You know you love her.
That no-nonsense, “I-don’t-have-time-to-put-up-with-your-bullshit,” judge of all daytime television judges.
Muses come in all shapes and styles.
As I was home sick recently, I fell asleep in front of the television and happened to wake up during a Judge Judy episode. Her words of wisdom spoke to me and I hope the speak to you as well.
I present to you: 5 things to learn about blogging from Judge Judy.
1) “This is not Let’s Make a Deal, and I am not Monty Hall.”
Your blog is yours. Always be true to yourself. I have a bad habit of looking too deeply at myself when I receive disparaging comments on a post I’ve written.
While a little introspection never hurt anyone, I know who I am and what I believe. That doesn’t mean I have stopped learning, but I know that even when people disagree with me, it doesn’t make me automatically wrong.
Listen to your audience, listen to your friends and colleagues, but more importantly, listen to yourself.
2) “Sir, don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining.”
Honesty is important. Social media is built on connections and relationships and those cannot be built on lies. Now, this principle doesn’t relate to those who’s whole blogging purpose is to be entertaining and sensationalistic (see, The Onion). I am merely talking about those of us hoping to glean relationships and possibly business from our endeavors online.
Are you honest with your readers? What do you think will happen when they find out?
Find someone who can keep you accountable to your readers. Have that person (or persons) read what you are about to post and tell you honestly if it “cuts the mustard”.
3) “I’m here because I’m smart, not because I’m young and gorgeous…although I am.”
You are smart and passionate, otherwise you wouldn’t be blogging and publishing your thoughts for all to see.
This point is all about confidence: confidence in yourself and in your writing. There will always be people that are better than you, or have more Twitter followers than you (like Justin Bieber), or post more regularly then you; but don’t let those things stop you from going on.
The only person that you need to be better than is the person you were yesterday. Just see where you end up in a year after doing that every day.
Sometimes the best advice I can ever give clients is this: “Shut up.”
Your audience wants to talk to you. Actually, they are talking to you everyday. Are you listening?
My Dad used to say, “God gave you one mouth and two ears so you can shut up and listen to me better.” It’s hard for people to hold a conversation with you if you are always shoving sales copy down their gullet.
In the book Cluetrain Manifesto (non-affiliate link) they refer to it as a shift from an Attention Economy (based upon getting people’s attention from their everyday tasks) to an Intention Economy (where customers have the ability to reach out with their requests and vendors are trying to meet their needs).
I happen to agree that’s where we are headed.
When your customers want to talk to you, even if you think you won’t like what they say, listen to them. You will do more good by listening than talking over them. Also, read this post about Blog comments by Mitch Joel.
5) “Ridiculous — NEXT!”
Do you waste your time on tasks you know aren’t priorities? Move on. Your time will be better spent on other things and you know it.
- So you’ve written 675 words on a Blog post you know in your heart is crap. Erase it and start over.
- Your business needs a new business plan for next year, but you are re-shelving your office. Stop shelving. Business plan: Now.
It takes a lot of personal motivation, but if you are passionate about something, find it within yourself to be able to follow the good judge’s advice and say, “This is ridiculous — NEXT!”
This is another area that can be greatly improved with a structured To-Do List or accountability partner. Find one or the other, or both. Today.
Okay, that’s the list. Not too long, but might take a little willpower to pull off.
What’s holding back your writing today? What have I left off this list that would have been helpful to you or “someone you know.” Leave those in the comments. Let’s keep this list growing. Judy would be proud.
Just don’t make her mad at me.