The squirming, tentacled beast of Give and Take, Part I has been stilled; the border collie did prevail against the ideas onslaught; and what was giving me no peace let up once I internalized these two things and all that they entail that I’m aware of:
Be real about why you blog
Be real about why you contact other people
I feel like the bloggers who have commented on this site thus far get this. I thought of deleting Give and take, Part I but decided to keep it and go ahead with the wrap-up of Part II just as a record of my forward motion in the blogosphere. These are my growing pains, not Everyone’s. But based on my theory of unoriginality—that if I have a thought, chances are thousands of others have had the same or a similar thought—the mere mention of them might be helpful to someone who lands here by mistake, providence, or the like.
The thing we don’t always want to be real about, the primitive essence of giving and receiving, is not necessarily a human faux pas. It seems no one wants to be so impolite as to say, “I’m giving this to you so you’ll give me that.” It’s an unspoken human rule that we really shouldn’t dig that deeply into another’s psyche at certain times on certain levels. And all but a few of us are signed onto that rule and willing to play the guessing game, which can be a pleasurable dance of give and take in its own right.
So let’s put that aside and push on to something more absolute than another’s true intentions, namely our intentions—we can make sure they’re pure, that we’re giving for the right reasons as far as we can tell, as far as we can be honest with ourselves. For the sake of everyone, we can do a deep heart and psyche check and drill down to the real reason we’re giving. And if we’re giving to get something, we benefit by another of those deep checks to uncover what it is we really want and why we really want it.
When I was considering starting a blog, I did an internet search. I had an idea what blogging was about but I had no idea about the mechanics of it—how to get a site, how to equip that site, etc. The majority of the information I found obliged the freezing-cold steel of it. But I found one article by Earl Mardle, of A Networked World, that concisely covered the mechanics and ended with the heart of it. From the article, Earl, if I may?
“Think about what you want from your blog.
Why are you doing this?
Who do you want to attract?
What kind of an impression do you want to make on them?
How do you engage that objective in what you post?”
I answered these questions before starting my blog but it wasn’t until I actually began it and started to interact with people that I realized my answers were incongruent with what actually happens in the blogosphere. I got a hit that if I answered these questions every single day, I might then stand a chance of getting to the root of why I’m doing this and, if I fit in the world of blogging, where I fit.
What I didn’t get at first:
Blogging done well is not as easy as it looks:
Having a drift is crucial—a theme or a common thread running throughout, or a consistency of temperament.
Offering something of supreme value is essential.
Personality is key. It seems people will do no better, or not much better, in the blogosphere than they do in person. A skill can only carry one so far, but a knock-out personality gets the gold.
To write every day, or as often as possible, you have to be beyond “with the program.”
There’s a lot of talent out there. There’s a lot of poo, too, so you have to watch where you step, but there are a lot of people who have blogs for all the right reasons, i.e. their reasons are genuine and produce value, and as a result, their blogs are an awesome thing. In addition to being “wise, amusing, informative and […] very lucky,” as Earl wrote, the successful bloggers seem to be people who are…
…ultra-sharp in general, the high IQ set, able to turn any topic into an intricate, yet enjoyable, science
…at the top of their professional game with cutting edge advice or a valuable service to offer
…highly educated, the letters after their names spelling S.U.C.C.E.S.S.
…out there in the world with top end know-how doing meaningful, impressive, if not avant-garde things
…high energy go-getters with grade A personalities
Law of averages says we can’t all be king of the blogging hill, nor may we care to be that. The main and basic purpose and beauty of blogging is free expression, and we need only be true to ourselves in that regard. But if we branch out from letting loose in our living rooms to interacting with others in theirs, there are the unspoken rules to consider and the breathing room and courtesy that they’re there to implement. In relation to that, I’ve found this a great question to ask myself no matter who I choose to interact with, “Am I interested in expanding myself from what this person has to offer? And what do I have to offer in return?” Every human is unique. Every brain is unique. There is something from some angle that each of us has seen or done or thought that another hasn’t seen or done or thought.
What I’ve learned, the synopsis:
Be real. Real about who you are, what you have to offer, why you want to offer it, and what, if anything, you want to receive in return. Who you are out in the world is who you’ll be on the internet. If you’re a winner in the world, you’ll be a winner in here.
What do you think?
Am I off or on target?
Is everything I’ve written here all too obvious?
What did you find out when you first started blogging?
What are the best lessons you came away with?
What makes a blog a bomb or a hit?
All photos from Getty Images and stock.xchng