Loved the post. Jason was kind enough to share it.

Reply

Jk Allen July 19, 2011 at

Chris – I just had to applaud your honest comment. When others see it – it’s my hope that they learn (if it’s a lesson that they need) that it’s okay to not to be perfect and there’s always room for improvement.

Reply

Lori Gosselin July 19, 2011 at

Hey Chris, Hi Marcus!
I agree with you on this: ” You earn your audience every day.” With every post you start all over again at 0 engagement, 0 comments and who knows if your post has earned any until they come?

I have no problem staying grounded in blogging. Most of my friends and family don’t even know what a blog is. TALK about taking the excited air out of my balloon! LOL. You just can’t take yourself that seriously when your offline people! are MY offline people!

What I try to keep in mind is this: doing what I did at the beginning, no matter who comes – giving it everything I’ve got. If I forget that, I lose everything, or at least haven’t earned anything.
Lori

Reply

Marcus Sheridan July 20, 2011 at

Wow, powerfully said Lori, and huge props to you for having such an approach to your wonderful blog—and I tell you, it really shows. What you’ve created there is simply awesome. :-)

Thanks so much for dropping in,

Marcus

Reply

Marcus Sheridan July 20, 2011 at

Chris, let me just say I was blown away with this comment. For a guy in your shoes, to keep it real like this and freely admit you’re vulnerable, just as the blogger who has been at it for a week, is simply awesome.

So glad Jason shared this with you. And thanks for then passing it forward. The success of this post has surpassed anything I’ve ever done here on TSL, much of which can be attributed to you getting the ball rolling.

Thanks for all you do Chris.

Marcus

Reply

Rob McGuire July 19, 2011 at

Some of the greatest advice that could ever be tossed at a blogger who’s just starting to gain some traction.

As a blogger one of our goals is to be heard, and if and when that actually happens it can quickly and easily go to our head. And just as quickly as our ego can get inflated, our ego can tear down any progress our blog may have made.

Reply

Marcus Sheridan July 20, 2011 at

Appreciate that Rob, and you’re right man—ego can be a nasty little animal. It can build up or tear down….so hopefully we can all just keep building. ;-)

Really appreciate you stopping by Rob and you’re always invited back!

Marcus

Reply

Ron McDaneil July 19, 2011 at

Knowing who your core audience is and trying to create empathy, not talk down to them, is a daily struggle. There is a fine line when you are trying to assist and teach vs when you are lecturing your brilliance.

Reply

Marcus Sheridan July 20, 2011 at

No question Ron, there is a fine line, and frankly some writers never figure it out. For example, I try to never make arguments without an experience backing it up, which is why this blog is pretty much just a reflection of my life. It’s tough to argue with experience, but it’s easy to argue with unfounded opinions and generalizations, if you know what I mean.

I really appreciate you taking a moment to stop by Ron, and I do hope you continue to come back sir. Have a great week!

Marcus

Reply

TrafficColeman July 19, 2011 at

People look at us different, some view us as super stars while other careless, but regardless we should always stay grounded.

“Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

Reply

Marcus Sheridan July 20, 2011 at

That we should TC ;-)

Reply

Ian Gordon July 19, 2011 at

It’s funny how tunnel visioned we can become. We have our circle of friends and colleagues, and we forget that people outside of our industry (online marketing, plumbing, whatever) are not aware at all of the things that consume every part of our days. It is alway good to remind ourselves of that. It helps us concentrate on the work.

Reply

Marcus Sheridan July 20, 2011 at

That’s right Ian. We do forget. Heck, the people that comment on this blog make up 1% of the viewership, yet it’s easy to think they represent the whole–which is not the case at all.

Great to see you Ian, and I hope you’ll come by again in the future. Have a great week!

Marcus

Reply

Michael Schechter July 19, 2011 at

One of my favorite (and simultaneously least favorite) things to do is to go down on the street in NYC and ask 100 people if they have heard of Honora (our family business). We’ve been at it 65 years, have spent tons in traditional advertising, hours on QVC talking directly to the customer and are leveraging many of the newer channels. Usually I’ll get 1 out of 100, once I got 4. And you know what, I see that as a win. We are making headway.

If I did it at an industry conference, the number would be in the high 90%, but you know what, that isn’t a victory, that’s our job. It’s humbling to find out exactly how far you have to go, something that many of us miss while trying to cultivate “success”.

Reply

john Falchetto July 19, 2011 at

Michael that is exactly it.

So many times I think, am I writing this for my colleagues or the public?

You are right being known among a specialized group doesn’t mean anything.

Reply

Marcus Sheridan July 20, 2011 at

Wait a second JF, you mean you don’t want to always write for me?? Look, even though I’ll never use your services there’s no excuse for that!! ;-)

Reply

john Falchetto July 20, 2011 at

Nop Buddy not writing for Lions or any other peeps who are actually my mentors :)

Reply

Marcus Sheridan July 20, 2011 at

Awesome, awesome example Michael…now go get some branding done, well ya?? ;-)

Thanks for always throwing in a bunch chew on brother.

Marcus

Reply

Adam Toporek July 20, 2011 at

Michael, great example. I can relate. At one of my retail spots, we’ve been in the trade area for 4 years (much smaller, suburban market… def. not NYC), have done huge amounts of advertising, are located at the epicenter of shopping for area, and we still get people walking in telling us they had no idea we here there — or that we existed.

In the end, celebrity is just a form of brand — unless your name is Coca-Cola, the brand penetration is probably a lot less than one thinks.

Reply

Matthew Berman July 19, 2011 at

Great point. I’m at the very start of the blogging cycle but your analogy to musicians is an apt one. A struggling band will put on the show of their lifetime in front of a packed house of fifty. Just a year or two later that same band (with a little success) may very well scoff at an audience so small. Keep your humble up. Thanks!

Reply

Marcus Sheridan July 20, 2011 at

You’re very welcome Matthew, and I wish you luck on your journey. And never hesitate to contact me if you need a few pointers or some help.

Best!

Marcus

Reply

Nancy Davis July 19, 2011 at

Hi Marcus,

I think that it is one of those things, you are either down-to-earth or you are not. Someone with an inflated sense of self will have that regardless of readership on their blog. I consider it a win if I get 100 page views in a day.

However…I have pretty nice comments on my blog and I have almost 30 subscribers. Not too shabby for someone who started in Mid-April of this year. I get some very kind mentions on other blogs, and I have to tell you, that makes me cry tears of joy. I have people that I respect talking about me being one of their favorite bloggers. Amazing. I am very fortunate indeed.

Keep on rocking in the free world Marcus. You are great man!

PS: I joke about Seth Godin being “the overlord of my existence” but in all truth he really was the inspiration for my own blog. Just saying. :)

Reply

john Falchetto July 19, 2011 at

Nancy, I always said and believed you are a great blogger and Marcus can say what he wants about being ‘internet famous’, for me you are.

We all define our A-listers as we wish, for some it’s the stars who are on the cover of People, for me it’s people who write with their heart and soul.

There is no secret that you have good traffic and subscribers considering you started a few months ago, your content really resonates with people.

