5 Contradictions to Avoid When Writing Content
I’d like to set the stage for this article and make it clear that I have no more authority on blogging or creating content than you do. As you can see, this is my 4th blog ever posted on Medium. My credentials are not going to WOW you to the point where you automatically drop everything and read this post.
That being said, I truly feel anyone that puts out content can benefit from a few minutes of additional thought before pushing the SEND button. It is easy to get caught up in the important stuff of content creation(tone, brand voice, readability etc.)There are a number of traps bloggers easily get caught up in, and without constantly being aware of these, it is very easy to create a subconscious vibe in your content that you may not be trying to create.
When I say the words:
Humblebrag. One Upper. Soapbox. Backhanded Compliment.
I’m sure at least one person came to mind that matches each of the words above. Maybe you even thought of yourself. Think about the best blog you’ve read recently. Think about the worst blog you’ve read recently.
Now, think about how each of these blogs made you feel. I did a scientific study of about 4 other people that I know*. Typically, the best blogs are ones that challenge you to think differently. The best blogs give you clear takeaways that you can use to improve. The worst blogs can leave you feeling confused, annoyed, and uninterested to read more content from that writer or company. They can also lead you to ask yourself “is this person being authentic?”
My guess is that bloggers that contradict themselves did not make your list of “Best Blogs”. Those are the blogs that leave us annoyed and not excited to ever read another blog from said person. With that being said, let’s focus on ways to avoid becoming a walking contradiction.
Grab three minutes before pushing the send button to consider the following.
I asked a number of colleagues to point out the clear contradictions they found in recent blogs that they have read. These are a few contradictions to consider avoiding when creating and sending out content:
Recommend others speak their mind, yet get defensive when they critique your work
Claim you are not an expert, then go on to list reasons why everyone should absolutely listen to you
Repeatedly give yourself back handed complements.
It is very easy to be tagged a “humble bragger” or receive a nickname like “BackHanded Ben” or “Compliment Schneider”… These tags are very hard to come back from. We are in a time where it is easier than ever to avoid content that you want to avoid. The internet has a cruel way of claiming “Once A Humble Bragger, Always a Humble Bragger”, and before you know it — it’s too late.
Post content on the wrong platform and expect people to buy in to what you’re saying
“My Top 8 that I posted to Pinterest got zero screenshots and it made me furious.”- some guy that has #platformprobs
Write a scathing article about somebody else to leverage their popularity
This is the inverse of the first contradiction above. I love Medium because it is incredibly apparent when someone is writing an article just to piggy back off of the success that others have seen. This includes:
- writing an open letter about someone that wrote an open letter
- tagging a blogger in an article and specifically bashing their work, typically 24–29 hours after said blogger has reached peak popularity
- essentially copying the work of someone else but “putting your spin on it”
By spending 3 additional minutes** before sending out content, you can avoid contradicting yourself in a number of ways that you may not have actively thought of. Consider the list above — this can have a profound impact on the message you are trying to convey in any piece of content you publish.
*no study took place, we were all just chatting over some Pie for Pi Day
**I spent way more than 3 minutes confirming that I didn’t contradict myself in this article, but I am totally open to feedback and discussion. Just don’t post any negative feedback, or I will yell at you.
What other contradictions do you think are important to consider before posting a blog? Please continue the conversation below.
If you enjoyed this article, please click the little green heart in the corner of your screen. Also, please feel free to read my previous three blogs that were mentioned in this article:
Follow me on Twitter: @ohsureschneider