Many people who deal with complex ideas can be impossible to understand. Einstein was unique in this respect. His approach was actually one that emphasized simplicity, usefulness, and flexibility—all qualities that are essential in any good blog post.
So if you’re working to improve your blogging skills, keep Einstein in mind, specifically these lessons:
The bottom line is that there is no topic too complex for a simple and understandable blog post. It may be difficult to do, but it can be done. In fact, for many of us, that’s what makes writing a blog post fun.
What’s the difference between making something simple and “dumbing it down?” To this Einstein might say, “Everything should be as simple as it can be, but not simpler.”
In terms of blogging, keep your mind open to ideas from any quarter. Don’t just read the same sources over and over again. Surround yourself with different ideas from different places. You never know when inspiration might strike.
“I forgot to tell you, in my last letter, that I was a girl. I mean I am a girl. I have always regretted this a great deal, but by now I have become more or less resigned to the fact.”
Einstein wrote back:
“I do not mind that you are a girl, but the main thing is that you yourself do not mind.”
It’s a reminder that we cannot (and should not) try to change who we are. Today, there is so much pressure to cultivate your online presence to reflect only a certain image. But Einstein reminds us that people actually want to see the authentic version of you—in your photos, in your posts, in your writing in general. The important thing is to be comfortable in your own skin and not try to pretend that you are something you’re not. It’s a challenge, but it results in much better writing.
It's also striking that in the letter to the 6th grader, he doesn’t gloss over how challenging or important her question is (in other words he hardly “dumbs it down”, see point #1).
Blogging is no different. You can write for different audiences at different times (colleagues, experts, customers, friends), and each instance might warrant a different approach. There is no one-size-fits-all explanation. So know who you are writing for before you start.
Einstein, who always hated the strict, drill-based schooling of his youth, recognized that one of the best ways to keep someone engaged is to tell them stories.
The same is true for blogging. You can write Top 10 Lists ‘til you’re blue in the face, but if you really want your message to stay with someone, tell them a story about why it’s important.
*The anecdote of the woman who asked Einstein this question might be a piece of folklore itself, but hey, it makes for a better story.
This idea is at the very foundation of content marketing. Provide something useful and interesting, and people will start to come to you. Rather than focusing just on the right key words or the right title that could make something go viral, take a step back. Focus on creating high-quality, useful posts that are helpful to your readers in some way. That is what will keep them coming back.
Einstein probably could have used some help writing better headlines (Concerning an Heuristic Point of View Toward the Emission and Transformation of Light isn’t exactly catchy) but his basic approach to writing might have taken him far in today’s online culture. The medium may change, but the best practices stay the same.
Content Editor at Jimdo
Maggie joined the team to craft the voice of Jimdo for all products and marketing channels. In her previous work, she edited for organizations covering the environment, cities, and sustainable business. When she's not adding serial commas, you can find her camping with her husband, cooking, and reading New Scientist.