The Jon Bon Jovi Guide to Making it Big on the Web

31 March 2009 5,581 views 11 Comments

Ooooohhh, we’re halfway there

Ooooohhhh, livin’ on a prayer

Jon Bon Jovi Livin' on a Prayer!

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image credit: Anirudh Koul

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In 1980, at the age of 17, Jon Bongiovi (Here Jon Bon Jovi’s full bio

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) went to work at his cousin’s recording studio. He swept floors while trying everything he could to learn about the music industry.

On a bus trip between his home in New Jersey and the recording studio in New York he wrote what would become his first big hit, Runaway.

He found the guys who would make up the Bon Jovi band we know today and won’t soon forget.

Jon’s passion for his craft is a good model for any person looking to live out their dreams.

You don’t have to have dreams of being a rock star to use the lessons from Bon Jovi’s long career.

Your hunting business, blog, and Website can have success beyond even what you imagine.

Here are a few lessons from Bon Jovi’s success you can use to build your own blogging success story.

Early Success (Purple Leather Pants)

JBJ

Bon Jovi in the '80s

Looking back on Bon Jovi’s first video Runaway

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, it’s hard to believe that the guy in the purple leather pants would go on to be not only one of the most successful rock stars in history, but one of the most successful businessmen, and humans in history.

But from the very beginning this guy had big dreams and he had a plan for making it big and exceeding everybody’s expectations.

As I mentioned before, Jon wrote Runaway when he was barely out of his teens. He recorded the song with studio players and took a copy of the record to every record label in New York. He was turned down by all.

This is where most people give up on their dreams. Rejection of your art, your passion is difficult.

However, Jon took his record to a New York DJ who liked the song and played it. The song caught on in New York and eventually Jon was signed to Mercury Records.

Jon quickly filled out the band’s players and the song and first record took off.

Bon Jovi Runaway

Side Note: One fact I didn’t realize about the band, Bon Jovi, until recently was that Jon is the sole owner of the band/company. He was signed to the record deal as a solo artist and had to fill out the band. He acts as the owner of the Bon Jovi Company. The other players, whom we know well (Richie Sambora, Tico Torres, etc.), are Jon’s ‘employees’. However, he has done a great job (it appears) in making it feel like a band of equal partners as I’m sure it actually is. They write songs together, which of course is separated as you’d expect.

I thought this was an interesting fact about Jon Bon Jovi the businessman.

You

Jon Bon Jovi’s initial path to success is very interesting, but not unusual for those starting out in any business (hunting business, blog, Website, etc.).

As with Jon, you’re going to face rejection on the Web. To clarify, rejection on the Web usually comes in the form of silence. Nobody is visiting your site or blog. This is a horrible feeling for anyone. It literally feels like your dreams of having success on the Web have been squashed when nobody comes to your site.

But as with JBJ, all you need to do is keep working until you find the right person or small group of people who will support what you’re doing. They’ll ‘get it’.

You only need to reach one person, a small group of people to reach your tipping point.

If you’re in the early stages of your Web business, it may not feel like you’re making progress, but you’re building a strong base of content so that when you are ‘discovered’ you’ll have tons of content for people to connect with.

Keep working. Don’t let people convince you that you’re wasting your time. You’re not. You’re building your experiences and knowledge so you’re prepared for your success.

New Levels (Huge Choruses = Sharability)

JBJ

After their second album 7800 Degrees Fahrenheit (temp when stone liquefies – ‘American Hot Rock’ – get it?), failed to reach the success of their debut, Bon Jovi needed to take their career to the next level or else face fading away into obscurity.

The result of their work during this time resulted in one of the biggest albums of all time.

Slippery When Wet came out in 1986 and changed modern pop culture.

Bon Jovi Slippery When Wet

The choruses to Livin’ on a Prayer and You Give Love a Bad Name were HUGE.  Don’t act like you don’t start rocking out every time you hear them.

Bon Jovi reached a turning point in their early career. They decided to take their careers to the next level by making their content larger than life.

People ate it up.

Bon Jovi had built up a strong base of fans (dedicated fans) from their Runaway days and those fans helped spread the word about Slippery When Wet. The super-fans of the Bon Jovi tribe (along with the band’s great content) helped propel the band into the history books.

The band created a foundation.

They created content that was big and had sharability.

The fans and the band took over from there to make Bon Jovi the biggest band in the world.

You

Sometime after your initial success (maybe a Digg front page or Stumble Upon review) your blog will likely fall back to the traffic levels you were having before the huge burst.

Don’t worry about it. Don’t look at it as a setback.

The traffic you gain on your first shot of success will not be all quality traffic.

You will, however, likely gain some true fans who will continue reading your new content and dig into your archives.

These are the people you want to continue providing content for. These are the beginnings of your super-fan base. Your tribe

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.

Continue working to craft your successful formula. Continue to create content with build-in sharability. Make it easy for your tribe to tell their friends when you create remarkable content.

Riding the Formula (How Do You Follow Your Best?)

JBJ

Answer – you make another huge and awesome record.

It’s hard to imagine the pressure and stress of following up the success of Slippery When Wet.  Somehow, Bon Jovi was able to accomplish the unthinkable with New Jersey.

Bon Jovi New Jersey

Bon Jovi continued their formula

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of huge, sing-a-long, rock choruses with their album New Jersey.  The album produced five top ten hits in the US and saw the continuation of Bon Jovi’s success in the late eighties.

