There’s a senseless amount of content centered around being a better blogger. But does any of it really make you a better blogger?
Blogging about blogging. It has its place, but if that’s all everyone does it can get kind of redundant.
So no, this is not a post about how to blog. Don’t read this if you’re anticipating an article titled “67 Ways to be a Better Blogger.”
What I’d like to talk about is something completely different. It’s about having a reason to blog in the first place. And I think now and again we lose sight of that.
Whatever you blog about, it has a purpose. At least a good blog does, and I’m sure if you read Copyblogger you’re smart enough to know that. So what I want to talk about now is purpose.
The purpose of a blog is to share value, to create community, and to inspire. The way we do that isn’t by sitting at the computer for 8+ hours a day trying to think of better ways to blog. It’s also not about finding ways to blog better, smarter, or faster.
It’s about doing something that matters.
When you go out and do remarkable things, it’s easy to create a compelling blog. When you demonstrate your experience by the life you lead and the actions you take, it’s easy to establish authority. When you deliberately pursue experiences that will challenge you, it’s easy to provide value by sharing your story.
I’m a big believer in blogging and social media. But if all we talk about is how to use Twitter more effectively or write catchier headlines, we’ve kind of lost the point. You can only write so much about the finer points and techniques of the game. At some point, you have to go out there and play it.
So here’s what I propose…
Go out and do something awesome. Then share your story.
Here are some ideas:
- Conduct your own personal experiment. Document it by video and post the results on your blog. How it helps: You establish trust by showing people you are actually doing what you talk about.
- Create a series of case studies of successful people in your niche. But don’t just interview them. Have them mentor you through the process step-by-step. How would they guide you if you were completely new to the topic? How it helps: You build relationships with other influencers and provide your readers with tons of value in the process.
- What are the myths or misconceptions in your practice? Go out and test them, and tell your readers what you find out. How it helps: You build curiosity and gain readership by answering their often thought about questions.
- Conduct a personal challenge that seems ridiculous or impossible. Update people regularly on your progress. How it helps: You attract followers by doing something epic and establish authority by positioning yourself as a leader.
- Help a novice related to your field completely transform. Document their transformation and use it to inspire others. Create a contest to decide who is chosen for the best transformation. How it helps: You build social proof and get others interested in your offerings.
There are a lot of other possibilities to make our blogs compelling. We can diverge and connect with people we wouldn’t normally connect with. If you teach Aikido, study Tai Chi for a while and tell people what you find out. If you’re a chef, go out and visit some organic farms and get a better appreciation for the earth food is grown in. There are a lot of possibilities when you exercise your imagination.
The real key isn’t just to do off-beat things for the sake of it, but to engage in interesting pursuits to grow, create community, and share your story with others.
Here are some examples of people that are doing just that:
- Sean Aiken shared his story about how he worked one job a week for an entire year to find his passion.
- Katie West secretly coordinated outbursts of mass-laughter in public places.
- Michael Roberts stayed active 20 hours a day by eating raw food for 30 days.
These are just a few people that have taken their passion and turned it into a tangible and compelling project.
Learning how to be a better marketer, better blogger, or better Twitter user only goes so far. Of course it’s important. Of course it can make a difference. But if you deliberately choose to pursue interesting paths, most of your marketing becomes automatic. Testing your potential, taking risks, and trailblazing is what will ultimately set you apart.
Trying to be a better blogger is sometimes a waste of time. The finer points might make you more efficient, but they only make a difference when you’re moving in a compelling direction.
A better headline won’t make up for your boring offer. Do something that matters, and let other people worry about whether or not you’re using the right WordPress plugins.