January 2014

Adapting Robert Heinlein’s 5 Rules for Writers for Blogging

Great blogging requires your best writing. Characteristics of great blogging for business are surprisingly available and fun to use. Lets use Heinlein’s 5 rules for writers, still respected to this day, as a start:

Heinlein’s rule 1: 

You must write.
In Finding Forester, Rob Brown, is told by Sean Connery, “Just write. Write….! You write the first draft with your heart, not your head….PUNCH the keys for God’s sake!”

Rule 1 adapted: 

Commit to write weekly for 6 months. 
It’ll take that long to build a following. The “elephant in the living room” with blogging, is that it’s to build traffic to your site. It’s marketing with a wig on it. The more you write, the more material you give Google to sink its teeth into. So make a commitment with a schedule, (and “PUNCH the keys!”)

Heinlein’s rule 2: 

You must finish what you write. This is an absolute, nothing different here.

Rule 2 adapted: 
Commit your thought to pixels. Give it a beginning a middle and an end. I hate to say it, but in some ways, blogging is as much about quantity as it is about quality. Finish it and post it, always.

Heinlein’s rule 3: 

You must refrain from rewriting, except to editorial order. 
Bah, humbug, I say! You can only improve a piece by, well, improving it.

Rule 3 adapted: 

Re-write until your thoughts are as clear and concise as possible: 
Cut out embellishments until your post is 500 words or fewer.

Heinlein’s rule 4:

You must put the work on the market. Get it off your desk and out, no room for shyness here!

Rule 4 adapted: 

Thou shalt market thy blog, to the degree that thou dost crave an audience:
Perseverance is necessary! Thou shalt tell others about thy blog. Thou shalt email thy blog. Thou shalt tweet thy blog. Thou shalt FB thy blog, Thou shalt be as brazenly brash about thy blog as thou canst be. Thou shalt post thy blog immediately after thou hast written it. Thou mayest come back and delete or edit it later.

Heinlein’s rule 5: 

You must keep the work on the market until it is sold. Ie: keep mailing the manuscript around until it gets published.

Rule 5 adapted: 

Keep your posts on-line as long as possible:
You may think earlier posts lack relevance to where you see things today. Keep posts up as long as possible. Newcomers will be exposed to your ideas over a longer period of time. An old post may be exactly what draws in your next client. A friend said, “Blogging is episodic, like TV series, more the sum of parts than any one individual piece”.

Remember, a great blog post:

  • 1. addresses a specific issue for a specific audience.
  • 2. makes a point in few words.
  • 3. is entertaining and relevant.

So, blog if you love to challenge your introspection, marketing ability and creativity all at once.

No Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.