The album was different yet familiar to their huge tribe

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.

Due to the success of their previous albums, Bon Jovi’s fans were ready to share their new album no matter what the content was, but since the album was awesome, the tribe was even more willing to share the content with as many people as they could find.

18 million people can’t be wrong

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.

You

If you stick to your passion long enough, continue creating quality content, and continue building a tribe you’ll eventually reach some level of success.

Maintaining the success will be just as, if not more difficult than reaching success in the first place. It’s truly a cruel yet enticingly challenging cycle.

Find your formula for success and continue to stay true to it while continuing to experiment with new formulas.

Enduring Generations (Kids Love Bon Jovi Today)

JBJ

It probably wasn’t until middle school when I started likely Bon Jovi’s music. At this point, it had been a decade since their ’80s heyday.

However, in 2000, the band released the single It’s My Life and they once again became one of the biggest bands in the world. I was in high school when this song came out. We played it in our warm-up mix before each basketball game.

Bon Jovi It's My Life

Bon Jovi successfully reached another generation of fans not only with new music, but with their collection of content from their earlier works.

They continued to build their collection of quality content and continued staying relevant. This kept their brand in the spotlight for younger generations to discover.

New tribe members were created.

Here I am in 2009, sharing Bon Jovi content. I guess I’m officially a member of the Bon Jovi tribe.

You

Continue creating content as long as it brings joy to your life. As long as you have a passion for what you do you can continue to have success.

Let your passion fuel your creativity.

Continue to stay relevant so new people can discover you and your business and become tribe members.

Your passion and your work will be your legacy. Your family, your friends, and your tribe will continue passing on your legacy long after you’re gone.

I wish you the best and encourage you to never stop pursuing your passions.

Summary

The career and legacy of Jon Bon Jovi is one we can all appreciate as content creators and businesspeople.

We can look to Bon Jovi for lessons from his own career successes and failures to use as motivation for our own careers.

Bonus

Here are links to my Bon Jovi favorites (I’d embed them, but Universal Music Group doesn’t believe in sharing)

Runaway

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Livin’ on a Prayer

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You Give Love a Bad Name

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Bad Medicine

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Lay Your Hands On Me

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It’s My Life

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Images in this post are from Wikipedia

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11 Comments »
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  • The Hunter's Wife
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    said:

    I hate to admit this but I’m an 80′s chick (high school) and Bon Jovi was a favorite.

    With the wind we’re having today, my hair looks like the first picture of him.

  • Dayne Shuda
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    (author)
    said:

    @The Hunter’s Wife – There was some great hair back then. :)

    It’s windy here in WI today too – very cold for April 1st.

  • Blogs of Note: Hunting Commerce Marketing | Duck Hunting
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    said:

    [...] refers to numerous musicians and their careers as analogous to Blogging and house. My favorite is The Jon Bon Jovi Adviser to Making it Big on the Cobweb. You force to concede, that’s attractive clever! And the facts is [...]

  • T. Michael Riddle
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    said:

    Great post Mr. Shuda!
    Coincidentally I myself am a musician/artist from the 80s era, signed to a couple of recording contracts and toured for several years.
    Had loads of fun doing it and am now a Rancher/Hunting Guide in my older age.

    The advise you give is almost by the book of how I also have ran my hunting business.
    Just as I also ran the business of my music and the moderate amount of success that I achieved with it back when I was a youth.

    Very enjoyable reading and pretty much right on the mark!!!!

  • Dayne Shuda
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    (author)
    said:

    @ T. Michael – Thanks so much for stopping by. I’m glad you liked this post. It was a lot of fun to write.

    What band were you in? I bet you have some great stories from those days. :-)

  • T. Michael Riddle
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    said:

    The name of the bands Dayne were: Valhalla and Riddle.
    Both of which were produced by Ronnie Montrose, and there also was a 60s psychedelic band, and a current death metal band which are using the same name but not to the extent which we did.

    One of our old recordings surfaced on e-bay and I am not sure but I believe that either Albert Rasch or Phillip Loughlin purchased it to get a good laugh (or possibly blackmail) from all of that hairspray and spandex on the album cover which was so prevalent in those 80s bands. L.O.L.

    You can hear my solo material on the Native Hunt website which I used for the videos placed there, that way I don’t have to pay out any royalties to anyone other than myself.

    Excellent reading on your site here!!!

  • Dayne Shuda
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    (author)
    said:

    Oooo…We might have to try and get Albert or Phillip to post that recording photo. ;-)

    I’ll check out your solo stuff.

  • Rebeccahale said:

    JON BON JOVI!!! LOVE HIM!!! I am about 14 but he is my idol!!!! I write songs because he inspired me!! Always and Forever Together JON!!! (I wrote that song for him but Jon is not in it.)

  • Dayne Shuda
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    (author)
    said:

    @Rebeccahale – I’m glad you love him so much. He’s one of my favorites too. That’s cool that you write songs. Best of luck. I can’t wait to hear them when you get big and famous.

  • Jacob Johnson
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    said:

    Bon Jovi definitely rocks, the best rock and roll band in the planet,`;

  • Jacob Patel
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    said:

    Bon Jovi in the 90′s is super popular and can i say the king of rock and roll on those days.:`