The Golden Rule of Blogging

Speak to your audience. Give your readers what they want. Keep it brief. Rule of three…

Yeah. Enlightening. You’ve heard all of that before, haven’t you? Hundreds of times. The closely guarded secrets of the superstar bloggers. Secrets so secretive, that you read them thirty times a week on sixteen different blogs.

Well if you’re expecting this all-new GOLDEN RULE OF BLOGGING to be something along those lines, you’re going to be surprised. Because here’s something that’s 99% certain not to have been featured on Copyblogger.

“Stop Pissing About and Write

See? I told you that wouldn’t have been on Copyblogger.

But it is the Golden Rule of Blogging. And now I’m going to tell you why.

You may have noticed that the amount of posts on Unmemorable Title has tailed off recently. It’s not because I’m suddenly less productive, or that I’m out of ideas. It’s because I’m very busy. Which means that all of my half baked ideas end up scribbled on the back of receipts or the back of my hand.

And then I never do anything about them until a day or two later. By which time I’ve forgotten half of the brilliant idea that made the post worth writing, and end up with a generic “remember, talk to your audience, kids!” post. Which really isn’t going to enrich your life. So I delete it and do something else.

Until an idea strikes! And I repeat the whole sorry process ad nauseum.

Strike While the Iron is Hot!

Don’t get caught in the same cycle of having to discard decent ideas. It’s all too easy for that fantastic notion that’s bubbling away in your brain to become stale, moth-eaten and barely worth the synaptic space.

If you don’t have time to write a full blog post, grab a notebook, or any piece of paper larger than a receipt, and scribble away. Titles, outlines, good sentences, ideas for subheadings. Get as much of it down as you can.

Then make a date. Put aside an hour or two of your time to write the thing up, and then half an hour to proofread. But make sure you set a deadline. If that idea’s not part of a post within 48 hours, you’ve missed your chance.

And then you end up pretending that a self-admonishing criticism of your inability to post regularly is a golden rule of blogging.

So what are you waiting for? Stop pissing about and write something!

Practise your writing – leave a comment below. And don’t forget to follow me on Twitter.

8 Comments comments for "The Golden Rule of Blogging"

  1. Ben Locker says:

    So true – my WordPress installation is littered with the corpses of half-written blog posts. I just need to – as you say – stop pissing about and write.

    (Btw, am I first? Do I get the glass of iced link juice?)
    .-= Ben Locker´s last blog ..How to get paid quicker- a copywriting tip =-.

    • Andrew says:

      If the urban myths are true… Although by the time the spiders have made it past the top nav, side nav, related posts, social media links and tags, it’s very diluted link juice.

  2. Brian Clark says:

    Actually, we’ve said that about 50 times as well. Not with your particular colorful delivery, but it’s a recurrent theme on Copyblogger.

    Well said, regardless.
    .-= Brian Clark´s last blog ..The Foolproof Cure for Weak Content- 4 Ways to Get Some Perspective =-.

  3. Lori Randall says:

    Love it!! As a feverish blogger myself I have to agree that when an idea slips away it’s never as juicy and well developed as when the thought hatches. Trying to recreate that moment much later is dry and feels disingenuous.

    Have started using Evernote to facilitate the process when I only have my phone with me – but getting it in writing is better!
    .-= Lori Randall´s last blog ..A Jillion Dollars =-.

  4. Vegemitevix says:

    So true it actually hurts.
    .-= Vegemitevix´s last blog ..The Fear =-.

  5. Holly Earp says:

    It’s always best to write down your ideas whilst they’re fresh in your mind! Putting it off can then lead to forced content, which won’t have the enthusiasm and spark which you first experienced when the idea occurred to you.

  6. Ben Lloyd says:

    I was so busy last week with client projects I didn’t even have time to come up with any ideas for my own site, let alone writing anything. And my site traffic suffered as a direct consequence. Oh woe is me.

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