The Winnie the Pooh Guide to Blogging

Jack Ass

Sometimes, expert advice comes from where you least expect it. Winnie the Pooh himself will tell you he is a “bear of little brain,” but he also has an uncommon, clear-eyed wisdom.

You may have heard of The Tao of Pooh. But what about The Blog of Pooh?

Given that the happiness and feelings of his friends are Pooh’s chief concern (other than hunny, that is), he’d likely build a strong community as a blogger. Here are six social media lessons we can all learn from the lovable bear who’s stuffed with fluff.

Lesson 1: “You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.”

Pooh rarely sat around. In most stories, he was heading out to visit his Good Friend Piglet or perhaps have a little spot of Something with Rabbit. He went to Owl to get advice and to Christopher Robin to get help.

Likewise, you need to get out of your corner and go to people if you want them to come back, read and comment on your blog. Tug on their sleeve. Tap on their shoulder. Pull on their hand. Whisper in their ear. Shout, if you have to. Otherwise, they may never realize your blog exists.

Lesson 2: “If the person you are talking to doesn’t appear to be listening, be patient. It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in his ear.”

Pooh was a rather calm bear. Placid, even. He never got upset with anyone. He never demonstrated frustration or glucose-low grumpiness. He was patient to a fault, and simply kept restating what he had to say until someone finally listened.

When you blog, there will be times you feel like no one is listening to you, too. Other times, you’ll feel like readers missed the point completely. Be patient. People really do have fluff in their ears, so work on conveying your message more effectively in your comment section or write up a new post to clarify the concept.

Lesson 3: “You can’t help respecting anybody who can spell TUESDAY, even if he doesn’t spell it right; but spelling isn’t everything. There are days when spelling Tuesday simply doesn’t count.”

One of the reasons Pooh never got upset was because he knew what really mattered. Mistakes happened, and that was okay. Sometimes the group took the wrong path and got lost. That was okay too. The bigger picture was more important than the little hitches along the way.

Blogging means you need to be able to write well, but that doesn’t mean you have to be a crack copywriter. Don’t worry about a typo or two or messing up your grammar if it helps you get your point across. Your message is important, so worry about saying it well – not writing it perfectly.

Lesson 4: “It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like “What about lunch?””

Pooh knew one thing: complicated language and complex terms were confusing. Owl would talk over his head, and all Pooh wanted was a simple, easy solution to his problems. He’d listen to the fluffy explanations and then ask for clarification.

The problem is that your readers won’t bother asking you to clarify. If they find themselves facing words they don’t understand, jargon they find confusing or explanations that take too much time to absorb, they’ll just ignore you. Say what you have to say in conversational, simple language and be done with it.

Lesson 5: “I don’t see much sense in that,” said Rabbit. “No,” said Pooh humbly, “There isn’t. But there was going to be when I began it. It’s just that something happened to it along the way.”

Pooh never panicked when plans went astray. Life continually threw him curve balls and he never seemed surprised. Obstacles cropped up constantly, but that didn’t bother Pooh either. He expected adversity to happen. When it did, Pooh seemed almost pleased, as if he were greeting an old friend come to visit.

That calm acceptance of life would serve bloggers very well. When plans don’t work out, they just don’t – no big deal. You’ve come this far, and you can do it again, so there’s no point in getting stressed out until your seams split. Make a new plan and get on with it.

Lesson 6: “Always watch where you are going. Otherwise, you may step on a piece of the Forest that was left out by mistake.”

Pooh never rushed about the Hundred Acre Wood. He always moved from place to place slowly, carefully and conscientiously. And do you know what? Pooh got everything done in due time. His progress moved forward nicely.

Online, time skews badly and many bloggers end up living by the second instead of taking each day as it comes. Progress seems to be an immediate all-or-nothing game. But remember that if you aren’t watching where you’re going and just rushing about, you may miss out on something rather important.

These six lessons from the Silly Old Bear are just the beginning of Pooh’s wisdom for bloggers. Can you think of any other lessons from Pooh that could apply to the virtual world?

About the Author: James Chartrand leads a merry band of Men with Pens. Grab the feed for more free content today.

