Seriously, absolutely nothing at all. True story.
It would be safe to assume that most of you reading this post have certainly witnessed or read these perversions in journalism recently. If you have not, then you obviously have been hiding under the proverbial rock. These posts have spread like wildfire in the past year and they only continue to get worse. It is a trend that simply needs fade away.
What 7 years on a sex offenders wing taught me about content marketing.
— Neal Dougan (@nealdougan) November 7, 2012
The Irrelevant Comparison.
The idea of comparing two dissimilar concepts and fabricating similarities between each is nonsensical with a side of pointless. How is comparing a prostate exam to social media helpful to anyone? It isn’t. What does a reader actually learn from such drivel? Nothing.
Before anyone jumps to conclusions or becomes defensive, I see the subtle humor in the idea. There is always room for satire. The problem is, it is one thing to be humorous. While it is another to write such a post with an attempt at giving actionable or invaluable advice.
Simply, this style of writing has been overused. It is like a new Nickelback tune that has been overplayed by every local radio station.
Check out the small sampling of titles that I have come across below this past year:
- What World of Warcraft Can Teach You About Improving ROI
- What Proctology Exams Teach Us About Social Media
- What Steve Jobs Taught Me about SEO
- What Jersey Shore Can Teach SEOs About Outreach
- What Matthew McConaughey’s Abs Teach You About SEO
- What World Of Warcraft Taught Me About Online Marketing
- What Selling Knives Taught Me About SEO
World of Warcraft? Jersey Shore? Steve Jobs? Knife sales? Are you kidding me?!?! The titles listed above barely even dust the surface of these outrageous topics.
Yes. These truly are examples of published material. No. They didn’t teach
me us a thing about [SEO|Online Marketing|Outreach|Social Media|ROI].
What Getting Rear Ended On An Icy Canadian Road By A Teen Haplessly Glancing at Their Cell Phone Taught Me About My Digital Presence
— Joel K (@cstechjoel) November 9, 2012
The Not So Bad.
While I am pointing out the negatives with this approach, they aren’t all terrible. The few that stood out in my mind are below.
- How non-SEO Books Have Taught me to be a Better SEO — by Paddy Moogan
- 10 SEO Influencers That Changed My Life & Made Me Become a Better SEO — by Jason Bagio
- How fatherhood made me a better link builder — by Gaz Copeland
What do these all have in common? The relationship is far more realistic. The personal experiences the author shares provide a unique value.
Although not to pick on Gaz (well, yes it is to pick on him), his post might have stretched the comparison between fatherhood and link building, but it is much more sensible and practical association than “Why World of Warcraft Made Me A Good SEO”. Don’t kid yourselves. World of Warcraft never made you a better SEO, nor would it ever. Although, it did make you better at nuking Hot Pockets in the microwave.
* Side note: Props to Mitch Monsen for writing the “Why World of Warcraft Made Me A Good SEO” post. The comments above are not a knock on him as an SEO or blogger. I’ll admit, I enjoyed reading the post when it was first published (I even commented on it). Sadly, if that was published today I probably wouldn’t have the same disposition.
LOL another gem…”Grab a plate and learn how digital marketing relates to Thanksgiving dinner.” Please note the URL. rosemontmedia.com/industry-news/…
— Emma Still (@mmstll) November 20, 2012
Much of this trends popularity can be shouldered on the authors desire to create a “buzz worthy” piece of content because they want to stand out. Here is a little secret, you’re trying too hard. The most interesting, valuable, and educational posts have never been derived from this type of cloning.
Instead of “jumping on the bandwagon” in an attempt at quick success, take a moment to brainstorm. Use your heads. Be original. One of the most creative posts I’ve read in a long time, in the SEO industry, was Emma Still’s ”If I Were An SEO Dude” post. That my friends is creativity. Imagine if several hundred unoriginal bloggers decided to use this idea?
If you are really that determined to write the next “What X Taught Me About Y” post, don’t compare Keeping Up With the Kardashians to PPC. Consider writing “How Military Discipline Helped Me Be More Productive in the Office” or “What the Military Taught Me About Discipline”. That is an invaluable life experience which does directly influence your work habits. You simply cannot make that kind of stuff up.
Dear SEO community I think we all need to have a chat about @michaelkovis mental health
— Chris Dyson (@RootsWebSol) August 15, 2012
How do we solve this problem? We begin by raising awareness for “Unoriginal, Benign Content Published by Uncreative Nitwits” or UBCPUN (credit to Joel Klettke) for such tragic excuses of posts.
Would you like to get involved? Please, for the sanctity of my mental health follow the steps below:
- Create your own “What X Taught Me About Y” or “How X Made Me A Better Y” post title
- Tweet this post replacing my title with yours
- Mention my Twitter handle (@michaelkovis) within your tweet
- Use the hashtag #UBCPUN
- Funniest tweets will be added to a round-up post.
Alright. Alright. In all seriousness, this really isn’t a legitimate movement per say, but it will be fun. I am encouraging as many of you as possible to take part so we may all enjoy the results. This might even call for a poll so everyone can vote for their favorites.
— Matt Mikulla (@mattmikulla) November 20, 2012
There’s just one job that really helped me become a better SEO, and that was doing SEO.
Conversation is always welcomed and encouraged. Feel free to drop a comment below to share your thoughts. Please also consider raising awareness for UBCPUN while sharing this article. If you aren’t already, follow me on Twitter and/or add me to your circles on Google+.
** Side note: This is actually a piece I had planned on writing for quite some time. In fact, the initial idea dates all of the way back to this past summer. Over the recent Thanksgiving holiday weekend I noticed this popular post on Inbound.org by Richard Falconer and began question the notion of even published my post at this time. Well, I decided that his post shouldn’t be any sort of deterrent for me or anyone else who comes across a similar situation. I felt that it would be best to acknowledge and clarify this situation then proceed as planned before there was any confusion as to if I took the idea and ran with it.