Saturday, 14 February 2009

#86 – Don’t become a blog tragic

Or don’t forsake the shop for the shop window.

Earning significant money from blogging
I am prepared to accept that there are some people out there who make a significant living wage from blogging. But compared to the number of people that have blogs, they are in such a tiny minority that they may as well not exist.

Blogging community
Yet there is a whole community out there that seems to exist for blogging. There are people that seem to spend a huge amount of time writing their blogs, commenting on other people’s blogs, discussing the nuts and bolts of blogging on forums and Twittering drivel every few minutes.

Call me a Luddite, call me a naysayer, but I think this is a horrendous waste of time. And that time could be better used doing paid work. As I have said before, there is a shop window effect to having a blog, but when you spend all your time dressing your shop window, you’re ignoring the customers that are in the shop.

Reaching the masses?
Another thing to be aware of is that most of your blog’s readers will be other bloggers. There’s nothing wrong with this per se, but don’t try and kid yourself that you’re reaching the masses as a result.

Blog or Facebook?
In many respects, I see maintaining a blog as another form of procrastination. It’s the equivalent of hanging out on forums or playing Scramble on Facebook three hours a day in a vain attempt to top your best score (guilty as charged, your honour).

Better off working

Yes, it’s a potentially useful marketing tool, but you are better off working. There’s a fine line between spending a few minutes a day updating your shop window and being sucked into a world where your time is spent StumblingUpon, Digging, Twittering and constantly exchanging comments with other bloggers.


previously.bitten said...

But I would wonder how many bloggers head into it with the assumption that they will make money. I think this community aspect you mention is the main purpose for so many of those writing today.

It's rarely different than any other hobby.

Mike Gerrard said...

If you regard it as a hobby then that's fine. But some people go into travel blogging with the belief that they'll earn money, and I think those are the people David is addressing.

I saw a statistic this morning that sets the picture. Today there are more people writing blogs than reading books.

Nora said...

I agree that blogs aren't going to make (m)any of us rich, but I do think it can serve a writer's purpose as a showcase for writing and links to bylines for potential editors to peruse.
Not only that but in the travel blogging realm it can serve a purpose of keeping in touch with friends & family back home (as was the initial goal of mine).

Kim Wildman said...

I couldn't agree with you more. I originally started my blog as a bit of window dressing for my personal work website, but I quickly got caught up in the whole blogging community and soon felt that I had to compete with everyone else to try and attract more readers and comments. It didn't take me long to realise, though, that I was spending the same amount of time and energy on a post as I was writing an article that I was actually getting paid for. What's more I was eating up valuable time which I could use trying to pitch to new markets. I still have my blog, but my focus is paying work first and blogging second.