Reply

Joe @ Not Your Average Joe July 19, 2011 at

“We all define our A-listers as we wish, for some it’s the stars who are on the cover of People, for me it’s people who write with their heart and soul.”

Great comment John. Totally agree with this!

Reply

Marcus Sheridan July 20, 2011 at

Triple ‘like’ JF, you’re one awesome fellow my friend. ;-)

Reply

Marcus Sheridan July 20, 2011 at

You’re so real and refreshing Nancy, I just love it when you come by to chat and give your thoughts. And yes, you have certainly done great things since you started. Heck, I was no where close to where you are after my first couple of months. ;-)

But yes, I’ll keep rockin lady as long as you do the same. :-)

Thanks so much for all!

Marcus

Reply

Jan Beery July 19, 2011 at

I think any type of position has the potential of getting to someone’s head. That’s why we’re blessed with people in our lives who will keep us grounded.

Blogging to me, is a way of sharing information and supporting our credibility in the industry we work in. I love Michael Schechter’s point, “It’s our job.” I don’t have time to stroke an ego.

One of my favorite bloggers, Howard Luks. @hjluks. He is humble, wants to help, and has gained a presence because of it.
Great topic

Reply

Marcus Sheridan July 20, 2011 at

Love hearing your thoughts here Jan, and yes, that guy Michael Schechter is a pretty smart cat…(and funny as heck too but that’s for another day;-) ) And thanks for bringing up Howard. I’ve not heard of him and look forward to swinging by for a look. :-)

Hope to see you again Jan!

Marcus

Reply

Barbara July 19, 2011 at

Seems we were on the same wave length this week Marcus. Yesterday I posted about an experience I had over the weekend with a very wealthy man who really thinks he is ALL that. My theory on people like him, just as with some of the inflated egos in the blogosphere, if you were a jerk before you had money you will just be a bigger jerk when you are rich. In other words, fame and money only magnify your true self.

Now we’re seeing it in blogging which doesn’t surprise me. You can usually tell from the tone of the content on a blog what the author is truly like. Sometimes it takes a few posts, but you get the ‘sense’.

A couple of A-listers have been deleted from my feed because they got a bit too big for their britches and, I felt, were talking down to people.

Thanks for bringing this out for discussion. We all need reality checks at times, but mostly we need to be genuine. You are genuine and that’s why you have this community. Well done.
b

Reply

Jill, The Veggie Queen July 19, 2011 at

Barbara,

You are so right on regarding who are the jerks and who aren’t. It’s not about money or fame or anything else. I know plenty of well off people who aren’t all about flash and cash, and they treat others with respect.

And then there are the people who don’t have nearly as much money but want to flaunt it or be with the “in crowd”.

Being authentic is key, especially if you are caring person. It works for me. I also admire it in others. Thanks for your comment. And thanks for this post.

I have also discovered that it takes at least ten,, and sometimes twenty, years to become an overnight success. By then, it doesn’t really go to your head as you know how much work was involved.

Reply

Barbara July 19, 2011 at

Jill, I’ve designed and produced many large events and it seems to be primarily the nouveau riche that are the problem clients. It’s all for show with many of them and they look down their noses at the ‘help’ (which would be me and my crew).

With old money it comes down to how they were raised and ‘integrated’ (for lack of a better term) with the have-nots. Some multi-generational wealthy families simply can’t relate to us normal folk because their lives aren’t remotely similar. They still have their problems however.

The bottom line with money, or blogging, or celebrity comes down to exactly what you said, being authentic. It’s not hard to spot the phonies.
b

Reply

Marcus Sheridan July 20, 2011 at

Great addition to Barbara’s comment Jill. With things the way they are online these days, overnight successes are practically non-existent. Heck, even Chris Brogan, who commented above, took years to get traction.

Cheers to continued authenticity Jill, and thanks so much for taking the time to stop by!

Marcus

Reply

Marcus Sheridan July 20, 2011 at

Did you know you have an amazing ability to make me smile every time you leave a comment on here Barbara?? Well ya do lady ;-)

True words indeed. ‘Fame’ and money just allow us to magnify who we really are in most cases. And props to you for deleting a few from your stream, there’s not a reason in the world to keep reading something that doesn’t truly uplift and inspire.

Thanks for being such an amazing support B’ :-)

Marcus

Reply

Barbara July 20, 2011 at

Marcus, you bring up so many subjects that take me back to my days in sales and I just feel the need to share my crazy stories. This post hit when I had just dealt with an egotist and it just fit. I hope you read my post so you have that perspective. I aspire to have the depth of community you have here… as I believe everyone here does.
With all the blogs I read, and participate in, this is far and away the most fun and interactive.
Keep on keepin’ on!
b

Reply

john Falchetto July 19, 2011 at

Being humble on and offline is the same thing.

One thing I learned working with some very special people, including a prince is that the more famous (in the real world) that person is, the more humble they are when you talk to them.
I haven’t created your community or your traffic Marcus, but you are a great example of this. Really successful people support their community, not the other way around. They know how they go there and never forget that success is very relative and fleeting moment in life.

As Brogan says, you need to earn your audience everyday.

Reply

Howie at Sky Pulse Media July 19, 2011 at

I will say John that there are a lot of great people who come to the various blogs we are connected with (and write the blogs). People are really supportive and who love to debate and challenge and grow. Not all bloggers like this. Often they just like to talk at people and walk away.

I am flattered and humbled that so many peers I respect not only accept and embrace me just like you said such great words to Nancy, but that all these people exist. As I told Gini today on Twitter I used to think I was alone and everyone else was crazy. Then I found I am not alone and only most of the people are crazy 8)

And while I might bash social for not being a great brand marketing platform…the fact we all could connect and support is amazing and proof of social media as a people to people platform. And imagine how lonely we all would be thinking everyone else was crazy not knowing each other existed. and together its a really powerful force of change in my opinion..world wide.

Reply

Marcus Sheridan July 20, 2011 at

Yeah, I loved Brogan’s statement about ‘earning our audience’ John. Really puts things in perspective. And thanks for your kind words regarding my community here. When I see great things happen like with this article, it’s simply humbling and thrilling at the same time.

Talk soon brother,

Marcus

Reply

Brandon July 19, 2011 at

I love Danny. He cracks me up. I could definitely see him posting something like that. (Kind of like his ‘dog crapping on the snail’ post)

This concept is something I look quite critically at also. The good thing about me is that I have learned since joining the military that people have status and are successful because of the so-called ‘little people’ that associate with them. I completely understand why some of the bigger names in blogging (and elsewhere) do not respond, reply, or follow everyone. There is simply too much noise. And extremely time consuming.

I like that many of you are discussing not getting a big head over it though. It shows that you are indeed real people and are ‘checking and balancing’ the others around you. Good for you.

Reply

Danny Brown July 19, 2011 at

Thanks, Brandon, I’m here all week. Matinees in the foyer. ;-)

Reply

Marcus Sheridan July 20, 2011 at

Great point Brandon, and yeah, that Danny Brown is something else :-)

Excellent point too about ‘the little people’. If I didn’t have so many quiet supporters to this blog behind the scenes, I’d just be a guy who likes to talk a lot.

