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Five Reasons I Lost Readers in 2010

By: Guest | January 26, 2011 | 
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This first ran on Dec. 30, but it was so close to the holidays and we like the topic so much, we wanted to re-run it so you don’t miss it.

Michael Schechter is the digital marketing director for Honora Pearls, a monthly columnist for JCK Magazine, and the founder of Gen-Next Jewelers.  He also steals and shares your best ideas and quotes on his Tumblr blog, Smarter Than I Am.

I like me.  A lot.  Sadly, readers have not woken up to the amazingness that emanates from within me.  In fact, even when I manage to capture their attention, I seem to lose them just as quickly.  So why, why does someone as charming and as smart as I am (so says my mom) struggle to capture hearts, minds and most importantly the continuing attention of all of you?

Normally I would just blame this on you guys.  I mean why not, it is perfectly rational and it means I don’t have to change.  However, today it appears that I am having a lucid moment (I miss these).  Rather than shoving my head back into the warm and inviting sand, I am going to go against my grain for a moment and list a few of the reason why I think you keep leaving me.

1)   I talk about me… a lot.  In fact it is all I seem to talk about.  I strive to delight by sharing insights I glimpsed from doing this or that.  I honestly thought you would benefit from my nuggets of wisdom, yet it appears that you might actually want me to put some thought into your problems.

2)   I’m more conversational than I am helpful… I love to talk to you.  It is a great way to spend the day.  It is also a great way to avoid doing any actual work.  I don’t know about you, but I barely feel the urge to focus on anything remotely resembling a solution to the challenges we both face anymore.

3)   I keep talking about that thing I’m doing… All the time, in fact, you’ve probably come up with a drinking game.  Take a shot whenever I talk about that new thing I’m doing.  Two shots if I manage to talk about that thing I’m doing while talking about something totally unrelated.  Apparently soft selling every second of every day is actually a hard sell… who knew?

4)   My brilliance is rather inconsistent… When I talk to you, I am giving you solid gold.  Each sentence is very shiny, perfectly wonderful and amazingly useful to you.  That said, I only tend to throw these essential ideas your way when they fit into my schedule.  No matter how many times I tell you that I’m a busy guy, it appears that you actually expect me to try and do this on a regular basis.

5)   I am EVERYWHERE… and I want you to be too.  As if my Facebook, my Twitter and my blog weren’t enough, I also want you to read and share everything I write on our corporate site as well as my Tumblr.  Who amongst us doesn’t love a shiny new toy, but maybe, just maybe, I spread myself a bit thin this year and made it harder for you to find my aforementioned brilliance.

This doesn’t mean you should worry about me, I will be fine.  Any minute now an A-list blogger is going to come across this post, recognize my talent and share this wisdom with their wealth of followers.  How could they not? I mean it’s like I said at the beginning, I’m amazing!  Yet while this is all well and good, I can’t fight the feeling that if I keep this up in 2011, I am just going to keep losing whoever comes my way.

So, go ahead, chastise me.  Tell me how you think I should do it differently next year.  Or better yet, if like me you are having a moment of clarity, be honest and share where you may have gotten it wrong in 2010.

Authors note: While there is a dash of hyperbole and a sprinkle of observation, these are all things I am a little (ok, very) guilty of and hope amongst hopes to improve on in the coming year.

Follow Michael Schechter on Twitter and check out your best ideas and quotes on his Tumblr blog, Smarter Than I Am.

56 comments
girlygrizzly
girlygrizzly

Michael,

I, for one, am thrilled that I had a chance to read this. Your Momma is right. (of course) You are brilliant! I love it, the way you use reverse physiology on us!! I really love the way you talk to us (me) and those little sparkly gems are there, always. So, Thanks. ~Amber-Lee

JulioRVarela
JulioRVarela

It's never about YOU, it's always about THEM.

Martyn Chamberlin
Martyn Chamberlin

Well done Michael! I agree with each of your points here.

Especially that last one. There are so many exciting tools out there that it's easy to start using all of them, and then expect our followers to consume everything we ship. If you look at the people who are really good at the Internet, you'll notice that their sandcastles are few, but they focus on them to perfection. Definitely something I need to work on!

Thanks for the post.

C_Pappas
C_Pappas

Def a resolution for me as well! I get so excited talking about my POV about a topic that I sometimes forget to leave something useful for my readers. And the usefulness of the post is usually what gets it passed around. Just blaring your thoughts into a crowd is a temporary fix to getting something off your chest. It doesnt help <most of the time> and it fragments your cause and message.

ladylaff
ladylaff

Wait, did you just say something?

bdorman264
bdorman264

1. I didn't blog.
2. Nobody cared that I went to Starbucks.
3. I couldn't think of anything original to say.
4. I'm not sure this social media thing has any legs.
5. Not all my friends can read.

