How To Write The Perfect Blog Post

You can assign blame to Erin for leading me to read the post called Why Crazy People Make Better Bloggers and you can blame Lori for asking Do You Dare To Disagree?

And while we are out assigning blame you attribute my writing this post at 1:30 AM to the extra large cup of coffee that I drank at 9 P.M. Damn if I didn’t forget that I am not a junior whose classes don’t begin until noon. It is not going to feel good in the morning and it is not because I have been imbibing anything harder than the coffee dispensed by my Keurig.

Tell me dear reader, do you really believe that you can write the perfect blog post? Or maybe the question is do you think that I can tell you how to write the perfect blog post?

The Answer Is

The answer is that I most certainly can. I can tell you how to write the perfect blog post in a variety of niches. I can tell you how to write the perfect blog post for business bloggers and how to write the perfect blog post for dad bloggers. It is not complicated But before I do I am going to address a few loose ends from here and there.

I read that Forbes post about why crazy people make better bloggers and watched my eyes narrow and that vein in my forehead pop out. You know the one I am talking about, it is a clear sign that I am irritated with someone or something. And as you know if you see that in conjunction with my fists flexing it is probably wise to leave me alone.

You don’t need to be crazy to be interesting. You don’t need to have a terminal illness, lost a child, written a book, suffer from PPD or any one of those things to write an interesting blog. You don’t need to be a tortured soul or be in the midst of emotional turmoil of any sort. Fact is that you can be one happy bloke and write the hell out of a blog post.

The key is to let go and just write. Put pen to paper and finger to keyboard and let go. Write, write, write, write and write some more. More on this in a few.

I Disagree All The Damn Time

Lori’s post made me jump up and down a little bit. I suppose it is because I have a hard time understanding why people can’t just disagree with each other without fear. It just drives me nuts. Maybe it is because I am the cranky dad but I disagree with people on a regular basis. I don’t need the world to agree with me. Don’t have to have everyone tell old Jack that he is the smartest person ever. That would be inaccurate and it would suck. BTW, that is not me being self deprecating- just honest.  If the Shmata Queen were here I’d look her in eye and tell her that I am smarter and better educated than most people I meet, especially clevelanders.

The critical thing that is left out of that last sentence is this: Intelligence and education are tools that are only as good as the person using them.

But let’s circle back to the disagreements. Today my son complained about the group projects that he has to do in school. He is irritated because some of the kids can’t seem to get along with each other and he doesn’t want his grade to suffer. I told him that this is good experience for life and that they all need to figure out how to set aside their differences so that they can get their work done.

And then I told him that we don’t need or want a world where we all have the same opinion. We waste too much time trying to get our opinions validated by others. Just stop it.

BTW, Lori wrote a book called The Happy Place. You should take a moment to check it out and see if it resonates with you.

I Am A Writer- Read My Book

That last subhead isn’t written for you but for me. I wrote it because it is what I am- a writer. I have at least 987 books locked inside my head and haven’t published a single one of them yet. That is a serious mistake that I am going to rectify sooner than later. Marcus put together a review of a product that is supposed to make writing an eBook easy but I am having one hell of a time making it work. I like including that in a post where I talk about how smart I am. It reminds me of the Far Side cartoon of the guy who tries to open a door that says push by pulling on it.

Anyway, I promised to teach you the secret of how to write the perfect blog post for any niche. Are you ready? Really? Be certain to move your chairs in closer because I don’t feel like yelling now.

The perfect blog post is written by removing fear, opening your heart and allowing that which hides in the darker corners to see daylight. Yes, it is that simple and that goofy. You see the problem with perfection is that you won’t ever get everyone to agree on what perfection is. The best you can hope for is to gain a majority opinion and when your objective relies upon the subjective it is just not going to happen.

So the real goal here isn’t to try and convince the reader that they have just read the best post that anyone has ever written. The goal is for you to feel like you just wrote the best post you have ever written. The goal is to write a post that makes you feel like your heart was just ripped out of your chest and you can’t breathe. The goal is to write a post that is the essence of you and what you are about. If you feel naked, vulnerable and scared then you just might have something.

Dare to disagree or dare to call me crazy. I wonder if you realize how much blog fodder lies here in this post just begging for someone to talk and or write about it.  I suppose that time will tell. What do you think?

