First, I want you to watch this quick video that Leo at Buffer featured on his blog:
(Reload/refresh the page if the video doesn’t appear)
Taste. Like Ira says, you have taste. You are born with it. We spend most of our lives creating, collecting, and sharing stuff that reflects our taste. Your blog is your attempt at showing the world that you have great taste.
- Taste in perspective – You see the world in a particular way.
- Taste in experiences – You prefer to interact with people, places, and things in a unique way.
- Taste in conversation – You strive to share, listen, and speak in a way that matters
- Taste in vision – You labor to change a bit of the world to match the one in your mind’s eye.
- Taste in content – You know how to combine perspective, experiences, conversation, and vision into a compelling stories
Steve Jobs once said that the “problem with Microsoft is they just have no taste.”
I feel that way about most blogs. You can see that the blogger has taste, but they haven’t put in the work to chip away the crap and reveal their true inner core.
It’s a cruel irony that taste is realized after months and years of hard work. Even artists need to wander in the wilderness filling canvas after canvas with garbage until they align their work with their taste.
By now, you know that I believe in a blogging work ethic. Write, publish, tear it up, write some more. This is the path to blogs that persuade, teach, and sell. It applies to freelancers, solopreneurs, small and big businesses too. You can’t borrow taste, you have to put in the work to see it for yourself.
So this is what I want you to do…
Start a true labor of love. Write something every day for the next five days. You don’t have to publish it. You do have to write it. After you’re done with the piece, look at it and “feel” the tension between what you’ve written and what you want to write. Try to get a bit closer the next day.
If writing is not your thing than photograph, draw, craft, paint, or record your thoughts.
Think of this 5-day experience as a way to educate your palette and get in touch with your unique sense of “taste”
By the way, you might say you are too busy for this stuff. Ok, but your blog, content, tweets, Facebook updates, and Pinterest boards will suck. Why? Because you haven’t put in the work to express your taste. Sweat, time, and pressure is required to get really good. This may not be a popular message but it’s a necessary one.
What are you going to do?
Sometimes you need someone else to tell you the truth about your blog. It’s easy to get to close to your “baby” and miss that it’s not really reflecting your inner sense of taste. Find someone that will tell it to you straight. It can be a friend, a colleague, a reader, or me. An honest and constructive opinion can save you months of wasted work.