Seth Godin is a very famous marketing “guru” who got famous from marketing outside the box and then coining terms to describe new marketing phenomena. In a recent interview, Seth was asked about the value of the New York Times Bestselling List and whether writers should still aim for that accomplishment. Seth’s response was (as should be expected) to answer a question with a question.
Basically, Godin pushes his own product, Squidoo, and his books. He is trying to establish himself as the foremost authority on marketing by denouncing things like search marketing and by attempting a hard reboot of marketing strategies. Not that his promotion of “outside the box” thinking is necessarily off target. But really, if you’ve read one book, the rest are fairly obvious continuations. Get one book, grasp the premise, and then read the others only if you become a huge fan.
It’s all smoke and mirrors, anyway. Whether you’re Seth Godin, Aaron Wall, or Rand Fishkin, it’s all about creating perceived value and getting a few influential friends to back up your play.
Seth’s statement about the small percentage of book purchasing /reading Americans is a valid one. How many people will you actually be influencing if you make the bestseller list? Answer: millions in the long term. More and more people read blogs and news websites rather than books and newspapers. That’s a given. But don’t give up your dreams to be an author just yet.
As you will see in the months and years to come, CultureFeast is an example of blogging your way toward a book. It sometimes takes a little momentum, confidence building, practice, and target audience building to pave the way for that first successful book. Rather than buying into Mr. Marketing’s every word, consider doing what motivates you. If you really want to blog, then blog. If you want to write a book, write a book. The problem with marketing gurus is that they’re chief end is to line their pockets by telling you how to line yours.
Of course you want to make money! Sure, you want to give up that crappy job and do your own thing! But for now, do what you love. Make room for it in your life. Spend time on it. Just enjoy it. Keep up with marketing best practices just so you don’t completely fall off the relevancy map, but don’t go changing your life every month when a new guru is announced.