Did you know that a few thugs kidnapped Jimi Hendrix from an NYC club back in 1969 while he was trying to score some drugs?

Or that the legendary guitarist was discharged from the Army’s 101st Airborne Division in 1962 after he got caught masturbating in the latrine?

The Army attempted to dishonorably charge Hendrix for that incident and his subpar performance, but he later hurt his ankle during his 26th jump. This gave the Army enough to get rid of him – an honorable discharge, though. And of course, Jimi didn’t fight to stay active.

These, among others, are the awkward moments within Hendrix’s short life – unknown incidents unlike his popular performances at the Monterey Pop Festival and Woodstock.

Like those unique moments that are relatively unknown, the man behind the music also offers many valuable lessons in life – some that directly correlate with the modern blogger.

Though Jimi Hendrix loved sci-fi books and wrote music discussing existence beyond this “third stone from the stone,” the idea of digital content surely never surfaced in his artistic thoughts.

But that doesn’t mean us SEOs and digital content writers can’t learn from him. One practice I love within business is transcending the target client’s ideas or current business practices.

If I’m looking for a new business to pitch ongoing blogging, I target those with zero blogs and a heavy focus on paid advertising.

If I’m looking for a valuable writer for creating headlines, I find a creative person who knows zilch about SEO. I simply load them up with some target keywords and let them get to it.

The same can be said from learning new SEO, writing or business tactics within digital marketing from people far removed from our business.

Since music is my other obsession besides motorcycles and digital marketing, I’m always looking for clues from some of my favorites.

And since acquiring a mint 1997 Jimi Hendrix Voodoo Stratocaster – a guitar that appeared after a six-year search – I revived my studies in the musician that helped change my life.

Behind his fame as the world’s greatest guitar player lived basically a man who not only starved but endured a troubled childhood and severe lack of sleep that likely caused his sudden anger outbreaks.

I became obsessed with playing Hendrix – especially his unpopular creations from later in his short career – around 12 or 13. Besides playing, he turned me onto writing lyrics/poetry and a bit of Bob Dylan (still can’t get over the voice).

Dylan turned me onto Jack Kerouac, which launched my true life as a writer. Kerouac turned me onto Charlie Parker, who launched a love of jazz, including John Coltrane.

I can keep going…

But I’m here to discuss what Hendrix can teach us all about blog writing with SEO in mind.

Forget about the usuals – keyword research, catchy titles, proper header tag usage – let’s focus on some unusual elements that can transcend to stepping stones for unique content creation.

stay current on all SEO practices associated with writing1.  Get Your Feet Muddy

When Hendrix was honorably discharged in 1962 from the army – according to biographer Charles R. Cross not for an ankle injury but rather Jimi’s false claims of “homosexual tendencies” – he toured with many popular bands as a rhythm guitarists, including Little Richard.

If the job didn’t involve gigging with his guitar, he wouldn’t take it. Because of this, he got his feet truly “muddy” by basically starving: “I lived in very miserable circumstances. I slept where I could, and when I needed to eat I had to steal it,” Hendrix said.

But this is the time one must put in to become great – especially for writers in the digital age. You don’t have to starve like Hendrix, but you must get your fingers “muddy,” and continue with the writing practice like no other.

There is endless noise online across every industry. The only way to make a name is to produce – and consistently produce – remarkable content, something Seth Godin has preached for years.

You also must take it one extra step and learn and stay current on all of the best SEO practices associated with writing – especially keyword research, and constantly studying your audience.

Also worth mentioning here is Malcolm Gladwell’s ongoing theme of the “10,000-Hour Rule” in his best-selling book “Outliers.” Though many have challenged Gladwell’s usage of the original study the rule is based upon, no one can deny that the more you practice something, the better you’ll get.

Due to Hendrix’s non-stop gigging and practicing (he literally carried his guitar everywhere) from the time he left the army through his first taste of fame in the UK in late 1966, he had put in more time than most. This helped streamline his playing ability.

Blog writers who have a similar discipline will rise above the rest. The more they write, the better they will become.

I’d also argue that the writer’s ability will ascend quicker if they are working with a skilled editor that challenges them.

And they must equally implement best SEO writing practices, something I wrote about in “SEO Writing: Top 47 Tips to Master a Combined Art.”


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2. Go Against the Status Quo

One of the earliest lessons I learned from Hendrix was to go against the status quo. He changed music because he wrote things differently, and ironically helped create the status quo of music today.

He sums it up by discussing two of the biggest names in music during the late 1960s:

“The Beatles and the Stones are all such beautiful cats off record, but it’s a family thing, such a family thing, that sometimes all it begins to sound alike. Sometimes you don’t want to be part of the family.”

Blog writers need to focus energy on being original, and that sometimes means going against the status quo. This could even mean the standards of “SEO writing,” where many simply puke out answers to questions for strong search results.

Sure – product-page level content can do this, but a blog is different. It needs human emotions and creativity that tells a story WHY adhering to best SEO practices.

always give yourself downtime3. Daydream Often

Hendrix said: “I spend a lot of time daydreaming. It’s great to sit and dream. All kinds of nice thoughts pop up…”

Later in his career – after basically three years of burnout – Hendrix dreamt of creating symphonies and jazz music – far away from the pop culture he was engaged in that wanted to experience showmanship with the eyes over music with the ears.

This lesson can directly translate to any type of blog writer. Find some downtime – I recommend to schedule it into your daily schedule as part of your time optimization – and let the mind wander.

This is when great ideas are planted. I carry a Moleskin with me (cheap Cahier Journal) everywhere – especially when daydreaming – and load them up with ideas for future projects or whatever ideas I have.

I perform double-duty with daydreaming by taking a few weekly baths. Nothing can get the mind more relaxed than a hot bath and an empty notebook.

