Do you copy what you see the top people doing, hoping to use it as a short-cut to success?
I received an email today from someone who started blogging a few months ago. He said that he had copied what Seth Godin was doing on his blog, by disabling comments and using a very basic looking blog design. It wasn’t working. He wanted to know why, as it was working fine for Seth.
One size doesn’t fit all!
His problem is common and highlights a potential pitfall, when you copy a strategy or tactic that works for someone in a very different situation to your own, with different goals.
Seth Godin says he needed to remove the comments section from his blog, in order for him to have the freedom to write things his way. With hundreds of comments coming in, it was just too time consuming and frustrating for him to respond to so many people, over so many different posts, every day. However, disabling comments is not necessary for 99.9% of bloggers.
The problem of copying the top .1%
This got me thinking. I chatted with Robert Scoble last week, about his issue with poor noise control on Google+. Robert currently has 1.7 MILLION circling (following) him on G+. I myself have just 13,000 people circling me and it can be a little hard to deal with at times. With 1,700,000 following you it must be mayhem. However, Google+ noise control works well for 99.9% of G+ users.
In short: It’s extremely useful to learn from the triumphs and lessons of others. However, before copying what you see the top .1% of people doing, ensure you know how and why they are doing it.