When I decided to start this blog, I knew that there was more to blogging that the usual technical stuff related to using the WordPress platform, that there was an art to blogging.
And art is difficult to define, let alone write a recipe for. It’s like trying to create life out of nothing — and perhaps art, in its many forms, is the closest thing to life that we will ever have.
That being said, there are a few subtle things that make one an artist of blogging.
If you ever wondered why some get thousands and thousands of avid readers while others struggle to get even one lousy comment, then read this post.
1. Have the guts to be wrong
Human society can be defined as a great deal of people always trying to do what is right, or at least define it for future generations. We are always trying to fix, improve, overcome…
But what about the wrong thing?
Yes. I mean it.
What about being wiling to say something that feels wrong, yet proves a certain point.
If you have the guts to be that person, you’ll find a lot of people paying attention to you.
2. You should also be… right
The tricky thing is that you should be better at this than just about anyone else.
Think of it. We all remember Roger Bannister for being the first who ran a sub-4 minute mile, not all the folks who were just as fast or even faster that followed him.
Think in terms of what you can do to explain your topic better than your predecessors, and people will take notice.
3. Write about what others can’t
As writers, we are basically translating what we think into words and ideas. Sometimes we forget how difficult that is for some people and how important that makes us.
I have received thousands and thousands of comments from folks who simply wanted to thank me for stating what felt like the obvious: something they had been subconsciously aware of, but could never pin down and define properly.
4. Don’t just say, but also do
Everybody online is trying to say something important, but very few are trying to do something important.
Dare not to just give advice to others, but to live that advice yourself.
5. Think like there’s no box
Don’t just think outside the box, but rather think like there’s no box.
Write from the point of view of someone who couldn’t care less about your topic or niche, or even from the perspective of someone who hates said topic.
Connect dots that you’d never even think of being on the same plane.
6. Don’t take yourself so seriously
The Internet is that place where everyone gets offended over nonsense.
As bloggers, most of the time we’re so busy teaching that we sometimes forget to entertain. As a result, our readers fall asleep. And what’s the best way to wake people up? Humor.
If you can make someone laugh, you can pretty much make them do anything you want.
7. Solve an issue
If you can help someone else solve an issue you’re having, and you are good enough at explaining it that they can follow through, then nothing else matters.
Ask yourself if you can solve people’s problems, and the value you’ll add to others lives will help you find the audience you’ve always wanted.
8. Predict the future
Every once in awhile, make a bizarre claim about the future. If you have any authority at all, people will take notice.
9. Be brave
The fact is, pretty much everyone is afraid of something, but very few of us respond to fear with courage and grace.
Be one of those people, and you’ll find the world will be watching.
10. Be brutally honest
Be so honest that you’re scared to click the “Publish” button. Be so honest that no one knows what to say in the comments section. Be so honest that there’s this inner voice that begs you to stop.
You’ll feel better … and you’ll make a lot of others feel better too.
11. Know that you cannot please everyone, so don’t even try
If you can’t stomach being hated by a portion of the world and loved by another, then you don’t deserve to have a blog.
12. Tell a good story
Stories support your points, make for some great intros, and teach people while entertaining them, but a good story can turn you into a living legend. I’m not talking about the little anecdotes that pepper the blogosphere. I’m talking about the kind of story that haunts you on your deathbed. Forget about all the others. Write that one.
13. Pick the perfect image
Want to make a good post better? Pick an image that expresses exactly what you mean, and put it at the top of your post. Yeah, it takes time, but the extra traffic is worth it.
14. Create a work of art
If you really want to surprise your readers, put some actual effort into your blog posts, creating a work of art. You’ll be surprised by how many people remember it long after you yourself have forgotten about having written it.
15. Put your readers first
Yes, you’re the blogger. Yes, it’s your blog. Yes, you’re the one working your heart out. But it does not matter. The only thing of consequence is your reader. You can rebel against this fact for as long as you like, but as long as you do not care about your readers, you’ll never be a genuine artist of blogging.