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.”Â 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:
- Substance- Are you part of the echo chamber parroting old ideas or are you offering something new.
- 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?
- 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.