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  • ace1028

    Well said. I think people have to know that they can write about whatever they want to, go there, write it out and decide for themselves whether they a) care about what people think or not. (IMO, usually a blogger does, even ones like me who write for myself, I publish it in my blog because I’d like to think someone is listening – but when I started I did not and I just used it as a “journal” of sorts.) b) How they will react to responses – from those who DO read – to what they say. (I’m doing a sh!tty job of writing this out, but I am sitting here as a non-coffee drinker with my own cuppa Joe from my Keurig – long week!) c) I don’t know I’m just having fun doing my ABCs here. ;) Forgive me. I am with you on many points and I think, personally, that if you want to write – collective you out there – write. People will read it, or they won’t – but you need to decide if you care!

  • http://www.imjustsharing.com Mitch Mitchell

    I can’t disagree with almost any of this except one thing. I don’t think a person has to go to a dark place in their mind. I think a person has to go to the place where they realize they have something to say and that they’re going to say it. And they’re going to say it as honestly as they can, ready to accept whatever the consequences might be. That can be scary to some, but it’s not always dark. ;-)

    • http://www.thejackb.com/ Jack

      I don’t mean dark as in bad per se, it is more of being willing to explore areas that they might not have thought about. It is taking a look at our beliefs and saying that we believe XYZ to be true because of whatever reason we have.

      It might be completely arbitrary and not based upon anything but a gut feeling. That doesn’t make it wrong or bad.

  • http://ababydaddystory.blogspot.com/ maccddnice

    I am going to try some of thes strategies . I am new to blogging and would like mine to stand out more

    • http://www.thejackb.com/ Jack

      Sounds good. Let me know how they work out for you.

  • http://momfog.com/ Erin

    It’s a great relief to know I don’t have to be crazy to write the perfect blog post. I’m sane, I’m happy, I don’t have a tragic past or present, my parents adore me and I adore them. I even love my in-laws.

    Confession: I may have commented just so my latest post would show up here. You know, to make up for the last time. Okay, so maybe I’m a little crazy…

    • http://www.thejackb.com/ Jack

      A little crazy makes life a little more interesting. ;)

  • http://adriennesmith.net Adrienne

    Hey Jack,

    Wow, Forbes really said that? Guess I’m screwed because I certainly don’t consider myself crazy. A little out there at times and I certainly wouldn’t put myself in the category of being “normal” either. I also don’t honestly believe that I’ve ever written a great post. Oh hell, you’ve visited my site. I just write to help people learn. There’s nothing overly special about any of them, at least in my opinion. But I did quit beating myself up over them some time back. I just write and if people learn then I have accomplished my goal.

    Your poor son, I feel for him. So glad my school days are far behind me. I can sympathize with what he’s having to deal with. Not fun but he’ll learn. Ya done good Dad!

    • http://www.thejackb.com/ Jack

      Normal is boring. I like people who are out there, I certainly am. You must be doing something right. You have lots of people who enjoy visiting your blog and are getting something out of it.

  • http://vizsource.info/ Kim Davies

    Hi, Jack.

    It’s been a long time and there is no better post for me to read in your blog for my comeback into the online world but this.

    I guess I am at that point in my life now when, if I would just reach into my innermost innards and just let it rip and let go in words, I’d come up with what would seem to the perfect blog post. But, no, there is still a part of me that is not just letting it go yet…my sickness along with my pregnancy has made it hard for me to feel anything but feel down in the dumps and I could not even draw inspiration from that. For days now, I have been staring into a blank monitor with the cursor hanging over nothing.

    But, I am not worried just yet…I know, one of these days, the patch of great sunshine behind my cloud will win over the darkness and I will be able to write again…I guess, I am better at drawing inspiration from smiles and happiness than from negativity…And, that is for me, a step close to bringing out a perfect blog post one of these days. :)

    • http://www.thejackb.com/ Jack

      Hi Kim,

      It is hard to find inspiration when you don’t feel well, let alone sit at the computer. But it sounds to me like you have the right attitude and it won’t be all that long before you hit the keyboard again and come up with something. All things in their time.

  • http://www.thejackb.com Jack

    Blogging should be fun and if people don’t have fun doing it than they should pack up their bags and quit. Actually if they quit it would make my life a lot easier. So much less noise to compete with would be of great benefit to me.

    As for a 7 year old conversation, well we have a few of those in here. I won’t say if they are my own or that of my 7 year old daughter.

  • Jane Gassner

    Well, la-de-da, there is something vaguely (or greatly) self-satisfied about this post. Or am I just missing the irony? Or put another way, passion/smashion. How about instead of trying to get the essence of what you are in the post, you just try to have a conversation. And know that that conversation will never be of interest to everybody. It may even rival that of a 7 year old. But it will be your conversation–and the best you can hope for, then, is that you had fun creating it.

