Why Your Ideas Matter More Than You Think

idea_bulb

Ever heard of the saying “Birds of the same feather flock together?”

It’s basically saying we always want to hang around people who are like-minded and share the same ideas as us, because we can resonate and connect well with one another.

But many bloggers don’t take advantage of this powerful social pheonomenon, and wonder why nodody hangs around their blog.

It won’t happen to you though, because here you are going to see why your ideas can be so powerful in attracting people to you and your blog.

First, let’s define what ideas are.

Ideas are like our individual personal philosophies – our own opinions, views and beliefs. Our life experiences and relationships have left memories and impressions in our mind, which shape our own respective world-views.

As the late Victor Schwab would put it, “our mind is a montage of hasty impressions, fuzzy generalities, bromidic wall-motto sentiments, self-justifications and sentimentalities.”

For example, my idea of branded goods is “Buying branded goods is sometimes a waste of money”. Now this is my own opinion or viewpoint.

And you have your own opinions and viewpoints. Maybe you believe, “Buying branded goods is always worth the money.” Then we disagree with each other, and you probably dislike me a little now. But if your opinion is the same as mind, then we appear to be “like-minded”, and you are pleased with me.

Here comes an important point

When we search for information, we all tend to get it from people whom we like to refer to as trusted experts.

But we all have a human tendency to trust people who we tend to like first. And we tend to like those who are like-minded as us, whose personal philosophies are aligned with ours, whose ideas or world-views coincide with ours.

Our trust is based on deep-seated feelings which comes from associating with people whose ideas we already resonate and connect well with.

Michael Masterson, the man behind the success of the $300million info-publishing empire, Agora Inc, says it this way –

“We want to understand how to get through life in a way that is meaningful to us. We all have our ideas of how the world should be – a world-view.

Whatever kind of information product we buy, we want that to co-incide somehow with our view of the world.

And if you find a person out there, that’s explaining to you how the world works and should work according to your view, you will stick with him forever.”

The same applies to blog readers. People visit blogs regularly because they trust the blogger’s advice and opinions. The reason they trust and like the blogger is because they can connect well with his/her ideas, opinions, views or beliefs. And the reason they can connect well is because?

They share the same ideas, opinions, views or beliefs!

Let’s look at an example to better illustrate it. I’m a reader of John Chow’s blog and follow John on twitter. He also has 49,000 RSS subscribers who are probably regular readers like me.

John has a belief that everyone should blog about something they are passionate about. So why do you think 49,000 of us read John’s blog regularly? Because, in the first place, we and him are like-minded and share the same ideas!

All of us regular readers have already shared the same belief, or we have been influenced and are now convinced by John’s idea that “everyone should blog about something they are passionate about”. That’s why we feel connected to him, trust him and become his regular readers.

On the other hand, people who think that his idea is nonsense will not return to his blog again. Or maybe they will return to flame him. But I digress.

Now here’s something interesting about us humans…

If you were to ask people why they visit so-and-so’s blog, they will probably say it in more logical terms, “Oh because the blog has great information”. They will never say “Oh because I feel connected with the blogger and his/her ideas”. Never!

But as all experienced marketers would know, we humans are irrational and emotional beings. We may not realize it, but we visit blogs based on reasons that are more subjective than we think – whether we agree to the blogger’s ideas, opinions, views and beliefs. So, armed with this information, here are some things you can start doing immediately:

1. Share your ideas!

Shoot your opinions. Give your views. State your beliefs. Whenever you give information, include your ideas about your topic. Give opinions like “SEO blogging is useless, you are better off concentrating on delivering value”. Then back it up with some of your own or other people’s experiences. These strongly-opinionated posts can become your pillar articles (as termed by Yaro Starak).

You can also do it like what Darren Rowse at problogger suggests – write a link post by sharing your ideas and opinions about what other bloggers have posted.

2. Tell little stories about yourself

If you observe the way top bloggers write, you notice they always share little tidbits or stories about themselves and their ideas. I suggest you do the same – whenever you want to write an article, consider giving a little story about an experience you had, and the opinions and views you got from it.

People love to read stories, and there’s only one you in this world, so don’t deprive them of yours!

3. Don’t apologize when people disagree with you

A few people will disagree with you and dislike you in the process. In fact, if you start to have negative comments, do what John Chow says – celebrate! Because this means you are doing it right.