Print Friendly

Smarter is Better Solutions for Smarter Content Marketing

Here’s what we’ve got for you:

  • 15 high-impact ebooks on content marketing, SEO, email marketing, landing pages, keyword research, and more.
  • A 20-part Internet marketing course that lays out a comprehensive path for your own online strategy.
  • An organized reference guide to the “best of the best” of Copyblogger.com, and how it all profitably fits together.
Free Registration

Take The Conversation Further ...

We'd love to know your thoughts on this article.
Meet us over on Google+ or Twitter to join the conversation right now!

Comments

  1. Lesson 7: “Going after pots of honey isn’t the most important thing. Friends come first.”

    Wonderful post James!

  2. A very understandable and creative explanation is both useful and entertaining. “Who could ask for anything more”!
    Well done.

  3. Well done, James! Though I think you misspelled “hunny.”

  4. So sweet, I love it.

  5. For some reason, the time Pooh got stuck in the doorway from eating too much hunny comes to mind. I wonder what that could mean?

    And the balance between his friends. Rabbit’s irritability offset by Tigger’s bounciness.

    Wonderful perspective on blogging! Love it!

  6. Wonderful take. I’d just reread The Tao Of Pooh a little bit ago. This time the line “From caring comes courage” struck me.

    Thanks for this, peace.

  7. 7. Write to your network/niche and know that there will be variety. Pooh had all kinds in his network from Boing-y Tigger to morose Eyore. If your niche is the Forest, then that is a good point of view, but remember the things that can be seen from a balloon’s view. Don’t be afraid to gently introduce some new views to the Forest.

  8. This is a great post! I was skeptical when I read the title, but the ideas are great and the similarities to Pooh are undeniable. Too cute.

    In lesson 6 did you mean conscientiously and not contentiously? :)

  9. This is perfect! Pooh was very wise in his unassuming ways — letting his friends think they were the wisest ones. There is much to learn from that sage in a t-shirt too small.

    Now I have the Winnie the Pooh song stuck in my head. oops!

  10. What a good way to guide bloggers. Winnie the Pooh never fails to amaze me. Using this analogy really works for us who may have (at one time) needed more blogging motivation. :)

    Take note that I’m now doing your Lesson #1. :)

    I enjoyed reading this article James, have a great day :)

  11. @liz Guess “…something happened to [Lesson 6] along the way.”

    Brilliant above and beyond, James.

  12. Awwww. I’m getting a lot of flashbacks. ::sniffle::

  13. This is some brilliant and sage advice. It goes to show you that we learned everything we needed before we were out of grade school.

  14. I’m pretty sure I have the Tao of Eeyore around here but Pooh’s blogging advice far outdoes it!

    One of the most uplifting advice posts I’ve read for a while, thank you James :)

  15. So. . . you are learning patience and calm, James?

    The Tao Of Pooh is one of my favorite books. Thanks for mentioning. (It actually is about Taoism, unlike many books that just use the word “tao” as fad word)

  16. I am not the writer, but my husband, who sadly died 8years ago!
    He was prolific in the 70’s but was never published. he wrote mainly poems or plays one of which was on the radio. I have started a blog and posted up some of his work, and would be grateful for your comments. Also where do I stand on copyright?

  17. Keep it calm and cool like pooh…

  18. I love it! Having 6 kids I actually recall watching Pooh say all those things. In fact, as I am leaving this comment Rabbit is talking in the background while my kids watch The new Winnie Pooh on the tv…

    Very nicely done and great advice.

  19. Great post! Gave me a lot to think about. As a beginner to all of this, it can be frustrating seeing how well everyone else is doing, and making comparisons. What a great reminder to take it slow — small, thoughtful steps will eventually get me there.

  20. Wow, check out the comments!

    I found it personally very funny that so many authorities out there and so-called experts put on such grandiose airs telling others what to do, and then there’s Pooh, just being himself and getting by. Looked wise to me!

  21. Pooh is fantastic!
    I managed to get a reference to Pooh into an exam essay about respiration .. hundred years ago when I was at Uni.. but AA.Milne had a magical brain .. :)
    I passed the course too!

