I see a lot of headlines on Twitter every day. Most of them read like boilerplate blog posts; they start with a “How I” or “Why I” or “Why You Should/Shouldn’t” headings. **snoozefest**
However, once in awhile a headline pops out from the crowd & doesn’t read like it was created over at the Headline Generator for Lazy Writers. Such was the fun yesterday when Marc Ensign graced the blogosphere with what has to be the WORLD’S greatest “How to Blog” post ever! (There’s even a Clean Version of it if the profanity in the article offends you.)
In THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BLOGGING YOUR A** OFF, Marc listed out the basic tenets of what one must do in order to have a killer blog. According to Marc you MUST:
- Be Authentic
- Be Scared to Publish
- Have a F*ing Opinion
- Give a S**t
- Be Extraordinary
- Embrace Your Shortcomings
- Write for the Right Reason
- Be Human
- Be a Giver
The bullet points are the article subheadings and while yes, you can get the gist of the article by skimming it – don’t. You’ll miss some funny, witty, and genuinely well crafted writing. (Anytime you can take something as mundane as the over-blogged topic of “how to write a good blog/blog post” and turn it into something actually worth reading: I will LOVE it!)
The point of it all is that if it’s your blog – be yourself – say what you want – don’t say it if you don’t want to – and be willing to take the heat that comes along with vomiting your opinion all over the blogosphere. On the flip side of that, if you don’t want to do all these things: then don’t. Shut your blog down and go away. (That’s what I got out of it – you may get something else entirely – who knows.) If you can’t bring those things to the table with your blog, your blog is just flat doomed to fail. (**According to Mark, anyway. LOL)
And This Got Me Thinking…
Here’s the current issue I’m chewing on with regards to jumping back on the blogging bandwagon: I’ve been there and done all that over on an old, well-indexed (now hidden) blog that I had going for YEARS. (It actually predates WordPress!) As the years rolled by and the stats rolled in, I noticed a trend – most people were coming to my blog to read something I had posted that centered on topical information – not so much opinions and commentary. (Thanks to my awesome SEO skillz – you know, back when SEO was just good, old fashioned, writing.) In fact, what blows me away is that of all the information on my blog, the most clicked posts were for recipes that I shared from other sites and obscure videos that I had embedded before they were pulled off of YouTube (not racy videos y’all! Just copyrighted with lots of restrictions -like SNL vid’s etc.)
20th Century Blogging Best Practices
Back in the day you blogged for the sake of blogging. You didn’t write for the sake of self-promotion, Adsense revenue, affiliate revenue, or for climbing the proverbial ladder in whatever fishbowl/niche of blogging you were involved. You blogged because the idea of writing for a huge audience of unknowns was liberating for you. You wrote because you found a safe place to express yourself. You experienced a sense of freedom to opine on a wide variety of topics, or in a specific niche field. Basically, you blogged for a lot of different reasons; but it wasn’t really for anything else other than the sake of writing.
Today the blogosphere is overflowing with how to’s about SEO, revenue, traffic, stats, the glorification of self, and perpetuating the current falsity of social circles online. And frankly, that kind of energy makes me retract.
Ear Plugs, Anyone?
If you know me in real life you know I’m not naturally competitive to the point that I actually care about impressing the masses. Which is why I think my blog may be doomed. Frankly, between all the different social media channels I’m on, HipChat for work, writing for clients, and excessive texting between friends and family, I’m seriously just tired of hearing my own voice in my own head ALL. THE. TIME.
As a former avid blogger, I have arrived at a point in life where I really just don’t care about blogging anymore. Having run blog-like sites since the late 1990’s, this whole “blogging is the new black” thing seems somewhat silly. It’s really nothing personal, friends-who-blog-regularly, it’s just I have the “been here done this” feeling in my gut about it all and I’m not sure I’m ready to dive back into the pool with everyone else.
Is There Anything NEW To Say, Anyway?
The other thing I’ve decided about blogging is that someone, somewhere, has already said it – probably better than I have or will ever say it. So, really, what’s the point? It seems to me, and forgive me for being so blunt, but there’s nothing really NEW on the internet. Someone has written the program you think you’ve coded out of thin air, someone has created a WordPress theme that’s pretty darn close to what you’re looking for, someone has a plugin that will do what you’re trying to do, someone has already said whatever it is you think you’ve cleverly come up with on your own.
Blogging: AKA – How To Steal Time From Your Kids And Justify It.
And do you know how much time it takes to write a GOOD blog post? I always look at it like, “Ok. I could write that blog post about that specific topic…SEO it…Link It…Promote it… or… I could go chill out with my kids. Lately – like for the past couple of years – I’ve picked chilling out with my kids and in all those years no one has said, “Man, Sarah, we really miss reading your obnoxious point of view on this or that current event, topic, etc. so on and so forth..”
I feel like trying to post a personal blog where I impart my wisdom to the world would be a futile attempt towards nothingness. I’m not sure there’s any way around it.