I started writing a post that was an essentially an anti-post to my last post; a must have list to my previous must not list, but that’s not the post I’m going to write.
Because somewhere in the bottom third of the first paragraph that I was writing, I realized that nobody was going to figure out that I was writing a post about things you should spend your money on. I realized that I give my posts clever little titles that I like, and keep myself on the bottom ranks of search engines thanks to my propensity for clever.
And then I realized how fucking shallow and contrived and not the heart of the matter that SEO practices are for a personal blog. And how fucking shallow and contrived the holidays are. And I devised this clever little comparison about how shallow the holidays are, and how shallow blogging can be:
Presents are to the holidays what SEO is to blogging.
And what I mean by that, in this context, is, go ahead. Put all of your effort and time and energy into shopping for presents or devising ways for search engines to find you.
Then you need to back that shit up.
You need to put some effort into something other than a pretty package, a ribbon, the wrapping. What do I get when I tear the paper off? Do I get something thoughtful? Do I get something meaningful? Am I glad I travelled here? You sure wrapped that present up all pretty; you sure tried to impress me with your fancy ribbons and your keywords.
What else you got?
I’m glad you lined up at 4am in the cold and the dark and went to the effort of sleeping in Walmart so that you could buy a whole ton of shit. I’m glad there will be a ton of presents under a fake tree on December 25.
But once all the presents are opened, I hope there are smiles, and love and lots of good food and traditions and singing and drinking and visits with people you love. I hope there are, and I hope that after you’re finished telling me about all the great loot you got, you’ll tell me about those things.
And I hope that after you come up with a totally contrived headline with the best searchable terms for our demographic according to google, or figuring out what long-tail search terms are or peppering your posts with optimized content, I hope, that you can at least write.
Because I could care less what your stats are. I could care less about what my stats are. If you have been in my reader for 6 years – yes, I’ve been doing this for that long – or if I’m reading you for the first time through a link on twitter, don’t just give me pretty wrapping. Don’t just load your post with words that will bring somebody to your place and then have nothing nourishing for them.
Don’t put a present under a tree for me unless you intend to share a cup of tea and a conversation and some time with me. And don’t spend more time on getting people to your post than you do on making it amazing once we’re there.
Good writing – it’s all I want for Christmas from the blogosphere.