My Secret to Being a Great Blog Writer

(Authored by best-selling author & Southwestern Consulting Co-founder, Rory Vaden)

BloggingIt is amazing to me to think that in February 2015 my first book, Take the Stairs, will have already been out for 3 years! My new book (Procrastinate on Purpose: 5 Permissions to Multiply Your Time) will be coming out in January. This week I put the final finishing edits on this new book that I believe will be an absolute game-changer for the way the world thinks about time and productivity. I love the writing in this new book.

Thinking back, I never set out to be a great writer, though. Honestly, when I first started I wanted to be a speaker. Writing originally seemed like a necessary evil in order to get the chance to speak more. Until one moment when everything changed…

Many people dream of getting to write a book for a major New York publisher but what I never expected was the amount of pressure I would feel to write an outstanding book after I finally got my book deal.

When I first signed with Penguin I set out to write a phenomenal book to share with the world! It was going to be my life’s work. The book, that if I died tomorrow, would let the world know what I stood for: self-discipline and Take the Stairs.

I wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote, and there was one major problem…the writing wasn’t any good!

When I would go back and read everything I had written it just sounded so generic. So blasé. So much like everyone else.

Until one night I had a phone call with someone very close to me. During our conversation, I got so frustrated with this person – whom I love deeply – and the poor choices they were making in their life.

After the phone call, in a fit of emotion, I wrote down all of the things that I wanted to say out loud to this person’s face but that I just didn’t have the courage to.

So instead, I wrote at them.

It was almost as if I was pouring my heart out to them on paper. It was everything I wished I was man enough to say in person but just couldn’t because I was afraid.

Then I went back and read what I had written…

It was phenomenal!!

Heartfelt. Relevant. Emotional. Impactful. Unique. And moving.

That day changed my life.

That was the day that I became a writer.

Because I realized you cannot write for “the world,” instead you must write to a single person.

It can be a message to yourself, to someone you know, or to a specific fictitious character struggling with a distinct set of psychographic challenges. But you cannot write to “people” “everyone” or “the world.”

You can only write to…a single individual person.

I learned the biggest lesson in my writing career: Don’t write to people; write to person.

Pick out a person in your life that you know and write their name at the very top of any writing you ever do.

From that day until this, I never write a single word without thinking of someone specific in my mind that I am writing to…

Including this.

Why No One is Listening to You on Social Media

Every 60 seconds, 350,000 tweets, 44,940 Instagram photos, and 293,000 Facebook status updates are being put out online. (Source: Internet Live Stats)

This means you are likely to get lost in the noise.

Most people will tell you to post more because that is a surefire way to get noticed; The “squeaky wheel gets fixed” theory.

While this is a good strategy for being seen, it is not enough to be noticed.

So how do you break through and get users to actually listen to you?

social media

Put out good content!

It really is that simple. Yet, it seems to be overlooked by the majority of the users online.

The basic reasoning for this is that humans are naturally selfish. We are always thinking about ourselves and therefore, only post about things we like.

The problem with this mentality is that we are not paying attention to what our audience actually wants.

The good news for you is that once you understand this, it is easy to stand out.

In a world of selfish chatter, be the one that adds value to people’s lives.

You will see results when you have gained the trust of your followers and you do this by giving them a chance to glean some wisdom from you.

Whether you’re in real estate, a financial advisor or a car salesman, you have valuable knowledge.

Know your niche or area of expertise and share it.

Give people something of value.

No one cares that you’re drinking another latte. Unless, of course, that is your area of expertise. Even then, what are you saying about the latte that is giving value to the lives of your viewers?

Be helpful, not selfish.

Winning the hearts of real people reading your posts and sharing your photos takes investment. Loyal brand evangelists and engaged community members are earned.

So you want to see results from social media? Share good, relevant content, and stay invested.