It’s no big deal to have negative comments. It’s just that their ideas are different from yours. As long as you are respectful of their opinions and you stay away from sensitive topics like religion and politics, you’ll be fine.

The worst thing to do is to be double-minded and not make a stand for what you believe. Consistency is critical to building trust with your readers, but if you always waver with your opinions, they can’t trust you.

There will be a bunch of people who share similar views as you. These are the people who will feel connected to you and stick with you, and these are the ones you want to focus your attention on.

All these may sound simple and even trivial, but don’t underestimate the underlying psychological force at work in your readers’ minds.

So, what are your ideas on this?

Charles Yang writes for Big Idea Blogger on the lesser known but critical factors behind successful blogging. He currently does internet-marketing for an offline business.


80 thoughts on “Why Your Ideas Matter More Than You Think”

  1. I like you point – Don’t apologize when people disagree with you.
    In marketing negative is good, when someone disagree it means what you said, had got attention by others. Look, I once heard Gary Halbert said in one of his newsletter that if you are not offending someone, it means you are not marketing hard enough.
    There are lots of people who think my blog’s sexual post are a brunch of bullshit, but to me…look there is still so much people reading it each day.
    As Gary Halbert also said, “concentrate on selling the foxes and stop worrying about the dogs”

    1. That is a very good point. I worry about no one is going to read my stock trading diary. But you never know. I could end up losing all my money but get a very successful blog.

      StockTradersBlog’s last blog post: Looks like a Down Day For Me

      1. Charles says:

        You know what, that’s exactly what happened to Jim Davidson from Agora Inc. He sold an investment newsletter, and he was a strongly opinionated guy who slammed the whole Internet phenomenon saying it’s going to be a disaster and so on.

        Now get this – Jim had the WORSE track record in investment performance ratings that Agora ever had. Yet his newsletter was the most SUCCESSFUL among all the other investment newsletters in Agora.

        If people were looking for the best information, why would they get it from such a poor source? The reason is they were actually following Jim and his opinions, not the information.

        1. Jake Stone says:

          The best post in a long time, great job Charles.

          Jake Stone’s last blog post: Utterly shitty day!

          1. Charles says:

            Thanks for your feedback Jake, I really appreciate it.

            Charles’s last blog post: Proven Money-Making Ideas – The Big Four Categories

    2. Charles says:

      “If you are not offending someone, it means you are not marketing hard enough.”

      I’ve never thought of it this way. Thanks Bad Blogger, I learned something today.

      Btw I visited your blog. You sure know how to leave an impression on visitors minds by doing some emotionally-stirring stuff!

    3. Digitalmalay says:

      Agreed with you.Sometimes when we apologize, it shows how weak we are.But sometimes we need to take a closer look on the situation.There is always a limit when we doin something right?

      1. Charles says:

        Yes of course, the key here is to balance.

        Too stubborn, and we end up too egoistic to learn anything. But too weak, and we waver too much to accomplish anything.

        Balance is key.

        Charles’s last blog post: Proven Money-Making Ideas – The Big Four Categories

    4. I hate it when people apologize when others disagree with them. That’s pretty much saying that you’ll automatically toss your own opinion aside & bow down to theirs.

      TYCP Entertainment Magazine’s last blog post: Courtney Van Dusen Interview

  2. Sudeep says:

    Debates are always good and that why we blog .. but I am still unsure why we should be in a group of only like minded individuals .For eg .. what John wirte , i do not agree so are u saying that i should not be following you .. no I still follow you …. why .. because that’s makes me find points that i beleive in the first place ..and second i would also get a new post to write some thing i think can be opposite that you wrote .
    Hey nothing in real .. i do like your post , just a thought about going with the same style of blogs and thoughts ..
    Regards
    Sudeep

    Sudeep’s last blog post: Cooking time : Scary Facts!

    1. Charles says:

      This is not what I meant Sudeep, I’m not saying we “should” follow like-minded people. I’m saying we tend to follow like-minded people.

      As a blogger, when you realized that other people tend to follow you because they share the same ideas with you, you would become more bold in stating your ideas and opinions because this will attract more followers to you.

    2. Nice point Sudeep, talking with ‘un’likeminded people will help diversify your own opinion too..

      Tim @ Blog Tips For Beginners’s last blog post: 5 Things You Should Know About Making The Digg Front Page

  3. My220x says:

    This was one great blog post and I learned some valuable information. I have been guilty of trying to please everyone and not standing up for my ideas but this blog post hits home that trying to please everyone is just stupid as the complainers will probably never come back again.

