What David and Goliath can teach you about blogging

You’re probably familiar about the bible story of David and Goliath. It’s one of those stories you learn about in Sunday school and never forget.

But what’s it got to do with blogging?

It’s not the obvious answer. This isn’t a post about how the little guy can take on the big guy and win. That’s boring. This post it about another partof the story.

In the story, David comes to bring lunch to his brothers and sees the fear that Goliath has placed in the hearts of the Israel soldiers. He decides to fight Goliath because no-one else is brave enough. The king thinks this is pretty cool and tells David to do it. David gets five smooth stones, puts one in his sling and kills Goliath.

Here’s the bit you probably didn’t learn about in Sunday school.

After David makes his decision to fight Goliath, he’s taken to King Saul. The king is so excited that David wants to fight that he offers him his armour. David tries it on but realises he can’t move around in it and declines the offer. He decides to fight Goliath his way – he doesn’t want to wear someone else’s armour.

Who’s Armour Are You Wearing?

I read this bit of the story years ago and it really spoke to me. As we go through life we are tempted to wear other people’s armour. It’s important to take a step back and think about what we’re doing and whether we want to wear other people’s armour, or wear our own.

In the blogging world a great example of this is the multitude of internet marketing courses that are available. Most of them make promises of easy money just by following a system that’s supposedly worked for someone else. Here’s what I’ve learnt over the past five years of blogging – what’s worked for someone else may not work for you.

I’ve been experimenting with PPC advertising for a few years and I’ve read a number of blogs and ebooks about how to do PPC effectively. But I’ve never stuck to just one method. I’ve taken ideas from different places and put them together to create something that works for me. I’m happy to tell others about the system that works for me, but I’d never suggest that the things that work for me are the best for them.

I’ve recently been experimenting with advertising on Facebook. I’ve read one e-book that suggested bidding in one way. The person who wrote the book says he’s been getting 1 penny clicks. Well, it didn’t work for me. The concept of Facebook ads is still something I’m pursuing and working on, but I’m trying other ways to do it. I’ll still do some of the things this person has suggested, but I’ll put the Allan twist on it to come up with something that works for me.

I’m a guitarist, and this concept comes easy to me. I’m used to listening to other guitarists and analysing what they’re playing and learning how to play it myself. But if that was all I did, I wouldn’t be a good player. I’d just be good at copying someone else’s style. I love John Mayer’s playing, and in the past I’ve spent time learning some of his songs. But then I’ve taken his ideas and incorporated them into my playing, along with ideas I’ve grabbed from Ian Moss, Jimi Hendrix, Larry Carlton, Mike Landau and many others. So instead of being a clone, I’m an original, with bits borrowed from many different guitarists.

In business my approach has been similar. When I did my MBA I learnt about a lot of different approaches to management. I then took the bits that I felt were suitable for me and I’ve used them over the past few years. I’ve also ignored some of the things I’ve learnt because they haven’t been relevant to me.

Over the years I’ve developed my own armour – a set of values and a way of doing business that I’m comfortable with. It doesn’t mean I’m not open to new ideas or that I’ve stopped learning. I’m always learning and changing things. But my core values remain the same, and rather than jumping around from one new fad to another, I’ve remained focussed on a few strategic tasks that get me closer to my goals.

How to wear your own armour

  • Firstly, think about what armour you’re wearing. Why are you doing the things that you’re doing? What values do you have that aren’t really your values, they’re just things you’ve inherited from other people?
  • Secondly, decide on the things you’re comfortable with. The interesting point in the David and Goliath story is that the king was very well-intentioned in his offer to David – he genuinely believed his armour would be helpful. David realised that whilst the concept was ok, it wasn’t right for him. In your life, have a think about the things you’re doing or saying that you really don’t identify with. Think of all the things you’ve learnt about blogging and question them. Look at how you run your blog and ask yourself ‘Is there a better way to do this’?
  • Thirdly, take action and be prepared to fail sometimes. Life is one big experiment – learn from the little mistakes you make along the way.

What do you think about this concept of wearing your own armour rather than someone else’s? Is it relevant for you? Leave a comment below and let me know what you think.

Photo Credit EllenM

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Allan lives in Adelaide, South Australia with his wife and two boys. He is the founder of Blogger Business Plan and loves helping bloggers learn how to transform their blogs from hobbies into sustainable businesses.
When he's not blogging or working in his financial planning business, you'll find Allan playing guitar, reading or coaching his son's soccer team.

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6 Responses to What David and Goliath can teach you about blogging
  1. arik
    September 5, 2011 | 4:46 am

    really coool gotta the result is your ownself transfered into your true self applys in all aspects of life!

  2. Bring The Fresh Review
    September 10, 2011 | 9:06 pm

    […] What David and Goliath can teach you about blogging […]

  3. Dakota
    October 18, 2011 | 7:42 am

    Hi Allan,

    Love the idea of the armor not being right for David. In the end, it worked out for David to take his own path. But at the same time, David had much practice with his own system and had confidence that it would work. I’ve had a lot of experience playing the piano (10 years) so I”m confident in that.

    Blogging is another story!
    Dakota recently posted..No Posts Were Found!My Profile

    • Allan Ward
      October 18, 2011 | 4:09 pm

      You’re right about David’s confidence. He was determined to do things his way and it worked out for him. As you learn more about blogging you’ll read a whole bunch of different opinions – absorb as much as possible, but focus on the strategies that seem right to you.

  4. Greg
    February 28, 2012 | 11:57 am

    Great point. I get stuck every day trying to imitate techniques that work for others. I can really relate to your analogy with music. I am also a musician, and can see how the same tactics apply. It’s about style, and we need our own creative side, even in the corporate world.
    Greg recently posted..John Mayer Plots New Album, Tour, Charity WorkMy Profile

    • Allan Ward
      February 28, 2012 | 9:28 pm

      Hi Greg,

      Thanks for the comment – it’s good to hear that another muso feels the same way. As you’ve hinted in your comment, it’s ok to learn from others, but ultimately we need to find our own voice and style.

      PS had to click through to your blog after seeing the John Mayer article in your signature! Nice stuff.

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