  • http://anordinarydad.wordpress.com AnOrdinaryDad

    A good post, some great thoughts here. I also have been thinking a lot about your ‘boundaries’ post. I really just write for myself, kind of like a dad’s version of scrapbooking but without all the stickers, ribbon and gluesticks. I try to word things well so that years from now I will be able to remember exactly how I felt at that moment with my kids, and I guess that could come off sounding like I’m trying to impress, but I don’t think anyone will ever get as much out of one of my posts as me.

    • http://www.thejackb.com Jack

      You touched upon something that I think about often and that is how to leave markers for the future me to read. What can I do to recreate these moments so that I feel then what I feel now.

      That is something that I can relate to. This blog is more than just my ideas- it is a chronicle of the lives of my children.

  • http://www.sexandthesingledad.com JR Reed

    Jack,

    You manage to speak the truth once again. Very well said as always. Posts like this is why you are da man.

  • http://www.foundingafather.wordpress.com jetts31

    Amen. The only formula for the perfect blog post is the formula you decide.

    • http://www.thejackb.com Jack

      That formula makes all the difference. It is what helps you be satisfied with your words and your writing.

  • http://staffperformancesecrets.com/ Leon Noone

    G’Day Jack,
    For what it’s worth, I’ve been a published author for over 50 years. That means little except that I’ve written a fair bit in my time.

    I don’t believe there’s such a thing as a perfect blog post or perfect newspaper article or perfect book for that matter………..unless of course, there’s such a thing as the perfect reader. I still believe that Robert Gunning’s “write to express not to impress” is the best writing advice any writer will ever receive. What’s difficult is knowing the difference.

    I think that writing and reading are part of the same continuum. And always remember: creativity is merely inventive plagiarism.

    And, of course, make sure you have fun
    Regards
    Leon

    • http://www.thejackb.com/ Jack

      Leon, my friend we are most assuredly in agreement. There are no new ideas just different ways of expressing that which has been said and or done.

      Your advice to have fun is something that more than a few bloggers should follow, I am always surprised to find posts in which people complain about blogging being a task. If it is so hard there really isn’t a reason to do it.

      It should be fun and that is what keeps me in the game.

  • http://www.factotumep.com Erin Feldman

    I think the same vein in my forehead popped when I read that Forbes article. I really and truly wanted to write a response to it last night, but I was completely exhausted.

    How am I supposed to respond to your post? You have entirely too many good things happening. The point about perfectionism. The letting go of fear and making oneself vulnerable…

    • http://www.thejackb.com/ Jack

      I am sure that you will come up with something. My post has a ton of holes in it. I keep looking at it and realizing that I just blew it in a few areas.

  • http://www.lifeforinstance.com Lori Gosselin

    Lol Jack, I’m stuck on “Damn if I didn’t forget that I am not a junior whose classes don’t begin until noon.” But Ok, you said you were thinking about it and I notice Bill is already here so let’s get into it! ;-)

    Thank you for the mention of my book and the post about disagreeing. I knew YOU don’t have any trouble disagreeing (though you do it in a nice way) – the question was not for you. It was for me and all the rest of us who do hesitate to speak their minds for one reason or another.

    I think you sum up the whole answer to how to write the perfect blog post with this beautifully-written statement; “So the real goal here isn’t to try and convince the reader that they have just read the best post that anyone has ever written. The goal is for you to feel like you just wrote the best post you have ever written.”
    The only competition, then, is fear – your own! LOL And that’s a formidable foe!
    Besides, as I’m sure you can attest to, if you’re putting out something that’s just OK, just alright, or as you put it, that doesn’t make you feel you can’t breathe, it’s no fun :o

    Why IS that!?!?

    Ironically, then, you do your best work for others when you write for yourself, with others in mind. Am I following you Jackl?
    :-)
    Lori

    • http://www.thejackb.com/ Jack

      Hi Lori. Fear is a formidable foe and blogging can exacerbate that. Every time you hit publish there is the chance to “embarrass” yourself but if you don’t push yourself you miss out on some exceptional experiences.

      I do things differently than a lot of other bloggers who will tell you that you should always work on writing for your readers. I build my community around me. If readers like my writing they stick around and if they don’t so be it.

      But in the process I always focus on trying to write posts with passion. Sometimes I fall short but that is ok. I know that I am going to lose people with those posts but I am going to lose people with posts that I think are phenomenal.