Hope to see you around these parts again in the future Brandon, and thanks again for the comment.

Marcus

Reply

Brandon July 20, 2011 at

Thank you, Marcus. I have been by here a few times, actually, I think this may be the first time I’ve commented.

I will be back. :) I appreciate the welcome.

Reply

Peggy Baron July 19, 2011 at

Hi Marcus,

I’ve never given this much thought, so thanks for that. I think I tend to stick with the bloggers who are humble, yet confident. Pat Flynn of SmartPassiveIncome comes to mind.

I don’t think I’m in danger of getting a big head. If anything, when I have a successful post or people rave about my latest product, I get worried wondering if I can keep providing the value that’s now expected of me.

Thanks for being so real, Marcus. :)

Peggy

Reply

Marcus Sheridan July 20, 2011 at

Pat Flynn is an excellent example Peggy, he actually came to mind as I was writing this article.

As for you, no, you’re certainly not in danger of the ‘big head’ disease. You’re always so kind, nice, and friendly—you’re the last person that would happen to Peggy. ;-)

Thanks for stopping by kind lady!

Marcus

Reply

Jack @ TheJackB July 19, 2011 at

15 years ago I went to a surprise party for a friend from work. Since it was a surprise party I made a point to show up extra early as I didn’t want to accidentally run into my buddy.

When we walked into the restaurant we were seated at the table with one other couple. Since it was just the four of us we introduced ourselves and then engaged in the usual small talk about who we were and what we did for a living.

The boyfriend of the woman sitting across from me said that she “was in the business.” In LA that is code for television/movies and something that I have heard a million times. I sort of nodded my head, smiled and moved on to the next topic.

The boyfriend politely redirected the conversation back to the girlfriend and said that they would love it if I would watch the show. Long story short, she was the female lead on one of the main shows in prime time. When he mentioned the show I recognized her, but if he hadn’t I might not have ever put it together.

Her show was watched by far more people than the biggest blogs out there and still she didn’t command the kind of notoriety that she thought she had.

Fame is a funny thing.

Reply

Davina K. Brewer July 19, 2011 at

Perfect story Jack. In a few of my ‘celebrity’ sightings I’ve been amused when I recognized someone and thought OMG! HITG! … then noticed no one else had. Fame is funny.. so when my dad who doesn’t pay attention or my BFF who doesn’t remember the names of the actress she likes so much in moves she just saw, when they recognize your name then you’ve got fame. Whatever that does for ya.

Reply

Marcus Sheridan July 20, 2011 at

‘In the business’…freaking hilarious Jack. Great story man, as these principles apply to every business…and yes, fame is certainly a funny thing, especially in the wild, wild west of the good ‘ol blogosphere ;-)

Marcus

Reply

Brankica July 19, 2011 at

Mufasa, you read my mind. This is exactly the same thing I was thinking about last few weeks. It is like some people don’t know what in a matter of seconds all that “you are a genius” can become “you are an A hole”.

Although people seem to see me as some bad a$$ I think I am on the right side of this story. I actually question myself every time someone says something great about me. It gets me in the mood of, “OMG, now you gotta do better… I’m screwed…”. Because I know that it will take minutes for all those to change their minds.

I know a couple of those totally-opposite-to-humble bloggers and I promised myself never to become like them. I would rather stop blogging, than let people perceive me as “that stuck up blogger”.

And like you said, people keep forgetting, that the most popular bloggers are only a spec in this world. No one knows them but other bloggers, so maybe some of them should rethink their positions.

Reply

A. Tatum Jr July 19, 2011 at

I think it comes down to the individual more so than the success. If you’re a humble person then no amount of success will every change that. That is probably the difference between those that push through and those that give up. If you’re in it for the right reasons then you know it’s not a race, but a marathon.

Reply

Jk Allen July 19, 2011 at

Hey Marcus – you surely wrote this one well. It was mellow tempered, sincere and serious. A great format for having an important point to be well-taken.

I must say that I don’t see the pride cycles a whole lot. That’s mostly because a good portion of the blogs that I follow haven’t blown up yet…or, were already at a high level after I had already started following them.

Don’t get me wrong there are some. Some that I rarely go to anymore because I feel a disconnect; between me and them. Between what I’m about and represent and what they want/try to portray to the world. Upon witnessing this – I tend to remove myself and only return periodically to check things out. I simply don’t have the time for such environments/personalities.

I think the reason people get like this is because this is because it’s who they are offline. They’ll be nice and friendly until they have what they want and then they turn into a monster. Like Ursula on Little Mermaid. She started off all nice to Ariel but after she made her commit to giving up her voice she turned into a octopus-sea-monster. Same thing with Scar in Lion king (your movie…where you lost your life…we should call you Simba – cause he’s alive still!). [Obviously I'm a dad!]

To those that stay grounded…well, again, it’s a reflection of who they are offline as well. They are the type of people who appreciate their successes and realize that the people are what helped get them to where they are. They don’t get to the point where they think that because they can create great content that they are owed something…they create what they create for the people and are humbled by the fact that so many people appreciate their work (like you).

And Bloggers who surprise the heck out of me by their humbleness…. Man, that list would go on for Days. Instead of making this comment any longer than it is, I will say that you are a great example of a blogger remaining humble. You KNOW you have skills…you KNOW you’re good at what you do. But never have you acted as if you’re better than anyone else.

Being humble is an effect of understanding that we are not promised the successes or good fortunes that we amass. At any point we can lose it; snatched right from under us. We’re humble because we know this.

Great post Marcus.

Reply

Ameena Falchetto (MummyinProvence) July 19, 2011 at

HA! This is great! Just today I received 2 tweets from the mummy blogging elite (I believe one went out to you) in response to posts I’d retweeted – what did the tweets say? “What’s that about? Sounds interesting but I’m too busy to read it” … HO HUM … so it’s MY job to summarise in 140 characters what the great post was that I retweeted? Get a life!

One thing is for sure, as Chris pointed out, bloggers need to work at it everyday – you can’t let the ball drop and assuming an air of self importance will only get you so far. I’m still so new to all of this but I do remember looking up to certain bloggers who’d take me under their wing to then drop me further down the road – that’s fine. Ok, it is super cool when someone comments, when someone emails you to say your rock and wow, what a buzz when you meet someone IRL who has actually READ your blog and knows who you are but at the end of the day it’s exactly, and only that, COOL.

Reply

Marcus Sheridan July 20, 2011 at

Cool it is Ameena, and even cooler when you meet your fav blogger and his wife in NYC and get to chat the night away ;-)

BTW, I’m quite curious to get an update from you on our recent conversation once you’ve made a decision, so make sure you keep me in the loop pretty lady. ;-)

Marcus

Reply

Heather Tallman/basilmomma July 19, 2011 at

Great point here that you made. I DO spend an inordinate amount of time networking, putting myself out there, returning ALL of my ‘commenters’ messages, etc. I get up very, very early to do all of this before my kids get up every morning.
It is a lot of work and I enjoy it, but I do get down on the fact that I have a hard time finding readers.
I can see why many would quit.
Great site, by the way.
I am at basilmomma on facebook and twitter if you ever want to look me up!

