Why You Shouldn’t Blog Too Much (If You’re a Writer)

You want to be an author or make a living writing? Or work as a freelancer from home? Having a blog is a good thing. But posting too much is not. Here’s why.

Continue reading “Why You Shouldn’t Blog Too Much (If You’re a Writer)”

Why Blogging Stats Don’t Really Matter (Unless You’re Trying Very Hard to Sell Something)

old blue window with flowers

Your blog is a window into your life through which you can reach others.

It doesn’t matter whether there’s a big crowd outside waving at you.

It doesn’t matter whether they are telling their friends and neighbors how interesting your blog is.

It doesn’t matter whether they clap like they clap for the doctors on the front line of the pandemic.

Or merely look at you in silence.

It doesn’t matter because success and popularity are variables beyond your control.

And they won’t make you a better, wiser, or happier person.

They are the stuff of pride.

You are not here because of that.

You are here to open yourself to others.

Sometimes, you’ll only open that window after you’ve put on something nice and done your hair.

At other times, you’ll open it from the depths of loneliness and sorrow.

Or from the shipwreck of a failure.

And the things that you say won’t be easy to say or pretty.

Still, the important thing is that you open it.

It doesn’t have to be every day or three times a week.

Now and then is good enough.

But open it.

Because you’re not creating content here and you’re not building an audience.

Don’t think of it in those terms.

Don’t reduce it to measurable goals and future satisfactions, in likes or shares.

Genuine human contact, friendship–even from a distance–is more important.

It cannot be quantified.

Take it from a recluse like me.

If you’re a writer or artist and use your blog to promote your art, that’s good.

But still don’t reduce it to that.

Our inner lives, like our houses, have more walls than windows.

They easily cast shadows.

Even if you are married and have kids, you still probably spend most of your life in your head.

Our thoughts, our hearts, remain secrets to others.

And it can get a bit lonely in there, within yourself.

It’s in our nature to hide our emotions and our thoughts—the deep ones.

But window-opening brings in fresh air and light.

So open that window.

Write a new post.

Show us glimpses of your life.

Or share your thoughts.

We don’t have to agree with you.

You don’t have to be popular.

You just have to be the you that you are when you are by yourself.

That’s the kind of window-opening that’s good and refreshing.

It doesn’t have to be anything special.

It just has to be you behind that window.

In all your beauty or darkness, in all your glory or shame.

Open that window.

Let us your life.

7 Blogging Myths You Can Safely Disregard

man reflected in water -- blogging myths you can disregard

Many people say many things about blogging, but not all of them are true. Whether you’ve been blogging for years or are new to this noble pursuit, some blogging myths can cost you time and promote some bad blogging habits. Take these myths to heart, and you may not enjoy blogging as much as you could

I’ve been blogging for many years now, and I can say with confidence that the following blogging myths are simply not true. Take them with a pinch of salt.

1.     You have to post something every day

It’s good to post consistently—more visitors, more views, more shares, more everything. But that doesn’t mean you have to force yourself to post something every single day.

Big magazine-styled blogs with multiple contributors may do it for the traffic, but as a single-author blog, you don’t have to turn blogging into an obligation. People who do it often lose their interest gradually and quit before long.

Posting too often can actually tire your audience. It’s not likely that you always have something worthwhile to blog about, and so you may just force yourself to post something for the sake of it. It’s another case of less is more, you know.

The days of silence can act as useful transitions between your posts, allowing people to take in your latest one, while at the same time creating a sense of expectancy for the next.

That’s not to say that you shouldn’t post every day if it comes naturally to you. After all, if you’re hyperactive and love blogging, why not? But don’t feel the pressure to—your blog can survive and even thrive without daily posts.

2.     Long posts are boring and people don’t read them

Long-posts—think 1,000-1,500 words or more—tend to generate more views, traffic, and shares than short ones. It’s easy to see why:

  • They provide more information.
  • They make you sound authoritative.
  • They give Google and other search engines more content to index.
  • They give you more space for expounding your views and ideas.

We don’t read blog posts like we read print—we often skim over long posts. We skip sections that don’t interest us and jump to those that do.

In the end, a short, uninteresting post is more likely to bore someone than a long one that’s nicely formatted and that provides useful information.

3.     You need to be a great writer to be an interesting blogger

Writing well certainly helps, but blogging is not so much about how cool your writing is. Rather, it’s about connecting with your audience. Being sincere and useful can make up for a simple, sparse style.

When you write in a voice that resonates with people, grammatical errors or clumsy sentences won’t bother anyone.

Not to mention that there are other post formats you can choose instead, including video and infographics. If you don’t feel comfortable writting, you can become a video blogger.

So many people today would rather watch a video than read an article, you know.

4.     Blogging isn’t as important today as it used to be

When blogging first emerged, there were not as many social networks around. Instagram wasn’t everyone’s darling, visual content wasn’t all the rage, and many people’s attention span seemed to be a bit longer.

Still, let’s look at the stats. On WordPress alone, there were over 22 billion page views in November 2019. Every month, WordPress users produce 70 million new posts.

A lot of the first-page results on Google are for blogs. And a good deal of the content that’s published on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter is first published on blogs.

Blogging may not work for everyone—there’s certainly a lot of repetitive content out there—but when it’s done right, it still works both for personal and commercials purposes.

5.     You can grow your blog just by posting great content

You write a great post. You publish it. And then nothing special happens. A few likes, a few comments, and that’s about it.

Content may be the meat of a blog, but a blog needs a nice personality for others to want to interact with it. This personality is something that you need to create through your interaction with other bloggers, through your replies to comments, and through your marketing efforts.

You can’t skip the great content, but you can’t stop there either. You have to become an advocate for your blog. You need to believe in it.

6.     You need to be an extrovert to blog

Some bloggers are extroverts, but not all. I know a lot of quiet people who blog because they find the medium quieter than social networks.

And you can always create a blogging persona that captures your personality. You can reveal yourself without actually revealing yourself.

Of course, you don’t even have to blog about your personal life. You can blog about your interests and passions. When we talk about what we like, we become confident in our knowledge and experience, and whether we are an extrovert or not doesn’t even matter anymore.

You don’t need confidence to blog. Not having confidence can actually improve you as a blogger and make you craft every post with care.

7.     You need to be popular on social networks for your blog to gain visibility

Being popular on Facebook, Twitter, etc. helps, but it’s not a must. Blogging has a more relaxed paced than most networks, and a lot of people appreciate that—focusing their attention on one post at a time. Some people prefer reading blogs to consuming social media content.

These days, thanks to the content stream built into WordPress, people can discover your blog and interact with the same as on other social networks. You’re not dependent on Google for traffic.  

You can even use your blog to grow a presence on social media. You can start by auto-publishing your blog posts on Twitter, LinkedIn, and other networks.

The Wrap Up

Don’t let blogging myths take the fun out of blogging or make you doubt your abilities. Or force you into a tiring posting routine.

Blog at your own pace and figure the important things like how often to post or how long to make your posts in time, based on how audience reacts to your content.

Blogging is a creative act, so treat it that way—allow yourself to make mistakes and don’t worry too much what others say.