“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” — Ernest Hemingway
Blogging is mostly a balancing act. Just like walking on tightrope.
One one hand, you have to write about the things that matter to you. And you have to write them however you feel like it. On the other hand, you have to cater to your audience and deliver them what they want to read most.
What do most bloggers do?
They sell their souls. They begin to chase the numbers. They give up on a bit of their own souls in order to write pretty words that mean nothing in the headlines and then deliver a poorly executed idea that has nothing to do with said headlines.
The truth is that you find your ideal reader by becoming your ideal reader. Write from the heart about the things you care most about.
If you don’t like to write about personal development, then don’t write about personal development, no matter how successful it is. Don’t sell your soul, because you will hate yourself for it.
Also, don’t write about what your cat had for breakfast and expect to become the best paid blogger on the planet.
Walk on that tightrope by writing about the things that you’d most like to read about. And I bet that your day to day life, the boring bits at least, are not what you want to read about. No one does.
You can’t please everyone, so don’t even try.
And you don’t even need a million followers, or a even a thousand. You need just one, and that one is yourself.
You need to like what you do enough, so you do it for as long as it takes to build the thousands and thousands of words that are required in order to get some readers.
If you don’t like what you write, you don’t feel the itch to read it again, from time to time, if all you do is write, edit, publish, and abandon, you are going to have a hard time building enough momentum to become successful as a blogger.
Look, especially when you’re just starting out, you won’t get the feedback you expect from your readers. Odds are, you won’t be getting much feedback at all. And that’s when you will quit.
If writing a blog post about a certain topic feels like selling your soul, if you’re not punching those keys, if you’d have a hard time talking in front of a wall for fifteen minutes straight about whatever it is you’re writing, stop.
If you don’t stop, if you keep writing what you think is popular, what you think is a shortcut to fame and fortune, you will forever feel that people just don’t get what you’re all about.
Do the hard work to become great without selling your soul. Sell your heart, sell the best parts of yourself, write with tears in your eyes, write your truth, your fingers shaking against the keyboard.
Write about the things that matter to you, whether it’s finance or gardening, it doesn’t matter.
There are no limits to any of this. Your mindset is your limit.
If you don’t write words that impress you, as the writer, then the ideas you express are worthless.
Don’t sell your soul to get as many readers as possible. Write about the things you could read, over and over again, with a smile on your face. Write about them until you manage to make someone else smile.
This is the art of blogging. Writing about a topic in such a way that our readers fall in love with our words. Writing about ideas that are just outside their mind’s peripheral vision in order to bring them into focus, and we develop this skill by spending hours and hours punching those damn keys.
Don’t compromise. Improvise. Learn the rules, and then break the ones that make you feel like you’re trapped within a gold cage.