    My220x’s last blog post: Don Daszkowski Interview – Buying and Selling Businesses Online

    1. Charles says:

      Thanks, it’s great knowing that people are learning something from my article.

      Bill Cosby once said, “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.”

  4. Asswass says:

    This world spins thanks to our different points of view. If we would all think the same way, with the same ideas; guys like Einstein, Newton or Freud have not existed.

    Asswass’s last blog post: Does YouTube brings traffic to your blog?

    1. Charles says:

      Thanks for raising another good point that pioneers almost always think differently from the herd.

  5. Technolik says:

    Great post, John!

    You are right about our ideas, they are very important even if they are crazy or sometimes just seems to be crazy.Most successful businesses and companies have started based on some crazy ideas or develop great money surprising their creators.

    Technolik’s last blog post: Nokia N97 available in US starting on June 2nd

    1. Charles says:

      LOL! I do really sound like John!

  6. SiNNN says:

    awesome post, Moto!

    -“People love to read stories, and there’s only one you in this world, so don’t deprive them of yours!”

    1. Charles says:

      Thanks for your feedback!

  7. Pheak Tol says:

    a disagreement will always tend to lead to something else major such as a better resolution.

    if you go to a car dealership and purchase a car, you go through the legals. you got the salesman trying to pitch insurance coverage and extended warranties and such, all my father did was nod his head and said uhmmhmm and at the end he denied everything

    the best way to get your ideas or any other “pitch” across is to drive the attention> so a disagreement is always one of the best things.

    1. Charles says:

      Hmm… so you are saying that the best way to get attention is by disagreeing?

      Sorry I don’t get you, it seems that the context where you are coming from is about negotiation. I’m talking about blogging. But anyway thanks for your feedback!

  8. Ideas are what makes the world go around. With no ideas we’d all be a bunch of miserable freaks that have no passions or goals in life.

    Having good ideas are especially true when running a business online. The potential of failure is sky high online so when a good idea comes around the potential for success is dramatically increased.

    bradleybradwell’s last blog post: 5 Tips On How To Get The Best Out of Affiliate Marketing

    1. Charles says:

      I totally agree with you. Looks like we are like-minded!

  9. Greg Ellison says:

    If people disagree with me that would be cool. I won’t take offence to that. This will foster better communication between people. Greg Ellison

    Greg Ellison’s last blog post: Why I like Aweber

    1. Charles says:

      I’m also looking forward to disagreements to conversations, because this usually means other points of views are being added. This makes the conversation richer and more lively.

  10. great post! I have to agree with the sentiment of all the above comments. Disagreement is a great way to engage and produce new ideas.

    [email protected] last blog post: Freebie Monday #24 – Free White Castle!

    1. Charles says:

      Great to have your feedback, Aman! Do you anything you disagree with?

  11. Erica says:

    Good post… sharing ideas is important. I think that when people disagree with you is as important as when they agree. Disagreements can often have you see things in a different light, and can expand your horizons so much more.

    1. Charles says:

      Thanks for your feedback, Erica. Do share your ideas here more often.

  12. Dean Saliba says:

    I like it when people disagree with me, makes for a more interesting debate.

    Dean Saliba’s last blog post: Follow Me On Twitter

    1. Charles says:

      Thanks for your feedback, Dean.

  13. I disagree with this post.

    Parking lot in 5, Chow.

    needmoney.com’s last blog post: An Introduction to Pay Per Click (PPC)

    1. Melody says:

      I don’t know, I feel like this post is trying too hard to mean something much bigger than what it is–pure redundance..

      Melody’s last blog post: The Top 5.5 Myths of Online Marketing

      1. lets agree to disagree.

        [email protected] last blog post: Freebie Monday #24 – Free White Castle!

      2. Charles says:

        Thanks for the feedback. Looks like I’ll need to adjust my writing style to connect with more people.

    2. Charles says:

      Thanks. Time for me to celebrate!

      By the way, what do you disagree with? No point saying you disagree without stating your opinion.

  14. Cam Birch says:

    I thrive on debate in RL so debate and people disagreeing with me online is certainly fun. Its a little harder though when your new to online because getting negative feedback can be really discuraging. Once you’ve made a name for yourself online feedback and disagreement is wonderful.