  22. James, your familiarity with Winnie the Pooh might strike some as disturbing….

    “Your message is important, so worry about saying it well – not writing it perfectly.”

    The above is particularly apt for writing blogs. Sometimes writing certain sentences in a more informal way that isn’t exactly grammatically correct can be preferable. When it is justified, of course. And it sometimes is.

  23. @ Bamboo – It’s my resemblance to Tigger most find an inconvenience. ;)

  24. You’d have to have a heart of stone to not soften and maybe even regress a little to childhood after seeing the picture at the top of this post and listening to these “Pooh Bearism’s.”

    This is an outstanding lesson in managing the state of your readers.

    Too many people through past conditioning have associated strain with the process of learning. Using a vehicle as you have arouses in people a warm, fuzzy and playful feeling inside which counters past programming.

    This lets allows your message to seep into instead of being ignored.

    At least it did for me.

    Thank you so much James for this priceless example of how not to be a bore when showing people how to succeed.

    Note Taking Nerd #2
    http://www.mynotetakingnerd.wordpress.com

  25. Perfect blogging post on a cold and blustery day. A pleasure to read! I am a new fan. eb

  26. This is such an adorable and informative post. Winnie the Pooh remains one of my most favorite characters in my world. Like your post, he’s practical and knows how to make every element count. THANKS for reminding me of why I love Pooh’s simple yet effective way of thinking. SMILES!

    Warmly,
    WendyY

  27. This made me smile. Lots. Thank you.

  28. Great Post, James! I’m no Pooh expert but….

    Another important lesson from Pooh:
    Lesson #7 – Be Good. Be Devoted.
    Pooh was patient and gave his friends the benefit of the doubt. He was also devoted to Christopher Robin, right until he ‘outgrew him’

    Bloggers need to be good, network with like minded people, and reach out to those who ask for help. But most importantly, be DEVOTED to posting good quality content on a regular basis

    @ryancmiller

  29. When the Eeyore’s come around stay optimistic. Things are never as bad as they seem.

  30. Nice post. I need to work on #4 especially!

  31. This is a great post. I’m a new subscriber and am really enjoying copyblogger.

  32. So enjoyed this. You have inspired me and given me hope.

    Much thanks.

    Dave

    P.S. I am now a new fan.

  33. Great post!! As a new blogger, I definitely needed the reminder to take it slow and have a little patience. Sometimes, we want it all right away and unfortunately, it just doesn’t work like that! We all have to find our own voice and what works for our readers. Thanks for the insight.

  34. Great idea. With small brains…

  35. The first tip says it all. Sometimes you have to be proactive. Whether it’s with your audience, or networking, or just making a new friend. You need to be forceful and get out there and get your name, idea, whatever noticed.

  36. Is it really that easy! Thank you for pointing out that I didn’t get as much from the Adventures of Winnie the Pooh as I should have.

    {fail whale}

  37. What an awesome post!! :-) Really, thank you from the bottom of my heart for Winnie the Pooh to the blogging world. I love him – and the wisdom he is simply living!! I have read the book by A.A. Milne and the Tao of Pooh a dozend times I think.

    And lesson 4 hits right to the point. Use. Simple. Words.
    Awesome!

    So what a about lunch?! ;-)

    André

  38. Absolutely Brilliant. Love the parallel but I am a kid at heart anyway. I tend to be a Tigger jumping around, knocking things over. But then of course, I do love my hunny!

    Thanks for sharing.

  39. As I have just relaunched my reality TV blog this post was timely, not just because of the fantastic style of prose, but because of what it was saying.

    Thank you.

  40. @ André – If you’re buyin’, I’m hungry :)

  41. Truly ‘Winnie’ing Article !… Alos agreed with @Maria Schneider for her lesson 7.

  42. James, dude! This caught my eye in the reader. I laughed – I cried – I thought it was wonderful. Didn’t know you’d written it until I scrolled back up.

    You Pooh Bear, you.

