This Post Won’t Go Viral Or Make You Rich



starsI don’t know about you but sometimes the posts that come floating across my screen make me want to scream.

There is a limit to how many posts I can read and or stomach about how to become a better blogger.  Some of it is because of the echo chamber and the 5 million posts about how to write content that will be shared, what plugins you need and the 5 things every blogger must do.

If I were still the new guy it would be easier to stomach, but I am not. Nine years into blogging there isn’t much that I haven’t heard or seen.

It doesn’t mean that I am the best blogger or perfect or that there isn’t room for improvement– I just need a break.

Variety Is The Spice Of Life

One of the reasons I have taken a broad approach to blogging is because we need to mix things up sometimes. We need to set jump off of the crazy hamster wheel of users, pageviews, comments, tweets, and links to just do something different.

Sometimes that means walking away from the computer to read a book, ride a bike or go skydiving.

Sometimes it is something different. Sometimes it is nothing more than just writing for the love of writing without concern, fear or worry about whether this post will garner the attention of the world.

And this my friends is what I am trying to do right now, or is it write now.

My Schedule Versus The Universe

Wednesday night I played two hours of basketball. I came home feeling great but frustrated.

It was the normal high I get from exercise and from fighting to turn back the clock a few years. We won most of our games but I was frustrated because I missed a bunch of shots right under the basket.

A smaller man was guarding me and I figured it should be easy to post him up and have my way, but it didn’t work that way. I didn’t convert many of those shots and it irritated me.

One of my teammates told me I was taking too long to get into position and that I was getting swarmed or that I was trying to put the ball in from awkward positions.

It made me think of some posts I wrote a while back:


There are a couple of themes that run through those posts but I am focused upon timing, will and comfort zone.

I hesitate to mention comfort zone because it is being overused and is coming to have the same value as epic but there is nothing else that works as well.

When I look back upon a chunk of time I see a parade of moments in which life has been exceptionally challenging because I have been forced out of my comfort zone and haven’t been able to impose my will upon things.

Those of you who know me best might smile because that intensity never disappears and I have used it with great success. I have managed to find ways to make things work and sometimes it has been by virtue of will, but it doesn’t always work and I forgot that.

I refused to accept that I couldn’t push things along or make them happen faster and it made me extra grumpy.

But when I took a deep breath and looked around it was like wiping the sleep from my eyes–clarity.

Clarity Doesn’t Mean A Clear View

Clarity doesn’t always refer to sight. Sometimes it is related to accepting ourselves for who we are and trusting that we will find our way through the cobwebs and caves we sometimes visit.

So right now I am taking the moment to enjoy this moment and smiling because those other posts provide proof to me that I have made substantial progress. I may have wandered off course and fallen into the mud and swamp a time or two but I always picked my butt up and move forward again.

Next week I am going post that guy up again and there will be a different ending. It is not because I care about scoring but because it is a symbol to me and sometimes those are important.

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  1. Adam Singer January 14, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    “I don’t know about you but sometimes the posts that come floating across my screen make me want to scream.”

    Unsubscribe / unfollow from the people who do this. You only have yourself to blame for following the people who share garbage 🙂

  2. Carol Lynn January 14, 2013 at 8:05 am

    I’ve only been blogging for about 3 years but those “how to blog” and “how to make your post go viral” things are soooooo old. Part of the problem is that there’s often little useful advice. Here’s what I usually read: “if you want your post to go viral, write great content.” Really! Who would’ve thought. I’m going to write a viral post right now.

    It’s silly. And tired. I’m all for variety! You go ahead and jump off the wheel as much as you want 🙂 I’m totally in.

    • Jack January 14, 2013 at 3:17 pm

      Hi Carol Lynn,

      Those posts are written because they are low hanging fruit and people know they’ll bring in traffic. Every now and then I find one that offers something of substance, but more often than not it is just repetition.

  3. Jared Karol January 14, 2013 at 5:36 am

    You said this: “Sometimes it is nothing more than just writing for the love of writing without concern, fear or worry about whether this post will garner the attention of the world.”

    If I could only say that, live by it, and move on, I would be the most worry free writer in the world. I’m gonna keep trying. . . 🙂

    • Jack January 14, 2013 at 3:13 pm

      Hi Jared,

      All we can do is try and then hope for the best. I am a fan of fighting through the struggle, I think it adds depth–or maybe that is just a line I use on myself. 😉

  4. Yvonne January 12, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    This is a popular subject tonight! I totally agree with you. I’m all for learning new things and how to market ourselves or our blogs, but really, I can only stomach so many “How to” blogs before I want to throw up.

  5. Betsy Cross January 12, 2013 at 4:07 am

    Skydiving? I never thought I’d do it. But after the thrill of my New Year’s Day Polar Plunge, I think I would, just because doing something new, different, and uncomfortable really does wake me up.
    I don’t even know how far up to my knees I’m stuck until I’m unstuck.
    Blogging is no fun and goes nowhere unless I get out of my house, even if it’s only for a brief walk.
    Happy hooping!

  6. Carolyn January 11, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    Glad I won’t get the flu from this post, Jack!

    I imagine the short guy got great satisfaction from covering you. Just think how happy you made him!

    Yes, I’m sure little surprises you in the blogging world. I’m constantly surprised at what gets and doesn’t get traffic at my place. I haven’t stopped learning yet.

    Are you still learning about blogging? What if this post went viral? Would you be mad that you were wrong? 😉

    • Jack January 13, 2013 at 12:21 am

      Hi Carolyn,

      Nope, this is a germ free post. 😉

      Monday night the short guy is going to find his enjoyment short lived, no, I am not competitive. 😉

      I am still learning about blogging, there are always new things that come up. It would be foolish of me to think otherwise.

      Part of what I find fun is that there isn’t any rhyme or reason to some things and that there are so many different approaches. I like mixing it up, it makes it fun.

  7. January 11, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    Darn it Jack, I want to be rich. Hurry up and write the post that will go viral and make me rich, pretty please!

  8. penneyfox January 11, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    Personally, I’m still waiting for clarity … I swear it’ll happen … any minute now …

    I did discover some things about myself last year when I pushed out of my comfort box. And when I realized that the world didn’t come to an end (silly Mayans), I knew I was in a better place for doing all that pushing.

    This year, I’ve got some big plans and last year showed me that I know I can handle it and make this stuff happen. I get it, I wish things could move faster too but it is what it is. And you’re right, all we can do is move forward 🙂

    • Jack January 13, 2013 at 12:01 am

      Hey Penney,

      Better wait than never. 😉

      I hope your plans work out to be better than you expect them to be. Sometimes these moments teach us that the stuff we teach our children still applies to us too, or at least that is how it seems to me.

  9. D. A. Wolf January 11, 2013 at 11:27 am

    Clarity doesn’t mean a clear view. Very true. Especially as when we’re most clear, we realize how many views are possible.

    That said, I’m a little weary of being out of my comfort zone quite so long and quite so often! But I’m reminded that variety teaches us, offers us stories, and expands those views – clear or otherwise.

    (Gorgeous image, by the way.)

    • Jack January 12, 2013 at 11:55 pm

      Hi D.A.,

      Sometimes the realization of how many views are possible is the thing that makes me miss the simple black and white times. Ok, not completely but every now and then I wish I could know most things fall into an “either/or” situation.

      But I also look at the moments outside of our comfort zones and wonder how long it takes before that zone grows exponentially in size.

      I love the image too. I pulled it from a plugin called Photo Dropper.

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