The problem I personally have with “trying” to write for “leads” or business results is it falls out of my true nature, out of my character and out of my comfort zone. It violates the very core of who I am.

I never blogged, or wrote, or spoke to get business. But it did. I never blogged to “fill the funnel”. But it did.

I put that stuff into the world because it was fun, exciting and new. Because I wanted to teach and share. Because I wanted to be a part of a collective conversation we’re all having online. I wanted to (I’ll admit) earn the recognition and praise of others. I did it because I saw someone make something and I thought “hey, I can make that too.”

Thus, the decisions of “what should I write?” or “where should I post it?” or “why should I write this at all?” those were based upon what felt right in that moment.

I didn’t care about leads or traffic or if it was the right move to get in front of the right audience.

Follow your curiosities.

Look for inspiration.

Chase your muse.



Repeat and do it over again (I realize that was redundant).

I believe you should create content to fulfill a deep need within you.

It’s something you HAVE to get off your chest and say to the world. Once you do that, the rest falls into place. The business, leads and clients will come.

I believe you should attempt to put forth the opposite of what you actually do.

If you sell products, you should really be selling a service. This doesn’t make sense at all, until you remember Zappos sells shoes but their real value add is customer service.

If you’re an artist, try to be more business-like. If you’re in business, try to act more like an artist. If you run an online store make an impact in the real world. If you’re B2B, you need to find ways to act more B2C.

When you do the opposite, you cross imaginary lines constructed by society. You break expectations.

So, do the opposite.

Art and marketing are at odds.

Success in art is feeling proud inside. It’s a deep sense that you’ve healed yourself and changed others. It’s being in touch with something bigger than you.

Success in marketing is filling the funnel, numbers on a dashboard, or “up and to the right”. It’s getting the result you want.

Success in art feels intrinsic, success in marketing is extrinsic.

Art doesn’t care about the past or the future. Art cares about the now. In fact if you’re NOT in the now, you’ll probably make bad art. However, marketing pretty much obsesses about the future.

Did your article or blog post change someone? Did it trigger an emotion? (Outlandish! There’s no emotion in marketing!). 

Marketers ironically need to learn how to do less marketing and more just pure creating.

Create for no reason other than what you intrinsically get out of it. Create something and let it market by accident. That’s the best way, at least for me.

Yet, I realize that I’m basically telling you I’m a “marketer” that doesn’t market. This could mean I lose all of my credibility, lose all of my clients (or future clients), go out of business and become homeless.

“We don’t want an artist, we want a marketer!

You should want both.

The Switch

The weird thing though? I can “switch on” real marketing. I can find my customer’s audience, ideate content to gain their attention, and set a plan to get it in front of them. I can connect the dots in their analytics. I know these things DO have purpose.

The secret for me is in choosing when to switch this on or off. Do I want to be a marketer right now? Do I want to chase metrics and influencers and links and traffic? Or do I want to be an artist. A writer. A human. A maker.

You can be both.

That’s where the responsibility lies. The knowledge and awareness to know how and when you can do both. Or just one, or the other. And you can choose to apply it when the situation is right, based upon what you feel.

It’s great when you know what you don’t want to do, because then you may discover what you do want to do.

Right now – I DON’T want to be a marketer, and publish stuff on Inc, Entrepreneur, Forbes or anything like that – just because I’m told “it’s what you need to do to market your business.” Or “it’s how you build your personal brand and earn credibility.”

Going cross discipline really matters.

There’s when the true breakthroughs happen. It’s when innovation occurs. It’s when the doctor takes up violin. When the surfer learns photography. When the marketer forgets “demographic targeting to fill the lead funnel” and creates art.

Is this prose, or is this a song? Am I right or am I …

About Dan Shure

Hi! I'm Dan Shure. I write all of the posts and host all of the podcast episodes you'll find on the Evolving SEO blog. Say hello on Twitter @dan_shure!


  • November 5, 2015 Reply

    Nancy Huang

    And this is why we love working with you! There are too many “marketers” out there that believe that their way to build a house is the only way to build a house. Marketing ISN’T a science! (I married a biologist so he’ll back me up on this one.) Every industry is different, every business unique. We can’t possibly all rely on the same strategy.

    Produce stuff that inspires and interests and piques curiosity in both ourselves and our audience, and the people will come. It’s true.

    • November 9, 2015 Reply

      Dan Shure

      Thanks Nancy! I like the “build a house” quote. I often find that being the only person/company NOT doing what all the others are doing can be the best way to stand out and be memorable. Really important to always keep that perspective in check and not just follow the herd.

  • November 5, 2015 Reply


    Great post Dan! I agree that marketing is still about heart and soul and can’t be solely driven by data and metrics. Theres’s a mid ground for sure but I appreciate the excellent points you made in this article about focusing on art and inspiration and less about channels and everything technical that we all spin our wheels on day in and day out.

    • November 9, 2015 Reply

      Dan Shure

      Hey Nate, thanks for visiting 🙂 I definitely agree there’s a sweet spot of math and art mixed together. Personally I found myself skewing way more towards the extreme of “marketing” than I ever thought I would, and this post was kind of a reminder to myself to not forget the reason why I love making things so much.

  • December 3, 2015 Reply

    Patricia Erikson

    I’m not finding a “subscribe” on your blog. Am I missing it?

  • January 25, 2016 Reply

    Nikolay Stoyanov

    When I first started writing, it was because I wanted to express myself in a way. After some time, it became a positive thing and good outlet. Thank your for sharing your views Dan! Glad that someone thinks like me 🙂

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