Attention “How To Guides”: Seriously back the hell off, thanks!

Photo of a hand of a man using a nail gun to fix a roof

Wherever I go, whatever I click, I see;

How to be a millionaire by the age of 35
How to get the perfect beach body in 21 days
How to not let your Tamagotchi die 101
How to scratch your balls without using your hands

The list goes on.

There are “how to” guides on anything and everything. All of a sudden, everyone is an expert, coach, teacher or influencer with the perfect and ONLY credible method that will guarantee you success, wealth, beauty and a whole lot of sex for the rest of your life. It’s also crucial that, on top of following their how-to guides rigorously, you MUST follow, like and subscribe to every social media channel or you will miss out on never revealed, mind-blowing tactics the grand influencers can’t wait to share with you.

It makes sense. Social media is the land of the truth and authenticity and what better way to drop bombs of knowledge through pretty hashtags, cute quotes and “oh look at my amazing life” photos.

HOW about just Shut the F*#!k up and move on! We’ve seen enough. Okay, not really — but seriously; write about something else already.

I have no problems with self-help guides, how to pieces or 10 steps to superstardom writing, but please, I want to read different content too!

At the moment, it seems, the only way to make it as a writer is to go down the “help” route. It’s unfortunate because it not only makes the whole (reading) experience boring but somewhat discredits the very few genuine and GOOD writers who decide to use this particular genre as their weapon of choice.

Even more problematic; the intention to help others through these posts often isn’t pure. They might reveal some helpful information, but in reality, they are designed to lure people in, make them sign up or follow. They are often nothing else but click baits playing with people’s irrational side of the brain, triggering certain actions rather than a genuine piece of advice.

Rule Number One

If you are just starting out as a writer, blogger, digital nomad or influencer — for crying out loud, please spare us with your tips, tricks, and bulletproof methods to get filthy rich in 365 days or get laid like Charlie Sheen. It’s not helping. Not us, the readers — not you, the writer — no one!

You haven’t made it yet and pretending you have by diving into the click bait world, spreading never revealed truth bombs is just a desperate cry for attention.I know, it’s tempting. Your favorite writers/bloggers are doing it, so why shouldn’t you — it’s obviously working for them. Well, the clue is YOUR favorites!

We all have a crush on certain writers. We love them for their style, we dig the content they put out, or we are drawn to the lessons learned, mistakes made or steps they have implemented to get them to where they are now. They probably have been in the game for a long time, know what they are doing and they, almost guaranteed, have an “on the larger side” readership (following).

The writers and bloggers we all stalk on Instagram, sometimes obsess over and secretly want to copy are an AUTHORITY.

Experience + Quantity + Quality = Authority.

Ya wanna go down the “How to — expert” route? You gotta put in the work and earn your stripes first! There are no shortcuts to the top. Once you made it and you are an authority in your field, write “how to guides” all you want, I’m a sucker for the good ones!

Rule Number Two

Throughout the last 500 words or so, I might have sounded like an a-hole, but I want to emphasize that not all self-help guides are the same!

We are all experts, one way or another. We all went through shitty breakups and puberty. We all lost a family member or a pet or both, and we all had that “Oh, I will never drink again” moment. Some of us might have been to jail, cheated on partners or battled with depression and anxiety.

My point is; If you want to share a personal anecdote about a significant event that has shaped your life — go right ahead! You are an expert; you are an authority, and the world deserves to hear your tale.

Why?

Because your intentions are pure! You let us into your world of pain or joy, not because you are a sucker for more likes or followers but simply to let us, your audience, learn from your experience without asking for anything in return.

For all the other ones; Fake it until you make it is not a thing. It will never be a thing, so work your butt off to perfect whatever you are destined for because you won’t get better, prettier, slimmer or wiser by click baiting your way to the top with some lame ass “Do this, and it will solve all your problems” trumpery.