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 Deadly Sins of Blogging

7 Deadly Sins Painting by Lance McNeel

If you are guilty of committing these blogging sins and do not repent of them in time, you will go straight to blogging hell*.

*Blogging hell – a barren digital landscape where visitors seldom wander, where views are scarce, and engagement quickly fades into indifference.

1.     Indifference – Not following other blogs and commenting on them

Blogging is a conversation, not a monologue. You’re not likely to get others interested in your blog if you don’t become interested in other blogs yourself. WordPress.com makes it easy to discover other bloggers through the built-in content stream but look beyond to blogs across platforms.

Also, don’t be a silent reader but an active participant – comment, like, and share.

Staying connected to other bloggers is one of the most challenging aspects of blogging, but it’s also one of the most rewarding.

2.     Slothfulness – Not posting at least once or twice a week

With so many interesting blogs out there, it’s easy for people to forget about your own. That can easily happen if you slacken your pace.

Blogs quickly become dusty when they’re not refreshed with new content. But posting frequently and maintaining that pace can become challenging after a while.

But then you can create some posts in advance so you can fall back on them if needed.

3.     Unsociability – Not taking your blog to social media

Many followers will find it easier to keep up with your new posts through Facebook or Twitter than through email or WordPress’ built-in content stream.

What’s more, social media enables your content to be more easily discovered and shared. WordPress makes it easy to auto-share your blog posts on Facebook or Twitter.

4.     Self-indulgence – Assuming that your audience is interested in all that you are interested in

Speaking from experience here, most people tend to prefer posts that provide useful information, are thought-provoking, make them laugh, or narrate an emotionally charged event.

Before publishing a post, it’s good to ask yourself whether it delivers any of the above. If it doesn’t, it may not attract that much attention even if it is well written. Of course, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t post it – only that it may not generate as much engagement.

At the end of the day, you can’t take your audience’s interest for granted – you need to think topics from their perspective also, not just from your own.

5.     Fogginess – Not making your intros and titles count

Most of the time, your posts will get judged based on the title and intro. In our age of short attention spans and content overload, it can be no other way.

It’s a good practice to go over the intro and headline one more time before you publish it and put in some extra work to improve them if needed.

There’s no simple recipe for writing a good title or intro. But actually, wanting to write good titles and intros and paying attention to them will help you make them stand out.

6.     Narcissism – Not filtering your ideas – publishing everything that comes to mind

Blogging is perhaps a bit narcissistic, you know, and that’s okay. The important thing here is not to make it too narcissistic. Blogging, like much of social media, can become a bit of an indulgence if you let it. For some people, it works better than for others.

Sieve your blog ideas and share with the world only the best ones. If you stop to pay attention to them, you will readily identify the self-indulgent ones and separate them from the rest.

It’s one of the most effective ways to keep your blog engaging.

7.     Shortsightedness – Not having a long-term focus for your blog

What’s your blog about? Which of your passions fuels it? And ultimately, what do you want to achieve with it?

Even if we’re talking about a personal blog here, having a focus will keep it fresh and interesting for your followers.

It will also motivate you to continue to create new content in the long run, even when blogging regularly may start feeling a bit like work.

In the end, it’s almost never too late to repent of your blogging sins. If you’re guilty of any, repent and amend them now.