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Honestly, Ignore the Algorithms and Cheat Sheets

Vishal Ostwal
3 min readJun 8, 2020


“Don’t let your effort fall prey to fads. Deciding what you want your work to be like is worth it.”

You can bend the rules and you don’t need to do all that others are doing. I think that’s a fair piece of advice.

Don’t join the world’s circus. Follow your heart and your instincts instead. You get to keep your soul that way.

It’s easy to get distracted by the world

Insecurities are apparent when you’re a beginner. You take all advice seriously. I know because I did.

Personal branding, SEO rules, and tips and tricks– I’ve dipped my feet in all the hotchpotch that they talk about. It went on for a long while. Pieces of it even worked for me.

But then I stopped.

You know it goes

You’re always doubtful — that’s the first thing.

Or at least, I was because I did most of the stuff on my own when I began and craved anything that could possibly give me a push of success.

I cluelessly wondered about how others were creating content. I read with squinted eyes about ‘finding your voice.’ I did HTML and stuff when plugins didn’t exist.


Now that I look back, I feel like I could’ve simply focused more on the craft and worried less. It could’ve made life easier. I could’ve learned more, who knows.

“If you have a personal blog, or if you create something, you already have the liberation to experiment. At that stage, refining work matters more than the anything else.”

Some brand manager isn’t looking over your shoulders. The CMO isn’t screaming about traffic. There’s no brand shoving down money your throat for creativity.

That’s a good feeling, isn’t it?

  • That big shot influencer will say something on that podcast
  • Some blog will remind you about those hacks you’re not using
  • Slow growth can feel like decaying with irrelevance

“Koala algorithm suggests 2475 is the ideal word count.” “Sign up to get some template-you-won’t-use.” “Use these filters to get more followers.”

Noises and echoes.

But you can still listen to yourself amid this chaos. You can ask yourself why you’re doing something and what is it that you want. And although what I said above sounds cynical, it also gives the bigger picture.

It’s worth it

Do things your way.

You can write your headlines in your style. You can decide you don’t want to be an influencer. You can ignore the ornamentation. You don’t want to be template-ish anyway.

I’m not against tinkering with tools that empower us, but the effort and attention the goes in keeping up with the chaos all around — that sucks a lot of energy.

So perhaps, care more about the craft. Get rid of the needless anxiety about what you could be doing and what’s not working.

Briefly, this

Focusing on the honest side of work and consistency helps more than getting carried away by what’s cool and trendy.

Although we’re supposed to adapt based on what people like — you can also discover a place where you’d be liked by others — but without sacrificing the parts of yourself that you value the most.

The trouble, in short, is that the ones who could be standing out are desperately trying to fit-in, without realizing that they’d be fine if they stepped back. If they questioned what everyone’s doing.

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