We all want readers. We all want traffic. We all want money and fame and recognition and notoriety and to give a TED talk where we wear a sport coat on a stage in front of wealthy luminaries and talk about our own personal narratives and why they matter.

And so we all have blogs. And we craft our blogs to run between 400 and 600 words and to include certain keywords and have the right metatags and not repeat the same words too often but not too little so that google’s crawlers will look at our prose and say, “aha, that’s what the people want!” Let’s send the Internet there. Top of page one for you!

Something tells me it doesn’t work that way.

Maybe we should swear on our blogs, if that’s what we do in real life. Maybe we should use too many keywords or none at all. Maybe we should post blogs that have little to do with our professional selves or perhaps make us look unprofessional. Maybe we should post things that might lose us a few customers or clients. Maybe we should be real to ourselves. It’s not keywords that make us want to read something; it’s words that make us feel something.

By chasing traffic and readers, we make our prose unreadable. By chasing an ephemeral secret algorithm, we subjugate our own voice to that of an electronic ghost. We churn out unreadable click bait when we’re yearning for something more in ourselves and in others.

Write like a human and you might just get human readers. If nothing else, it’ll make you feel like a human – and that’s worth more than any amount of traffic to your blog.