Is this going to be worth your time? A local ad has a tagline, “I guarantee it.” Tempted to use it with two extra words — “I guarantee it for bloggers.”
“There is a lot of advice out there about blogging” — Ryan Holiday. Some are benign, some are obvious, few are diamonds that are worth their weight in gold.
I have a little yellow note book. I make a note of these diamonds when I find them. Here are some with due credit to the source of inspiration.
1. One question before every blog — “Could any person write this article?”
“Ask yourself: Could any person write this article? If the answer is yes, press control + A and hit delete. The last thing you want is to become a faceless writer.” — Darius Foroux’s words. His thought before every one of his 100+ blogs.
That simple question is the essence that keeps me honest on what I share.
2. Best people to follow are the thoughtful commenters
If the last word was bloggers, it would be benign. I felt an aha moment when I read these words from Jessica Wildfire.
“I’ve found that thoughtful commenters are usually writing quality content, regardless of how many followers or claps they have.”
Jessica found a correlation that many of us miss. She has enough data points — 200+ blogs and another 800+ comments!
3. Good old E-mail is the best distributor still
I learned this through these words, “After all those email campaigns, I have to confess that email is now by far the most effective marketing tool that works for me and for almost every one of my clients with no exception.” — Ali Mese, the man behind “From How I Got 6.2 Million Pageviews and 144,920 Followers”
We can be magnetized by the new shiny objects. Sometimes, just sometimes — old is gold.
4. “Son, one advice. Don’t advise”
This is the first entry in my yellow book — way before I penned my first blog.
In mid 2014, I told my mom that I planned to blog, she looked at me and said, “Son, one advice. Don’t advise.” This is the best early advice on blogging I ever received. By sharing my experiences, I was able to distinguish myself.
5. “Story unites us all” is something we can innately relate— I loved the way it was said in a memorable way as a mini-story
“If you shipwrecked on a deserted island and discovered an indigenous people group who had never known anything but the island, you would find three things in common with the rest of humanity. Math, story, and song. Story unites us all.” — Benjamin Sledge
I could relate, I like all 3 — math, story and song.
6. There is no Talker’s Block in Folklore
“No one ever gets talker’s block. No one wakes up in the morning, discovers he has nothing to say and sits quietly, for days or weeks, until the muse hits, until the moment is right, until all the craziness in his life has died down.”- Seth Godin writes a blog everyday for more than a decade.
When the world knows about writer’s block; I enjoy “folksy talk” writing voice rather than didactic writing voice. Thank you Seth for the wonderful thought pivot.
7. Own your own little red book of Quotes for inspiration
I learned this from Anthony Moore — “ Build a quote book. Mine is up to 22 pages front-to-back of quotes from all the books I’ve read in the past 2 years. It’s where I get 80% of my inspiration.”
And I got introduced to him through Tom Kuegler’s 50 lessons from 50 months of blogging.
8. Never Explain. Don’t spell everything for the readers.
Charles Daly’s best words — “Never explain,don’t overestimate the reader’s patience for backstory….Don’t spell everything…”
This resonates with me as a reader as well. Should I write more?
9. Always listen to what you write.
“Good writers of prose must be part poet, always listening to what they write.” — William Zinsser, author of “On Writing Well”
There are many tools out there that read out for you. It is one google search away. I found it awesome to hear my words in a different voice. Felt like a different perspective when it is not my inner voice.
10. Why do readers share? It may be less to do with your content
Likes or claps may have something to do with you and your content. Sharing your work on social media is one step more.
Josh Spector has these words that made it my yellow book “ People rarely share blog posts on social media simply because they’re good — they share them to express something about who they are and what they believe.”
11. “Is this going to be worth my time?” A blog title and picture quality check question
Quincy Larson is an authority in his own right. I found these words priceless:
“Your headline and opening image are the only things people have to judge your story on. Before they can even read your story’s first paragraph, they must answer a question. It’s the same question that we all ask ourselves every day: is this going to be worth my time?”
Hope this read was worth your time.
If you wonder why I do what I do, some context can be found in the beginning of any of these blogs