Writing Tips: Don’t Be an Ant. Be a Snowflake.

Ever watched ants? They’re very interesting little insects. If you put a sugar cube a distance from their nest, one of them will go and find it. Then it’ll go back and tell the others, and then they’ll all swarm all over that sugar and take it back to the colony. It’s a very concerted effort, and it’s amazing to watch. However, they are ants. This kind of thing is their job. As a blogger, swarming for the same sugar cube is not your job.

Recently, WordPress 2.8 came out. Almost immediately, there were over 100 posts, if not more, announcing the release. When a popular blogger ad service changed their pricing system, the same thing happened. Those little nuggets of news were the sugar cubes and the bloggers rushed all over it. It’s great that you want people to know these things. It really is. But, and I’ll try and ask this as nicely as possible, don’t you think the people who read your blog that actually care about that information… don’t you think… they already know?! Heck, I got that neat little yellow stripe in my WordPress dashboard telling me to update. My price changed dramatically and the blog and forums told me all about it.

You want to know which blogs I read every day? The ones with original content. The ones that make me laugh[1]. The ones that make me have some form of emotions. The ones that tell me something I didn’t already know. If CNN already said it on their front page, it’s likely you don’t need to say it on yours.

Don’t get me wrong. When a celebrity dies and you want to pay tribute to them, that’s perfectly ok. If you want to do an opinion post on the latest headlines, I’ll be happy to read it. But if I see one more post that basically repeats what the news has been saying all day, I think I’ll… well… nothing too drastic… I’ll just stop reading that blog.

Now, see, snowflakes are awesome. Each and every one is different from all of the others in some way. That’s what you should be. In some small or big way, your posts need to be different than all the others. For example, if your blog is about WordPress and 2.8 has just launched, don’t tell me that it just launched, instead, tell me about the obscure new feature and the original way in which you managed to use it. Or another example, if the news announces that the world is about to be forced to go vegan, don’t tell me about the obvious stuff like food, tell me about the vegan shoes. That would be original, especially if you posted pictures of yourself standing on top of the bookshelf at the local library with a pair of them on.[2]

Don’t be an ant. Be a snowflake… wearing vegan shoes and eating spaghetti with a spoon. Oh, and blogging about something original, which was the point of this post to begin with.

Footnotes (or possibly random gibberish):
  1. and not because they copied some comic strip from some other site[]
  2. No, I’m not trying to tell you that standing on top of a shelf at the local library is a good thing. I wouldn’t recommend it. I’m serious. Unless you’re changin’ a frickin’ lightbulb and have permission to do so, don’t go standing on the shelves at the library.[]

Author: Saphrym

I am a father, husband, teacher, thinker, reader, and writer. I talk to inanimate objects which tend to talk back to me. Just kidding. They whisper.

1 thought on “Writing Tips: Don’t Be an Ant. Be a Snowflake.”

  1. You’re right, we must be “snowflakes” when we write. We must write interesting facts, not always copy something and rewrite it to sound “new” when it’s getting old and annoying to read the same old “headline”. Thanks for sharing, great pieces of advice!

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