10 reasons not to bother blogging

23Jun10

There are a wide range of motivations to write a blog. Including:

  1. An enjoyment of writing
  2. Sharing knowledge with others
  3. Career progression
  4. To make money
  5. To give you a free platform to reach out to others

If you’re a blogger and your reasons aren’t on that list, I’d be interested to hear from you.

I started to think of my own reasons for writing a blog. I enjoy writing and talking about things I’m interested in (which I believe is not uncommon). Before starting my own blog, I had read hundreds of blogs by other people, many of them revolving around the art of blogging itself, giving me countless tips on how I could make my blog ‘successful’.

A sleepy kitten

Because kittens = good content

My attention was recently drawn to one such post titled, “20 Warning Signs That Your Content Sucks” – all capitalised of course, because it’s American. If you look through the post archives, you’ll notice that a large majority of the posts start with a number: “20 reasons…”, “5 ways…” “15 top tips…” etc, as apparently, this is a brilliant way to draw in readers.

So I admit it; I tricked you into my post with a catchy, number-led title, but I’m not really going to give you 10 reasons why you shouldn’t blog.

However, the internet seems determined to put you and me off of blogging altogether! To create a brilliant blog, we are apparently expected to:

  1. Spend strictly more than an hour writing each post
  2. Tempt our users to stay for more than two minutes, on average
  3. Receive fan mail
  4. Receive hate mail
  5. Be good at SEO, but not too SEO focused
  6. Get lots of comments
  7. Blog about one area of expertise & not much else
  8. Read a book on copywriting (at least 1)
  9. Speak on the phone to one of our blog readers for over an hour (does my sister count?)
  10. Write more than 1000 words a day and read more than 10 hours a week

These aren’t my rules, but the guidelines set out in the aforementioned Copyblogger post. Apparently, if we don’t do all of these things, then our content ‘sucks’.

Quite frankly, after I read this list, I wondered if it was worth continuing my blogging efforts. Working full-time in the city while doing a degree at the same time isn’t conducive to writing 1000 words a day and reading for 10 hours per week! So my content must suck, right? 😦

Or does it? I know people who write 1000 words a day and still don’t write effectively, while some of the most famous writers of our time only committed to writing as few as 300 words a day. And this brings me back to motivation. Am I doing this to have the best or most successful blog ever? No, probably not. I blog because I enjoy writing and sharing my ideas, and there’s a great satisfaction that comes on the occasions when people respond to them. I can imagine countless people getting put off from starting their own blog after reading articles like this, which quite frankly, I think are over prescriptive and should only be used for ideas rather than as guidelines.

So if you found my blog first (unlikely, admittedly), then don’t give up blogging yet! If you enjoy writing it, the chances are that people will enjoy reading it.

P.S I only spent 45 minutes writing this post. Oh noes, my content sucks 😦

Photo credit to Kilarin on Flickr

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10 Responses to “10 reasons not to bother blogging”

  1. Excellent post as always Jen. I think it boils down to one simple thing, is your content interesting (either to you or a potential reader). If to neither, then pack up and go home. If it’s just one make sure it’s the right one: you won’t make any money by being the only person who “likes” your content (if that is your aim); but you might be able to live with making loads of cash while loathing yourself.

    Keep blogging!

  2. 2 Rumina

    Your catchy title drew me in – it works!

  3. I believe that blogging is a learning process. There are some informative articles out there that will guide us to succeed in our blogging but we don’t have to believe every one of them. Success in everything requires trial and error and persistence. 🙂

    • I agree that blogging is a learning experience, but I also believe that it is difficult to give tips for a ‘successful’ blog, when success is partly subjective. For me, a successful blog might mean that I receive 1000 visitors a month and 50 comments on my posts. For someone else, success might only come with fame, acclaim and cash!

  4. Morning Jennifer

    I work for Countrywide (the company that owns Mann amongst other brands). Apologise for the bad experience – we are slowly embracing email technology and this is a very bad example (and certainly not good practice).

    I am starting to roll out a more robust customer communications process (that will embrace best practice) – could you send me the email in question? I will ensure that we;

    1. Unsubscribe you
    2. Use this to improve email training

    Kind Regards

    Warren

    • Hello Warren,

      Thank you for responding to my post, I am pleasantly surprised to hear from someone within your group willing to embrace these problems.

      I will forward you one of the emails in question for you to take a look.

      Just a quick note though – you’ve left this comment on a post relating to blogging rather than the post pointing out the mistake! I personally don’t mind, but I’m sure my readers would have been impressed to see your response. Feel free to re-post the comment on the correct post if you like!

  5. ha ha! nice one, Warren. I think the misplaced comment post was a symptom of the slow embrace of technology you alluded to!

    Jen, great blog – I agree with you, as usual: as long as you enjoy it and your readers to, then fabbo! Why stop? For someone who wants to make a career in writing, you are also flexing your writing muscles each time you post, so you can grow and develop your writing style in a medium where you are able to get feedback fast rather than only if you are lucky enough to get published….

    My blog is sadly one way (my veggie cooking one): I’m blogging to myself and can almost here the echo of my posts bounce back at me! But then bloggers, like website owners need to work to get exposure, and get people onto their pages, then need to keep them coming back with relevant, compelling content.

    Becky.

  6. Hello Jen,

    Your post made me laugh! I like your honesty and sarcasm. I am nearly a month into Blogging, so am still a newbie to the world of Blogging – and in accordance with the said article since i have only been blogging for under 6 months my content definitely sucks!!. I came across the article about ’20 warning signs that your content sucks’ about 10 mins ago whilst scouring the internet for yet more tips on blogging!! and thats how i came accross your blog after reading the comment you left there.

    Your comment and this article were both refreshing and inspiring especially as i was feeling crap and deflated after reading the 20 warning signs.

    So instead of giving up and thinking my content sucks (even if i have no subscribers or comments, erm yet!) i am going to continue on with my adventure with renewed positivity and faith in myself and my writing… 🙂

    Keep up the good work

    Roxy

    • Hi Roxy,

      Thanks for your comment, I must admit it brightened up my day!

      I’m delighted to hear that you stumbled across my post after reading the Copyblogger article, and as a result you’re going to continue blogging. For that alone, this post was absolutely worth writing.

      Good luck with your continued blogging efforts, I’ll look forward to checking our some of your posts!

  7. And here I was fretting that my content sucks because I have a life and can not write 1000 words every day for pleasure, no matter how much I’d like to. Also, I don’t think there are more obsessive readers out there than myself, still two hours a day? Come on.


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