Reply

Marcus Sheridan July 20, 2011 at

Hi Heather, and such a pleasure it is to have you over at my place. :-)

The fact that you sacrifice like you do, and answer every comment, just shows where your heart and mind are. And take it from me, it will eventually pay off.

Appreciate your kind words Heather and wish you the utmost success with your blog.

Cheers,

Marcus

Reply

Davina K. Brewer July 19, 2011 at

Ok, stopping with the comment bombs otherwise I’ll chat up Jk about Disney movies. :-) Building on what I said to Jack, which Danny’s quote nails: so what if you’re famous. The smart Bill Dorman got me thinking today, realizing that I take my posts and tweets way too seriously. I don’t pretend to have any kind of fame, except with a few folks in my community. And that community being online – that’s it.

Commented earlier that I have more friends NOT on FB, Twitter than on – we need to remind ourselves that if 1 billion people are in a social network, that means 5 billion ain’t. I know more people who roll their eyes at the word ‘blogging’ even as they read a lot of blogs whether they realize it or not; I could probably poll 20 of my closest personal connections, would bet cash money almost none have heard of either Brogan (h/t for using one of my favorite words in his comment, ‘earn’) or Godin. This kind of ‘fame’ is subjective at best. FWIW.

Reply

Bill Dorman July 20, 2011 at

Smart? Sweet…………….:)

Reply

Marcus Sheridan July 20, 2011 at

Davina Brewer is awesome……that’s all I’m going to say about that. :-) (Am I allowed to Hat Tip you lady?? ;-) )

Reply

Steve Murphey July 19, 2011 at

Realizing that even the most popular bloggers (ie Seth Godin) aren’t recognized by 99% of the world is a great way to stay grounded. Personally, I’m beginning to think it’s far better to be highly engaged with maybe a hundred people than to be followed by thousands but have no real connection.

Reply

Marcus Sheridan July 20, 2011 at

You could make an argument for that Steve, but a blogger can only control his/her engagement so much. If you write great stuff, and your audience builds, sometimes you simply can’t keep up, no matter how hard you try.

But bottom line, relationships matter, no doubt about it.

Great seeing you stop by again Steve,

Marcus

Reply

Steve | ROI detector July 25, 2011 at

Great point, if I could control engagement my last post would have gotten WAY more comments :-) Seems like a lot of really popular bloggers wish they could engage with their audience like they could before they became popular. Hopefully I’ll find out one day.

Reply

Danny Brown July 19, 2011 at

I may write the greatest post any blogger has ever written. It could essentially be the blog post to end all blog posts. I nail so many key points about so many topics that it’s be pointless to even try follow me.

Yet to billions of people, I’m a nobody. To my wife, I’m the guy that takes out the trash on Sunday nights. To my son, I’m the guy that wipes his butt and watches as he pees on me before I can get his diaper on.

So, yeah – I could be the greatest blogger ever. But for the majority of people, I’ll just be that unknown dude that is surrounded by trash, crap and pee.

Sure as hell keeps you grounded. :)

Reply

Brandon July 19, 2011 at

And yet, you will be the man that hung the moon for that child. That’s all the fame I would need. :)

Reply

Danny Brown July 19, 2011 at

Haha, so true, mate – funny what being a father does. ;-)

Reply

Marcus Sheridan July 20, 2011 at

Hahahah DB, how is it possible that you have an epic post included here but yet you manage to drop another one for the ages in this comment??

I’m the guy that wipes his butt and watches as he pees on me before I can get his diaper on.

Yup, that’s me too mate. All the way. :-)

Cheers to poop,

Marcus

Reply

Bill Dorman July 20, 2011 at

I know, really? I mean you walk down the street and you practically have to scream at people ‘don’t you know who I am’? Meanwhile, back at the house you are wiping stinky butt and the wife is making you take out the trash. Where is all the love?

Reply

Danny Brown July 20, 2011 at

Exactly, Bill – why the heck are we not getting premium seats at the theatre? I blame Perez Hilton…

Reply

Craig McBreen July 20, 2011 at

Hi Danny,

Trash, crap and pee and poo cake … I love your tone today. :)

My kids are certainly beyond the diaper stage, but now I’m the guy who gives them rides or a few bucks when they need it. My wife just wonders why the heck I now spend so much time reading and commenting on blogs. She still doesn’t know who Seth is.

Reply

john Falchetto July 20, 2011 at

Who’s Seth?

Reply

Craig McBreen July 20, 2011 at

Indeed :)

Reply

Danny Brown July 20, 2011 at

You mean I have more non-celebrity stuff to come from my son? Awesome – I was grossly misinformed about this whole blogging thing… :)

Reply

Adam Toporek July 20, 2011 at

Danny, your humility is admirable, but at some point you have to come to grips with your celebrity — you will always and ever be famous for sheep. I mean, can you even walk past a sheep farm without being recognized? At some point, you just have to own it! :)

Reply

Marcus Sheridan July 20, 2011 at

Just take it and run Danny boy! ;-)

Reply

Danny Brown July 20, 2011 at

Here’s the thing, Adam. I tried to get into the Annual Wool Farmer’s Ball last week, but wasn’t wearing the appropriate wellington boots. So I pulled the “Don’t you know who I am?” card and they looked at me as if I was a pig farmer.

Baaaa…

Reply

Adam Toporek July 20, 2011 at

Who did that? Give me their names. I’ll make sure they never fleece in this town again! :)

Reply

Betsy Cross July 19, 2011 at

HAHA! I think, now that I think about it, that I could be well on my way to being the comment QUEEN! Everyone just writes so well and the topics are so diverse that I’m like a kid in a candy shop never knowing when I’m full to overflowing! I have to laugh because I started writing to do one thing and get extremely unnerved by the anticipation of (or lack of ) comments! Talking to the air some days. No complaints. Didn’t mean it that way. Just a lot of fun reading great stuff and hope that you all keep writing so that this mother of 9 has something stimulating to read when she can’t get to the library!!! Thanks!

Reply

Marcus Sheridan July 20, 2011 at

Hi Betsy! Yes, I certainly appreciate what you’re saying. I went a full year here on TSL before the momentum really exploded. So stay patient and remember to network as hard as you write— and everything will be great.

Thanks so much for coming by and please stop in again sometime!

Marcus

Reply

Billy Delaney July 19, 2011 at

You beg for love when you post on your blog, but you earn respect from the people who read it.
You leave your heart and soul on the page, and how in this world a person can get proud and haughty is always a mystery to me.
Good to see the mojo of this post is resonating so well.
Thanks Marcus, this causes me to rethink my blogging again!
Billy

Reply

Marcus Sheridan July 20, 2011 at

So kind of you to say Billy :-) Yep, the pride can be an utter mystery, no doubt. I guess people just deal with success in diverse way.

Appreciate your support my friend, and keep that blogging fire going!

Marcus

Reply

Benny July 19, 2011 at

I was reading a recap of World Domination Summit last month and a blogger had mention she met one or two of her favorite bloggers there. I suppose they are “famous” in their niche but they were cold to her. She was bummed. She thought maybe they were distracted but it still stung.