    Cam Birch’s last blog post: Calm Down, Stop Panicking and Make Money

    1. Charles says:

      Yes I agree with you Cam. It just like getting rejections in sales. When I first started my first sales stint, rejections were really discouraging. But after a while I got used to it. I guess the same applies to new bloggers, we’ll just get to used to it after a while.

  15. Caden Grant says:

    Nobody has disagreed with me on my blog so far but I think disagreement is a good thing.

    1. Jake Stone says:

      This must be your lucky day, I’ll go there right away and find something to disagree with.

      Jake Stone’s last blog post: Utterly shitty day!

  16. Caden Grant says:

    Nobody has disagreed with me on my blog so far but I think disagreement is a good thing. You can learn from it and it’s always fun debating 😛

    1. Charles says:

      Yes, I always learn something whenever I have to handle disagreements.

      Thanks Caden for your feedback, its great seeing a blogger starting out so young 🙂

  17. Caden Grant says:

    Sorry for the double post I didn’t mean too.

  18. so awesome! I am published on Amazon! hehe. Now I just need to finish my book and apply for an ISBN so I can really get true Amazon exposure.

    [email protected] last blog post: Freebie Monday #24 – Free White Castle!

    1. Jake Stone says:

      Me too! I’m so excited that I just can’t hide it. I don’t wanna lose control…

      Jake Stone’s last blog post: Utterly shitty day!

  19. oops..replied to wrong posting. Sorry.

    [email protected] last blog post: Freebie Monday #24 – Free White Castle!

  20. Good points Charles. Ideas its the first step before we can begin our path to success.

    Marketing Business Review’s last blog post: New Theme Finally Fix It

    1. Charles says:

      Thanks Luis Torres. Our ideas are what people know us for. Without our ideas, people don’t remember us for anything, which makes it very hard to be successful. I’m glad you found it helpful.

  21. blinkky says:

    Disagreement can be a good thing to get some debates. I think there’s no disagreement on my blog as I rarely post something that could start a debate.

    blinkky’s last blog post: My Alexa Rank After 50 Days Blogging

    1. Charles says:

      If we only post information and no opinions, naturally there would be no disagreements.

      In my opinion, if I have neither agreements nor disagreements, it’s not a good thing at all because it means I’m not getting any attention. =)

  22. Ideas come before the great deeds 🙂

    1. Charles says:

      Thanks for the nice quote 🙂

  23. This is really good one John & I guess you should write this kind of posts in order to motivate upcoming bloggers who wish to reach your level.

    What you think how soon one can reach your level in present situation ??

    1. Charles says:

      LOL! So you also thought that John wrote it? I guess I really do sound like John. We share the same ideas so we have the same writing styles, LOL!

      1. Jake Stone says:

        Nah, most people are just in too much of a hurry to comment something so they grab the first idea that they can understand and proceed to the bottom.
        I’m not saying that Ricky behaved like that, but he doesn’t write anything that is directly related to the post content.

        Jake Stone’s last blog post: Utterly shitty day!

        1. Charles says:

          Yeah you’ve got a point there.

          Charles’s last blog post: Proven Money-Making Ideas – The Big Four Categories

  24. Danny Croft says:

    Good post, good ideas are what makes the world grow 🙂 no ideas no improvment.

    1. Charles says:

      Thanks Danny. Yup, sharing our good ideas makes everyone grow.

  25. Another great idea about self-improvement. Nice quote: “Don’t apologize when people disagree with you”..

  26. New ideas are always coming to me. Most of the time, I go for them & they turn out to be successful.

    TYCP Entertainment Magazine’s last blog post: Courtney Van Dusen Interview

  27. I enjoyed every single word of this post. All were informative and helpful as well. Certainly great work.

    ZK @ Web Marketing Blog’s last blog post: SEO Marketing by Digital Third Coast

    1. Charles says:

      Thank you for your feedback ZK, I’m glad you found it helpful.

      Charles’s last blog post: Proven Money-Making Ideas – The Big Four Categories

  28. Charles says:

    I”d like to thank everyone for your comments. I’m learning a lot from your feedback. It seems like the part of the article about disagreements got you interested the most. I guess the reason is because everyone likes debates. What do you think?

    Charles’s last blog post: Proven Money-Making Ideas – The Big Four Categories

    1. Charles says:

      I think I just answered my own question, lol!

