Your Social Media Blog Is My Favorite Cure For Insomnia

Your Blog Is More Effective Than A Dozen Ambien.

Mom always said I shouldn’t post anything that I am unwilling to say in person. It is good advice but I think she forgot that I had my filters surgically removed.

Yeah, I am the guy who is willing to look you in the eye and say “”Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries.”  That is because a bunch of you suffer from the same myopic view of the world that Vizzini did.

Remember him? He was the guy from The Princess Bride who used to shout “INCONCEIVABLE” because he couldn’t believe that someone as smart as himself could be outwitted.

“Never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line!”

Vizzini’s failure to conceive of the man in black’s ability to outwit him is the source of his death. It would be obnoxious and rude for me to use the names of the bloggers who remind me of Vizzini so I will refrain.

However I can assure you this is not a case of me making anything up. I am not exaggerating my distaste at all.

That is because some of you write these “how to be an expert blogger” and or “how to become a social media expert” posts that make me want to hit myself in the head with a baseball bat.

Sycophants, Followers and Likes

There is no single path to social media success and there are no shortcuts. Unfortunately some of you have forgotten the difference between having real discourse in your comment section and that which comes from having 3000 sycophants leave nuggets of gold like “you are so smart” and “great post.”

It is not hard to game the system. You can buy followers, fans and likes. It is not hard to run contests and giveaways that generate hundreds of comments on your posts.

But that doesn’t mean that you are wearing anymore clothes than the emperor.

Substance and Success

When I read one of these how to become a better blogger posts I look for a number of things:

  1. Substance- Are you part of the echo chamber parroting old ideas or are you offering something new.
  2. What Is Your Definition of Success- Are you talking about generating revenue? Book deals, Pageviews, Users, comments etc. What is your goal and what is your plan for achieving it?
  3. Who Are You Writing About- Does your post consist of a hundred “I think this” or does it include others in it.

A reader once complained that I update too frequently and told me that no one had time to read all of my posts. It was an egocentric view that never took into account that what worked for them might not work for others.

A blog should be updated as frequently as necessary to satisfy the writer and their readers. That means the number will vary from blog to blog. No one is holding a gun to anyone’s head. If they don’t find value they can go elsewhere.

Value is subjective. When I read posts about becoming a better blogger I want substance. I don’t want to read something about providing great content.

That is not just because I have been doing this for almost nine years but because it is obvious to everyone including the rookie bloggers. Write about useful plugins or great sites to get pictures and you lend weight to your post.

Tell us what your definition of success in blogging is and you’ll have happier readers because they will know whether they are in the right place.

Passion and Personality

You can write about the same topic as everyone else but if you don’t put your own voice into it you hurt your blog. When there is no passion or personality in a post it shows. Don’t be a sheep.

Don’t be Vizzini. Put yourself into the post and stop worrying about whether people will like it because some won’t. They will hate your writing because your words grate on their nerves.

Others will love you.

This is ok. It is natural. It is normal.

Have fun Storming The Castle

More than anything else, have fun with this. Let go. Be willing to push the envelope. Tell people about how their last post is like the worst sex they have ever had.

It started out with such good potential and left you feeling unfulfilled, unsatisfied and wondering how they managed to talk your pants off.

You Rush A Miracle Man, You Get Rotten Miracles

Blogging is a marathon and not a sprint. Don’t worry about hitting a home run with every post. Just do your best to provide good content consistently and don’t fear to make mistakes.

And then one day you can share a snarky post in which you announce that your traffic has quadrupled since you received that obnoxious and myopic email from the person who said you update too frequently.

Stay tuned because the greatest blog post ever written by a dad blogger who writes about social media/sex/business/fiction/SEO/IBM/Intel/Steve Jobs/Brad Pitt/Ehud Barak/Bicycles/Movies/Disneyland/Richard Nixon/Triberr/Twitter/Men Who Bake and how I wanted to be Steve Austin the Bionic Man is coming soon.

