The Golden Rule: Treat others the way you want to be treated.
One simple sentence. A lifetime of ramifications.
But while the spiritual consequences of that single sentence could cover an entire volume of books, our mission here is simple: become a better blogger. How can ancient wisdom—even that as time-tested as the Golden Rule—apply to your situation as you sit in front of a blank screen and a blinking cursor? You’d be surprised.
In fact, the Golden Rule can help you become a better blogger—and author.
What the Golden Rule is Not
There’s a close cousin to the Golden Rule, and many people confuse it with the real McCoy. That’s “do ut des,” or “I give so that you will give in return.”
This lesson misses the point of the Golden Rule.
How would you want to be treated if you were the reader of your blog? Would you want to be given all sorts of great things—insights, tips, etc.—only to be asked for something in return? No. You would likely feel cheated. You would feel devalued as a reader—as if your attention weren’t enough for the blogger-slash-author in the first place.
Give Away Free Content Instead
Giving away free content is a money-winning strategy, writes Huffington Post, because it helps build an honest relationship with your readers. It helps establish your expertise and demonstrates that you trust your readers to handle your content without asking for anything in return.
If and when you finally do ask for something in return—by selling or advertising a book, for example—you’ll have built up credibility beyond the commercial aspect of your operation. You’ll feel like a real person to them. You’ll have spent a long time giving them genuine insights while asking for nothing in return.
Find New Ways to Give
Blogging is not only about digging deep for insights. You also have to find new and original ways to approach a subject if you’re going to keep your audience engaged.
There are a lot of different ways you can do this—by creating an eBook full of insights that you think are worth far more than you’ll ever charge for the book, for example. But don’t be afraid to think across the whole range of media, including:
- Videos offer readers a visual look into your life and engage with them on a much more personal level. Video updates can be great ways to update your readers on your progress with a fitness journey, for example.
- Social media. Create little nugget-sized previews of your latest blog content and post them on social media. Remember, the idea here is to give: The more you can give away for free, the more you’ll attract readers.
- Change up your style for one post. Rather than a long ramble on the latest trends, what if you went the other way and created a list post? Again, keep in mind that value to the reader is always paramount.
Ultimately, the Golden Rule is about treating others the way you want to be treated—not the way you are treated or the way you can treat others while giving the least amount of effort. Start treating your readers that well, and they’ll respond.
Can you see how the Golden Rule works with our blog and blog readers? Tell me about it in a comment below.
About the Author
Dan Kenitz is a freelance writer and ghostwriter from Wisconsin who helps individuals and companies build their brands through valuable content. www.empirewriter.com
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