I enjoy the successful bloggers out there who do seem humble despite six figure incomes and massive success. Darren Rowse seems like he’d be a nice guy to say hi to in person and he’s got a blog so many people would love to have.

Great insightful post.

Reply

Marcus Sheridan July 20, 2011 at

Hey Benny, good to see you my friend. Yeah, first impressions can be tough sometimes. You never know what’s on a person’s mind, I just hope that I can always have the give, give, give mentality; you know what I mean man?

Anyway, thanks so much for taking the time to comment Benny,

Marcus

Reply

Joe @ Not Your Average Joe July 19, 2011 at

Danny made some great points about how you may be just the poop cleaner and garbage remover at home, no matter the level of internet “fame”. The people that do stay grounded know that for the most part, internet fame is entirely fleeting (except for Justin Bieber) and should be taken with a grain of salt. I blog so I can remember stuff, make a few new friends, and hopefully help someone along the route. It’s good that although you’ve become wildly popular (paparazzi bothering you yet?), you still write from the same down to earth perspective that we all enjoy.

Great post. But don’t let it go to your head…

Reply

Marcus Sheridan July 20, 2011 at

Joe, you just have a magical way of summing it up my friend that always sounds ‘just right’, so thanks for that bud. And as far as the paparazzi yet, I don’t think that will happen until my next Hollywood flick where I’m starring in the next ‘Lion King’ movie ;-)

Thanks for all your support bud,

Marcus

Reply

Howie at Sky Pulse Media July 19, 2011 at

Well once Gini and Shonali and Griddy come comment then I can truly say most of the A Listers commented here LOL

Marcus really great stuff here. I think Social Media makes it easy for people to believe their own hype…no different than a rock star or diva princess in people magazine. Not everyone who is a Hollywood star is a self involved ass. But plenty become that right?

And you have your numbers wrong. 99.999% of the world have no clue who Godin or Brogan or Scoble is. This is a weird Adland/Marketingland/Medialand thing. Since Communication is the platform and they have a big microphone it is like an echo chamber. 99% of people had no idea Old Spice did the Twitter/You Tube campaign. Read AdWeek and it was everyone who knew. And while Social Media is powerful I have estimated that 99% or more of human communication still takes place in non-social media format. But read Mashable and we gave up the cell phone for Twitter and Facebook.

But that is fine because my business strategy is to position myself as a business that helps other businesses market via reality and thus trounce their competitors. Whether with my own know how or the collective know how of my own network. Like I know know you are an inbound marketing expert something I am clueless on. So now if a client needs help…I have that in my arsenal…and hopefully they need a pool built too 8)

Reply

Marcus Sheridan July 20, 2011 at

Hahaha Howie, I just loved this man (kind of a trend with your comments btw ;-) ). And I don’t think you’re off at all with your numbers– the number with Seth should have been 99.9%. That’s not a knock on him, it’s just reality. But because we’re all in this little blogging bubble/universe of ours, it seems like Godin is the equivalent of Michael Jordan. Speaking of bubbles, boy would that make for a fun article, ehhh?

Thanks again for being dang hilarious and witty as heck Howie.

Marcus

Reply

Howie at Sky Pulse Media July 20, 2011 at

Marcus as long as you keep writing great posts I will have something to say. Whether relevant to the post or not. You know that! Cheers!

Reply

Marcus Sheridan July 20, 2011 at

You rock Howie, thanks a ton brother. :-)

Reply

Susan July 19, 2011 at

What a timely post for me. My blog is very young and I am still in the stage where every comment means the world to me. It’s not the recognition — it’s finding others like me so we can simply connect and share experiences.

This post will remind me that no matter how big my blog gets (and I do want it to get big!), I still need to cherish my commenters. Because let’s face it — without commenters, we’re really just drifting in the wind.

Reply

Marcus Sheridan July 20, 2011 at

Hi Susan! Let me just say congrats to you on this new endevour. Your journey will be a rewarding one, and I’m sure you’ll find the people and relationships you seek as long as you just talk from the heart and diligently stick with it.

And yes, without commenters (or community), we’re nothing.

Cheers Susan, and come back again!!

Marcus

Reply

Murray Lunn July 19, 2011 at

I’ve always seen blogging as being something like having a shinny toy amongst friends. Everyone wants together around and see it but it really isn’t anything all that special at its core. The value of it comes from being able to bring people together but there’s always that one person (that has the ‘toy’) that starts to become a dick; they feel as if they are better than others because they have it.

It’s an odd analogy but I think it hits home. We, bloggers, have to realize that we have done something amazing at building a community but it’s really nothing when compared to everything else. The limited reach that we have should be treated with the most humble approach because people have given up their time to listen. We shouldn’t let it go to our heads, mock others and smile when we see others not make it because it could have happen to any one of us and still can. It’s all about sticking with it and building those connections that go beyond the blog. Forget the “rockstar” status and aim to be that person that makes movements from behind the scenes.

Reply

Marcus Sheridan July 20, 2011 at

Well said Murray. As you mentioned in your comment, things can change quickly in the blogosphere. One day we can be up, and the next day we can feel completely different— on the other end of things. Staying humble and hard-working is what’s going to always carry the day.

Great to see you my friend, appreciate the support.

Marcus

Reply

Chrysta Bairre July 19, 2011 at

This post gave me so much to think about. As a newer blogger, I’m in the gaining traction phase of blogging. I am excited about every comment and tweet I get, and at this point the interaction of blogging is what keeps me motivated and energized.

I’d like to think that I wouldn’t become full of myself, and maybe I won’t, but I could see how it might happen to me. I appreciate being kept grounded, which at this point is easy to do when I’m interacting with so many great down-to-earth bloggers out there. If it weren’t for the great relationships I’ve built, I might have given up blogging months ago.

Reply

Marcus Sheridan July 20, 2011 at

Hi Chrysta, and let me just say ‘congrats’ on this blogging journey you’ve now begun. If you stay with it, it will likely be the most rewarding of your life– I really mean that. And I can tell from your comment that you’ll stay grounded, so just keep smiling (great avatar ;-) ) and hold the course.

Please come back again sometime Chrysta :-)

Marcus

Reply

leon Noone July 19, 2011 at

G’Day Marcus,
I don’t mean any offence mate, but I hope that you realize that most of us only comment on your blog in the rather vain and desperate hope that the likes of Chris Brogan, Danny Brown, Gini Dietrich and all the other “heavies” who also comment might notice us.

I mean, like, we really do love you, you being so modest and all, but we really don’t need swimming pools.

Whoops; almost forgot the post!

Back in the 80s and 90s when others lumbered my shy and retiring self with honorary titles
reflecting my pre-eminent standing in the Autralian HR and T&D community, I had lots of contact with some real bigshots from both here and overseas.

The thing that I remember most was this. The more genuinely famous the bigshot, the more generous they were with their time and expertise. One example is that Al Ries himself, on a visit here , suggested that we use the word “Noone” in our company name.

The people who were “too big for their boots” were the “upencummers.’ They gave nothing away.