I admire you for putting it all 'out there'. There will always be an ebb and flow and if you can step back at times with a critical eye to really find out what does and does not work for you (and your audience). Hopefully you have staying power and it's much more than your 15 minutes of fame.

EricaAllison
EricaAllison

Michael, is this some sort of intervention? Has my blog been hijacked? Wait, this is about you? Oh, felt too much like me...looking into a mirror. I love this post and will go back to it again to remind myself to refocus, remember why I blog, and to get back to work! Seriously, the time I spend reading blogs, commenting on blogs and then staying up late writing my own posts needs to pay off. So far, it's gotten me involved with this rowdy bunch of hooligans that congregate at Spin Sucks on a regular basis (my husband is beginning to wonder), and it's pushed me to find a balance between my blog-affair and my business. Right now, the business is demanding attention like my 2 year old in the afternoon melt down zone.

You, however, are quite interesting, witty and insightful. Keep tweeting and blogging and I will indeed keep reading...and commenting. Thanks, Michael. Enjoyed it! If I had a Smarter Than I Am blog, I'd put you on it.

SusanD
SusanD

Guilty as charged. Your post was forwarded to me on Saturday by my team member who suggested I blog in the first place. How timely! We just made a decision on Friday, to freeze blog production for 45 days in order to concentrate on a little 'ole thing like monetizing our business. Here's how I (#1,2,3) began to realize something was wrong. My vlogging software pooped out and I could not do the video blog version of my written blog (#4, 5). Nobody noticed. We then did a survey of our subscribers that told us; blogs are the least important feature to our community. A deeper look into Google Analytics, confirmed it. Cost: two hours daily from me (founder) Monday-Friday, precious budget paid to staff bloggers and an overwhelming focus from key team members. Pay-off: Stagnant and lackluster traffic to the website. Thanks Michael, we know WHAT we had to do. Now we know WHY we had to come to do it.

wabbitoid
wabbitoid

The irony of this post (which I really do like and hope people take to heart!) is that I am constantly, and I mean <i>constantly</i> chided by people who believe themselves to be experts to make my own postings (and those of my clients) <i>more</i> personal and chatty and generally unprofessional / annoying.

I firmly believe that all this stuff - my clients, the economy, politics, and everything else I write about - is just not about me, it's not that kind of party. I am totally self-indulgent in this comment simply to highlight what a minority view this post comes from - and how very right it clearly is.

Thank you. I hope more people start to realize it's not all about them. Now back to your regular programming.

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

I would leave a comment but I'm off to look, nay, gaze adoringly in the social media mirror. So I shall return after complaining about how woe is me, and having my adoring sheep - I mean, people - come to my aid and say "Great post", "Great tweet", "Great status update" or anything great, as long as it refers to me.

Damn, I just left a comment, didn't I??

samuraiwriter
samuraiwriter

I'd like to join this livefyre party but my image won't display at the moment - probably a good thing too hehe.

When I see posts like Michael's it reminds me of that old stock market adage:"The crowd is usually right except at major market turning points."

And just as some professional investors complete their selling some time before the market tops, no doubt social media pros / old hands sense the coming shake out (in 2011??) and start re-focusing on better serving their prospects and customers, instead of digitally slicing and dicing them with those shiny baubles of what look like wisdom. It may well be, but the problem is we only have time to pay attention to a fraction of them...

One tactic I'm enjoying experimenting with is to follow just 50 Tweeters at a time. It's a bit like a value investors portfolio - back in the days when value investing meant something lol! I get to know them better, retweet some of their stuff, DM them etc. It's fun.

What gets a Tweeter dropped from the cut? Simple. No tweets for 30 days or so...

A Happy New Year of the Rabbit to You all

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

Since I don't know you Michael and some of the folks here know me (yes the unlucky ones), they will understand that I am taking this blog as a sarcastic refrain on the existential pining of todays blogger and social media-ite who feels they should be given as much attention as the talented and way under rated Lindsay Lohan gets in the news..everyday...24/7. I mean what blogger doesn't think their blog or tumblr site shouldn't be the home page of every browser..in fact it should come pre-loaded as the dfault homepage with every computer and mobile device shipped world wide.

And it actually goes along with most in the Advertising/Marketing/Media industry now seem compelled to blog to prove they know something, anything of value that will bring attention or some business their way. Which is pretty freaking bizarre but true. Even I blog. Sigh. #mesucker It also is why there is a fight between Gen-Y and the Boomers who say they are sick of Gen-Y yapping about themselves, when really the Boomers are jealous that they had no such soapbox such as blogs or Twitter back in the day. nevermind a cell phone.

