If you care about your website’s future success, I preached then, you will immediately drop everything and take a good, hard look at your web content.
Boy, was I right. The Big Bad Google Monster is huffing and puffing and blowing a lot of junky, old websites to smithereens.
The truth is, I was not the first to say it. Not by a million bajillion donkey butts. I felt compelled to add my raspy voice to the rowdy chorus because I didn’t think enough of you were paying attention to the cryptic Stephen King-style writing on the blood-spattered wall.
matt cutts was here.
See how disturbing those two messages are?
Now imagine you’re viewing them through your Google Goggles.
When I worked as a newspaper journalist, I made it my goal to write stories worth sharing. I always felt as though I’d failed if I couldn’t picture a frazzled housewife frantically clipping my article to pass around at her Tupperware party.
Sometimes, I would stop by the coffee shops just to see which page of the paper had the most noses buried in it that day.
Once in a while, I got lucky.
I remember receiving a telephone call from an older gentleman who was so touched by a column I had written about what it’s like to be a fan at a baseball game that he wanted to thank me for putting into words a feeling he’d experienced hundreds of times.
One time, an attractive young woman scurried up to me in the supermarket and hugged me to high heaven, as if I’d just won a gigantic stuffed teddy bear for her 4-year-old daughter at the Utah State Fair. Absolute insanity.
Such happy moments in the life of a writer are exceedingly rare – so rare, in fact, that it makes me want to pluck out my eyeballs with hot dog tongs and dunk them in hydrochloric acid to stop the crying.
But these rewarding moments do exist.
And you must write everything you write with enough passion to earn these small, precious victories. Or you really shouldn’t write anything at all.
Don’t clog our Interwebs with your greasy, grimy, gopher guts of a blog post that’s already been written 168 times without adding any original research, insights or value. That’s stinkier than a half-eaten hoagie rotting at the bottom of some fat, hairy dude’s hamper.
If you’re not prepared to give an electrifying performance, why trot out on stage? Keep the curtain closed and keep rehearsing until you nail it. Shakespeare must never be half-baked.
Yes, you have quotas to meet.
Yes, you’re overworked and underpaid and have kids to feed and smutty romance novels to read.
So what? Who gives a flying burrito?
This is real life. Your readers are real people. Real people are pretty easy to figure out. “Sharing is caring” isn’t just a slogan we teach our sixth-graders to keep them from pile-driving the younger kids under the piñata.
The social revolution is upon us, folks. If your stuff is not being tweeted, liked, stumbled, +1’d, emailed, texted or otherwise bandied about the Internet with reckless abandon, you’re doing it wrong.
And there will come a day, sooner than later, when web content that is not shared simply is not read.
Mark my words, freakos. #smooches
Leo Dirr is more lover than fighter. But if push comes to shove, he’ll still fight for his right to party. He liberally dispenses questionable advice, random sports trivia and sloppy forehead smooches. Please bring him a bonbon.
Image via Digital Spy