      Here it is (in my reply to Dave):

      I guess we tend to think “Did I say something wrong?” whenever someone disagree with us, because we all want to be accepted by others. So we tend to apologize and back down to avoid rejection.

      But when we realize that everyone has their own individual ideas anyway, we stop trying to please everyone, we are not afraid of disagreements, and rejections and we stop apologizing when people disagree with us.

      I think I hit the nail on the head. What do you think?

      Charles’s last blog post: Proven Money-Making Ideas – The Big Four Categories

  29. Liane says:

    I used to think that receiving zero comments on a post means that nobody cares, but in truth, everyone does. Whether you get a response (or not), people still listen. The magic starts when they’re interested enough to feedback.

    Liane’s last blog post: Proud to be Pinoy with Charise Pempengco’s First international Song – Note to God

    1. Yeah, comments are good, but just because there aren’t any, it doesn’t mean your content is crap.

      TYCP Entertainment Magazine’s last blog post: Courtney Van Dusen Interview

      1. Charles says:

        True, but I feel having good content without generating any comments is a rather discouraging thing. Either I’m not getting any readers, or I’m not getting any attention. Getting some attention (even if its negative) is better than no attention at all.

        Charles’s last blog post: Proven Money-Making Ideas – The Big Four Categories

  30. Ricky says:

    i agree with you charles

    Ricky’s last blog post: You never knew what may happen Yahoo !

  31. wondertipz says:

    ” Don’t apologize when people disagree with you ” >> THIS WHAT I’M WAITING FOR… Meaning: opposite thinking would make me feel right in doing something!

    wondertipz’s last blog post: Postcard Printing Services | TIPS Choosing

  32. Dave says:

    While the line about apologizing is quite unique, I really dont see why it should be there. Basically, it goes without saying that apologizing when people disagree is silly to say the least.

    1. Charles says:

      I guess we tend to think “Did I say something wrong?” whenever someone disagree with us, because we all want to be accepted by others. So we tend to apologize and back down to avoid rejection.

      But when we realize that everyone has their own individual ideas anyway, we stop trying to please everyone, we are not afraid of disagreements, and rejections and we stop apologizing when people disagree with us.

      Charles’s last blog post: Proven Money-Making Ideas – The Big Four Categories

  33. Charles says:

    Hi all, Yaro Starak has just posted a great article about how to handle disagreements and negative feedback. You can view it here – http://bit.ly/H50gw

    Charles’s last blog post: Proven Money-Making Ideas – The Big Four Categories

  34. jan geronimo says:

    I’m glad that blogging has a place for one opinionated man like me. That is very reassuring. I’ve a background in journalism and initially in post I strike for balance between two contrary viewpoints. Yeah, I know. this is blogging and not straight news reporting. Although it can be that too.

    I have evolved, however, to give candid opinions in my posts. I can’t help it. I have shown my true colors. And you’re very spot on in this point. Readers – who have the same mind set – tend to gravitate around my blog. And it’s slowly becoming a vibrant little community. I can’t be more fulfilled at this point.

    When I have doubts, I let my readers in on that too. So that I appear just like any of them, but mostly I write with strong opinions. And it’s fascinating to watch readers resonate with my views and ideas.

    Well done. It’s the first time I’ve come across a very credible psychological underpinning of this blogging strategy. “,)

    jan geronimo’s last blog post: Warning: Next Time You Say Your Writing Sucks I’ll Agree

    1. Charles says:

      Thanks Jan. You are one of the few who fully appreciates what I’m trying to say – having like-minded readers gravitate toward you because you are bold in expressing your opinions.

      Charles’s last blog post: How to Win Friends and Influence People through Disagreements

  35. I like what you say about hanging around like minded people but I also think you need to learn to appreciate the opinions of people who don’t think like you. You will see some great views if you can.

    Tim @ Blog Tips For Beginners’s last blog post: 5 Things You Should Know About Making The Digg Front Page

    1. Charles says:

      Thanks Tim, it is when we are secure about ourselves that we begin to open up to the views of others and yet not feel obligated to conform to their opinions.

      Charles’s last blog post: How to Win Friends and Influence People through Disagreements

  36. Mr. I says:

    I like the last tip. Do not apologize on negative things! I have seen many people who panic and say that they may be wrong but this makes them look like a fool!

  37. Share beliefs and opinions that the reader themselves share. This will keep them coming back. Negative comments are not always a bad thing, as they motivate me and show me tat my writing stirs up conversation.

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