I’d argue that 90% of my blog topics surface from that combination of bath/daydream/notebook.

Water and writing are very healing – and when you combine the two the mind is free for serious creativity that can do help assist any blog or business for that matter.

4.  Don’t Get Kidnapped by Critics

Shortly after Woodstock in 1969, Hendrix was kidnapped at an NYC club called Salvation by alleged mafia members while he was trying to score cocaine.

Charles R. Cross’ Room Full of Mirrors: A Biography of Jimi Hendrix says Hendrix was held hostage in some New York apartment and the kidnappers would only release him in exchange for his music contract.

Cross says that Jimi’s manager, Michael Jeffries, who allegedly had ties to the mafia, had his thugs find Hendrix. Many say the saving act was to show Hendrix who was boss. That way Hendrix would never fire Jeffries as a manager.

Allegations of this type of kidnapping are one thing, but one thing we do know is Hendrix would not allow his critics to kidnap him.

“Critics really give me a pain in the neck…We don’t pay attention to brand names,” Hendrix said. “Once they have you thinking about yourself, they have you by the balls.”

The sooner blog writers learn to not become a victim of critics, the faster they will grow as writers.

I’ve known some amazing writers that were scared off by harsh criticism. This is all part of the game when any type of creativity is involved – don’t focus on the critics, but rather improving your craft.

5. Blend Styles

Speaking of his music, Hendrix said:

“Everything’s all mixed up. It’s a mixture of rock, blues and jazz, a music that’s still developing, that’s just now coming, a must of the future. If it must be a tag, I’d like it to be called ‘Free Feeling.’ It’s a mixture of rock, freak-out, blues and rave music. My rock-blues-funky-freaky sound.”

Blog writers who embrace various styles of writing create unique digital voices. These styles may include newspaper-style, poetry, fiction, comedy and/or technology-centric writing.

Practicing each of these disciplines helps writers grow their unique voices.

Blending subject matter is also vital. When I train writers, I advise them to take on projects that are way out of their realm.

If you’ve been writing about high-performance automobiles for 10 years, I’d recommend taking on a project about ethnography research for software development. The more absurd, the better.

These experiences teach new methods of research and thinking, which help guide new writing styles – styles that will emerge and strengthen all future writing projects.

constant growth derives from never becoming complacent6. Never Embrace Complacency & Continue to Grow

The Jimi Hendrix Experience played their final show on June 29, 1969, at Mile High Stadium in Denver during a festival that ended in riots and tear gas.

Following the announcement of the breakup, Hendrix said:

“I’m not sure how I feel about the Experience now. I died a thousand times in this group and was born again… It’s a ghost now, it’s dead, like back pages in a diary. I’m into new things, and I want to think about tomorrow, not yesterday.”

Hendrix fans understand the vast differences in music from early Jimi to late Jimi. I argue his true mastery began surfacing on the third and final Jimi Hendrix Experience album, Electric Ladyland.

Here you hear Hendrix’s approach to symphony and jazz on pieces like “1983…(A Mermaid I Should Turn to Be)” or “Rainy Day, Dream Away.”

I argue his best work arrived with Band of Gypsys. And that work culminated from never becoming complacent with what was easy (and, unfortunately for Hendrix, what was selling).

Blog writers who become complacent quickly fade. Just like the most successful artists and businesses – think Hendrix and Apple and Tesla – true success derives from constant growth.

And constant growth derives from never becoming complacent with your writing.

Once blog writers become bored, it’s time to recharge and energize. Read more. Learn more. Write more of something different. Continue to grow.

Following the Jimi Hendrix Experience breakup in 1969, Hendrix vacationed for nine days in North Africa, traveling around Morocco and relaxing for the first time in years.

When he returned home on August 6, 1969, he only had a week of practice with his new unnamed group that would later become the Band of Gypsys.

Then they played Woodstock, a reference any music fan can correlate with Hendrix. It was magical, but far from perfect (stay in tune much?).

You can tell the band barely rehearsed, but it led to a new phase – a short one due to Hendrix’s death just over a year later, but one that shows that growth must never stop.

7. Live in the Moment for Creativity

When Hendrix was asked where his songs come from, he replied “From the people, from the traffic, from everything out there. The whole world influences me. “

The world’s greatest artist and business moguls understand – and understood – this, from Van Gogh to Jack Kerouac to Steve Jobs to Elon Musk.

The more a blog writer experiences, the more depth he or she can deliver to their blog. This helps add a personality to the blog and diverts from the robotic sound found across 90-percent of the internet in 2020.

Much of this can be blamed on some bad SEO practices that put search engines ahead of humans – something that algorithms continue to reverse thankfully.

The direct path towards these experiences is by truly living in the moment every second of every day. When walking notice the different colors around, from houses to trees to shades of tar strips.

Focus on sounds of planes or sneakers gliding over a dirty sidewalk. Smell the aromas of food cooking from a business or a diesel automobile driving by. Actively feel the cracks of a building’s walls or the coldness of a handrail.

Take time and pay attention – all these things will make you a better writer.

find your own rythm but always take your time and pay attention Concluding Thoughts

Jimi Hendrix had lived a short but super successful life, though he suffered greatly for his art, from starving to eventual life-ending suffocation.

Successful blog writers don’t need to live the Hendrix lifestyle to achieve success, but there are some lessons to be learned – lessons that the typical books on writing don’t teach.

I outlined a few above with hopes that you can become a stronger and unique blog writer in this SEO-driven world that’s filled with loads of nonsensical noise.

In his psychedelic-charged song “If 6 Was 9,” Hendrix sang: “I got my own world to look through, and I ain’t gonna copy you.” Blog writers should certainly take that one to heart.



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