Five years and 899 articles later, five tips on blogging

Have you written your guest post yet?

I have no idea how to write a popular blog, nor what I am going to tell you will be of any help in increasing your readership, search rank or monetization. I however recognize some of you already know those methods very well or will be lucky enough to become widely popular. Some have become wildly successful to give more authoritative advice to others on content, post titles, time of posting etc. I am not even going to pretend I can advise you on any of these but I want to share with you a few things that are likely to help you when you blog. These tips are not for those seeking content marketing but for those not sure of blogging, thinking of starting one or thinking of quitting their current blog.

  1. Use your blogging as decision making test bed. As knowledge workers we are all hired to make decisions for our customers ( employers are customers too). Use your blog to keep your decision making skills sharp, practice making higher order decisions you will get to make with your next customers and most importantly as a calibration tool for your decision making process.
  2. Use your blog to find fallacies and errors in others so you can learn not to make your own. Daniel Kahneman said we find it easier to find flaws in others than to find our own. It is hard to make rational decisions devoid of cognitive biases and even more difficult to catch our own biases. One way to find your own flaws and fallacies in your thought process is to project it on others. Do not see your writing as attack on others but as a way to improve your own process.
  3. Write timeless articles, those that stay relevant for many years. There is absolutely no point in chasing hottest topic of the day unless you use it as medium to convey a persistent principle. There are enough blogs out there to cover the hottest topic, you are better off yielding that crowded field to those and focus on your longer term goals.
  4. Write regularly. Many advice you to not force an article if it isn’t there. I recommend the opposite. Don’t think of your writing as a service to your readers but as part of your intellectual fitness. You do not think of your physical workout as something you do only when you are in mood for. Similarly see your regular writing as required physical exercise to stay sharp.
  5. If you want to be popular write for a popular blog. It is impossible for any of us to not seek fame or recognition. But the harsh truth is fame is hard to come by and it is fleeting. Despite what many say, just going by the base rate, you are not going to be recognized for your quality nor will you become popular. When you have the urge to have some of your works read and commended by a wider audience seek to write guest post for a popular blog. Find the one that most represents your principles so you do not have to compromise. Reach out to them with a proposal and most will agree.

Happy 2014. Next up guest posts from invited readers.