I know. I get it.
This should be a time for serving eggnog, not swift kicks to the pants.
But there are too many people who need it this holiday season. If you’re a talented, creative, funny, one-in-a-million type of writer who isn’t getting any responses on your blog, you should ask yourself whether the stuff you’re putting out there is a reflection of yourself, or a reflection of the “creative poison” you’ve been guzzling since childhood.
It’s not your fault, I promise. You were taught to stink.
“Being Professional” Will Cost You Money
Since you were a kid, you’ve been inundated with advertisements. Ads for McDonalds, Coke, General Motors, Hasbro. You name it, you spent years of your life listening to what they had to say.
And it’s only natural that when you start writing on your own, you’d emulate the stuff you were taught on TV. On the local news. In newspapers.
But there’s a reason why their messages are commercially successful – they’re designed to bring a smile to the widest amount of people. And they’ve got billion dollar budgets to make sure that they hit that wide array of customers.
The material that most writers are surrounded with is designed NOT to stir your emotions, make you think, or reach for the “Leave A Comment”
button, let alone a credit card.
It’s typo-free, it’s friendly, and it’s worthless for your goal – inspiring action and building your personality on the web.
You don’t have a billion dollars. And your goal isn’t to make a million people smile – it’s to set 100 people ON FIRE with awe and respect for what you bring to the table.
Are You “Grinding Out” Content, Or Crafting Something Unforgettable?
If the content on your site could be replaced by a really skilled content aggregation robot, you haven’t truly written anything worthwhile.
Corporate, autopilot, “did this in my sleep” content is a poison you need to get out of your system if you ever plan to make an impact on the internet. Find a doctor, suck it out with your teeth, cut off your fingers if you have to. And don’t whine at me about typing on bloody stumps. If you’re stuck between being interesting with dictation software and typing up dry mashed potatoes on a keyboard, drop me an email.
I’ll buy you a microphone.
A Question That Will Double Your Blogging Effectiveness.
As a writer, it’s important that before every article, sales page, blog entry, and eBook, you give yourself a serious look in the mirror and ask yourself a question:
“What do I want my reader to feel about me after reading this?”
And don’t say “grateful for useful information,” you cop-out artist, you. That’s a baseline.
By asking yourself this question, you’ll remember to tell stories, to convey authority, to engage the emotions of your audience.
Remember that you’re a writer, and your blog is a reflection of yourself.
Yes, even if you’re writing reviews of vacuum cleaners.
You don’t need to write with a bunch of pop culture references, and you don’t need to cutaway to metaphors every ten seconds. But you do need an unbreakable sense of who you are, what you bring to the table, and what your readership will get out of your information.
People Read Information. They Buy Stories.
Stories are hard-coded into our personalities and our culture.
Everything we do, from advertisements, to movies, to our relationships with the opposite sex, is about storytelling. The most effective writers don’t just tell the story of a situation. They tell us the story of ourselves and help us imagine starting at one place (broke, lonely, a bad writer) and ending at another (rich, popular, and the baddest writer).
It’s heartbreaking to see so many great writers that could talk your ear off about the nuances of The Dark Knight completely fail to bring any kind of conflict, suspense, character, or delayed gratification to their own content.
Quit it. When you’re finished staggering around the mistletoe, promise yourself that in 2013, you’ll write from the gut, and create stuff that makes people feel something about you – and about themselves.
Now enjoy that eggnog for me.