A person with whom I used to work always used the phrase “secret sauce.” For example, while Google gives you a lot of information about how to appear on the front page of the organic results, they don’t give away the secret sauce as to how they run all of the algorithms. I always loved that analogy. As someone who tries to recreate family recipes and always comes up tantalizingly short, I totally understand the idea of “secret sauce.”
Secret sauce in Social Media
The world of Social Media is literally basking in secret sauces. You’ve probably noticed that almost everyone is out here giving advice and offering assistance. Why are people able to do that? Because no matter how much exterior information they give away, they aren’t giving away their secret sauce. They might be telling you that the pizza sauce you like has tomatoes and some spices. They might even tell you how long to cook the tomatoes, and what spices. But specific measurements on each of those ingredients? Probably not forthcoming. And that last bit of information – that’s what will always make their sauce taste slightly different from yours. Not necessarily better. Just different.
The difference between reading and doing
The secret sauce factor is really important to remember as you strive to learn via blogs, webinars, and conferences in the online world. What you will receive is great information. Invaluable, in fact. But what you learn from other people is just the list of ingredients. For example, you might learn about effective titles for blog posts, but you won’t learn how that person used that particular ingredient to create their secret sauce.
To put it another way, reading Copyblogger.com posts will not turn you into Brian Clark or Sonia Simone. Reading Problogger.net will not turn you into Darren Rowse. That’s not a bummer. That’s an invitation to you to create your own secret sauce.
What’s your special twist?
A blogger’s secret sauce can be in almost any facet of the process. Maybe it’s in how you monetize the blog. Maybe your secret sauce is how you develop your voice or your content. Maybe you’re like Daniel Day Lewis, who chooses a song to listen to for each role he accepts and somehow uses that song to act as well as he does (I think I read somewhere that he used an Eminem song to develop his character in Gangs of New York. Talk about secret sauce!).
Every blogger has that special little kernel that makes them special. This is not a question. This is a fact. So what is your special offering to your audience that will keep them wondering and coming back?
Take a look at other bloggers out there and see if you can identify their secret sauce. What are they not sharing with everybody? What’s the meat between those skeletal frames being shown to you?
Let’s talk in the comments section about what you find out about other bloggers and yourself. Sound good?
Image Credit: http://www.sxc.hu/profile/kaleff