Good heavens Marcus! You might be right! Don’t let it go to your head…..
Best wishes from your curmudgeonly mate

Leon

Reply

Marcus Sheridan July 20, 2011 at

Hahaha Leon, are you sure you weren’t actually a history teacher— now masquerading as an HR guy?? ;-)

But yeah, I’ve seen my share of ‘upencummers’ that make ya wanna vomit with their foolish ways…Gotta love that my friend. ;-)

Thanks for all the smiles mate,

Marcus

Reply

Mitch Mitchell July 19, 2011 at

Hi Marcus,

Man, what does it always have to be me? Oh well, I guess that’s my role in life, so I’m going to take a slightly different view of this if you don’t mind.

One, it seems that the people who say things such as this are people who make their money in other ways or get attention in other ways. For instance, you’re a blogger but overall you’re a guy in swimming pools and thus really don’t need this. Many people are actually something else, which the majority needs to be thankful for because making enough money just by blogging isn’t going to happen for everyone.

I think every blogger is important and I want them to think of themselves in that fashion. Every blogger should have a unique voice, and they should all want their voice to be heard. I want every blogger to hope that their words will inspire, teach, and touch someone to the point where they just might get invited to a conference of some type to speak to other people about blogging or whatever the heck else it is they do, just like a Jason Falls or a Chris Brogan. I want every blogger to strive to spread their influence so they have the opportunities to make money and make a better life for themselves.

I want every blogger to be serious about what they do and to think it really is important. If they don’t, then I want those people to go away and leave it to those of us who do feel that it’s important, those of us who hope to increase our influence and improve our craft and share with others and interact with others and actually care about the process and the community.

Yes, every blogger is important; I see it that way. If Jason didn’t feel it then he shouldn’t have been at the conference; that’s how I feel about it. And if a few people start feeling self important because suddenly they’re being noticed… I can deal with that because the community, like the rest of the world, will always eventually humble the person who starts to believe their own hype too much.

That’s all I have. :-)

Reply

Marcus Sheridan July 20, 2011 at

This was a great comment Mitch, and I truly appreciate your candor and passion. Actually, I don’t think you and I disagree very much at all. In fact, I agree with 99% of everything you said in this excellent comment.

Please understand that if there ever was an advocate for blogging, it’s me. As I said in the article, I believe the medium is changing the world, and it’s one of the greatest movements ever. But that wasn’t the point of this article. It was more to remind folks that no matter how much supposed success they have blogging, to not let it get to their head– and to always maintain the attributes you’ve mentioned here. So Jason wasn’t putting down blogging at all—he was rather just trying to keep every one level-headed and hungry. And frankly, I think the guy is spot-on.

Reply

Adam July 19, 2011 at

Hi Marcus “You are the BEST blogger ever!” Great post — now try and stay grounded, can you do it?

“Instead of thinking about the ‘little things’ that got them where they are (like great content, service to others, constant networking, etc) they are more concerned about perpetuating their own genius.”

My feeling is the main point you are trying to get across is stick to what got you there. The reason the audience is who it is, is because of who the blogger was getting there. Changing late in the game will in my estimate offend and/or lose some of the base followers.

I think this is a lesson that can be shared in many aspects life not just the Blogosphere.

Reply

Marcus Sheridan July 20, 2011 at

Hahaha, thanks Adam….but I think I can still do it ;-)

And yes, you’re right about my main point with this article. We’ve shouldn’t really change who we are (at least in a negative way) as success comes into our life through blogging.

Appreciate you stopping by man, as always. :-)

Marcus

Reply

Kim Davies July 20, 2011 at

Hi, Marcus.

I am still at that point when I get starstruck when a blogger I really admire replies to my comments that sometimes, I fail to continue the conversation at all. So, you can just imagine how I feel when these people I admire online gets to my blog and leaves a comment. :D All I can say is that right now, I am so far off from getting a big head because everything I get online fills me with such honor, humility and excitement, much like a child with a new toy. :)

Almost everyone I’ve met online are so incredibly down to earth despite their success. There’s Gini, yes and then, there’s you. And, then there’s Kaarina Dillabough, John Falchetto, JK and Danny Brown. I also believe that Chris Brogan is still humble even if I still have to receive a single reply to a comment I left on his site. ;) Bill Dorman is also very cool even if his blog is not that invisible anymore. I can’t even believe it when he makes it a point to visit my blog and leave a comment every time I post something. But, he is just great like that. And, need I forget Griddy and Brankica, those gals are gems. Being as starstruck as I am, I can probably go on and on about the amazing people I am getting to know online. So, I’ll just stop here and say…forgive me for being a starstruck idiot.

Reply

Craig McBreen July 20, 2011 at

Hi Kim,

Haven’t truly started YET, but I agree with most everything you’ve said here. I do get a bit starstruck as well, as I do admire many of these people and what they’ve done, including this Mufasa guy :)

Everyone you’ve mentioned has a very active community, but I see them as just being themselves, and most seem quite humble actually.

I’ve already received a bit of help from several you’ve mentioned and I haven’t even started yet.

This list includes: Kaarina Dillabough, Marcus, John Falchetto, Danny Brown, Mark Schaefer, and Bill Dorman to name a few. Each very cool, and very helpful in their own way.

Reply

Kim Davies July 20, 2011 at

You said it, Craig. They are very cool people and if you know them and you even haven’t started yet, then your start will definitely be a blast! :)

Reply

Marcus Sheridan July 20, 2011 at

Hahahaha, Bill Dorman is also very cool even if his blog is not that invisible anymore….that gave me a good laugh Kim ;-)

But I just love your enthusiasm for all this, and heck, I think we all get starstruck to a point with certain folks because we see their amazing work and think, ‘Gosh, if I could just do that…..’. So don’t feel bad, just know we’re all in this together, maybe at different levels.

Keep smiling Kim, you’re on your way :-)

Marcus

Reply

Kim Davies July 20, 2011 at

Thanks for the encouragement, Marcus. With people like you, my blogging journey can only get better and better. :)

Reply

Marianne Worley July 20, 2011 at

If you can answer “yes” to this question, you’re still grounded in reality: Are you willing to give up 1,000 “great post” comments for 1 insightful conversation with someone you’ve never connected with before?

You can have all the success in the world right now, but if you’re not learning and growing, it won’t matter in the future.

Quite a thought-provoking conversation you’ve started here Marcus!

Reply

Marcus Sheridan July 20, 2011 at

Great question Marianne, and I’m going to have to think about that answer ;-) Heck, to be honest, I appreciate all the comments. The short ‘thank you’s’ , the long ‘semi-posts’, and everything in between. But I do understand what you’re saying. We’re in this to grow, learn, and get better–no doubt about it.

Appreciate the support and kind words Marianne, thanks so much.

Marcus

Reply

Tom Ewer July 20, 2011 at

Marcus – I am hoping that one day I will have the opportunity to be humble ;-)

Great article by the way – there’s nothing wrong with getting people’s egos in check!

