The 6 Reasons That I am Embracing List Blogs …
… or at least the list blog format.
I used to get get annoyed when I would see list blogs. I couldn't understand why anyone would want to read them, and, furthermore, why anyone would be sold by them. You've definitely seen this type of piece before. While some pieces in this format are fairly innocuous (eg. "5 Ways That Drinking Water Can Improve Your Health"), others, particularly in the fitness industry, present bad information aimed at fear mongering and low-brow sales tactics (eg. "12 Reasons That Sugar Will Kill You").
As it turns out, the limitation was not in the list blog format, but in me. And, I will openly admit that my snap judgement towards an entire style of writing was based on fear - the fear of putting myself "out there". This occurred to me when listening to a favourite podcast of mine. The interviewer made the point that a writer can find his true voice and confidence simply though writing - even writing badly or by writing list blogs.
So, in an attempt to get over myself, my fear, and my self-imposed limitations on putting myself out there, here are the 6 reasons that I am now embracing list blogs:
- It might help me find my proverbial voice through the creation of consistent content. Not to be redundant, but this was the main point brought about by the aforementioned podcast. Pragmatically speaking, the creation of content generates inertia towards creating more content. More content means more writing practice; more writing practice (hopefully) means the development of a unique writing style - a voice that clients, colleagues and other readers will recognize and come to respect.
- They are simple to follow. This point is self-explanatory. In the exercise world, things can easily become overly complicated. People want to learn and they want to adopt exercise principles that contribute to their health, progress and fitness. The list blog format can deliver simple, actionable items for the reader to implement into a healthy exercise process.
- Perfection is easy because it is impossible. I always liked the idea of blogging, and most of the attempts that I made in the past to post a blog had to be preceded by a serendipitous moment of inspiration, followed by hours of pining and pouring over 250 words that end up barely being noticed - not so effective.
I would wait for perfection. The problem with waiting for perfection is that it is easy because it is impossible. When you are striving to be perfect, failure is okay because it is never going to happen. All that attitude left in its wake was low volume of content and precisely 0 people helped by my efforts. Epic. Fail.
- Dancing With The Fear. Blogging makes me nervous. It downright frightens me. I fear the criticism, trolling and backlash that it has the potential to bring. What I miss when I cave in to that fear is that criticism, trolling and backlash are all good things. They are evidence of the popularity of a post, they improve Search Engine Optimization, and, above all else, they create (hopefully meaningful) conversation where I and other readers might learn and grow. I am still nervous about blogging. I am nervous and anxious writing this right now. That's okay though. I am making a commitment to, as Seth Godin says, dance with my fear. I am excited for the personal and professional growth that that dance might bring.
- I have a chance to contribute positively to the format. It was arrogant and self-righteous of me to not want to be associated with what I thought was a low-brow writing format. Read that aloud - it sounds a crazy as it is. My logical, marginally spiritually sound brain also says that the charlatan snake-oil salesmen that use the format to their nefarious advantages have nothing to do with me. I have genuine, positive intentions; I want to help. That is all that matters.
- Create health. Change lives. Give back. Although these words make up the last point on this list, they are absolutely my first priority. This, the Striation 6 Mission Statement, was coined more than 10 years ago by Brad (hyperlink), and IT is the ultimate reason why I do what I do. Getting useful, authentic, well-meaning information out to clients and exercise enthusiasts is what ultimately matters. These words remind me - when I need reminding - to get the hell over myself; that I am not too good for anything or anyone, especially when I am getting in my own way from helping our clients.