The Fear and Loathing Guide to Blogging

Hunter S. ThompsonThe late, great Hunter S. Thompson might be remembered best for his unadulterated drug use, his take-no-prisoners journalism, or his famous aviators and steel jaw clenched cigarette. No matter what you know or think of the good doctor, he made an impact on journalism with his unabashed “Gonzo” style of writing. It’s this kind of no-holds-barred attitude that we should apply to blogging. When it comes to social marketing, in order to get your audience to love your brand, you have to understand it first. And sometimes what that takes is going Gonzo.

Tell the Truth, Even if it’s Frightening

I have a theory that the truth is never told during the nine-to-five hours.

You believe in what you have to say, otherwise you wouldn’t be saying it. Or, you’re saying things just to hear yourself talk. People can see right through the bull, though, and unless you’re giving your readers the truth, they’ll go somewhere else for it. The idea here is transparency and naked honesty. If you aren’t being honest about your brand, someone else will do it for you.

Break the Rules

A word to the wise is infuriating.

People aren’t stupid. They know all the tricks and methods that have worked for so long, and now that they are savvy, they know better than you. If you’re going to use blogging and social media as a tool to market what you’re selling, you better know more about it than your readers. No one is going to find your content interesting if it is the same thing they’ve heard time and time again. Do something different, do something strange, do something controversial. Get them talking.


Never turn your back on fear. It should always be in front of you, like a thing that might have to be killed.

Fear of failure is what will hold you back from anything you do. Well, here’s some news: you can’t learn anything from success. In order to be a good writer, a good marketer, or a good blogger, you’re going to have to swing the bat a few times. People are going to talk about you and your brand no matter what, and even if they’re saying bad things, it’s up to you to listen and respond. You’ll know what to do next time.

Leave Your Mark

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.

In this economy, traditional advertising is no longer the best option when it comes to getting your product or service to stick in the minds of the consumer. That’s why blogging is so important right now. So with that notion, be forthcoming and real about what you’re saying. Stand out above the rest with content that will resonate, and your brand will be better for it. Don’t be afraid to stir the pot.

Step on Toes

For every moment of triumph, for every instance of beauty, many souls must be trampled.

You’re not going to be able to please all the people all the time. In order to tell the truth, you might have to break a few eggs along the way. I’m not saying you should go stomping around the blogosphere kicking other bloggers in the teeth, but exposing someone for the hack they are might get you some points amongst your peers. With all the “experts” out there, you might just be doing the world some good by calling them out for what they really are.

Keep at it

Buy the ticket, take the ride.

Blogging is hard. For many, it’s a full time job. Just like any full time job, it takes a lot of effort to make it work. There’s no use in being a half-assed blogger, so put your all into it, and don’t back down. Your good work will triumph, so believe in what you do, and believe in what you write.

(photos via Wikipedia and Nevarraven on DeviantART.)

Ignite Social Media