I read frequently that the consensus to have a site that is popular, that people will read, is to be helpful. A familiar buzz phrase is to publish “useful content”. Some writers will even go overboard and put an “insanely” in front of that phrase.
I know writers that do this well. When it comes to business and social media, my friends Marcus and Craig put out some great stuff. If I want to know how to effectively use email or Twitter to its full potential in a business context, a guy like Marcus can show me some ropes.
And although Marcus posts about business, he puts a lot of personality into those words. I’ve never met him off-line, but he comes across as one of the guys, someone I can sit down and share beers with.
Over at his website, Vince publishes excellent food related content in the format of easy, simple to prepare recipes accompanied by mouth watering photos.
His philosophy is simple. It’s easy to eat well at home, without the bloated prices and caloric content of a restaurant.
He’s right. I’ve saved thousands of dollars in the “dining out” category of my budget by following this principle. Reading Vince has helped me do this.
That’s what I call helpful content.
I set out to do the same with my posts, the intentions are there. But, the content that I write that I most identify with are the posts that are about my concerns. Whether it’s about me, my wife and kids, or other members of my family, what I write really has nothing to do with the reader.
It’s all me, me, me.
And according to many ‘experts’, without the ability to help your reader, your content fails.
I will try to keep the reader in mind with future posts. But I know the only way I have been helpful to you (if at all) is purely by accident. By creating feelings of how great it is to be a parent, or to recreate that glow of growing up in the 70s and 80s (What an era!).
Really though, it’s all about me.
I need to prop up my ability to remember. Man, the memory goes, and it can go quick. Take the aforementioned 70s – 80s. Those images used to be crystal clear in my mind, in full color, with the voices of my grandmother and other family sharply present.
Now, everything looks grainy, with that color a little washed out, and faded. Memories become less vivid. I want to try to put a halt to that. This blog should help keep memories alive.
This reason is my number one. Whether it’s a post about my godmother, reflecting on a kitchen coffee ritual from the past, or remembering saying goodbye to my mentor, the written word can take what you might have forgotten and bring it all rushing back.
The blog can also act as a great resource for my kids. As my friend Jack mentioned in a comment recently, my children may want to read these words. Why not?
All that will be here waiting.
Yes, it would be nice if I could give you some social media tips or post content that is more business friendly. But that’s not the direction I’m interested in taking. I have a different purpose.
If you read this far, and you’re still sticking around, thank you. I’m here to build a library of words that my kids may appreciate years from now. But I think you can take away a little appreciation as well.
And who knows? Maybe, in the end, some of this may even be…helpful.
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