P.S. There is another 150 words written in invisible ink. Members of my fan club can read those words with by using the secret glass that came with my 8×10 glossy.

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  1. Sandy Appleyard December 10, 2012 at 8:57 am

    I wish I was as brave as you! Your candor is admirable. The post is honest and agreeable, but what makes it unique is the touch of personality you add. It’s no wonder you’ve been doing it so long. Good for you.

    • Jack December 11, 2012 at 12:07 am

      Hi Sandy,

      I am sure your brave enough to write this way too. It is all about presentation. When you add humor and some personality people respond. Of course some people respond badly but I always tell them that the best way to find their smile is to remove the stick that was shoved up… 😉

      Appreciate your comment. I hope you come visit again. People power social media.

  2. Hajra December 9, 2012 at 9:18 am

    The person who wrote you that is probably high on something. Your posts land in my inbox most regularly. I feel you are the guy who should be telling others what blogging is all about, because you know it all right, I am tired of reading posts that tell me tricks to get hundred comments, fifty tweets and a million clicks. Not many of them really understand the fun blogging should really be done with!

    • Jack December 11, 2012 at 12:04 am

      Hi Hajra,

      Danny Brown mentioned that someone unsubscribed to his Bloggers for Bloggers blog because they updated too frequently and I had to laugh. I knew I couldn’t be the only one to get these ridiculous remarks.

      I told Danny we ought to tell these people there is a cancellation fee and see what happens. Might make a buck or two. 😉

      I appreciate your support. I know something about this biz, but there are plenty who dislike how I do it just as there are plenty who like it. Social media has room for all types.

  3. Andi-Roo ( December 8, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    Found you via Distracted Overlords tribe on Triberr & can’t believe I’ve not read your blog until now. Boy have I been missing out! For quoting Princess Bride extensively, for your forthright mode of speech, & for your general awesomeness, I now have a crush on you. My hubz says that is not cool, but HEY — you had me at “INCONCEIVABLE”!

    PS – Thank you for the excellent tips on what NOT to write! 🙂

  4. Sue Neal December 8, 2012 at 5:36 am

    Love the way you’re always challenging us, Jack. I especially like the bit about rushing miracles – if only there weren’t so many fake gurus out there peddling magic potions they claim will turn your blog into a cash machine overnight.

    I believe in evolution myself – and that takes time, and a few mistakes along the way

    Thanks for making me think – and smile,


    • Jack December 8, 2012 at 11:56 pm

      Hi Sue, I believe in taking advantage of the opportunity that blogs present to experiment.

      It is a dynamic environment that lends itself to creating opportunity that we might not otherwise take advantage of.

  5. D. A. Wolf December 7, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    Few home runs when you write often – at least, in my estimation. Unless you have scads of time to do so, and most of us don’t if we want to keep the rain out of our beds, and bucks to pay for our meds!

    But the discipline of a deadline is useful. And “writing practice” is always excellent exercise.

    • Jack December 11, 2012 at 6:59 pm

      Hi DA,

      I swear I responded to your comment, but I don’t see it. Weird. Anyway, the writing practice is of paramount importance to me so I never complain about that.

      It is the secret to hitting more than you miss.

  6. Joe December 7, 2012 at 6:03 am

    I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact someone wrote to you to tell you your posting schedule is too frequent. OK, you don’t have time to read Jack’s daily post, but you can spend that time writing critical emails? Things that make you go hmmm…

    I was thinking along this line reading archives from Dumb Little Man. I’ve heard it’s a good spot to guest post to drive traffic to your site. But the majority of the comment stream in each post is garbage! Is there such a thing as “bad traffic”?

    • Jack December 8, 2012 at 12:00 am

      Yeah, I always laugh at those emails. It reminds me of the people who complain about Howard Stern. They don’t listen but they know that his show is “bad.”

      I don’t know if there is “bad traffic” unless it consists of trolls and low lifes who cause trouble on your blog.

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