4 Things I Learned About Blogging from Oscar Wilde

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Mashup photo courtesy of Obsessed with Conformity
Mashup photo courtesy of Obsessed with Conformity

Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes.

It’s a simple truth that human beings tend learn by screwing up. There are few better teachers in this world than our own mistakes. The next best teacher is the mistakes made by others. Don’t shy away from sharing the lessons you’ve learned with your readers. A real life story of your biggest screw up ever, and what you learned from it, is going to be far better received and useful than a hypothetical example you set up.

Only the shallow know themselves.

To be human is to question who we are. We are all, on some level, on a quest to try to answer that universal question  “who am I?”. This uncertainty causes us to seek out ways to define (and redefine) ourselves constantly. As a blogger you can help answer this question for your reader. Make your reader part of “us.” And no, this doesn’t mean you have to write deep soul searching material. Your readers may be guys who like beer, people who like cats, pop culture addicts, or simply people obsessed with advertising. The point is your blog can, and should, help define who they are.

Whenever people agree with me, I always feel I must be wrong.

Nothing is going to have them reading and commenting as much as you being a bit cheeky and irreverent. Call into question some “truth” that people hold dear and you’ll produce some instant electricity. Sure you’re going to make some people angry, but you’ll likely have a lot more standing up and applauding your stand. You’re never going to please all the people all the time and while you don’t want to set out to cause controversy don’t be afraid to disagree or go out on a limb sometimes.

Life is far too important a thing ever to talk seriously about.

Stop being so darn serious. I mean it. Really. Don’t be afraid to interject some humor into your blogs. Yes, most likely you’re blogging to teach people something. This is a good thing. But you don’t want to bore them to death with a school lesson. A well placed joke can be just the zing that’s needed to make your blog memorable and keep them coming back for more. Teach them something valuable AND keep them laughing and you have an unbeatable combination.

First published on Obsessed With Conformity