Do You Want to Rock the Blogosphere? (Then Proudly Display Your Killer Swag) #1 In a Series

by Craig McBreen · 48 comments · Branding


What makes me so damn special?

Well, nothing really and um, everything.

I’m just a speck on a blue marble which is a dot in an ever-expanding universe.

But I do have experience that can help a certain crowd. And there are my life experiences to include as part of my story.

So, how about you?

If you want to find your place in this digital realm, I think you need to create a crackin’, bold, beautiful game plan for your online venture. A kick-ass framework to define why you are here and to outline a plan of action.

And a major part of said plan is something I call “Killer Swag.” It’s your unique combination of know-how and life experience. Who you are and what you know. I like to call it your own special form of genius.

What is your story? How do you think others would describe you? And how will your special skills work for you on the social web?

Are you rebellious and inspirational?

Brainy and snarky at the same time?

An Extraordinary Achiever?

Extremely outgoing? Or reserved and more comfortable in your own imagination?

Do you believe life is an adventure?

Or maybe you’re simply a WordPress master?

We’re talking about a diverse field here.

Let’s talk about that life experience part:

When I created my little blueprint I wrote: “Everything I create and produce from now on will be an extension of my personality.” I guess I’ll just call that honesty.

You?

I’m well into my forties, but that’s way-okay dammit, because late bloomers rock and there is something to be said for experience. You on board with that?

This former, antisocial, anxiety-ridden, chubby boy, is the perfect soul to guide you on a journey (at least I hope).

This isn’t just a site that caters to former, introverted, anxious, fat kids, really, but that description is part of my authentic story. And to be perfectly honest, my very first post was on this very topic.

Everyone has a tale to tell and they can relate on some level, Riiiiight?

You don’t have to make your blog all about “Your Story,” but why not weave it in? It helped me develop a tone for this here blog. (So says former chunky boy).

So Cuz, how about you?

I want to help you and your business. I will try my best to write in a fun and interesting way that adds soul to my site.

What will you infuse into your online presence?

Now that we have the personality half out of the way, let’s add in a big ol’ chunk of value, shall we?

This blog is a combination of my years of experience in branding and marketing with some kick in the pants advice, because that’s how I roll, so there!

My digital domain will show my personality, be somewhat entertaining and provides … wait for it … Value. (I try).

“Branding with a push” has a nice ring to it.

The branding is experience, and so is the “push.” We all need a gentle nudge in the right direction, right?

Where do you stand?

And just to be clear, there is no merit in turning yourself into some amped-up crazy person that really isn’t you. Just be your bad self and find a way to deliver that in a bang-on way.

You can create a name for yourself by solving problems and providing something that is worthwhile and meaningful, no duh, right? … but injecting your personality into the mix. Oooooh, this is where you’ll simply kill it. Can I say, Crush It?

You have experiences. You are unique. Those little kinks that you see as flaws, um, those characteristics make you interesting to others. Yep!

If you don’t believe me, take a look at …

Erika or Danny or John or Derek.

Erika obviously has a stamp all her own;

Danny is one of the funniest and most generous souls on the social web, and he is the real deal;

John is a creative monster;

And that Halpern guy? Well I don’t think he’s pretending to be someone else in those videos. Do you?

Well rounded group, huh?

So, Back to YOU.

Do you think you’re a wee bit odd? Well, that weird, genuine little you might just make a gigantic dent in this here blogosphere. Odd works and I personally kinda like weirdos.

Are you a little abrasive? We all are, at times. Let your inner-snark out and see what happens.

Not a conversationalist? Well, guess what? Wallflowers rock and this place was setup for introverts, and brilliant writers often are!

And if you’re opinionated that’s even better, because a big attitude will go a long way in social. Let your opinion be heard far and wide. Why not, right?

What if you are generally close-mouthed, stubborn as a mule, a little bats, with an acerbic wit to match?

Da-um, Son! I’d say you better get crackin’ so we can all see your own special form of genius.

Just get busy writing – right about now.

You can thank me later.