  43. What a great viewpoint on blogging! I agree, that we don’t need to lose our cool when the going gets tough. A little patience, consideration, and thought would help everyone.

    Thanks for bringing the silly old bear into the blogging world! My favorite line: “Think, think, think!”

    ~Kimberlee

  44. Man, I need to pick up a fresh copy of WTP for my little dude. (I cannot abide the animated movie. Except Tigger.)

  45. There you go. Make a preachy list entertaining and all of a sudden it’s charming and clever. Serve it straight up and 98.7% of readers don’t get past #2. Thanks.

  46. Yeah David, that’s how you create engaging content. You advertising types should pay attention. :)

  47. This is an absolutely delightful post. Thank you!

  48. So simple so eloquent and very much useful for new bloggers like myself

    Regards

  49. Loved it! Should be bedtime reading for anyone who wants to develop a (better) blog. It begs to be a little ebook.

  50. Great blog on blogging :-) I really like #4 & #6.

    Another item that people shouldn’t blog just to blog, or blog on a topic just because it’s “hot”. Blog about topics that YOU know and your readers can relate to.

    Thanks,
    @jayphilips

  51. May I also suggest,

    “Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.”

    In other words, take your time and do things right. I’ve seen so many bloggers rush in, post 10 blogs a day and crush themselves, never to be heard from again just a year later. Slow and steady wins the race.

  52. Great analogy. There is probably a lesson regarding listening and seeking to understand. I think Pooh really tried to do both.

    @MerryB

  53. Loved this! I’m a big Pooh aficionado. One I’d add (from the Expotition to the North Pole” chapter) is: “A little Consideration, a little Thought for Others, makes all the difference.”

  54. A very clever post which also makes some great points. I bet Pooh doesn’t suffer from stress-related illnesses!
    Thank you. I enjoyed it.

  55. very well done, sir.

  56. An enchanting way to impart valuable truths. I read every word & that’s saying something these days! Many thanks. P. :)

  57. That calm acceptance of life would serve bloggers very well. When plans don’t work out, they just don’t – no big deal.

    It can be difficult to keep reminding yourself of this, in any form of writing, I think. But it is important. Unless yoru blog is your primary source of income, there’s no point losing the plot over your perceived lack of success. Just take a step back, replan and then go again.

  58. James,

    (LOL I went straight to the bottom before I’d finished reading to find out if Sonia wrote this. Oops, sorry!)

    Winnie, Kermit, and Mr. Rogers were my first Zen masters. They are no doubt why I’m not a basket case today, and now Winnie is my little person’s guiding light. Finding out that Winnie is also a blog master is a great joy.

    Loved them all, but #6 is my fave. Eyes wide open, ready to marvel, even at the smallest, most irrelevant things.

    Gets you new blog posts, sometimes, too.

    Side note:
    “I am a bear of very little brain, and long words bother me.”

    Long ago, I used to teach drama in the summers to junior high kids. I gave them three short passages they could choose from to audition, and that was one of them. (About 2/3 of them chose Winnie’s line over the others.)

    When I read in your opening, I could still hear them making their way through it. Thanks for the smile!

    Regards,

    Kelly

  59. I really enjoyed this post, it gave me some valuable insights, also remembering Winnie the Pooh story. This has been a big help,

    Thank you

    Bethune

  60. Nice idea for a post. You definately need to go recruit an audience for your blog. Either that or someone with a large readership believes in your work and features you regularly.

  61. Editor Shmeditor :

    For globalization, just remember Pooh travelled in the forest, and that should he happen to meet up with someone who travels in a meadow or valley he may need to adjust himself slightly to apply his said same rules.

  62. I SO needed to read this today. I’ve been floundering in the Twittersea fo two weeks, watching all the blog retweets go by and trying to keep up — and write.

    After all, that’s what I am, a writer. I had to remind myself of that yesterday, when I was feeling lost in the forest. Writers need to write. Like bears need to eat hunny.

    I’m sticking with Pooh and his friends for now. Thank you for reminding me that calm and patience and simplicity are still important in this world.