Well said!

trchandler
trchandler

Clever use of "I" and "my" on each of the five points to clearly illustrate your point. Also like the distinction between being conversational and helpful. One doesn't gaurantee the other, and ideally you achieve both. Good reminders for us all.

3HatsComm
3HatsComm

Michael, This is gold. Like @DanGordon I commit almost all of these but #2 is my weak link as I could chat about PR and social media all day. (I could also go on and on about my favorite TV shows, but that's another problem.) Seriously I've spent a big part of my day here at Spin Sucks (which has been great) when I should be crafting a plan for global domination, or at least, land another paying client. ;-) Can't speak for you, but one of my weaknesses that I am nowhere; which is to say I don't do a good enough job at the analytics, SEO, driving traffic to my blog stuff. FWIW.

JohnnyRusso
JohnnyRusso

Refreshingly different post than we're used to seeing. Well done Michael. Imagine that, your admitted me, me, me attitude stance is refreshing. lol.

Looking forward to see how you follow through.

Erroin
Erroin

Oddly enough my Mom thinks I'm amazing too! Too bad she is not an A-list blogger.

Great point on being spread thin on every social network. It seems to fly in the face of every "hints, tips, & guide" on using social media.

Erroin

DanGordon
DanGordon

Loved the post, lived this as you know. Every single one. Solid Points across the board. Made every mistake you mention, still do many of 'em. I guess it's a parallel to bad habits, break 'em or they'll break us. And most importantly... I am finally grateful you are starting to realize it, life is gonna be awesome in my Twitter stream in 2011 :) just kiddin'. But, seriously man, of the best posts I have read in a very long time. With all the hype on how to do this & how to do that I always enjoy convo more on what we need to take a look at and change up. Thanks for turning me on to Spin Sucks. Will be added to my reader ASAP.

_DG

erinlynn76
erinlynn76

Maybe since I already made Gini cookies that somehow makes up for all of my selfishness?
(probably not)
I really related to this, which is likely NOT a good sign. Le sigh.

Krazy_Kris
Krazy_Kris

Well, Shelly is a wise one so I typically click from her twitter stream. Very nice post Michael. The only thing you missed was detailing how amazing I am **winks**. Look forward to tracking you down now :-D

ShellyKramer
ShellyKramer

Awesome. And so not enough to describe this post, Michael. So many great points here it's hard to find one that's a favorite. Talking about solutions to problems. Talking about them instead of me. Being consistent. All my goals for the coming year - let's tackle them together. And, whomever loses (weekly) has to come up with the next drinking game. And Gini has to make the winner cookies. Yes. Every. Single. Week.

*Love* this.

Happy New Year, Punk.

Shelly
@shellykramer

abarcelos
abarcelos

Michael, great post. We all get wrapped up in the things you mention from time to time. Personally I didn't see you that way, but maybe it's because I was also guilty of doing some of those things myself. Awareness is huge. Humility is huger (I don't care if that's a word or not), and genuine care and helpfulness for those around us should always be the priority. So for 2011, I hope to focus on these goals both personally & professionally and not be all things to all people. 2011 will be a year of reality and perspective for me. Hope it's one for you as well. Happy New Year my longtime friend (you, me Gina & Danny had it goin' on in the early days ;-)). Heck we still do but life happens daily, quickly!

MSchechter
MSchechter

@girlygrizzly Honestly, I was just lying about my mom for comedic effect... :) Happy to hear I was speaking your language!

MSchechter
MSchechter

You just kicked hte crap out of my post in the best way! I am thinking that my 15 minutes on Spin Sucks is going to be my apex (sadly not being sarcastic here :) ), but I like the view from here!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@bdorman264 Bill, I was in a meeting and slyly checking my emails and saw this. It made me snicker out loud!

MSchechter
MSchechter

@EricaAllison I live for interventions... I am exceptionally good at judging myself... so good in fact that it often tends to lend itself to juding others as well...
I totally hear you on the whole making your blog viable for you... While it's been a great way to crystalize thoughts, improve as a write (and likely as a human), it can be a challenge to balance it with the time it takes with work and family (apparently they still want to interact with me, no matter how unpleasant I am to them). Glad to know I am not alone in my struggles :)

MSchechter
MSchechter

@Danny Brown I was hoping that you would never see this... that you would never know... but now, it only seems fair that I be honest and truthful. That every time I wrote Me or I in this post what I meant was Danny Brown. Now the truth is out and you know what, I feel better. Better that you know how we all feel (yes, I speak for the universe now, kind of how the Lorax speaks for the trees). Unrelated side note... great post today :) Happy New Year Mr. B!

