Friday, March 6, 2015

A Few Words on Blogging

Everyone has an opinion - especially me.

I see a lot of postings that deal with teaching you how to become a successful blogger. So I thought I'd weigh in and give you my two cents worth.

I mean, it cant hurt right?

I am going to begin with a question: Why do you blog? 

If it's to funnel traffic to your web site, advertise a service or product or to convert wisdom into cash I'd suggest you are blogging for all the wrong reasons and in the end you will be less than successful. Don't get me wrong - a good blog can and will do all of those things for you and your business, it just shouldn't be the main reason you blog. You should blog because you have to.

Yes, you read that correctly. Blogging is writing and good writing comes from a desire to write. It can be a compulsion, like running or fishing or scrap booking.

That leads me to my second tip. If I want to read Ernest Hemingway I'll go buy A Farewell to Arms.

It is YOU and your unique voice I am interested in. How can it help me on my journey. Make me want to share it because you present things in a way I've never read before. Think Kerouac, Thompson, those folks. They forged a literary following by leaving the map on the credenza and cutting a new road through the wilderness. I want to see you!!!

This next tip may sound a bit brutal: Temporarily quit reading other peoples blogs.

Developing your own voice is critical to any successful writing especially blogging. There are so many of us out there and you and I can easily get lost in all of the traffic. Suspend reading your favorites for awhile and get to know yourself.

That leads to number 4: Practice, practice, practice. 

Good writing is just like any other endeavor. The more you practice it the better you become. I write for two hours daily, six days a week. Never mind the inspirational aspects - just write and if you end up highlighting everything you've written for the last 30 minutes and deleting it, well ,then so be it.

Begin again. I wish I could disconnect this notion of the tortured writer baring their souls, fraught with anxiety trying to put on paper the mysteries of life. Frankly that reminds me of someone with a bad case of gas.

The more you write the better you will become. you will find your cadence and your authenticity. Just like anything else it will take time. Yes, I know, in today's world time is not a luxury.

Then why do you write?

Finally, Do not pay anyone to teach you how to write the great American novel in 3 days.
Oh. you'll write a book and you'll publish it and then you can always tell your friends and relative you wrote a book.

It took me 3 years to write my first E-Book. I sold 49 copies. It cost me a lot of time, and yes my time is valuable, but I learned a lot from this experience. I learned that writing the book was the easiest part. I learned that I am, among other things, a writer. I learned I am not a marketing expert, sales guru or the like. If you build it they will come is often a myth. (My wife and mom were proud of me)

I hope this helps some of you looking for clarity.