Well, that was one of them. Put a number in your headline and do a list.
You know, there are a ton of tactics that you can use to increase readership. Plenty of blogs will tell you what they are.
And Rickie Lee Jones knows full well how to record a top 40 record.
Except she doesn’t. She chooses not to. She chooses to make a record she loves, instead.
Some politicians know all the tricks. They know how to get a crowd on its feet, every time. And yet, the best politicians don’t use the tricks every time. They slow it down, or get serious, or avoid pandering.
One difference between creating something you believe in and creating something that’s popular is that popularity seekers follow established steps. Do this, do that, do the other thing… lots of traffic. Do this, do that, do the other thing, a quick boost in Google. DT, DT DTOT and get a standing ovation…
The problem with this, that and the other thing is that you end up with a career filled with it. Instead of creating long-lasting art, ideas that matter and things that spread organically, you end up with a bunch of calculated mini-hits.
Wilson Pickett was a master at creating hits. He had an astonishing output–50 R&B hits. That’s amazing. It’s one way to make a living, one path.
The other path is to be Van Morrison. To blast open rules, not to follow them.
Write what you believe, not what sells.