Reply

Marcus Sheridan July 20, 2011 at

We’re all on that same path Tom, trust me man. I don’t feel any different today than I did when I first started. Like I said in the other article, I constantly find myself wondering what must be wrong with all these folks that have stopped by my place to support and add to the conversation. :-)

Marcus

Reply

Bill Dorman July 20, 2011 at

So what are you saying; it’s not cool to be riding around in my car with my Burger King hat on? Like I told Danny, everywhere I go I practically have to scream ‘don’t you know who I am, I had 37 comments once’?

Like you, it amazes me that people will actually show up AND say nice things; I mean, really? Obviously they don’t know me that well, only my mama talks that nice about me……:)

One thing I can assure you, I will call you out in a New York minute once you start thinking you are getting a little to big for your britches. HOWEVER, keep in mind the dynamics will change when you get the big numbers so to outsiders it might look a little different than the early days but as long as you stay true to yourself you shouldn’t have to apologize to anybody, right?

And that’s all I will say about that.

Reply

Marcus Sheridan July 20, 2011 at

I had 37 comments once!….Hahahaha Bill, you’ve always got that magical way of making us all smile by friend.

And as far as you keeping me grounded, please do sir. If I ever stop being a kind and cuddly lion, you have permission to bring out the arsenal and let her fly ;-)

Have a great one brother and thanks so much for stopping by man.

Marcus

Reply

Bob Ault July 20, 2011 at

Hi Marcus,

I’m famous now. I opened my e-mail and there it was, my first “comment”. Do any of you bloggers remember what it was like to get your first “comment”? No, it wasn’t from a friend or relative. It was from an obscure, faceless person surfing the net.

Without my blog, that person may have never had the opportunity to express his wishes.

Thanks for getting me started Marcus.

Bob Ault

Reply

Marcus Sheridan July 20, 2011 at

Thrilling, wasn’t it Bob. Heck, exhilarating may be the better word. You amaze me Mr. Ault, you really do.

Thanks for your unending passion–

Marcus

Reply

Laura Click July 20, 2011 at

First, let me just say that I want to cry like a river that this is the first time I’ve visited your blog! You’ve got a lot of great stuff here and I’m sad I haven’t been here sooner. Your name kept popping up in my network (Gini Dietrich, Erica Allison, Jenn Whinnem, etc.). It’s about time I got over here to check out your stuff.

All that said, you don’t need one more comment that tells you that this is a great post lest your ego become too inflated. ;) But, this truly is a great reminder for all of us. The folks that really build an incredible audience are those that we can relate to. After all, isn’t that why they say George W. Bush got elected? People thought he was the guy they could have a beer with. Being relatable (and grounded) matters.

Growing up, my Mom coined a phrase for people who thought they were better than everyone else – MSDS People (My Sh*t Don’t Stink) People. They are everywhere. If you become one of them in the blogosphere (or in business), you’re toast.

I’ll leave you with another popular quote – “people don’t care how much you know until you show how much you care”. That’s far more important than your status as a blogger any day of the week!

Good stuff!

Reply

Marcus Sheridan July 20, 2011 at

Laura, well boy am I finally glad you listened to Aunt Gini and brought that smile of yours over to these parts ;-) And as far as crap stinking, well mine has never stunk, so I’m really not sure what you’re talking about ;-)

But seriously, you make a great point. Great writers and people like Gini, Erica, and Jenn are so well liked because, like you said, they show they care. That’s really all it boils down to. And those that show this the most, boy do they develop some serious fans.

Hope you’ll come back again in the future Laura, and thanks so much for taking the time to come by here today. :-)

Marcus

Reply

Craig McBreen July 20, 2011 at

Marcus, your post (or should I say Danny’s brilliant word play) inspired me to do a search for “Bavarian Dog Poo Cake” which led me to “Kitty Litter Cake” “Dog Poo Cookies” and the basic “Poopcake”. So, I take your post to mean, don’t ever take yourself too seriously or everyone will see you as a giant poopcake.

But seriously, this is great advice. As I move through and study the many blogging “superstars” out there, I often mention them to my wife and friends and usually hear a big, “WHO”?? Some people know of that Seth guy, but he is off the radar for most.

As I’m getting to know the people in this community, I see that most are just being themselves and often write from the heart. I’m not a blogger yet, I don’t really know you, but even I can sense that … in your house and this community of bloggers.

So Marcus, I would like to be somewhat successful with this, but most of all do not want to become a poo poo head.

Reply

Stuart July 20, 2011 at

God, this comment cracked me up ;-)

Reply

Craig McBreen July 20, 2011 at

Glad it didn’t gross you out Stu :)

Reply

Marcus Sheridan July 20, 2011 at

Hahaha, nothing like talking ‘poopcakes’ and ‘poop cookies’ Craig. Dang man, I’m getting hungry just thinking about it ;-)

But seriously bud, I really appreciate the kindness (and humor) of your words here and you really are going about this the right way in terms of studying from others as you commence your own blogging journey. And trust me, the relationships you build now are really going to come through when it’s your turn to shine.

Keep rockin Craig :-)

Marcus

Reply

Danny Brown July 20, 2011 at

For the love of God, McBreen, please tell me you got the recipes. PLEASE!!!!

Reply

Craig McBreen July 21, 2011 at

Ha. ha. Nah, I couldn’t get past the names. I do however make a killer Guinness Pie.

Reply

Heather | Farmgirl Gourmet July 20, 2011 at

What a great post! “Genius” even. :) I live in the food blogging world and your “Swim in it” comment brought a flood of foodie names to my little brain. I’d love to think I wouldn’t change (and I hope that is true) if/when my cash cow shows up. I definitely have a long list of food bloggers to NOT model myself after when it comes to lack of humility. I appreciate this post so very much. It cements the fact that I need to remain true to me and my readers and not let the successes inflate my head. Thanks again for a wonderful post!

Heather at FarmgirlGourmet.com

Reply

Marcus Sheridan July 20, 2011 at

Hahaha, ‘genius’ it is then Heather ;-)

But seriously, props to you for seeing the ‘top dogs’ for what they are and committing not to be ‘that guy’. Heck, I would imagine there are many in your industry that are just waiting to latch on to a foodie who doesn’t think they created heaven and earth. :-)

Cheers!

Marcus

Reply

Marlee July 20, 2011 at

Excuse me Mr. Sheridan. But you must not know who I AM, because, um, IIII really am THAT important.

Okay, kidding aside. I think this all boils down to your “why.” If you blog for the wrong reasons your guaranteed to get “wrong” results. I think if you stay authentic to your “why” pride shouldn’t become issue.

Reply

Marcus Sheridan July 20, 2011 at

The ‘why’ is a big part of all of this. And I think those that truly have a ‘why’ of helping/teaching/inspiring others, first and foremost (over something like fame), then they’re the ones that will hand success in the best way.

Always love it when you stop by Marlee :-)

Marcus

Reply

Barbara | Creative Culinary July 20, 2011 at

Heather from Farm Girl Gourmet sent me the address to your post. We do swim in it every day…sadly wish it was water. Food blogging is an entity of it’s own and the truth is…some VERY famous food bloggers have too many thinking of fame and fortune and it seems they will do anything to achieve it. Some VERY famous food bloggers that my neighbors have never heard of. :)

I have a lot of food blogging clients too as I own a web company. I want to help them as much as possible with the tools that I can offer but I think my best tool is some very old fashioned advice. Be the turtle. We all know what happened in that race.

