how to keep your right readers addicted to your blog (and you)
The influence of a vital person vitalizes, there’s no doubt about it. The world without spirit is a wasteland. People have the notion of saving the world by shifting things around, changing the rules, and who’s on top, and so forth. No, no! Any world is a valid world if it’s alive. The thing to do is to bring life to it, and the only way to do that is to find in your own case where the life is and become alive yourself. — Joseph Campbell
You are not the hero of your blog.
Your reader is the hero of your blog.
You are the guide, the first hero, the shaman.
You’ve already been through the reader’s part of the journey (which is why you can write about it). You’ve seized the boon, the elixir, the knowledge, and you’re on the road home.
You can’t think in terms of extracting value.
(Friend me. Follow me. Buy my book, my painting, my music, my finger puppets. Like me. Because you do like me, don’t you? Don’t you? Doesn’t anybody care anymore? Damn this marketplace, it doesn’t understand me! Idiots! Philistines! Nobody’s written a decent novel since 1897! It’s all been crap since then!)
You must give value. Create value.
You must give your badass face off.
You can’t force or manipulate or bribe people into talking about you (at least not for long). You can’t fake word-of-mouth. You generate it through making something that inspires conversation. You make yourself worthy of being talked about.
Why would people talk about you, or your work?
Because talking about it reflects well on them.
When we share stuff that’s cool and useful and relevant, we become cool and useful and relevant. We build trust and status and influence. We establish ourselves as valuable members of the tribe.
So the only way to become a valuable member of the tribe is to help somebody else become a valuable member of the tribe.
To lead is to serve.
Who is your tribe, your audience, your Right People? Who do you want to invite into relationship?
Who is the hero of the story that you’re telling?
You invite the reader into your world through her identification with you.
You help her grow. You help her create meaning.
You take her on a journey that she was planning to take anyway.
Where are you taking her?
That depends on the kind of story that you’re telling.
And that depends on the nature of your hero.
In order to tell the story, you need to know your hero.
What’s important to her. What drives her. What keeps her awake at 3 in the morning with a clutching sensation in her chest.
What she wants, and needs, and fears, and dreams of doing and becoming.
What it is that you can give her in order to help her advance.
Provide the information she needs to solve her problems.
When you plot a story, you raise questions that you answer only to raise more and bigger questions that you answer only to raise more and bigger questions….
and so on, until the end, when the hero is transformed and the plot is resolved.
The story began with a problem that needed solving…
and ends with an identity shift that makes resolution possible.
In the end, though, all the characters we create are aspects of ourselves.
To lead someone on a journey, you have to have been through it yourself.
Which means the hero is a mirror of you – beneath a different face.
You have to know yourself in order to know your hero.
You have to know your hero in order to know yourself.
So who is your hero?
Where are you taking her?
What story are you telling?