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The One Guaranteed Instant Cast Iron Indisputable Success Factor

“If only I knew what that guy knows I would be an adsense millionaire.”
“With this ebook I will learn the secrets of SEO and will get to the first result of Google.”
“After this conference call my blog will be launched into the a-list.”

Sounds ridiculous doesn’t it but people are suckered into this thinking every day. If you asked them to explain it logically they would probably admit it’s not guaranteed as such but this one piece of advise is all they need. 10 minutes with Matt Cutts and they will be a super-SEO.

Tara Hunt says it best …

What do the following books have in common?

Hint: they are all books that give easy answers to complex issues.

People love guaranteed, cast-iron “laws”, “secrets”, “unshakable advice”. Certainty makes people feel confident and secure, even when there is no certainty and everything is shades of grey. “Do this and definitely absolutely without question you will get what you want” always looks good in a sales pitch, funny how the actual product never works that way.

There are two things to understand here:

  1. It’s what people want – People love to be given promises of what they want given in absolutes or superlatives so these sorts of headlines work powerfully. Especially when combined with a list! (Sorry folks who don’t like lists, readers do and that is what matters, pffft). I guess peoples lives are so full of uncertainty that even when they know their chain is being yanked they play along. Check out how well “Great abs in a week” articles sell magazines.
  2. It’s rarely true – Sad but the more complex the subject the less certainty there is. When you are a toddler you get all sorts of absolute education. “Don’t touch the stove”, “Don’t eat the dogs food”, “Greens are good for you”. As you get older there seems to be less of it around, just a whole load of stuff to think about. The person giving you advice might be certain but that doesn’t mean you should be. One persons experience doesn’t always directly translate to work for you. Like the famous guy who makes millions out of adsense, he did that with a dating site and a lot of technical know-how for making it scale on his own. Launch a dating site today based exactly on his template and I am not so sure your millions will come quite as smoothly. We share our experience here on Performancing and all along we haven’t done anything different from what we tell you, but that isn’t to say if you followed what we did you would get identical results. You have to take on all the advice you are given, process it and make it work for you.

So what is the One Guaranteed Instant Cast Iron Indisputable Success Factor? “Doing it”.

People say to me “It’s all well and good ‘write killer headlines, linkbait, post great content’ but I am missing something fundamental, if only I knew the secret I am missing …” and I say “Go on, show me your linkbait, headlines, great content” and if by some chance they even have any of those things they are often half-hearted attempts at best, like they predict failure before trying so why bother. The “great content” I could usually find on any number of blogs or it is one or two good posts out of 100. This stuff is hard and it needs to be done consistently. Success for most people doesn’t fall from the sky, and it is even harder if your idea is unoriginal.  

Find out what it is you need to do, learn, experiment, practice then keep doing it until you can honestly say you have done everything you know you should be doing. That’s it. There are no secrets.

Author: Chris Garrett

Chris Garrett is a content marketing and blogging coach and co-author of the Problogger Book with Darren Rowse.

9 thoughts on “The One Guaranteed Instant Cast Iron Indisputable Success Factor

  1. @katiebird: In a very precise way you hit the nail: It’s also an addiction topic. People are addicted to “simple key”/”complex implementation” whatever the subject is.

  2. How about doing some sit ups — Just Today? And if you really, really want to eat the takeaway, promise yourself you can have it “tomorrow” (you know that tomorrow never comes, right?)

    Seriously, I think one of the reasons I like reading the “professional” blogging blogs is because of that similarity of “simple key”/”complex implementation” discussion. Weight Management and Blog Management do require comparable skills.

  3. I think blogging is really a lot like weight control. We all learn quite quickly the basics of what we need to be successful, but success lies in how much effort we put into the implementation. Which reminds me I ought to do some situps and perhaps eat fewer takeaways … next week …

  4. I write about weight-control issues and if the ‘key’ to weight-control (eat fewer calories than you burn) was all you needed to know — there wouldn’t be any fat people and nothing much to say.

    But unlike computers we can’t program ourselves to follow certain behaviours at particular decision points. And, as a result there’s probably a new weight-control book written every minute or two (with plenty of readers for every one!)

    And I guess that lesson — that we can’t preprogram our behavior is true for every other task we attempt. The ‘secret key’ is great, but we each have to implement it according to our one interpretation. And some of us do that better than others.

    Sometimes I think I’ll never learn to do the weight-control thing effectively. And the blog-thing? Who knows?

  5. It’s the structure and the promise that makes such advice so appealing. I remember these books ‘Learn Java in 7 days’ and similar.

    People know that it can’t be true but they still have some conscious hope that somebody will be able to bring them on the right track.

    Readers want tips and they want them with a structure. That’s the reason why readers love lists.

  6. “Because English is not my first — or even second — language” – you do very well, much better than I could in any other language!

  7. Basically what we don’t know yet are secrets for us, but each secret should be revealed as we learn and take action.

    I like bulleted list blog post. I’ve written it many times. But still I feel something was missing. When Brian posted a related post on his blog, I immediately asked how he finishes his well written, numbered blog post.

    Great advice, he has given. I feel my blog post has progressed a bit more. The thing is, not everyone of us has the same set of problems, and virtually none of us could appreciate the same “secret” as secret.

    Because English is not my first — or even second — language, I have problems delivering my points, a little help here and there are gold.

    So for me, may be the “secret” to AdSense or blogging success lies in how to deliver great content faster and better. I bet “the secret to writing great copy for non-english speaking blogger” is not available on the latest AdSense and/or blogging ebook.

    There are many things that contribute to “success” and taking action is probably the single variable that exists in all equation, regardless of what success means to us.

  8. One of my favorite speakers is John Maxwell. Check his books, every one of them has a title like you mention: Maxwell on Amazon

    I think the key for him is combining the powerful title words with a number. For some reason that combination is ultra powerful.

    For example:
    Laws for effective teamwork
    or
    17 Laws for effective teamwork

    I think the number makes the title more attainable. Maxwell is a master of this.

    I have been to conferences where people take notes on 10 pads and think like you write that they will become instant successes. Most of these end up on late night infomercials with absolutely insane claims.

    The key to any book or any conference is to pick a few elements and try them but to maintain your focus. Just because some guru says what you are doing is wrong, does not absolutely mean it is wrong.

    And most importantly, what works for one web site or blog, may not work for another.

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