Lessons in blogging come from many sources. Recently, I attended a concert by our friend, John Doan, a master harp-guitarist and storyteller (see YouTube Video). As he finished his set, he shared a story about his long-time friend, Burl Ives, and a moment they shared not long before the famous singer and songwriter died.
John has graciously allowed me to share some of that story, and its lessons, applied to blogging.
John Doan was among a team of fellow performers paying tribute to Burl Ives through his music, and was asked to perform a child’s song, one with which he had trouble relating. He went to Burl’s bedside and told him of his struggles, including how he could best honor his friend through this silly children’s song.
Burl shared three important lessons that John continues to use today, lessons for all of us, especially for bloggers.
When it comes to selling anything, even a song:
1. Believe it is the most important song in the world.
2. Play like your life depends upon it.
3. Make your audience believe you.
Believe It Is The Most Important Blog Post in the World
John had to believe that this childish song was the most important song in the world in order to get the message across to his audience. Such is the way of many children’s songs, convincing young minds in the fairy tales and myths so well, they believe them and carry their messages into their adulthood.
So you must believe that each blog post you write is the most important blog post in the world.
Is it? Probably not. But how would your writing change if your belief was that this is the most important blog post you will ever write?
Changes things, doesn’t it?
Thing about what you publish on your blog. First, you publish it, which is a much ignored aspect of blogging and a great responsibility. Your work is published. It’s out there for the world to see and read. Anyone can read it. It’s published!
And it’s going to be around for a very long time.
In Are You Writing Well for the Living Web?, I wrote about the permanence of our writing on the web.
Write for the future. It’s not just about you stumbling across this blog post 20 years from now, and cringing, but write for anyone and everyone, maybe even archaeologists, who will stumble across your blog 100 or 1000 years from now. What will they learn from your words? Will they understand what you were writing about and why?
In many ways, it is the most important blog post you will ever write.
Blog Like Your Life Depends Upon It
How would your blogging change if you blogged as if your life depended upon it?
For some, especially those who turn their blogs into businesses, dependent upon the income to keep a roof over their head and food in their family’s stomach, it does. For others, blogging in defiance of their government and local authorities, their life, and the lives of others, depends upon it in many ways.
Throughout history, people have been forced to make decisions that their life depended upon. Do what you are told or suffer the consequences. Left or right? Your life may depend upon the path you choose. Your life shifts and changes with each decision you make, and so does your blog.
Your life may not end with every blog post you write, but what if what you wrote influenced your life’s direction that powerfully? What if your life did depend upon each blog post?
Wouldn’t that change how you blogged?
Make Your Audience Believe You
This is the key in any sales technique. Convince your audience and you’ve sold them.
How do you do that with your blog?
Blog as if what you write is the most important thing in the world, and write it as if your life depended upon it, and stay authentic through the process.
In many of the programs I present, I ask my audience if they can tell when a blogger is faking it. Everyone in the room immediately nods or applauds. It’s true. You can tell when a blogger is faking it. When they aren’t believable. When they aren’t being honest. When they aren’t sincere. Can’t you?
When your audience doesn’t believe you, no matter how much work you put into the content, you’ve lost them.
Make it count, and make them believe.