The Myth of the Selfish Blogger and A-Lister

by Marcus Sheridan

It has been said before that the more successful a blogger gets in his/her field, the more selfish they also become in terms of time, money, and helping others.

I’ve come to the conclusion that whoever said this was wrong—dead wrong.

In fact, I’ve come to realize that so called “A-listers” and other icons in the social media and marketing realm are some of the most selfless folks I’ve ever met.

But before I explain what has drawn me to this conclusion, let me also say that a few poor souls reading this post will think what I’m about to do is solely for the purpose of link baiting and name-dropping.

Again, sad indeed, but there will always be those that look for the one cloud in the sky on what is a perfect spring day….but I digress.

Content Marketing World

In many ways, this post started when I attended and spoke at Content Marketing World last year in Cleveland Ohio. This was the inaugural event of what has already become one of the premier conferences of its kind in the world, a fact that is largely due to this reality:

It ain’t just about the money, these people CARE.

What I mean by this is when content marketing pioneer Joe Pulizzi called on his friends in the industry to come and speak at this first-time event, every single one of them answered the bell. Major names like Michael Stelzner, Brian Clarke, Jay Baer, Lee Odden, CC Chapman and Ann Handley—all of which are regularly paid speakers—came, traveled, and participated on their own dime.

And why did they do it?

Because they have a serious passion for this new realm we’re all a part of. There are few uncharted waters left in this world, but social media and content marketing are certainly just beginning to be discovered and understood. For many of us involved, this is all wayyyy more than just a job.

Social Slam

But Content Marketing World is just one example of many. A few months back I started reading all of these conversations online about a unique social media event that was happening in good-old Knoxville Tennessee called Social Slam (April 27th 2012), founded by Mark Schaefer of {Grow}. What impressed me so much about Social Slam was two-fold:

1. Mark wanted to put on a great conference at an extremely affordable price. (Mission accomplished with an $89 entry fee.)

2. The speaker lineup was exceptional. Actually, it was shocking considering the cost. The keynotes were Mitch Joel and Gini Dietrich, two people I deeply admire. Other professionals I really respect like Sean McGinnis, Jay Baer, Eric Pratum, Stanford Smith, and DJ Waldow had also decided to hop in an airplane, take time away from their families, and give freely to others their time, talents, and knowledge.

Again, none would be paid for these sacrifices.

So impressed was I with the story behind Social Slam and the speakers attending that I immediately called Mark Schaefer and asked if I could be a part of such an event. And after a little arm-wrestling on my part, Mark found a spot for the Lion. ;-)

This List Keeps Going

In reality, Content Marketing World and Social Slam are not alone with respect to selfless acts by great people. In fact, Blog World is also loaded with them. I could literally list hundreds of speakers from this event but one in particular this year that comes to mind is John Falchetto of The Adventure Mindset. John will be leaving his wife and daughter in France (where he resides) to fly across the ocean (on his own dime) and spend 60 minutes talking with a group of folks he’s likely never met—all with the goal of positively touching someone in the audience so they make more of their life and achieve their dreams.

If that isn’t selfless, I have no idea what is.

As you might imagine, the examples go on and on, but since I’ve been in this industry for about 3 years now, literally over 99% of the men and women I’ve met and gotten to know have been just like the names I mentioned above.

They care.

They give of their time.

And they have a bigger picture and vision than one simply filled with dollar bills.


Yep, you better believe I’m proud to be a part of this group. In fact, I plan on being a part of it for a long, long time.

Your Turn:

I’ve said my experience now I’d love to hear yours. Has your impression of those in the blogosphere been similar to mine? Do you have any examples of selfless acts you’ve seen other bloggers do? As always, you’re invited to share any thoughts or questions below.

Note*** It was recently announced that I’ll be one of the keynotes at this year’s Content Marketing World in Columbus Ohio. To say I plan on blowing the roof off that place would be a mild understatement, and I truly hope to see many of you there!! :-)

Hope to see some of you there!

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