Should you really blog?
There are many bloggers out there and so much great content. It’s huge. Basically, it is a new world and now is the time to be a part of it. The reasons to start a blog and let your voice be part of this global conversation, share your voice and views are numerous. I, for one, do want to take part and create a presence online that matters and that people will find interesting and engaging. Condensed in one simple pitch the message says: Write great content, find an audience, network, and good things will happen.
Yeah, damn right, just do it!
It’s all good and fine and very very tempting. But…
There is a but. A few of them in fact. This is a list of thoughts that should never be a main reason to throw a blog out there. Here are thoughts that, when they pop up in my mind, I stop what I’m doing. Just stop, rewind, and rethink what I’m doing.
because when it comes down to content here’s what I think I know:
Intention, conscious or not, changes the message.
Some articles simply make me feel a bit uneasy. I feel manipulated and sometimes I’m not clear why. It could be that the motivation of the author included one of these statements:
“I’m gonna make me some money!”
I’ll just write some list blog and put ads and links about what I’m talking about. If I put them between that bullet point and that link, and schedule a hundred tweets. Some idiot is going to click that link. What about an old fashioned pop up and a form that won’t go away. I need that email address. and if i place this picture with the product there and force visitors to that page and… Okay, what am I gonna do a list about? Hmm.
Personally, I hate ads. I hate poorly written blogs where ads are intrusive, in your face, and all that junk. A blog listing the five best ways to lose weight in time for Christmas. And there’s that ad for diet pills, miracle foods to boost the metabolism, wondrous exercises that will make you slim in ten minutes.
To be blunt: Pages like that make me sick to my stomach and if I could erase me ever ending up on that page I would. My visit endorsed that garbage just slightly and sometimes I think, like the child I am deep in my heart of hearts:
“I take it back! I’m sorry, I take it back. Please tell me I didn’t just go there. I wish I hadn’t.”
It’s just so obviously fake and manipulative. But I know it works. Crazy as it is, it bloody works. But is it worth it?
In my opinion, making money is a bonus that may end up happening with time. slowly.
If you believe in a product I see no problems with it; I’m not a total purist as far as that goes. A great add thoughtfully placed might get me clicking on it. But an auto generated ad for male enhancement pills injected in the middle of a blog about women’s sexual health is neither.
“I’m gonna be famous!”
I don’t know how to say this; but I will give it a try. 🙂 I would love your opinion on this because my feelings about the “fame” factor online are strangely conflicting and I don’t have room on this page to dissect all of my thoughts. But here is what feels obvious to me:
If content is great, the personality is interesting, the ideas and conversations are world class superb. and if the audience is with you. If there is enough substance in the material to feed that hunger that is all of us watching what you do. Then maybe. Just maybe.
But the thing is, in my opinion, famous today is not the same thing as famous was thirty years ago. True recognition comes slowly but steady if you have what it takes, work hard, and create something that does matter.
I do think that famous is subjective and changes so fast that if the motivation is fame…. It’s not going to happen for the vast majority of us.
“I’m gonna tell those suckers out there that their wrong!”
Picking a fight to get people to respond. Disrespectful, ignorant, and arrogant.
Making a statement is fine and even sharing an opinion that may be controversial to get a conversation going is great. There are things we need to talk about in these complicated times. I think that is a great start. But the key here is conversation. If the assumption is that there is only one opinion that counts is just a terrible starting point.
Make it a question instead of a statement and be open for debate. If you know that nothing will change your opinion, then just leave it in the draft and start over.
“I can say whatever the hell I want. They’ll never know!”
Thinking that the net is still anonymous.
I do hope that we all know by now how untrue that is. There was a time when one could get away with pretend names and hidden identities. It’s not like that any more for good or for bad. The thing is that deception doesn’t work. Whether it’s poor research in a subject or a bold lie about yourself, who you are and what you’ve done or not done it will come back and bite you in the rear. If you can’t be more honest than not, just don’t bother saying anything. It reeks of disrespect and people can smell that stink from miles away.
Motivation colors the message and the audience can tell.
I seem to come back to the same thing in each of these items and that is honesty. Be true to what you say. A blog may be deeply personal or a review of the latest i-device or pure entertainment for fun; it doesn’t matter. What you say matters. How you say it matters. But your motivation matters just as much and if it’s forced, manipulative, confrontational, or simply arrogant, it’s not going to appeal to people.
Great content comes from heart as well as mind.
It may be a niche audience or millions of followers. That makes no difference. What I’m thinking is that fifty subscribers that love what you do is worth so much more than ten thousand twitter followers that just followed a link and did the expected click as a matter of course.
Don’t blog because you are supposed to blog. If it feels like work it’s probably not for you.
Tell your story in your own words and good things will happen.
Respect your audience even if the audience is just your dog sitting next to you waiting to be fed, your mother, and you.
You know that both your mother and your dog will know when you’re bullshitting, right?
Thanks for reading. Let me know what you think about this. Do you blog? Why did you get started? Have you thought about it forever but it just doesn’t seem to happen? Is there something I should add to this list? Please do tell. Leave your comments.
Jenny K Brennan