How to not ‘how to’
Do you know what I’m bored of seeing online? How to articles.
How to be a better person. How to lose 10 pounds in a week. How to get your dream job. How to simplify your life.
Let’s be honest, there is no real way we can pin down 10 points and run with them and expect to see results. Especially when they were probably written by Sophie, 19, Birkenhead for the views. I can’t decide if the authors of the posts are genuinely encouraged to help or if they’re making up a couple of common sense pointers because they can’t be bothered to write anything else.
I get it, they’re an easy read and they’re probably going to generate you a few clicks, but does anyone care? It’s all becoming a bit disingenuous. I know how to be a better person because I know what I’m like, and I know for a fact that what I need to do to be a better person is very different to what the 35-year-old single man from Milwaukee reading the post does.
Of course, some of them can be positive. Getting someone else’s perspective and ideas can be very beneficial.
Sometimes you’ll read something and know somebody has written that because they genuinely give a crap. Mrs Hinch telling me 5 ways to scrub the makeup stains off my carpet is well received and appreciated entirely – but she’s built her brand on cleaning and you have bought into her because of this. You know her background (at least what she’s told you) and you know that what she says is more than likely true (also helps that she films every second of her day on Instagram stories cleaning her sink over and over again).
That’s the difference though. Are you posting because you’re truly passionate about the content or is it just an easy win? Every recruitment website has an article on how to nail the interview. Just because I act on those 5 steps, am I going to be guaranteed the job? Absolutely not. When there is nothing more than a few pointers and a stock image of two men in suits shaking hands, why bother putting it out there? You could have spent those 10 minutes doing something productive with your time or spent another 10 thinking about what you’re about to write and deciding not to.
I’m by no means saying what I write has a purpose, because those of you who have read my blogs on here will know full well they’re mumbling lines of nonsense most of the time, but hey – it saves you reading 10 ways to get the hiring manager to remember you with absolutely no body or reasoning.
I know easy to digest and quick to read has an impact and will leave a lasting impression most of the time, but there’s a time and a place and sometimes it’s better to just… not. Everything you’re writing or reading in those posts have been posted before. We know the tips, we’ve read it before but because you’ve put it in an aesthetically pleasing font on a millennial pink background, you know it’ll probably bang.
The internet is a big old place, if you look hard enough, you’ll find something which can actually help you achieve whatever it is you desire, and not just smile more at strangers because Sophie told you it’d make you feel good.
Head of Content