There are rules when it comes to blogging. Rules like…
Start With a Killer Title
Make it catchy. Add a power word. Include the phrase “ Top Ten…” or “Five Tips…,” otherwise no one, according to the experts, will want to read it.
Write a sentence or two, describing your topic.
Followed by a…
So the reader can graze, decide where they want to pause for nourishment.
Now drill down into your topic. Two or three sentences, tops.
Add another subheading
Explain stuff. Insert a quote from an expert, because goodness knows bloggers have no expertise. Then, to capture Google’s attention, add some links for readers to click on, like this: peekaboo.
Time for another subheading
Wrap the whole thing up by paraphrasing what you just said, because evidently the reader is too daft to remember a single word by the end of the post, which should be no longer than 2000 words, preferably nearer to 500.
End with a call to action: Comment, you lazy so-and-so.
And there you have it; a template for a successful blog.
I’ve lead you astray.
This isn’t the way to blog
It’s how to blindly follow the rules so you’ll sound like 75 percent of the other blogs on the internet and lose your voice in the process, which is exactly what happened to me.
I was doing the ten-best, fifteen-ways-to whatever, and a funny thing happened. The cold I had caught, and recovered from, came back to finish the job by taking up residence in my lungs. And I literally lost my voice.
Like Sinatra in his later years.
Except Sinatra still had his rhythm, his swing. He was still ‘ol Blue Eyes, just…raspy.
I’m thinking of Sinatra now, because he would have been 100 years old if he was alive today. I’m thinking of how Sinatra made a comeback after Ave Gardner fled, after the studios wouldn’t touch him, after his singing career went skidding down dead man’s alley.
Sinatra reinvented himself. He begged to get cast in the film From Here to Eternity, and won an Oscar. He hooked up with Nelson Riddle and developed that swingin’ sound, that cool persona, that man-in-a-fedora-under-a-streetlight that young men tried to emulate.
I’m thinking of Sinatra now, because I’m wrestling with my identity as an artist. I want to do it my way, not the ten-best-ways touted on the internet.
Whatever that way is.
And if a reader wants to follow, I’ll count myself blessed. If not, I’ll shout onto the blank page until I grow hoarse or bored, or discover something amazing about myself as a writer. This blog is my playground. I’d forgotten that.
Rules? Pish posh.
Life is short. Own your creativity. Own your voice. Do it your way.
The world will be richer for it.