How to blog (properly)

There’s a lot said online about the benefits of blogging.

It’s good for your personal brand. It makes money. It’s freedom. You can learn all your life. It will teach you to write and get you in a habit of doing it daily.

But so much of that advice leads to the wrong kind (read: selfish) of blogging. The type of blogging where you care more about what you’ll get than the process itself.

Such blogging is not blogging at all. It’s content marketing.

Here are the traits of the “right” kind of blogging:

  1. It’s generous. You give away your time, money, energy.

  2. It probably won’t work. Not in the way you assumed it would.

  3. It’s a daily ritual. A practice. A meditation.

  4. There’s no playbook. You start as a clean slate, with a blank page, every time.

  5. You do it not because you want something in return. But because you can’t afford not to do it.

  6. You put your name on it. In other words, you put yourself on the hook.

  7. You never look at the stats.

  8. You don’t try to monetize it.

  9. You don’t write what you assume people want to hear. You write what you actually think, feel, and notice about the world and yourself.

  10. You know it’s life’s work.

Replace “blogging” with any other type of art – writing, painting, singing, recording podcasts, making music, leading, teaching, building a business, parenting – and the same rules apply.

The question is, given all of the above, why the hell would you do it?

Why would you consciously put yourself on the hook, be publicly uncomfortable, not expect anything in return, and not try to make money off of it?

The answer: isn’t that why we’re here?

P.S. And if you do everything right, the benefits will be extraordinary.