Celebrities are famous for a reason…and that reason is because they are smarter than us and we should care about everything they do and listen to everything they say. We’ve already heard the immutable wisdom of Ron Burgundy and the timeless thoughts of Yoda, but today a newer celebrity called in to share his knowledgeness with us about writing.
He used to be the regional manager of a mid-level paper supply company in Pennsylvania, but now he’s spending his time in Colorado, so we are lucky to have him share what he knows about telling stories and connecting with people.
He is Michael Scott and it’s time we took him all in (That’s what she said).
“Would I rather be feared or loved? Easy, both. I want people to be afraid of how much they love me.”
We would all like respect. We blog in public because we hope people will read it and react to it in some way. Some people blog to become an expert in their niche. Others blog because they have something to say and just want a medium to within which to say it. Even others blog to piss people off and cause conversations. Motivations change from blogger to blogger, but that fact is that they all have them. You need to clearly understand your motivations and what drives you to write the way you do.
Whether or not you have a full content blog strategy (which you probably should), you at least need to sit down and write out why you blog. Get a piece of paper and answer these questions:
- What is my main driving motivation for blogging?
- What do I hope people will do/think/say when they read my stuff?
- Who will benefit most from my thoughts?
Just answer those three simple questions and think about how they shape what you say and how you say it. Just like all the great actors or yore, ask yourself “What’s my motivation?”
“Presents are the best way to who someone how much you care. It is like this tangible thing that you can point to and say, “Hey man, I love you this many dollars-worth.”
People love stuff. There have been recent studies saying that the main reason people follow brands on Facebook is to get “real and tangible value” in the form of rewards and stuff. You should be giving your readers something worth coming to your blog for. If you just slap something down that provides no value or thought for the audience you’re hoping to reach, that’s like buying a 5-hour energy drink on your way home and giving it to your significant other as their birthday present that year.
Show your readers you care about them by making each post a little present. Find the perfect gift, wrap it up nice and present it to them when the time is right. Then all you have to do is sit back and watch them enjoy it.
“You spend your whole life trying to get people to like you and then you run over one person with you car – not even one of the popular ones – and everybody gets on your case. Doesn’t make sense.”
You’re going to make people mad. The best you can hope for is to not make everyone mad all the time by taking advantage of and hurting people in your readership. Don’t throw your readers under the bus (i.e. selling subscriber lists, pimping out posts for non-disclosed money, etc) and don’t turn a blind eye when your readers are upset about something. Protect them and they will protect you.
“I swallowed all your ideas, I’m going to digest them and see what comes out the other end.”
Inspiration can come from anywhere. Just because a blog post idea came from somewhere or someone else, that doesn’t make it not yours. Let it percolate in your brain, understand it from your perspective and them put your own thought and spin on that particular issue. Take the time to digest knowledge and inspirations and then see what comes out the other end. It might just be more appealing than the original thought.
“”Sometimes I’ll start a sentence and I don’t know where it’s going. I just hope to find it somewhere along the way. Like an improv conversation. An improversation.”
It’s okay not to have every word of every post blocked out every time when you sit down to write. Let inspiration fill you up and just write anything. You don’t have to know where you’re going when you start, just start writing and see where you end up. You may have a topic in mind, but not really know which angle wold be best for you to take. Sometimes you don’t even have a topic idea, but you know you want to write something. Great, sit down and start writing and see where the words decide to go.
At this point I wanted to have come up with a clever merge of “improversation” and “blog” to further solidify my point, but I couldn’t think of anything. If you can think of a great term for an improv-inspired blog, please leave it in the comments.
That’s What She Said
So Michael has given us many pearls of wisdom, but just like in The Office, it’s up to us to go out into the real world and use them.
What did you think of Mr. Scott’s advice? Were there any other quotes you would have used from Michael to prove a point? Which ones? Why?