Last Friday, I suggested five reasons why a person might want to write a blog. Did any of my readers rush out and start a blog? Please let me know if you did and “congratulations.” Blogging is not for everyone and I’ve even had people tell me “THE PERSONAL BLOG IS DEAD.” That may very well be true. If this is the case and the collapse of blogging is imminent, I have worked out a backup plan.
Follow me on Twitter @auntomato.
If you’re not on Twitter, my brother Jim Baumer tells you how to do it in five easy steps.
For those who think the personal blog is dead, it’s still the wee small hours of the morning; the blogging hour for me. As I take a slow glance about the internet, I see the blogosphere still chugging along, not dead yet. The pending collapse of blogging may discourage some of the people who were hiding in the trees along the riverbank, hesitantly planning to jump into the word fray. There are many ugly trees that are dropped into office parking lots across this land; maybe some bloggers are hiding under them as well. One thing is sure. Even an ugly tree looks beautiful after it snows.
For those tentative tree hiders who might still think blogging is beautiful, I present today’s bloggernot. Join me in twelve reasons not to start a blog.
My first five reasons are the opposite of the five supportive reasons I outlined last week. They bear little elaboration:
- You have nothing to say,
- You have no time,
- You like your world the way it is,
- You don’t care about other people, places, and things, and
- You see no need to change yourself.
Facebook stalkers who never post status updates are probably not in the blogging business. Writing a blog takes time, energy and passion. Even if a person is a content-creating maniac, an idea has to go from the brain to the medium; the transmission involves a pencil, a computer, or some other communication and transcription device. There is still no Jean-Luc Picard method of blogging.
If those five reasons weren’t enough ugly branches under the snow, here are seven more reasons to not start blogging:
- You hate spam,
- You hate theft,
- You are sensitive,
- You have a grandiose opinion of your unpublished work,
- You don’t like making executive decisions,
- You want to make money, and
- You are a quitter.
You hate spam
In the beginning, I was lucky to have two other writers who promised to read everything I wrote. That was enough to keep me going. Nature abhors a vacuum, though, and so I hoped other people would read my blog and provide me with feedback. Every day I discovered that people were reading my blog, but most of them were spam bots and the comments they wanted to post were usually about “search engine optimization,” hot air balloon travel, and rhinestone tiaras. My favorite spam comment of all time went something like this:
“You’re so cool. I don’t suppose I’ve read anything like this before.”
You hate theft
The first time WordPress notified me of a “reblogging” event, I panicked. Someone had posted my blog post onto their own blog by clicking the “reblog” button. My content became their content. STOP, THIEF! I asked my nephew, Mark Baumer, what this all meant. He said:
“Basically, there is a lot of junk out there (comments/reblogging/candy) that is built to be a little high with no substance. If you start writing for only comments/reblogs/candy you’ll feel good for a second when you get all those comments/reblogs/candy but there’ll be a big letdown you’ll have to write another thing to get even more comments/reblogs/candy to fill your comments/reblogs/candy needs.”
You are sensitive
When you start putting your “work” out on the highway of ideas, everyone will have an opinion about your stuff. They may tell you about it. They may not. As sure as I’m writing this, someone who has never written 500 words at one sitting will tell me how to make my blog better. They might suggest advertising, more pictures, and hot air balloons. For a sensitive person, these suggestions are tempting and will distract you from the task at hand.
You have a bloated opinion of yourself and your work
When a blogger first puts their content into the electronic river of words, it’s exciting. It’s easy to read these self-stylized words and think “wow, I really am a great writer.” Then you will look at your blog traffic and realize no one is reading your blog. You will start to analyze other blogs. You will discover poorly executed blogs that say absolutely nothing have thousands of followers. You will think you need to get some “search engine optimization.” SEO. It crossed my mind. So I again asked my nephew what to do. He said:
“SEO can be a dirty game…Every complaint you’ve ever had about spam comments, people stealing content, blogs with high traffic and stupid posts, etc. is related to SEO. Search engines have secret algorithms for how they generate what appears first in searches. No one knows what that algorithm is. SEO is the game people play to beat this algorithm and make their site appear higher on searches. I would not recommend ever paying for SEO results.”
You do not want to make executive decisions
Writing a blog with any frequency involves much more than writing a few hundred words. After you’ve written your content, it must be edited, proofread, and entered into a blogging tool. There are graphical design decisions to be made and if photographs are included with a post, there might be some additional work. More editing is done before publishing to the web. After a while, it’s like driving a car and maybe you can do it without thinking, but it can take some time to develop confidence about the decisions. A person who doesn’t like making decisions will not like blogging.
You want to make money
Unless you have an excellent and unique product that the market wants, you will make no money on a blog. You might even spend some money purchasing your own domain name and personalizing your blog. It might look like blogging is just a lucky day at the casino, but it’s not.
If these eleven reasons to not start blogging aren’t disheartening enough, perhaps the most important reason I discourage a person from starting a blog is:
You are a quitter
Analyze your life. How many times have you joined the gym on January 2nd and made it until January 10th? How many times have you said “I’ll never smoke another cigarette” and then scrounged around in your freezer for your emergency pack? Sworn off Doritos? Do you have a spare bedroom full of unfinished craft projects? Is your garage filled with plastic containers of things that need to go to the local thrift shop? If any of these questions ring a quiet bell in your ear, blogging is not for you.
I rest my case.
Bloggernot; it’s up to you.