Today, after more that 600 attempts, I finally saw one of my blog posts perform like the content marketers tell you will happen. Until today I’ve been writing posts about social media and email marketing and Michel Foucault with little to no reaction. Sure, some of my close friends have said about a few of my posts “That’s an amazing story Pete. You should write these more often.”
But aside from that, nothing.
Then, last night, I penned a rant about the Town of Victoria Park’s parking policy. I’d tried to write that story before. I tried to write it on rational grounds, as a cogent, thoughtful argument, but it came up bland – so bland that it was never published.
Then I met with my writing coach. John told me to put myself into the story. What mistake did you make on your journey? What strongly held belief did you have to give up? What obstacle did you have to overcome to achieve your goal?
So that’s what I threw into the story. I told about my efforts to get something as simple as storage for a bag of soccer balls at the local soccer club. I told about my disgust at being charged for parking when all I wanted was a simple cup of coffee. I got angry and I let that anger be known.
Then I hit the go button. Before I went to bed the post had already achieved hundreds of views, and when I woke this morning the views were still climbing. (As I write this it’s been viewed over over 2000 times, a record for my site.) Along with the views came the reactions on social media. Hundreds of Facebook likes, comments and shares (as of writing this story it was 557) showed that I’d struck a nerve. Even the local Mayor got involved adding a comment defending his Council’s management of the local playing field and claiming to be listening to his constituents.
Am I pleased all of this happened because of something I wrote? You bet I am. I hope it happens again. And I hope that one day I’ll look back on this post and be a little embarrassed I was proud of ‘only’ 2000 views.
But more importantly I’m proud that I had the insight to know my mind and the courage to speak my truth. In writing the post I didn’t give a rats arse what people thought. I wrote for me. I wrote to express where I was at and I wrote to improve my craft as a writer.
And that’s something I’ll continue doing.