Blogging Assumption-Free

Follow the Guidelines sign isolated on white backgroundI’ve been doing some heavy thinking about assumptions, and it’s Daniel Herndon’s fault.

“Assumptions can be good or bad, but either way they inform our beliefs and opinions,” Herndon says. Assumptions inform the decisions we make, and often they can be productive, he admits. But what about when our assumptions are counterproductive? he asks. (That’s precisely the question I haven’t been able to stop turning over in my mind ever since his thought-provoking newsletter hit my inbox.)

What if our assumptions are keeping us from doing something great? (Read these examples from the Herndon post– you won’t be able to get them out of your mind, either!)

  • What if your parents are not always right?
  • What if you don’t have to change your oil every 3000 miles?
  • What if you don’t have to go to college to get a good job?
  • What if some things don’t ‘happen for a reason’?

I’ve been “translating” this assumption-challenging attitude into my own field of blog content writing.  “What if all those rules we were taught at all those webinars and seminars and ebooks and “15 things” lists are actually stopping us from writing truly great content?” is what I’ve been asking myself.

  • What if blog readers don’t have as short an attention span as we thought?
  • What if they don’t all read at a sixth grade level?
  • What if you don’t need to keep the content “above the fold”?
  • What if searching Google AdWords isn’t the best starting point for creating posts?
  • What if being almost obnoxiously opinionated on issues in your field is just fine?
  • What if you went ahead and gave away all your how-to “secrets” in your blog and your readers still wanted you to provide services for them?
  • What if keeping below 65 characters wasn’t the most important thing about writing a title for a blog post?

What if you had your ideal prospect sitting right in front of you, and you were going to take three minutes to teach him one thing he needs to know how to do? What if you were going to take three minutes to share with her a valuable insight, or express and explain your point of view on a controversy that’s in the news?  No blogging platform, no SEO, just talking.

Now sit down and do something great. Write your blog post directly to that one man or woman.  Assume they’re going to read it – every word.

Next time you’re getting ready to write copy for a blog post, ask yourself Daniel Herndon’s question: “What if what you believe and take for granted is actually a false assumption?”

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