I’ve been on LinkedIn since it debuted. In that time, despite all the lavish praise the business social media site has garnered, it’s done nothing for me. And it’s not for my trying.
Still some people swear by it.
The prevailing wisdom bandied about on LinkedIn is that writing a blog is one of the best things you can do for your career and for yourself as a growing, actualized, with-it person.
Really? A blog? How 1999!
I thought social media sites and microblogging drove a stake through the heart of bloggers everywhere. I thought blogs were the tools of wizened tech fiends who still program in COBOL and prefer to send their résumés not to Apple but to Xerox PARC. You know, anachronisms. Fogeys. People who wear polyester and tighten their belts above their navels.
Well, I was wrong; mark the calendar. Blogs are hotter than Hades.
So, because LinkedIn says you need one, you better be writing a blog.
As a blogger since 2001, I have some advice. It’s pretty simple, and it will spare you a lot of grief.
Find a theme for your blog. Something that will appeal to everyone. Like recipes for fattening foods made with organic ingredients that make them sound healthier than they are. Everyone likes to eat.
Go to Pinterest. Find what women about 60 years old like. Or since 60 is the new 50, what 50-year-old women like. Write about that. Quilting and knitting are safe so long as you avoid quilting and knitting controversies, such as which needles are best.
If you’re a man, talk about cars. Just don’t get too opinionated about any one make or marque.
In fact, if you’re going to write a blog, never get controversial. Write about stuff that is status quo that everyone can agree on. Or, if you want to seem cutting edge, write blog posts that concur with “thought leaders,” since nothing is better than ideas that seem radical on the surface but are really just warmed-over oatmeal that everyone can stomach.
Stay away from any topic that might get you writing about ideas that actually change society for the better. In fact, never put any opinions in your blog that might offend anyone. This is hard, since people are so easily offended by anything nowadays. Should you decide to write a recipe blog, don’t even get into the butter versus margarine versus lard battle. You never know when you’ll run into a lard hater out there. Those folks are vicious, plus they have long memories—probably because their cerebral arteries aren’t clogged with lard.
Oh, since LinkedIn is the site giving the advice on how it is in your best interest to have a blog so that the business world knows you are a serious person with serious ideas, better offer some business insights too. Just stay away from insights that challenge the state of current business ethics, the “loyalty” businesses have toward their employees, equitable pay or a living wage, and how meeting shareholder demands often means a company resorts to short-term thinking that hurts other people in the long run. For heaven’s sake, never mention anything like that.
And whatever you do, avoid the religion thing like the plague. You mention Jesus at your own peril. Too controversial. Not good for your blog or your career. Opposition to abortion or same-sex marriage? What are you, nuts? Not blog topics. Ever.
Even if you are a Christian blogger, never, ever, ever suggest that the Church can improve. Or that the Church has issues that need improving. Nor should you offer ideas on how the Church might improve. Didn’t you read this paragraph’s first two sentences? You’re not skimming this, are you?
Remember, everyone is walking on eggshells. Help them by not breaking any eggs. Because decisionmakers will Google your blog, and people who break eggs don’t get work, which, according to LinkedIn, is the sole reason for existence.
In fact, if you are going to write a blog, it may be best to write one that focuses on recipes intended for kittens. Or for puppies. Because you don’t want to show a preference for cats over dogs. Better add recipes meant for mice and rats, too, because mice and rat lovers are out there.
Yes, they are weird. Oops, I didn’t just write that, did I? Just don’t include pictures of rats on your blog, because rats bother some people. And you NEVER want to bother anyone with your blog posts. Never, ever, ever.
So, in short, write a blog. Just be as innocuous as hell. Heaven knows hell doesn’t like to be challenged.