Today think about your particular brand of swag and stay tuned for a Six Part Series from an old dog who has a few tricks up his sleeve.

So stay tuned for more or better yet, subscribe here.

Your thoughts?

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{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

Billy Delaney November 29, 2012 at 6:51 am

Ah! Someone finally explained what so many couldn’t touch. You know the finding your voice stuff. Well, hat tip and such like thingy’s to you Craig. I can say that I’ve been most slow to be me on this netwebs. Why? Not too sure, but I believe it comes down to the medium.
Right now I am going to see if it is audio via the podcast. Paying attention with one of the best teachers, a guy named Dave Jackson at TheSchoolOfPodcasting.com.
Thanks for posting this.
Billy

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Craig McBreen November 29, 2012 at 4:22 pm

Hi Billy,

Thanks for popping in, Sir! Thanks for the tip of the hat, I do appreciate that.

Success is about consistency with every touchpoint … something I’m always working on ;) but I think there’s something to be said for bearing your soul (at least a wee bit). Some of the corporate blogs I read are mind numbingly boring, because there is zero personality behind the writing.

Finding your medium IS key. I’ve put video and podcasting on hold for a bit, but will be very interested to see what you do with that. Will have to check out Dave to.

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Christiano Kwena November 29, 2012 at 9:06 am

I know the weight of that last advice, ‘get writing’. Let me thank you now and see you later, (back to my MS Word).
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Craig McBreen November 29, 2012 at 4:25 pm

Hi Christiano,

Thanks for stopping in, Sir.

Yes! I remember Brian Clark’s post about this was pretty simple:

“10 Steps to Becoming a Better Writer

Write.
Write more.
Write even more.
Write even more than that.
Write when you don’t want to.
Write when you do.
Write when you have something to say.
Write when you don’t.
Write every day.
Keep writing.”

:)

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Ralph November 29, 2012 at 8:03 pm

I like the visual structure of those 10 steps. How about:

Write.
Write more.
Write even more.
Write even more than that.
Write when you don’t want to.
Write when you have something to say.
Write when you don’t.
Write when you do.
Write every day.
Write.
Ralph recently posted..If you think content is king then you better be a good storyteller.My Profile

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Craig McBreen November 29, 2012 at 8:37 pm

Ha! I like yours better ;)

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Gini Dietrich November 29, 2012 at 9:20 am

Brainy and snarky? Ha! I need to do some things less, um, snarky. Oh who am I kidding? I’ll take that as a compliment. Thank you.

I really love this line: I’m just a speck on a blue marble which is a dot in an ever-expanding universe.

This is really good advice for anyone creating content. It’s important to be yourself. I just read an article about how Washington, DC has become less informal in the past four years and how much that has helped the economy. When it comes down to it, we’re all just people. Let’s behave like them.
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Craig McBreen November 29, 2012 at 4:31 pm

Hi Gini,

Well, I’ve always loved the tone over at Spin Sucks and you know of course that comes from the top-down ;) I could use many more descriptive words, but brainy and snarky came to mind … and you’ve obviously creating one of the most amazing communities on the social web.

Glad you love the line, because we are all just little specks really, taking things waaaaay to seriously.

I used to work for an association in Washington, DC and man, they sure could use a “less informal” approach! That is great news.

Thanks for stopping in and hope you’re enjoying the Dutch.

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Lisa November 29, 2012 at 10:38 am

The 6 part series from an old dog with tricks sounds like it will be quite interesting. I’m with you on it Craig. It’s hard to judge sometimes how much you can put “yourself” (or your personality) out there. But I do like blogs that incorporate the writers personality.
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Craig McBreen December 3, 2012 at 8:56 pm

Hi Lisa,

It can be difficult, but infusing your personality into the site can make all the difference in the world!

Thanks for stopping in.

