Following the Rule Book and Dreading your Work

I like to write. But for a while, I tricked myself into believing I didn’t.

At the time, I was trying to market my podcast, which meant wracking my brain for ways to get in front of more people. The result was a deep dive into the world of SEO.

I read blog after blog hunting for hacks and tactics that would bring hoards of organic traffic to my site from the far reaches of the internet.

An oversimplified version of what I was told was this:

  1. The articles need to be long and include subheadings.
  2. They need to be the most authoritative piece on the subject.
  3. They need to focus on one specific keyword.

For around eight episodes I followed this like gospel. It didn’t feel natural. It wasn’t really the way I liked to write, but apparently, it would work.

The truth is the results were underwhelming, but the other consequence was far worse. It stopped me from wanting to write at all.

The thought of starting another marathon article every time I uploaded a podcast killed me. It filled me with dread and so I would procrastinate, be grumpy and stick my head in the sand.

Dread doesn’t make you better.

Dread doesn’t improve the process.

It simply makes you sad.

Nothing works for everybody, and SEO didn’t work for me. Instead, I’d rather pour my best work into little pieces that I love.

That way, I can invite the small batch of people with genuine interest in my work to come along for the ride in a much more personal way. If you enjoy it, maybe you’ll tell your friends and it can grow from there.

Don’t trick yourself into thinking that you have to do something a certain way. Especially if that way feels like it’s suffocating the way you like to work.

Following the rule book is one of the fastest ways to becoming a wandering generality. I would rather mean a mountain to a molehill than the other way around.

Mike Drysdale

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.