This is a guest contribution from Steven Gomez.
Crime in America has many names. There is the Mafia, the Mob, the National Crime Syndicate, or “La Costa Nostra” – Italian for “This Thing of Ours.” In addition to the colorful names and faces are the larger-than-life personalities that turned crime in America literally into a “booming” industry.
Figures like Lucky Luciano, John Gotti, Meyer Lansky, “Bugsy” Siegel, and Scarface Al Capone grew the mob from a bunch of small-time criminals to an empire.
What can a blogger learn from the worst criminals in America? Well, loads of bad stuff, but also some truly epic lessons in how to create a great blog.
1) Provide Your Tribe with an Identity and a Brand They Can Care About
Crime is neither glamorous nor attractive, and criminals tend not to be society’s best and brightest. No one brags about being a drug pusher, a purse snatcher, or a mugger. Yet the idea of being a “Made Man” has an allure and mystique that even Hollywood finds irresistible.
An associate is brought into a dark basement filled with shadowy figures and his finger is pricked. Blood is drawn and a lit prayer card is placed in his cupped hand, the ashes mingling with his blood. He is told that he now has a family that supersedes the one he was born into. A family that values honour and loyalty above all, demands total obedience, and offers prosperity, wealth, and respect.
The reality of the Mafia is decidedly different, but the appeal of being “Made” by the Mob has a romance that is hard to ignore.
It is an identity that promises distinction.
Author Scott Sigler calls his long-time readers “Junkies” and the Noir Factory, my blog, refers to its subscribers as “Confidential Informants.”
While no one is suggesting that you set prayer cards on fire, and – depending on your blog – it may be very inappropriate to demand blood-letting, you should instill that same kind of identity in your tribe.
If you can capture that sense of romance, that same loyalty in your readers, then you not only have a tribe, you have a “family.” Let the identity serve as a badge of honour.
2) Work with Your “Competition” to Create New Opportunities
For years after the Mafia came to America, they were ruled by the