Why would anyone want to learn anything about Internet Marketing from Charlie Sheen? He spent an entire summer being the laughingstock of Hollywood. He lost his job, he lost his self-respect, and he even lost his kids. What lessons could he possibly have worth listening too?
As one of my mentors told me many years ago – You can learn something from everyone. Even if it’s just learning what NOT to do. So don’t be so quick to judge. We can learn plenty about Internet Marketing from Charlie Sheen.
Controversy Sells: If you didn’t know it before, certainly you know it by now. Controversy sells. It attracts a much larger audience than dry, sterile content. It’s like a wreck on the side of the road. Everyone has to slow down and gawk when they drive by.
But, as Charlie Sheen also learned as he watched his career sink slowly into the tank, there’s a right way and a wrong way to handle controversial content:
Be respectful: It’s fine to disagree with someone and it’s even finer to blog about it. But do it with respect. It’s generally not necessary to name names and point fingers. That same wise mentor of mine once told me that you can’t make yourself look good by trying to make someone else look bad. When you point one finger at someone else, there are three fingers pointing back at you!
Be respectful. Everyone has a right to their own opinion and viewpoint but just because you disagree doesn’t make your opinion and viewpoint better. If you can’t find a way to present your side of the argument without pointing fingers and naming names, then at least do it respectfully or you’ll come of looking like an ass – just like Charlie Sheen.
Tell both sides of the story: You have to remember that everyone who visits your blog may not be aware of the other viewpoint you’re opposing. And your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to provide quality, thought provoking content. If you only present your side of the argument, and you do so aggressively, you come off as a raving lunatic.
Before you go into any kind of controversial rant, tell your readers what you’re ranting about. Explain the other side of the story first so your readers can make an informed decision.
Make sure you can back up your position: Before you go beating up on some poor, innocent blogger who just happens to have a differing viewpoint, do the research to back up your position. Make sure that whatever you’re telling your readers is true and verifiable. If you don’t, at least one of your readers is going to find the hole in your theory and broadcast it on HIS blog – because we all know controversy sells!
Charlie Sheen spent an entire summer slamming his producers and network. All they had to do was point out the holes in his story – and highlight his poor performance record – and Charlie ended up looking like an idiot.
Clean up the mess quickly: What really killed Sheen wasn’t the fact that he went public with all the controversy. It was that he wouldn’t let it rest. Controversial content adds a lot of excitement to your blog but you have to know when to stop and get back to regular business. Within just a few days people were sick of seeing Sheen’s face plastered all over the Internet and the news. At that point, it really was like driving by a wreck. People just slowed down to see the blood.
If you’re careful with controversial content you can generate some really good traffic numbers. Traffic that sticks. However, as Sheen proved, too much controversy can kill your blog.
Learn how to recognize great link bait: One final Internet Marketing lesson we can learn from Sheen is how to recognize and use great link bait. While Sheen was stirring his cauldron, his name was being used to attract traffic all over the Web. Everybody put the name Charlie Sheen in a title and used it to get new traffic for their blog.
The key with using link bait is that you have to be able to show some relevancy or it’s worthless traffic. What’s Charlie Sheen doing now and how does it relate to the other content on your blog? Why would that be interesting to your readers? If you can’t find a relevant tie in, then don’t use Sheen for link bait. Go see what Justin Bieber or Britney Spears or Linsday Lohan are doing this week. Surely someone is doing something controversial that you can tie in to your blog.