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Mars Dorian November 29, 2012 at 1:02 pm

yeap, I call unleashing your inner freak – there’s a weirdo inside of you that needs to get unchained, IF you want to find your true voice and create something that is not only unique but also spellbinding your right audience and customers.
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Craig McBreen November 29, 2012 at 4:35 pm

Hi Mars,

“unleashing your inner freak”
– Man, love that line ;)

Some have an inner-freak that is a bit more tame that others and that is OKAY, all you need to do is let out a little, right? It can turn the colorless and boring into something super special.

Cheers to unchaining those inner-freaks ;)

Thanks!

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Carolyn @ Wonder of Tech November 29, 2012 at 2:26 pm

Great job demonstrating swag with this article, Craig! Yes, you definitely showed exactly what you were talking about with your words here today.

There is so much content out there now that we need to entertain while we inform. What better way to do that than by infusing our personalities into our articles? As you so eloquently stated, “Those little kinks that you see as flaws, um, those characteristics make you interesting to others.”

When I write, I try to make tech fun and friendly. So many people are intimidated by tech but if they can relax and enjoy it, then it won’t seem so scary.

Off to write with swag…
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Craig McBreen November 29, 2012 at 4:39 pm

Hi Carolyn,

Thanks! I do feel this is a great way for many to gain traction and of course, bust a move ;)

Entertaining while informing. That will become increasingly important. We can’t forget value of course (something that can come in many forms), but yeah, those kinks make peeps interesting, for sure.

You do make tech fun and friendly and you don’t get hung up on jargon. We know many tech blogs are a snooze-fest.

Cheers … to Swag ;)

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Kate Finley November 29, 2012 at 4:33 pm

Yes. Yes. YES! Excellent post. The timing of your post is great for me because I’m outlining my goals for my blog. I’ve only been blogging for a few months and feel I’ve had a lot of success so far. However, I need to hash through, dream up and outline what my goals are.

So far, my strategy has been: be myself, be inspirational, be healthy and helpful.

Thank you for a fabulous post, Craig!
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Craig McBreen November 29, 2012 at 4:42 pm

Hi Kate,

Thank you. Thank you! Glad you enjoyed and I do plan to write about more of this stuff, along with some design advice. I’ve found that you need to constantly hash through your plans (your outline). It becomes a work-in-progress as you interact and grow.

“So far, my strategy has been: be myself, be inspirational, be healthy and helpful.”
– Sounds like swag to me ;)

You’re welcome and glad you’re enjoying the journey, Kate!

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Andrew Stark November 29, 2012 at 5:42 pm

Hi Craig,

Since I started just writing about what was going on in my head and just being myself the number of comments and level of traffic has increased. If you solve a problem for one person then turn it into a blog post as others will surely have the same issue.

When you see a hot topic on social media or forums, then it’s time to tell the world what you think. Writing with passion and finding like minded people from all corners of the world is a brilliant feeling.

Nothing worse than finding a blog where the content is all watered down and politically correct. Most important thing is to be true to yourself.

Look forward to the rest of this series.

Andrew
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Craig McBreen November 29, 2012 at 6:04 pm

Hi Andrew,

Great news!

We all want some sort of connection, right? And putting yourself out there often means your writing, podcasting, videos, whatever, will resonate with a certain group that will keep coming back. Win. Win.

“Writing with passion and finding like minded people from all corners of the world is a brilliant feeling.”
– Oh man, do I agree with that. So well written.

I’m not a huge fan of watered down content.

Thank you for stopping in today, Andrew. Appreciate your thoughts on this.

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Hajra November 29, 2012 at 6:25 pm

I so loved this article. I always believed that a little weird is all right. It is what will set you apart from the rest of the regular boring crowd! But believing in the power of weird, the power to be you and the confidence to be you is what will really work!
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Craig McBreen November 29, 2012 at 8:36 pm

Hey Hajra,

How are you? Thanks!

A little weird is more than alright, me thinks!

You’re right, it’s about having the confidence to move forward and letting your guard down a bit. It’s a great feeling too!

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Mark November 29, 2012 at 7:10 pm

Hey Craig, I like how you write with an edge…

People who live here don’t follow the crowd; they have a unique vision of their own and the courage to spread it to others.

