Written by Heather Buckley – Fri 26 Jul 2013
The famous and fabled are always reeling off catchy one-liners.
Some of them mean nothing, some are just funny and some are life-altering.
Most of these quotes were concocted prior to the existence of the internet, let alone blogging, but in many ways they’re appropriate as guidelines for online writers in the modern age.
None are steadfast rules but all contain something insightful.
Of course, to become a great blogger, you should come on our Blogging and Content Marketing Training which is ideal for both businesses and individuals.
So without further ado, here are 20 famous (or almost-famous) quotes that have nothing todo with blogging but which every blogger should remember.
Bernard M. Baruch/Dr. Seuss
There will always be the people who comment on your post just to put you down and to try and make you look stupid. Don’t write with those people in mind because nothing will ever be good enough for them.
Pick your battles: write for the people you know do and will get something out of your words.
Using long, fancy words all the time doesn't make you smart.
Know what words like ventripotent, inaniloquent and xenobombulate mean and then never use them (yes I know I just broke that rule!).
Keep it simple to keep your readers.
3/ “Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.”
Do you think people remember the ‘normals’?
Of course not.
It’s the Einsteins, the Nietzsches and the Churchills who stick in the mind.
Don’t be afraid to be crazy, controversial and contrary. That’s where true art lies.
Yes, you’ll receive criticism. Yes, some (or a lot) of what you write will be just plain awful. But you’ll also receive praise and some (or a lot) of what you write will be just plain amazing.
Don’t be afraid to try your hand at anything because anything is better than nothing.
Heard the phrase ‘too much of a good thing’? Sometimes the greatness is in the edit. Never make do with a first draft.
It’s better to have too short a piece, that leaves readers wanting more, than too long a piece that leaves them bored or worse, drives them away.
Every now and then, write about something that makes you uncomfortable or bored or angry. Just writing about what you like will eventually put you in a rut.
Step outside the comfort zone, inhale the unknown and see what happens. You never know, you might find a new niche.
Be happy with where you are. So what if you’ve only got a couple of hundred twitter followers? Do you really think that if you had thousands they’d all be reading your stuff?
Appreciate what you have before you go looking for what you don’t.
When you do get those thousands of Twitter followers you’ll make more out of the relationships with each one, because you spent time making the most out of the ones you had before.
There’s much to be said for being organised and tidy but sometimes you've just got to let go.
Creativity isn't a fan of being put in a box and neatly stacked on a shelf. It likes to jump around, spill stuff, chew things up and spit things out. It likes a bit of chaos.
If you’re stuck for ideas, maybe try firing off a paint-ball gun in your study or pushing your bookcase over. (*disclaimer – probably best not to actually do this unless you also find cleaning for days on end stimulates your creativity).
Write. By all means, write anything and everything. Just remember a lot of that will be shockingly bad.
Learn to recognise when something is good – I mean really good - when you encounter those phrases or pictures or sounds that just make you sit back and go “wow”; and then give yourself a pat on the back.
Check out our Content Marketing Guide for tips on how to write amazing content.
It’s hard to let something go that you’ve become attached to. You feel like you’ve put too much in to let it fail. Sometimes, if it’s just not working, you’ve got to know when to call it quits.
Who knows, maybe you’ve reinforced it so that it can withstand the incessant heat of disregard– maybe one day you’ll find it at the foot of the volcano, ready to unlock the door, but if not, don’t force it; you’ll only break the lock. (This is especially important when it comes to overdoing analogies!)
11/ “It’s true hard work never killed anybody, but I figure, why take the chance?”
There is such a thing as working too hard.
When it becomes a chore, when it’s never enjoyable, you’re doing it wrong.
Smart people work hard, but smarter people work hard to find a way not to work hard.
People love reading about other people’s mistakes because it makes them feel better about the mistakes they themselves have made.
Get sympathy or give warning. Either way, endear yourself to your reader by showing your human side.
Plus you get to make a good thing out of a bad thing.
Sometimes we like to wallow in self-pity when we mess up. It feels nice to feel sorry for yourself because then it’s like it wasn’t your fault… you get to blame it on any number of external factors.
The truth is it was your fault, so stop feeling sorry for yourself and start being awesome!
Easier said than done? Maybe at first, but the more you get in the habit of forcing yourself out of a rut, the easier it becomes.
If you don’t enjoy writing your blog, why do you write a blog? Assuming you are a human, you have free will which means you can choose any number of ways to fill the day. Why bother filling it with something that doesn’t make you want to smile all the time?
Writing shouldn’t feel like work, it should feel like play. If it doesn’t, do something that does instead.
Write by example. If you write long lists of tips (*ahem), follow them yourself. No-one likes a hypocrite.
People will respond to you more if they see you act as you say. Just shouting empty words at them won’t get you very far.
It’s very easy to sit behind the screen and just talk at people. In fact that’s quite an important part of your job.
So too though is listening. Tapping into the thoughts of the individuals or collective that make up your audience is vital to you doing your job properly.
You don’t have to act on what you hear, you can let it drift in one side only to let it slowly float out the other but it’s important to at least be aware that it exists.
Again, as a member of a society, knowing that other people also have views on things that you have views on can be useful.
17/ “You make a living by what you earn; you make a life by what you give.”
If you’re in the blogging game to make money, well, you’re taking tip 3 a bit too seriously. Yes we all need to put food on the table (or even better, on a plate on the table) but there are other aspects of our existence that matter too.
Giving is one of those other things. Giving is why you live in a society and not in a cave.
If with your blog you can impart wisdom, help solve a problem or just generally be there for someone, you’ve succeeded at being more than just a beast. You’ve become a human being.
Well done you.
Don’t say things that you wouldn’t say in the ‘real’ world or if you do make sure you are happy to be remembered for saying them. Because you will be!
You won’t be remembered for that eloquent Shakespearian soliloquy that you wrote about your first love, nor the manifesto of fiscal responsibility that you drew up to solve the economic crisis – it’ll be for that scathing poem about a celebrity, that made no sense but had more four letter words than a Tarantino movie.
Do you really want to be remembered for that? Maybe you do… in which case, ignore all that was just said. If not, maybe take note.
What you do doesn’t define you; you define what you do.
Muhammad Ali might be remembered as the greatest boxer of all time, but that was because he made the sport his own. Muhammad Ali isn’t just a boxer… boxing is Muhammad Ali.
Do an Ali, define your niche or your genre – don’t let it define you.
Things aren’t always black and white; sometimes you must do bad things to get good results.
I don’t mean evil things; I mean perhaps somewhat shady things – things that fall in that moral grey area. There’s fun to be had in the grey area.
Rules are meant to be broken and all that. So feel free to go ahead and break all these rules - just make sure you have fun doing it!
And remember, if you really want to get your blog noticed, our SEO Course is the ideal solution!