The Chops Index and the Power of the Silent Majority for Bloggers

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The chops index is a metric I use to judge all business bloggers.

“Chops” describes how talented of a business person I perceive somebody to be.  Often there is a disconnect between the results somebody has achieved online and their chops index. Some people that really know their shit haven’t yet had enough time in the game, haven’t gotten lucky yet, or haven’t managed to get recognition for their work.

To illustrate the extremes, people like Jason CalicanisMark Suster, and Matt Bellemare would all receive a 10 on the chops scale, whereas most bloggin’ advice affiliate “watch me blog!” bloggers would rank somewhere around 1 or 2. Chris Ducker is an example of a lifestyle design blogger with a high chops index. Rob Walling and Mike Taber are examples of solopreneurs who score highly on the chops index. Joe and Justin have impressive scores as well.

Many people in the blogosphere conflate ‘popular’ with chops. I try not to do this.

That’s not to devalue the ability to become popular. Getting eyeballs takes a brand of chops. Surprisingly to me, getting paid and getting popular have less overlap that I initially suspected.

Bloggers who conflate popularity with chops tend to cohort with anyone who has eyeballs. That can work! But be careful, it can hurt your chops index.

The Power of the Silent Majority

Richard Nixon is famous for appealing to the silent majority of Americans who felt overshadowed by a vocal and over-publicized minority.

I mention my chops index because it’s possible that your readers have an agreed upon perception of you, your chops, and your blog that have largely been un-expressed to you.

Bloggers are often taught to forget about the silent majority. Focus on the ‘believers’ and screw the rest.

Fair enough– but if your ‘believers’ are just commenting, emailing, and visiting– not buying, dealing, and meeting, they could be leading you astray.

The silent majority could hold the key to why your blog isn’t taking off or why nobody is buying your products.

If you are struggling getting off the ground, it’s an interesting question to explore:

What does the silent majority think of you?

Cheers,
Dan

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Published on 11.02.11
  • JustinWCooke

    Love the concept of a “chops index”!  I’ve gone over this with Joe a bit and my personal scale has 3 levels:

    Tier 3: Spammy bloggers…obviously just trying to make a few bucks off you.  Will typically talk down to you or just put out content that’s really not all that great.  Unoriginal posts, no references and just free-flow, unimaginative thought, etc.

    Tier 2: Typically put out really good content, but also have a somewhat direct sales angle and agenda.  Try to balance their monetization with their content.  Will typically reference those that are better than they are…do act as a hub for good information.  Usually have a loyal following with a few fanatics.

    Tier 1: The bomb…you can’t even tell these guys are selling anything.  Extremely honest and put out blow-your-mind content on a regular basis.  They write books, give talks, etc. and people just can’t get enough of their stuff.  They do the epic shit.

    If anyone’s wondering…I’d have to say we fall into Tier 2…but we really, really want to get to Tier 1!

  • http://awebsitedesigner.com.au Dan Norris

    Hi Dan nice post, there are so many examples of bloggers that seem to have huge followings that don’t seem to deliver much useful stuff. Posts are all ’10 things you can learn from xx event’ etc, just airy fairy site with no real value. I don’t love reading for the sake of reading so unless it’s entertaining or it’s specific actionable sh*t it’s usually a waste of time. I could definitely use a chops filter, perhaps you could quantify it an take on Klout!

  • http://tigermuse.com/ Johan Woods

    I think you make some great points in this post but how do you find out what the silent majority thinks…..if they’re the SILENT majority?

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com Dan

    haha yeah great question, that’s tough. Two best ways: 1) put a cash register on it 2) ask somebody with CHOPS who you trust to give you serious critical feedback. #2 can be invaluable to a career and hard to find.

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com Dan

    yeah exactly man Klout could really use a does of chops filtering. hmmmmm….:)

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com Dan

    nah you da bomb. loved the tier approach as well, would also like to push it more in to tier one with what we are doing. to that end ian and i will probably go public with our businesses sometime in the next 2 fiscal quarters. 

  • http://tigermuse.com/ Johan Woods

    Those two are actually pretty good, both with individual strengths, but same or similar results. #2 goes deeper, though. And that’s critical, eventually.

  • JustinWCooke

    Yeah…would love to be Tier 1.  I’d say you guys show glimpses of Tier 1…and your mindset is definitely there.  It’s really the place to be and includes a group of people I totally respect.

    Go public…You mean IPO public?…or just mean being more open or out-there about your business? lol

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com Dan

    haha nah, wish, i think we could provide a lot more value if we just showed exactly what we do, but thus far we haven’t felt properly incentivized to do so because the podcast has always been just a hobby for us.. but i think things are getting more serious here and the podcast/blog is becoming more central to what we do. 

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=510740974 Kris Bolton

    Hey Dan,

    Just dropping by for my weekly read of your blog. Im still over in the Philippines right now. Im launching a philippine dedicated ad network next month http://www.adboxsocial.com (the site is under construction). I just took a peek at the portable bar company, i like the look of the site and would like to build something similar for the ad network did you make it? What programme was used to build the site?

    Keep up the great blog.

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com Dan

    Cheers thanks Kris, we used WordPress and a theme from WooThemes.

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  • jurgendhaese

    Makes me think of something Ray Dalio wrote in “Principles”:

    “While everyone has the right to have questions and theories, only believable people have the right to have opinions.”

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com/ Dan

    love that one.

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