  63. As I read this, I heard the whole thing in my head in the Pooh voice.

  64. Very clever analogy. Sometimes people dig to deep into things trying to get as technical of an answer as possible. This is a great article where all could relate to.

  65. This was an uplifting and fun blog! Regarding #3 — some people use their blogs as part of their portfolio. Therefore, you may want to take extra care and check your spelling. It could make the difference if you receive a writing opportunity or not.

  66. I can not tell you how much I love this blog post featuring the wisdom of Pooh. Very charming, very wise and absolutely true.
    Thanks for the gift.


  67. “It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like “What about lunch?””

    It absolutely drives me nuts when people feel the need to use the most complex word in every possible situation as if they are insecure about how smart people perceive them to be.

  68. Just thinking about Pooh makes me smile. And, hokey as it may sound, smiling while writing a blog post and/or reading and responding to comments strikes me as a good way to connect with readers. Not that a shit-eating grin will bring instant enlightenment, but a Mono Lisa smile can provide perspective.

    Rambling aside, another children’s book with lessons for bloggers, marketers, and customer service critters is The Little Prince by Antoine Saint Exupery.

    “Come and play with me,” proposed the little prince. “I am so unhappy.”

    “I cannot play with you,” the fox said. “I am not tamed.”

    “Ah! Please excuse me,” said the little prince, “What does it mean ‘tame’?”

    “It is an act too often neglected,” said the fox. “It means to establish ties.”

    “What must I do to tame you?” asked the little prince.

    “You must be very patient,” replied the fox. “First you will sit down at a little distance from me like that in the grass. I shall look at you out of the corner of my eye, and you will say nothing. Words are the source of misunderstanding. But you will sit closer to me every day.”

    The next day the little prince came back.

    “It would have been better to came back at the same hour,” said the fox. If, for example, you (always) come at four o’clock in the afternoon, then at three o’clock, I shall begin to be happy. I shall feel happier and happier as the hour advances. At four o’clock, I shall already be worrying and jumping about. I shall show you how happy I am! But if you come at just any time, I shall never know at what hour my heart must be ready to greet you.”

  69. Molly,

    I love that section of The Little Prince. So perfect for bloggers!

  70. Oh, most excellent post. Must put into favourites. I love Winnie the Pooh (and hunny too)
    Sharing Experiences – words & pictures to inspire and enthuse

  71. Great write up and I’m a wild fan of Pooh.

    #3 is about values. I value insight, action, and results. I don’t get hung up on spelling, unless it’s so distracting it smurfs up the experience.

    I think it depends on what you get graded on too. My books continuously get graded against results, so I put a premium on working knowledge. Meanwhile, my editors care very much about the spelling side of it, and that’s fine, but that’s their world and that’s how they get graded.

  72. Perfect analogies my friend. Well said! :)

    AJ Kumar

  73. I agree with Number 4 in that you should not use fancy words and complex sentence constructions because you think it will impress the reader. The default style should be easy-to-understand, everyday language. That doesn’t mean, however, you shouldn’t ever be ambitious with your writing style. Just take after Owl when it serves a greater purpose with your posting.

  74. “Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. “Pooh,” he whispered.

    “Yes, Piglet?”

    “Nothing,” said Piglet, taking Pooh’s paw, “I just wanted to be sure of you.””

    Be active in your comments. People want to be sure of you. ;-)

  75. That’s a nice one, Janice. Mmm, I like that. Being sure of people.

  76. Thanks Kelly. Essential I think.

  77. Unique and clever insight.

  78. I love this post – I’ve read The Tao of Pooh and this is a great way to bring it to the blogging world. Tug and Pull, I like that ;)

  79. What a lovely perspective. Thanks for the insight.

  80. It is really nice way to present your content in the view of a character that is so popular.

  81. Oh, I adore this post. It’s great that you used a character to illustrate the importance of simple, clear writing. I might show this post to a few colleagues, they’ll love it!

  82. Ah, Janice, very nice.

    James, can I start calling you the blogger of very little brain? (runs ducking for cover . . .)

  83. @ Sonia – Only if you come rescue me each time I get into trouble and feed me Hunny to console me.

    Deal?