MSchechter
MSchechter

@HowieG I'd say one part sarcatic refrain, one part honest assessment of where I may have missed this year. I can't help but wonder if those of us in the space feel compelled to blog or just need to learn how to in order to keep up. I think the truth lies somewhere right between Y and the Boomers. We should use these tools to have a voice, but we just need to be a lot smarter and a whole lot more humble about what we say with them.

MSchechter
MSchechter

@trchandler Thanks good sir :) Totally agree, if you focus on just being conversation or just being helpful, you end up missing the boat. It's that perfect balance of giving value while talking with someone that I'd like to achieve. Good news is I have a whole new year to work on this!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@3HatsComm I don't know...Global Domination plans go on here every day so I'd say it's a great place for you to be hanging out! And I'm with you...I'm terrible at the analytics.

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

@ginidietrich @Erroin Yes Gini's mom now has my photo on her fridge with the letters Awesome! Pasted above like the sun shining down on this earth. No idea where she got it...

MSchechter
MSchechter

@DanGordon Thank buddy! Seriously great blog with this one odd ball post aside. It's a go to read in mine. Just saw a lot of what you should do and what we plan to do posts. Just wanted to speak up for those of us who looked at where we sucked last year. Looking forward to sucking less right alongside ya next year!

MSchechter
MSchechter

@erinlynn76 I totally does. Cookies literally obsolve any sin. Go ahead... name one sin that cookies to not obsolve... couldn't think of one, could you?

MSchechter
MSchechter

@Krazy_Kris That will be my follow up post... people who are as amazing as I am (if not more) :) Looking forward to shaking hands in 2011!

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

@ginidietrich @ShellyKramer When did Shelly migrate from Cupcakes to Cookies. I have a Cookie client. But sadly they are persihable and since they get sent only by Bicycle Courier they would be green with mold when they arrived from LA...oh wait...Lance Armstrong is out of work right?

MSchechter
MSchechter

@ShellyKramer @shellykramer Considering I live for drinking games, this sounds like the best idea I've ever heard. I cannot for the life of me figure out why on earth haven't I thought of tying my future success to alcohol before... 2011, here we come, or more likley, here we stumble...

As for the cookies, I like Gini far too much to subject her to eating anything I might create. I felt bad enough asking her to read something I wrote :)

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@ShellyKramer Uh. Come again?! I do have a job, you know. And, unfortunately, it's NOT making cookies!

MSchechter
MSchechter

@abarcelos Huger is one of those "Should be a word, isn't a word"... :) Sadly, I've never had it said to me, but still...

Glad I don't come off that way, but definiately saw a bit of it in my stuff when I did the review. Think I am way worse when it comes to the consistancy bit. Here is to more quality Twitter Mafia days in 2011. Thankfully it looks like we are all keeping ourselves busy these days!

abarcelos
abarcelos

An amazing 2011 to you Shelly-kins XOXO To awareness, humility, and random acts of kindness (even it's just a smile to a passer by).

ShellyKramer
ShellyKramer

@abarcelos Humility. Such a rare character trait, Anna. And such an important one. Happy New Year, Punkette.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Schechter, in his guest post on SpinSucks, explained Why I Lost Readers in 2010 (I only started blogging in the last few months, but it still applies). Artfully poking fun at [...]

  2. [...] Five Reasons I Lost Readers in 2010 | Spin Sucks Written on January 15, 2011 by Michael Schechter in Articles I like me.  A lot.  Sadly, readers have not woken up to the amazingness that emanates from within me.  In fact, even when I manage to capture their attention, I seem to lose them just as quickly.  So why, why does someone as charming and as smart as I am (so says my mom) struggle to capture hearts, minds and most importantly the continuing attention of all of you? via spinsucks.com [...]

  3. [...] like to follow along, I invite you to subscribe4. I talk at length about why I’ve lost readers here. [↩]Something I’ve started working on with my Quick Quotes Weekly posts. [↩]Those who [...]

  4. [...] it. It’s a fair question, as the response to my personal contribution to the web has been lackluster, yet here I am, typing [...]

  5. [...] very first guest post for us, “Five Reasons I Lost Readers in 2010,” was so good that I ran it twice. It’s sarcastic and really funny, but it’s spot [...]

  6. [...] introducing Michael Schechter.   I met Michael through Gini (imagine that) when he guest posted Five Reason I Lost Readers in 2010. Of course, I had an extremely witty reply and we’ve been bumping into each other ever since. [...]