      Can’t be all things to all people so I focus on making me happy and that benefits the readers, so yes I think you are following me.

  • http://SocialMediaDDS.com Claudia

    Hi Jack! First, don’t even think about heading over to Lori’s Dare to Disagree post to view my comment…I can almost see your head shaking as you read my true confession. Sigh. That said, I agree with what you have written here…creativity comes from a raw and honest heart/soul…not a perfectly coiffed, well protected one. It is something that I need to work on. The excuse for my perfectionism in life, that I am a first born, is starting to lose it’s credibility and get a little weak, I think. So….I will hold myself to task and heed your words. In my defense, I DO heartily agree with your suggestion that you do not need to have endured life changing horrific experiences in order to be an interesting person. Interesting lives within each of us…it is up to us to urge our interesting out. And, finally…. 1 AM???? Are you goofy??? ;-)
    Claudia

    • http://www.thejackb.com/ Jack

      Claudia, we tend to forget that many of our experiences are quite interesting to others, even things we think are mundane. For example, I have had a number of readers ask me to share fraternity stories.

      They tend to come from people who had no experience with them so they are very curious. There are lots of similar examples.

      When people ask for suggestions for posts I sometimes tell them to Google it. That is not because I don’t have ideas but there are a ton of lists out there. Just digging through those lists of ideas can generate a ton of others.

  • http://billdorman.me Bill Dorman

    First of all, I would say you are the smartest guy I know but I have already bequeathed that to Howie and he get’s real sensitive about stuff like that. Secondly, I’m glad you didn’t use lakelanders for your analogy. Finally, I welcome debate and disagreement is healthy; I just don’t want it all.the.time. Some people take it too far, I don’t need to be challenged every single time I have a conversation.

    I will be honest, I’m struggling with my creativity and direction right now. I could write ‘stuff’, but I want it to be deeper than that and half the stuff I’m getting to paper just don’t resonate and I’m leaving it abandoned in drafts. I think if I get away from thinking I HAVE to publish every Monday morning and just go with whenever it strikes me it might be a better working model for me.

    I wrote the perfect blog post once; but guess what? It was only good for that day; I had to start all over again the next day…………

    • http://www.thejackb.com/ Jack

      Hey Bill. I like being the second smartest. Heck I don’t mind being number 5, 6 or 7. Not a big fan of number 2, it just brings out my competitive juices. Stick number 2 on my back and I just might smack number 1 in the back of the head so I can take their place. Howie doesn’t deserve all that now does he.

      If you dig through my archives you’ll find that I used to write and religion and politics on a regular basis It made for some interesting posts and some exceptional discussions in the comments section. i don’t do it as often because I got bored with it.

      And it lead to having to contend with a ridiculous number of trolls.

      I bet that you have far more material available than you realize. Could be stuff about your time in the army or high school, maybe something your kids did etc

  • http://chopperpapa.com ChopperPapa

    You don’t have to be, but much like why reality TV took off is the crazy seems to drag people in. Some of the most “popular” bloggers out there bring about as much to e conversation as my 7 year old. It seems if the blog can:

    1. Make the reader feel better about their own life.
    2. Let them relate.
    3. NOT make them think or question their own motives

    It has a good chance of being a “hit”.

    • http://www.thejackb.com/ Jack

      Kyle,

      One of the reasons that I like your blog is because you do think. You like turning over the pile to see what lies beneath it. I do too. I find it far more interesting to dig into a topic and figure out why. Sometimes that number 3 on your list is my favorite part.

      But numbers one and two aren’t bad. They are effective and often part of the best posts.

  • http://betsycross.blogspot.com Betsy Cross

    I started slipping into writing FOR the reader. I was so bored wondering if what I wrote would be interesting, etc. Then I remembered how I felt when I started getting graded in college for dancing. No one can grade passion. But I believed they could. I reached a point where I couldn’t remember how to dance without thinking. It was just a chore to show up and go through the motions. That’s not a way to live.
    I’m getting back to writing what’s inside of me. That’s where I begin and end. If you (not you) like it I really don’t care. Approval is the worst thing to crave and to be attached to. All I really know for sure is that it kills my soul.

    • http://www.thejackb.com/ Jack

      Betsy that is exactly how I want my writing to be. I want it to be free flowing passion that isn’t restricted, confined and confused by trying to hit touch points that make readers happy.

      Some people do that quite well but it is not me. It is just boring. If passion isn’t involved it is harder to make it truly interesting.