Anything spectacular ever accomplished in business started right here with individuals like you who were determined to bend reality for others.

You can’t be a panty-waist if you desire to change the world.

You’ve just got to bust a big bold move :P

Cheers to you, sir!
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Craig McBreen November 29, 2012 at 8:40 pm

Hi Mark,

Thanks, just trying to be honest and have a little fun at the same time.

“People who live here don’t follow the crowd; they have a unique vision of their own and the courage to spread it to others.”
– Oh man, I love that! Can I use it as a testimonial … ;)

Love what you’re saying here, and it’s been a long time since I’ve heard the term, panty-waist, but now I’m going to be using it.

Cheers to you and to busting big, bold moves!

Thanks!

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Mark November 29, 2012 at 10:33 pm

Well of course you can, Craig : )

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Craig McBreen November 30, 2012 at 12:18 am

Ok :)

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Ralph November 29, 2012 at 10:29 pm

What makes me so damn special? Me. I am not like any other and neither are you.
Am I a wee bit odd? Yep. I is……and proud of it.

There are very few people out there on Craig’s “big ole blue-green dot” that are natural born killers (of swag). Everyone grows and builds confidence over time. Depending on how you treat the world will dictate how fast and how far you go. Some of us, like me for instance, need more time. Some others less time. We all eventually get where we want to go. I truly believe that.

Boy, talk about a revelation!

I would just caution that the “big attitude” is backed up with some good ole credibility. Nothing worse that shooting ‘tude and not being able to back it up.

I would love to hear you speak your posts in that urban vernacular that you throw in. That would be cool, cuz!
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Craig McBreen November 30, 2012 at 12:18 am

Hi Ralph,

I’m glad you’re proud of being a wee bit odd. Should be ;) I am too.

Everyone does indeed build this up over time. I’ll say I was an extremely, extreeeemly risk-averse person years ago, but glad I shed that. Zero confidence back in the day, but I grew and grew, like you, Sir. So, I’m one of those who like you, needed more time. Graybeards, we are.

I do strongly believe in what I’ve written here and hope it encourages a few to get out and bust a move. Make things happen. Or, just be comfortable in their own skin.

Yo, dog. Next time on the Skype I’ll hit you up with my corny, super-cheesy speak. I talk like this at home and my wife is always talking about busting a move, but I’d say that’s more like 1980s pop-song lingo. I just dork it up, is all.

Later, T-Dot

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Erika Napoletano (@RedheadWriting) November 30, 2012 at 3:03 am

Thanks for sharing me with your world, Craig :)
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Craig McBreen November 30, 2012 at 4:29 pm

Hi Erika,

You are most welcome. Just trying to push people in the right direction. We have a very innovative crew here, and they can only benefit more by reading your content. They’ll go there for the bitch slap, then get hooked … ;)

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Peter Sterlacci November 30, 2012 at 10:28 am

Hey Craig. I appreciate how you mention the ‘freaks’ and ‘wierdos’. Yes, unleashing our inner geek or freak is important and we are often ashamed to do so. I am a firm believer that this all starts in our childhood with our parents. As parents we often fall into the trap of forcing our kids to fit a certain mold or “Toe the line”. Of course parents have good intentions BUT I also feel parents are doing a disservice when we do not inspire and nurture the geek or freak in their children. This is what defines our authenticity, our genuine persons and our “special form of genius” as you say. Thank you again.

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Craig McBreen November 30, 2012 at 4:35 pm

Hi Peter,

We write about ‘freaks’ and ‘wierdos’ but my wife would say I unleash my inner-dork, but hey, that’s cool too, right?

Great point! And this reminds me of Ken Robinson and his amazing TED speech about schools and creativity. I wrote a post about that about a year ago. The current setup is about “falling in line,” but I do think the current factory model is dying a slow death.

Cheers to displaying your “special form of genius!” Unleash the freak!

Great comments. Thanks!

