Promoting Yourself Without Excrement

Rupert Murdoch

Rupert Murdoch

A great deal has been written and published about how to promote yourself online.   There are of course some excellent sites and articles out there which contain spot-on advice.   There is also a lot of, well, let’s call it dreck.    If someone has written a book on how to promote yourself on Twitter,  it may not be unreasonable to presume that that person’s main objective is to sell his book,  rather than to give you good advice about what would be the best way for you to go about promoting yourself,  whether on Twitter or perhaps on some other site that might be a better conduit to your particular audience.

As someone who writes and sells books,  I realize that at times I too probably have focused more on trying to push my book to the people I’m speaking with than to give them my best possible advice about their particular situation.  Though to be fair,  many times people who are new to a particular thing  (for example– just this week joined Empire Avenue),  ask questions that are well familiar to everyone else in the conversation and urging them to read a guide book or consult a FAQ can be  really good advice.  And my advice to all of you self-promoters out there today,  is to try hard to refrain from slinging shit.  Personally,  a salty vocabulary and an earthy way of expressing ones’ self does not bother me at all.   And yet I know that many folks are bothered by that kind of language.   There are also legitimate arguments that one should not use such language around children.   And honestly,  using almost nothing but swear words does give listeners the impression that the speaker has a paucity of imagination,  and perhaps a world view they might not wish to become intimate with.

So my advice today for those who are trying to promote themselves online is to take care with the language you choose,  not just when writing a blog post but always.   Whether you are just chatting with a friend or creating a  pillar post you hope will draw thousands of links and visitors,  words matter.   It really is true that “it’s not just what you say,  it’s how you say it”.   And finally today,  I will just acknowledge that the image (which depicts a pile of old goat feces) and it’s caption are a nod to something my friend Ron– as opposed to my huzband Ron–  said awhile back and to a trick that sex advice columnist Dan Savage played on a politician.   Google   “Santorum”  and visit the first link that comes up if you don’t know what I mean.

PS– There are NO links in this post.

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24 comments on “Promoting Yourself Without Excrement

  1. Excellent! In my blog, when a certain “bad” word will help make my point, I always * out the vowels cuz I’m still not comfortable saying those words. How dorky since I’m 41 and have six kids!

    But whenever someone says, “Hey! Read this really funny blogger” I totally lose all interest as soon as the “f” bombs start. I have no interest in reading anymore after that.

    Thanks for sharing
    Sharon
    http://sharon-moms-madhouse.com/

    • Using asterisks and other “special characters” to bowdlerize cuss words was the standard required way back when on Compu$erve. You could say phuque or sh!t but could not spell them correctly. I don’t actually think that such language is Never appropriate, but as with most other things should be used with care and in moderation.

  2. Excellent as always Alan. I have a hard time when folks start dropping expletives that I really like online as I want to keep the connection but want my page to be a safe place for me to connect with my younger family members. As you know I value my online connections as much as I do real life connections but if someone started dropping fbombs in real life I would not hang out with them anymore. Might consider my policy to change for online friends as well.

    • When I was young I went through a phase where I used a lot of that kind of language. Drove my poor parents crazy. I don’t completely avoid cuss words. (I actually did use ONE in this article.) But there is not shock value if you use those words constantly and you merely end up sounding uneducated. (Rather than worldly.)

  3. Hmmm, good point Alan! I am trying to think if I ever blogged with “bar” language . . .don’t think so. Well, at least nothing comes to mind!

    I will add though, I am envious of those who found a niche in using fowl language, they have one less thing to worry about ! lol

    • I once followed someone on Twitter who had a username like @SonSoCusses Honestly? I found their tweets Very boring. On the other hand, I have great respect for @cookingasshole 🙂

    • Paucity is just a fancy way of saying scarcity, really. I won’t attempt to define “santorum” (though I think Mr. Savage has done quite well with that one already 🙂

  4. Personally, I find it hard to swear, I was programmed at an early age that to use foul language showed you didn’t have a large enough vocabulary and was vulgar. The only exception is if I hit my elbow in that one place that causes intense pain. Then, I’ll yell out a terse, “Oh, sh!t!” ; )

    • I do believe that even the most polite and best-trained of people may occasionally take to “cussing” when they experience pain. And again, I don’t feel that such language is Never appropriate. Only that…..there’s a time and a place for everything.

  5. Let me be contrary. Coming from a Scottish heritage and with no real agenda to promote myself online, swearing is an essential part of the writing agenda. That is not to say that it is part of every sentence. Growing up, the tractor driver on the estate, could not construct a spoken sentence without a swear word. Not sure whether he could write, but that was very much part of our culture. So while it is not necessary to include profanity in every post, it is an essential basis for Scottish humour and let’s face it, without humour, what is there? So my thoughts are that selective swearing is fine provided that you are not planning to sell self improvement books, guides to twitter or run for the Republican nomination in America.

  6. Pingback: Diarrhea Elbow Fart | Libdrone's Thoughts and Musings

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