Content and Strategy Over Natural Talent

By Catherine Potts | Mar 18, 2009
More Articles by Catherine

I’ll admit it. I listen to Britney Spears. There. I said it. I’m 36 and I listen to Britney Spears because she has a good beat and her music is good for working out. I’ve actually admitted it before but there is a certain shame attached to liking Britney Spears because, well… she’s not exactly a good live performer. It’s a credibility thing. A friend of mine admitted it earlier today and it got me thinking. Why do some less talented people succeed at what they do while others who are clearly more talented have a tougher time? It’s simple. They’ve mastered the art of knowing what sells. What their audience wants/likes. Britney has always delivered that and that’s how she’s managed to stay relevant and wanted.

It’s not that Britney can’t sing at all, it’s just that she can’t sing well live. I suppose that’s why the dance numbers are front and center, that’s what she excels in most naturally. For many listeners that’s a deal breaker and yes, I must admit that I don’t really respect Ms. Spears like I do say… all the artists who DO sing live. Before you judge me, I have a wide variety of music that I like-in fact, just found out about Delta Spirit and it’s some good stuff.

Anyway, the question is, how do those who are obviously more gifted seem to never really take off? If you don’t have a talented team behind you, you’re nothing. If you give the audience to your website what they need, good beats, good content, good feelings-then they will reward you. “This applies to link building how?” Well, it applies in that if you have a junk site that offers nothing, nobody will link to you. If you don’t know how to sell your product, nobody will remember you.

In my last article Recession Busting:SEO Style I laid out several things you can do, that aren’t costly, that can help you get the audience you want and the links you need. One thing I didn’t mention was Twitter. Holy canoli, what is up with Twitter lately? It’s just exploded! Our main cheese, Janet Driscoll Miller, attended PubCon South last week and had much to say regarding her experiences.

I’ve used Twitter, lightly, as it seemed at first that it was merely a place for some to vent. All day long. These are professionals in our field and people whom I respect and all I read were negative things. So I’ve been off my Tweeting for awhile. I will be returning, as there are apparently a lot of tools to make the experience better. Janet lists out some in her post:

Twhirl and TweetDeck
TwitterFon for iPhone (track retweets) and and for URL shortening and analytics and — Twitter directories — a wiki of applications for Twitter

Even Congress has used tweeting, probably when they should’ve been paying more attention but hat’s neither here nor there.


It seems that a lot of value is in the retweet. The more followers you have, the more retweeting you’ll likely get if you do it right. If shared in the appropriate manner and if you say “please” you’ll get a lot of help from your people:

Rules to get Retweets:
Leave room for people to put in RT to retweet you
Don’t put the @ as the first symbol
Give credit
Try to keep the original tweet as much the same as possible

70% of all retweets contain a link… it’s a great way to promote content! More followers = more retweets, but it’s not as strong of a correlation as you might expect. The most retweeted words include: you (how YOU can do something…), post, blog, new blog post, please retweet, etc. Asking for a retweet does work, but don’t do it every time.

So the lesson is that popularity doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve got all the goods naturally, you just excel at getting what you do have out there for people to see or experience. Make sure you’re using all the tools available to you and understand where your audience is. These days, we have ways to reach an exceedingly more broad audience than before. Use these tools, use them well. Hey, even Britney is on Twitter!

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