Stop Pretending that Your Blog Isn't About Your Ego

Window to the soul, ticket to success - it's all the same.

The following is a 200 word post inspired by a discussion with @TomCopy about self-promotion, blogging and ego.

Too many people think self-promotion is a bad thing. That you shouldn’t ever submit your own content, that you should spend your days promoting other people’s work, that the world will do you a favour.

They think that blogging isn’t about your ego.

They’re wrong.

Stop Pretending – Your Blog is All About Your Ego

If you didn’t honestly think that you were clever/experienced/fascinating enough for people to learn from, you wouldn’t be blogging. So stop pretending you’re doing this for charity. And start embracing your ego.

Why Your Ego is Good for your Blog

Creating Great Content – Your ego drives you to be the best. Which means you’re constantly trying to prove yourself. How? By creating great content.

Spreading the Word – The world doesn’t owe you a favour. If you’re not egotistical enough to promote your own work, nobody else will.

Creating Authority – The number one tip for new bloggers is to write with authority. And who’s more authoritative than someone who can convince you that they know it all?

So, what do you think? Should we all embrace our egos, or is it time for bloggers to show a little humility? Please, share your thoughts.

14 Comments comments for "Stop Pretending that Your Blog Isn’t About Your Ego"

  1. Good post (and not just because it came from my tweet).

    I suppose some might argue that blogging is about self-expression, as distinct from ego. A lot of my posts are certainly things I want to get off my chest – but I feel a bit embarrassed if no-one is that interested in them. A blog is a way to get some social ‘stroking’ and validation from people in your extended circle, so it’s always egocentric in that sense. And you’re quite right that getting a positive response is about proving yourself.

    For freelances like me, it’s also a business necessity. As you obviously know, a blog is really the only way to get links in decent volume over the long term, whether through guest posts or just pingbacks. So the quality of the blog, and the quantity of visitors, is key to building SEO profile, which has a direct influence on new business enquiries.

    That means striking the tricky balance between pimping your own stuff and irritating your audience, which I still struggle with. Just how many tweets is enough?

    The best way to mitigate that is to offer real value, whether by researching new info, compiling or reworking existing info, sharing original opinion or just entertaining the audience. If you can do one or more of those things, you can justifiably claim to be ‘sharing’ rather than just bigging yourself up. The worst blogs are transparently self-promotional, while the best are valuable resources that are still very much for and about their authors.

    Like you, I really can’t understand the unwritten rule against sharing your own stuff. Recently, I’ve had very positive responses to older posts that I’ve re-shared. While people do occasionally pick up older posts that way, I think it’s too much to expect people to trawl through my back pages looking for gems. So I see nothing wrong with pushing golden oldies to my more recent followers.

    On Twitter at least, a lot of Tweets without links can be more egocentric than those with. People talking about their own successes – client wins, press coverage, awards – annoys me far more than pushing a blog post. A blog post is, in theory at least, a considered, developed argument. A ‘look at me’ tweet is genuinely shallow self-promotion.

    Now click the link to visit my blog and read all my posts. They’re fantastic!

    • Andrew says:

      Fantastic comment Tom, thanks. And I think you’ve made history as the first person to come up with a comment that’s longer than the original blog post…

      I’ve been sharing older posts too (mainly to get some mileage out of Buffer), and I’ve noticed that a few posts that people missed the first time round are being shared and commented on months after they were published and (almost) ignored.

      I guess my standpoint hasn’t changed since the conversation that prompted this. People reading this blog benefits me – both as an SEO technique, and a bit of ego-stroking. So if I’m getting a benefit, surely the onus is on me to self-promote? Leaving it up to someone else is entirely self-defeating, especially on social sites where it’s far easier to hit RT/Like/+1 than to compose an original message extolling the virtues of the post in question.

      I know that blog posts also benefit the reader by sharing information, but you shouldn’t rely on someone doing you a favour. After all, this content is all free – not “free so long as you share it”.

  2. Tom Shivers says:

    I agree that ego is one motivation to produce great content, but it also includes identifying hot topics that lots of people will want and perhaps share with their friends and followers. A point Tom eluded to in his article, err comment.

    • Andrew says:

      Do you think I should put his comment up top and move the post into the comments section? The page looks lopsided otherwise…

  3. Gabryyl Pierce says:

    Ego is not a four letter word. Everything we do is about ego, like it or not. Even this comment, otherwise why would I be making it – I believe what I think is of interest to someone, which boosts my ego.

  4. B. Ligerent says:

    For some reason this discussion of ego and old, missed posts brought up this Flaming Lips song in my head:

    I was wanting you to love me
    But your love it never came
    All the other love around me
    Was just wasting all away
    I must have been tripping
    Was just wasting all away
    Just ego tripping
    I was waiting on a moment
    But the moment never came
    But the moment never came

    I imagine little anthropomorphic blog posts crying and singing woefully. But I digress.

    There’s nothing wrong with seeking out some online love and attention for your ego, your business, appreciation of your self-expression or whatever other ‘egotistical’ motives might go into blogging.

  5. B. Ligerent says:

    And speaking of ego and blogging, I don’t know why CommentLuv never picks up the posts for my B. Ligerent blog. I need to get that figured out.

  6. Interesting discussion going on here. I totally support talented people who have mastered the art of subtle self-promotion. I believe that all people are good at something, and I don’t think there is anything wrong with sharing your strengths via blogging or any other medium, for that matter. I think that’s how we grow and improve, learn and evolve. I also think it’s important to remember that there are people out there who are better at what we do than ourselves, and we should remain humble nonetheless. It’s also a good idea to keep in mind how we got to where we are today, and what the journey was like for us in the beginning of our careers or lives in general. That makes charitable blogging far more philanthropic, since we can still relate to someone who is just starting down a similar path. Hopefully that inspires us to share our knowledge and reach out to others in an effort to help them out, before anything else.

    Just my two cents. Enjoyed reading this post, as well as the comments.

  7. Amy says:

    Precisely! There are few things in the world that are done without purpose. For sure, blogging isn’t one of them.

  8. Judith says:

    It’s rather difficult to separate yourself from your ego – so why pretend that what you do isn’t tied to it? Humility definitely has its place in our lives but if you have a modest view of your importance then how are you going to pull off having a successful blog – much less get others to read what you wrote.

  9. Word Bomber says:

    It’s a funny thing. You’ll get the most back from giving something that makes people think. Or giggle. You know, the visceral connection stuff – giving something people want to share cos it’s good. The ego might always be looking for a pat on the back for being terribly clever, but it’s quality that brings the most back in. Ego always falls on it’s arse in the end.

    Anyway, I’m ace.

  10. Mike Elliott says:

    I’m so full of myself I have my own Zipcode… and a blog

  11. I think a lot of small business owners write their blogs against their will because they have been told they must by their design agencies. For them it’s not about ego and it’s often not something they really want to do.

    That said, I write my blog because it shows how utterly ace I am too!

  12. Janjan says:

    Good post.
    This really gives me confidence in writing. Ego’s are the one that drives writer to be at their best. But if it is their ego that drives them to stop on writing because of a one mistake they did. Egos may not be a help at all. But having your ego is good because as you said its creating authority & spreading the word.
    Thanks for sharing.

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