The first stop whenever I endeavor to tackle a new project, is the internet.
And don’t get me wrong, the internet is amazing. You can find almost anything and everything you could ever want. And I want to celebrate this democratization of information as much as I can. Don’t want to diminish this.
But one negative I’ve noticed (regarding new projects) is this strange funneling effect it can have. I don’t know if it’s because one person writes a blog post that gains traction and then everyone copies it, or if the internet simply creates its own echo chambers.
For example, let’s say you’re starting a blog. Just like the one I go here.
You hop online and google “how to start a blog?” Completely reasonable.
Out of the gate, you’re met with the technical requirements to start a blog: word press themes, hosting environments, domains. You learn all about loading speeds and smushing pictures.
After that, you might get sucked down the SEO rabbit hole and learn all about how to write titles that will get the most traffic.
Soon you find yourself with a pile of software to manage your email subscription lists, your Pinterest posting schedule, and social media machine.
So what’s the problem?
Well, maybe there isn’t one. I mean, if you’re looking to start a blog business, this is the way. But what if you’re just looking for a place to experiment with your thoughts. Maybe you believe in a different way? Maybe you want to build an audience through other, less optimized way! (heavy gasp)
And sure, by no means are you required to follow the advice of the web. But it can be compelling to go down these rabbit holes and follow these tracts, especially when you’re entering the world of the unknown. When you’re not fully set on your feet.
I don’t blame the internet for this. It’s just mirroring normal human behavior to bucket things.
But I think it’s incumbent upon us, as creators, to remain vigilant about where our values and priorities lie. Are these roads taking us where we want to go, or are they simply the most paved.