When you start blogging, you learn two things pretty quickly: start with a picture and end with a question.
The picture captures attention, it sets the tone, and it engages the senses. The question brings your reader into the conversation and encourages your reader to comment. It’s tried, it’s true, it’s tested and it works.
Recently, I rededicated myself to writing on this site and with this new commitment I made two very intentional decisions: unless they are absolutely needed, no pretty pictures and no stupid questions.
Why would I shy away from such a proven blogging technique? Why would I actively ignore something that is working so well for others? Simple: it just felt false.
To be honest, if I wanted to share pictures, I’d go start a Flickr or Tumblr account. If I wanted to ask questions on Q&A, I’d go to Quora (people still use that piece of crap, right?).
If the words on the page aren’t enough, then no photo and no question will keep the kinds of people I am hoping to connect with around.
If the ideas aren’t strong, then no level of “best practice” is going to help them to succeed and spread.
Don’t get me wrong, I want you to read this site, I want you to comment if you have context to add or questions to ask. I just don’t think I’m doing either of us a favor when it takes an obvious question and an irrelevant picture to get there.
I want these words to be useful, I want to capture your attention, but I want to do it in a way that doesn’t feel patronizing.
It may take longer, it may not work at all, but on the plus side, every spare second working on this site will focus on the words on the page rather than the bells and whistles trying to get you to read them.