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Mary Stephenson November 30, 2012 at 4:58 pm

Hi Craig

Great post on I guess you would say “finding your voice”! All that we were ever taught to NOT offend others is really not possible, unless you want to be really extraordinarily dull.

If you have an opinion of any kind you will always offend someone by it. So why not go for the gusto and rock the boat. One becomes a whole lot more interesting if you find out they are actually human and are not perfect. Maybe even a little cynical which of course will get some folks up in a tizzy, but perhaps you don’t need that kind around. They would definitely kill any kind of creativity one good muster up.

Back to the drawing board to figure out how much voice I need to drum up to make a wave!

Have a great weekend.
Mary
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Craig McBreen December 1, 2012 at 12:34 am

Hi Mary,

It’s all about being yourself, definitely not playing a part. If you toe the line you’ll be lumped in with everyone else. Why not proudly display your personality? What do you have to lose, right?

Yes, someone will always be offended.

“So why not go for the gusto and rock the boat.”
– Yep! Love what you have to say on this.

Sounds like you’ve been making some serious progress in you online adventure. Great to hear and so glad you dropped in to comment.

Have a great weekend!

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Jens P. Berget November 30, 2012 at 9:14 pm

I have told myself to write a blog post or even two every single day of the year, almost as many as TheJackB. The thing is, that it’s not really that hard, but it’s about priorites and setting the time and focusing. After I started my business, I haven’t been able to focus on the right things to do (I’m not saying that writing blog posts for my blogs are the right things to do), but in order to get better at writing, I know that I need to keep writing.

Great stuff Craig. One of my biggest challenges is to explain my business (and how I am) by using one or two sentences. I really want to come up with a strong and bold statement.
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Craig McBreen December 1, 2012 at 12:40 am

Hi Jens,

Wow, that is impressive and that JackB is a monster!

I do agree with you though. If you commit to it and plan effectively, there’s no reason you can’t do it. It is interesting how many divergent opinions there are on how often you should post.

I certainly think writing is one of the most important things. It just takes a while to reap the benefits of quality writing. The blog slog is a long one.

Thank you! Love to hear your statement when you craft the final.

Thanks for stopping in.

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Ryan Hanley December 1, 2012 at 1:41 am

Craig,

Love “Killer Swag” dude… From my own experience, blogging really became fun when I realized that it was OK to be me… Whatever that meant at the moment I was writing whatever I was writing… It was OK to be me.

Do you.

Be good buddy

Hanley
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Craig McBreen December 3, 2012 at 8:58 pm

Hey Ryan,

Thanks, I’m pretty fond of it myself ;) You’re right, it does make for a more enjoyable experience (for you and your audience).

Thanks for stopping by!

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Colleen Conger December 2, 2012 at 3:35 am

You know what Craig? It wasn’t until I got into blogging where I started to embrace my inner-freak/weirdo/dork “insert word here”. I love the friendship and comradery I’ve developed with people like you, Srinivas Rao and Mars Dorian.

I giggle when I think that, now that I’m in my forties, my biggest aspiration after I graduated high school was to become a professional secretary. Gah! It wasn’t until I got hit by this thing called life and when I almost lost it several times that I realized I’m here on this blue marble for a reason – and it wasn’t to mimmic someone else, but to find who I really am and splatter across the world.

I’m starting to get a fantastical taste of who I really am because of people like you and the others that have commented on this post. Keep up the great work everybody because newbie’s like myself are looking to get slapped into creating our own killer swag.

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Craig McBreen December 3, 2012 at 9:04 pm

Hi Colleen,

Hey, it’s helped me immensely too.

I love the friendships I’ve built as well and it’s great to converse with such a wide spectrum of people. (Just look at the examples above) Thanks for the kind words too.

Yeah, sometimes it takes us a bit of time to get to “that” point. Took me a while as well … “to find who I really am and splatter across the world.” – Love that!

I don’t necessarily think its as much about creating it as it is about just being comfortable with revealing your personality to the world. This can be a difficult feat for many (me included).

Keep it up, Colleen. Looking forward to much more as you move along in your journey!

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