≡ Menu
Zen Copy

How to be a Popular Writer without Becoming a Tailgater

Tailgating Elephant

On one day per week I have the remarkable privilege of commuting to an office which is 1.5 hours away even with no traffic. And since I reside in sunny Southern California the concept of no traffic is something only in history books. Bottom line, the drive takes a long time so I have plenty of time to observe other drivers.

Tailgating ElephantOne of the things I notice, every time, is tailgating.

I don’t get it. You edge up a few extra feet, put your life in danger, as well as endangering everyone in the car in front of you. To gain what? Getting to the office maybe 2 seconds faster? It makes no sense, really. On many of my weekly commutes I see a pile up – a cluster of folks who were following so close they couldn’t stop in time.

One of my blogger friends, Arvind, wrote a recent post titled “Why You Are So Insignificant You Might As well be Dead.

In that article he wrote, “We get upset with silly things such as someone cutting us off in the traffic or if someone jumps the queue. Just who are they to cut me off?”

I’m thinking this must be the root of tailgating too – “Get out of my way because I’m so important and great.”

A self-centered attitude for sure. But is that all bad? Is there a time when self-centered is good?

When we write we naturally write from our own lens of perception – that’s what makes everyone’s writing a little unique. And that’s why it’s best not to try and write like someone else. We need your voice.

Having a blog is a bit like a popularity contest – people will either like you (your writing) or they won’t.

But there are things you can do to help increase your likability online.

Writing Tips for Being Liked

1. Be only a little self-centered

To succeed as a writer online (or off) you need to have the self confidence to believe in what you are doing and to know in your heart you have something of value to say – that other people would want to read.

2. When someone else is paying you to write

This is where you need to put your headstrong egomaniac self down for a nap. When you are writing for someone else you need to listen to what they have to say and create a piece that serves their needs, not yours. And certainly not your ego’s.

3. Play nice

Don’t be a tailgating diva. Though blogs in their basic form are a bit of an egotistical statement  treat others as you would want them to treat you. Respond to questions and get back to them via email in a polite fashion.

4. A little fluff can go a long way

I’m not talking about writing meaningless drivel. I’m talking about adding a little humor, a little fun to your writing. If you can make someone’s day a little bit better, bring a smile to their face, that’s a good thing.

5. Talk, don’t lecture

No one likes to be lectured. Blame that one on Mom. So, be conversational in your writing, aim to be one with your readers.

6. Be yourself but make it about the reader

A popular blog is popular because it serves the readers’ needs. You need to give great information freely and happily. Connect with your reader by being just personal enough, but not so much that you lose site that it’s all for them.

7. Take a chill pill

Certainly, to succeed as a writer you have to work hard. However, people can smell desperation from a long distance away and desperation does not make a person, or writer, popular. So aim to build blogging into your life in a harmonious way without having to have it succeed.

8. Don’t make your goal success and money

Obsessing about money and success won’t get you there. Positioning yourself as an authority because you’ve been undeniably useful by providing valuable information will. When you become seen as an authority then you’ll be able to get consulting gigs and sell goods and services, if you want to.

As a writer you have to walk that fine line between having enough ego to put it out there, and not being so full of yourself that you feel it’s your right to tailgate. So be yourself, be useful, and focus on what’s really important – connecting with your readers.

And let’s all slow down today, just a little.



Bring some Zen into your hurried world. Check out these Zenwriting tips.

photo by exfordy

About the author: Karen, zencopy creator, is a top 10 bestselling amazon author, creativity coach, and an online content specialist with a masters in psychology and passion for learning and teaching new topics.

2 comments… add one