  84. Thanks. ;-)

  85. What a lovely post! It is not only relevant to bloggers but its a general overview of how we should deal with the problems and difficulties in our lives…thanks.

  86. @James, deal. :)

  87. I can’t stop thinking about how great of a post this one is. I loved Pooh so much as a youngin up that my Moms tells me that I wanted to change my name to Winnie the Pooh. Thanks for reminding me why.

  88. I love this post. It’s cute & relevant.
    Simple story but meaningful ideas & teachings.
    Thank you!

  89. Loved this! Thanks. As a public speaker my husband believes in the K.I.S.S. principle of “Keep it short and sweet”, or “Keep it simple, stupid,” whichever is appropriate for the occasion. As a writer I think there’s much to be said for both. :)

  90. Wonderful, astute, and actually helpful blog. You make it sound so easy, that I’m left believing I can conquer this blogging stuff. I appreciate yet another informative blog.

    Keep up the great work.

  91. It takes a confident and cool person to compare blogging and Pooh. Genius post.

  92. What a keeper! I particularily liked Lesson Six. At times, the online world seems to make my head spin. I will think of Winnie the Pooh everytime that I need to slow down in the future :)

    Thank you.

  93. Blogging compared to Pooh… Ingenious and a fun read, thanks!

  94. What a perfect training guide for beginning bloggers! And more importantly, a grounded guide for experienced bloggers. Thanks for the post.

  95. Awesome post – thanks!

  96. Don’t forget the supporting characters… The wise ‘ol owl in the role of mentor and sage. Eeore, always grumbling and grousing like the naysayers at the office. And of course, Tigger (T-I-Double Guh Errr.) He’s the energetic one who’s always bouncing around from one thing to the next, never really getting anywhere.

    They’re the ones who made Pooh look so good. So even-keeled. Without them, Pooh’d still have his head stuck in the honey jar.

  97. So Winnie, have blogging given you much honey? Do you like it? :D

  98. I have always loved Pooh Bear and to think that if only he knew that he was a ‘true genius’ at web 2.0 marketing – on the door of my office is a Pooh card which says “Just Beeing Me” and that is what it is all about!

  99. What a GREAT article, creatively written with very interesting points.

  100. Well done, James!

  101. Thanks for the winnie the pooh blogging advice. This is a great media to reach children as well as adults. By relating to human tendencies and using a well known character. I love your process of clear thought and it’s easy to digest the things that you write and they stick in the mind. Awesome blogging :)

  102. Very funny and interesting article. Thank You!

  103. I am looking forward to sharing your blog with my students. Great advice!

  104. Wonderful!
    I love “The Tao of Pooh” and find myself buying multiple copies as I’m always handing it out to everyone.
    Reading this fresh perspective of the internet was a delight!
    I often feel the rush of society online but now I know that I can bring the calm of pooh to that … and just breathe.

    Now I wonder what the Te of Pigglet would say ?

  105. Thank you for this insightful post. I’ve always been a huge fan of Pooh Bear but never applied his thinking to the real world or business approach. I was going to give away my collection of Winnie the Pooh Bear classic books from the 50s, but think I need to hold onto them, revisit and read between the lines.

  106. What a title! and a great article to go with it. A very unique angle.

  107. And to bounce with “Tigger” energy in postings might help too.

    Fresh, orginal approach to the subject. Thanks.

  108. “If you want to make a song more hummy, add a few tiddely poms.”

    Winnie the Pooh has always been an inspiration to me. Thank you for the tiddely poms.

  109. Amazing post.
    Just goes to show that a good story always has the best chance of communicating

  110. Do you mind if I quote a few of your posts as long as I provide credit and sources back to your site? My blog is in the exact same area of interest as yours and my visitors would truly benefit from a lot of the information you provide here. Please let me know if this alright with you. Thanks a lot!

  111. LOL @ number two! I thought it was because I was boring the pants off them. Great article, as always.

  112. Another excellent post.
    I haven’t asked since your exposure post.
    Any plans to can “James Chartrand”?
    Safety first, but still do not like.

    Thanks,
    Love Ed :)