Reply

Marcus Sheridan July 20, 2011 at

I find it quite interesting that so many of the food blogging ‘elites’ seem to suffer from this pride issue more than many other niches Barbara. Why do you think it is? Heck, I’m not much into the food blogging industry, but just by watching some of the reality shows it’s almost as if you’ve got to be incredibly arrogant to get one of those gigs.

But yes, the turtle….that little guy won in the end, didn’t he? ;-)

So glad Heather shared this with you Barbara and feel free to come back anytime!

Marcus

Reply

Stuart July 20, 2011 at

Oh man, I’ve read through the comments here, and some of them have almost got me rolling in the aisles! I love your comments section Marcus, I really do – it’s my favourite comments section in the blogging world today.

Remember the time when Seth commented on your blog? A special moment I’m sure, yet to him it was just a normal comment on an interesting post. That difference between the two perspectives is what inspires me about blogging – that what I’m writing may not enthrall me at the time, but it can be life-changing for a reader. To me it’s something I enjoy doing, but to someone else, it could change their life.

Thinking about that makes me humble about blogging. That there are people who will almost worship you and your blogging/writing, yet it can be just another blog post for you. It’s this that ensures I’ll never get ‘too big for my boots’, because there’s always someone out there will truly values what you do :-)

Reply

Marcus Sheridan July 20, 2011 at

Incredibly well said Stu, like always my friend. I think your perspective is very much like mine—Humbling. It’s humbling to get so many commenters, compliments, kind words, etc. And for me(and I’m sure you too), each positive affirmation almost raises the bar a little higher, making we want to be sure I meet the expectations of my audience, and not let anyone down.

Cheers to us never growing out of our boots Stu ;-)

Marcus

Reply

Stuart July 21, 2011 at

I hope I never grow out of my boots Marcus, my feet are big enough at Size 12 (13 in the US?) ;-)

Reply

Adam Toporek July 20, 2011 at

Marcus, it is an interesting dynamic when someone gets so popular in the blogosphere, because blogging has an immediate reward system unlike any other medium, save live audience. It provides real time reinforcement (usually positive). When someone gets to the point where they can blog about their trip to Niagara Falls and still get 100 comments, it seems like they would certainly have to guard about the mental trappings you talk about.

I think a sense of gratitude can help with humility. I am grateful or every customer that chooses to spend a dollar with me instead of somewhere else, for every person who takes the time to comment at my place instead of doing something else. On some level, isn’t a lack of humility based in taking people for granted?

Great thoughts Marcus. Enjoyed our talk the other day and really appreciate the tips! You are the mane man! :)

Reply

Marcus Sheridan July 20, 2011 at

On some level, isn’t a lack of humility based in taking people for granted?

Powerful point my friend. You really do have such a great approach to people Adam, and I know it’s going to continue to take you places my friend, in and out of the blogosphere. :-)

Reply

John Sherry July 21, 2011 at

Marcus, I know it and you know it..there are bloggers we’ve come across who are very caught up in their image and identity. I’ve been a member of a big online blogger community and have witnessed ‘nice’ starter bloggers who were mutual in their give and take as their blog began and grew, but they soon turned into profile freaks who only sought out recognition (btw they haven’t really got anywhere either blog or Bavarian poo wise!). I think it’s more down to their personality than the Internet and it’s huge potential. The old smart suits and well cut dresses, the fancy cell phones, and the big talk of the corporate world have become the blog world fame chasers. You can take the smug out of the office but you can’t keep it from working online.

Brings to mind an old phrase we used to say in the tennis world for those well dressed types who couldn’t hit a shot for toffee – ‘All the gear, but still no idea’. Seems apt somehow!

Cheers for being a true blue blogger with character Marcus – you’re a great advert for blogship at its very best!!

Reply

Wim @ Sales Sells July 21, 2011 at

Hi Marcus,

We all know a lot of self-masturbation is going on on the internet, and then I’m not even referring to the physical thing :)

The web offers the perfect platform for people who are looking for their 5 minutes of fame. Of course achieving real success takes a lot longer than 5 minutes.

I think modesty should not be a mere act or attitude, but a mindset. It’s OK to take pride in what you’ve achieved but this doesn’t make you any more special than your local plumber who just fixed your fittings.

Wim

Reply

naveen July 22, 2011 at

Why do some bloggers forget who they are? Because as they grow they forget the sheer volume of work it took to make them an overnight success. They start to feel like they are someone and with success comes the mirror that amplifies our weaknesses :(

They are human, vulnerable and out of their depth. Their priorities become different ones.

If I ever get like that throw some water over me please…

Reply

Sherron Watson July 22, 2011 at

I enjoyed your article. I am new as a blogger but have found that most of the bloggers I deal with are nice and humble individuals, doing what they love most. In my blogging world it’s taking pictures of food and writing recipes. I was surprised when I had a few fans like my page, and like you amazed, that people take the time to comment and interact with me.

Thanks again for the comments. It’s a nice reminder to be humble and gracious with our time and talent.

Sherron
Simply Gourmet Photography

Reply

Marcus Sheridan July 22, 2011 at

Hi Sherron, and thanks so much for taking the time to stop by and share you’re thoughts. BTW, do you have an avatar yet? (that little photo next to your name) If not, it’s free and really quick to get at http://www.gravatar.com –and will continue to help your brand grow.

But best of luck to you with the blog, I’m sure you’ll do great things if you just stay the course!

Marcus

Reply

not importants August 27, 2011 at

sometimes that is not important and we ignore will become very important and meaningful.

Reply

jesse February 7, 2012 at

So true in so many ways. I just started blogging and have not built up an audience yet, but I am almost addicted to looking at traffic stats and shares (if there are any). Even just one share gets me excited.

How do you create a loyal following? How do you avoid being not like everyone else that is blogging about the same topic? How long have you been blogging and when did you notice it start to really take off?

Reply

Ana Hoffman January 26, 2013 at

Danny is certainly right, but knowing it and admitting it are two different things.

Bottom line for me: I need to get out more, go to a conference or two, truly experience the blogging world in person.

Then we’ll see how my pride does with “…any you are who again?” :)

Reply

Marcus Sheridan January 28, 2013 at

Yeah Ana, when are you going to get out to one of these events? You’ve got an incredible amount to share and such a community, people could really benefit from your advice and teachings. And I think a bunch would know who you were, that’s for sure :-)

Marcus

Reply

Ian February 26, 2014 at

I remember hearing Gary Vaynerchuk laugh when he told a story where someone called in internet famous. He mentioned that no one knows who he is when he walks around. It’s only the small group of us who are following marketers like yourself and Gary who know about you guys.

It’s all about remembering that and your ego won’t get inflated!

Reply

Marcus Sheridan February 28, 2014 at

Very true Ian!

Reply

make money March 12, 2014 at

This human touch cannot be duplicated by the software programs currently available.
Many home sourcing employers not only prefer but require that employees live in the area.

A person who wants to work at home and run an online
business using the Dropshipping process will do well.

Reply

Leave a Comment

{ 8 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: