I’ve heard secondhand stories about people coming to America from communist countries. Perhaps some of the stories are from folks coming west in the 1990s after leaving areas once controlled by the Soviet Union. They come to the US and enter a grocery store and can’t get over the number of options for something like breakfast cereal. It could paralyze them into not being able to choose.
I recently saw a documentary about country music. And specifically about the songwriting community. One songwriter, I wish I could remember their name, was talking about when they first went to Nashville. They met with a successful songwriter and asked for tips. The successful songwriter told them something along these lines:
There are a thousand ways to write a song. Pick one.
I really like that quote because there are a thousand ways to write a song. You have to pick the type of structure you want. How the rhyming works. Will it be short, medium or long in terms of time? Will it be uptempo or some kind of slow song?
You can see how it could kind of drive a person crazy trying to pick the “right” type of song to write on any particular day. But the real secret is that all thousand or whatever ways to write a song are “right”. It’s all subjective.
The same is true for any type of creative endeavor including blogging.
You can write list posts. You can write story posts. You can answer questions. You can write short posts or long posts. You can include one image or no images or illustrations and custom images. You can do all kinds of things.
But in the end there is no “correct” or “right” way to write a blog post. If you’re struggling to choose, pick something and see how it goes. Don’t make it seem like a life or death decision. Getting something done at least keeps you moving forward and it likely gives you more than that.
In songwriting, most songwriters can’t sit down and write a hit on purpose. They may recognize a hit after it’s written. But beforehand there is no way to know what will work and what won’t. That’s why they write thousands of songs.
The same is true with blogging. If you’re not sure what the right type of blog post is to write today, pick one. Write a list post. See how that goes. If you don’t love it, try a story post tomorrow. Do that enough times and you’ll see some patterns of what you enjoy, what you’re good at and what the audience seems to love.
All blog posts typically fall into a basic form. Just like songs. Songs are mostly three minutes long. They can be about a lot of things, but they’re often about love.
Blogging is the same. There are some basic “rules”. But even with those rules it can be frustrating trying to choose just one way to write. But that’s the key to writing a blog post today. You have to pick one.