Passion and Online Marketing

Every now and then I read a blog post or a line in a book on marketing (usually books that devote a mere couple of paragraphs to online marketing) that assures entrepreneurs that they should write their own web content because “no one else has your passion for your work!”

There’s always an exclamation point.

I thought about this yesterday while working with students on a pro bono website for a charity. We do this a couple of times a year, and it’s a great experience for the students as well as a great opportunity for the charities.

“I put this sentence here because it’s so passionate,” a student said, showing me how she had showcased a line from the charity’s current website.

“Yes,” I said, “but what does it mean?”

We contemplated the sentence in silence. It was passionate, all right, but it didn’t say what the charity does. It didn’t include any valuable keywords that people might use to search for an organization to support. It basically said, “We’re passionate about helping, so give us some money.”

That’s not the message that brings in the donations.

What’s wrong with passion?

The problem is that being passionate about something doesn't make you articulate about that something. Click To Tweet If anything, it makes you less articulate. You care deeply about the goods and services you provide. You know why your issue is important and you probably are accustomed to talking with people who are just as committed as you are.

But the truth is, most of the people who come to your website are not committed yet. They’re uninformed, curious, even skeptical. They don’t already agree with you. They don’t need cheerleading. They need answers, not a sense of passionate conviction.

Often an outsider can convey your story more clearly. An outsider who understands SEO and usability and path to purchase and conversion optimization can certainly communicate better with those new people you’re not already communicating with — and with search engines.

Your passion for what you do can be better used in doing what you do. My passion for strategic communication on the web is of more use in writing web content than your passion for what you do.


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