Stop Blogging, Start Writing | A Case Against Blogging: Why You Should Stop Blogging?

stop-sign stop blogging




stop-sign stop blogging

The first ever blog post I wrote took over three weeks to put together before I somehow found the courage to hit ‘publish’. I’m not kidding, for several weeks, painstakingly I’d write most nights (and during the day too if time permitted) optimistically hoping that, that particular day (or evening) would be the one when I’d feel courageous and confident enough to cease editing or writing and finally unleash my ‘naked’ self out into the blogosphere. This was back in 2007.

I have been blogging since my college days. I have blogged on Tumbler, WordrPess and Blogger.com. I have written blogs and have abandoned them completely. Not until recently, I finally took blogging a step further and bought a domain name and started to blog one more time, but this time with a professional touch to it.

The Lessons (2007 – 2014)

I learned three simple and valuable lessons at the end of of my blogging apprenticeship period.

1. Writing. The first being that writing is just the half of it. Even after you’ve written what you believe to be a half-decent blog post, patting yourself on the back is not an option just because you’ve finished writing it. The hard work is just beginning – with plenty of other stuff needing attention. Like working on how your blog looks for starters and (more importantly) promoting it – getting people to actually read your blog also requires serious perseverance and commitment.

In short, the art of completing just one blog (in my case anyway) actually takes twice as much time and effort as you think it will. I realized that if this was going to be a regular venture for me, it would need careful planning and an immense amount of on-going hard work and conviction.

2. Fresh Unique Content. Interesting blog topics and ideas would regularly have to be thought through and planned in advance, with time set aside for researching, and writing the (hopefully) engaging copy. For each blog, I’d also need to source rights-free images, add all the clickable links and find someone to proof read my copy. Blogging needs much time and attention, seemingly for little or no financial return. It is mostly a labor of love.

3. The Economics. It cost me money to have a website (where I post my blogs). It has cost me money to build my website and pay for maintenance and domain name renewal. It’s hard enough for writers to make a decent living from writing anyway, so instead of blogging, given the fact that it’s the love of writing that brought me to creating my first blog post in the first place, maybe my efforts nowadays would be better concentrated on trying to make money through just writing instead of blogging.

 

Main Point
In this post I’ll be mulling over the arguments for and against my continued involvement in the blogging world. After all, people are quitting blogging all the time these days; usually informing their readers why they’ve decided to call time on their blog, through one final post. Once daily blogger from The Dish, Andrew Sullivan, did just that, quitting earlier this year – deciding he wanted to return to the ‘real world’ (after blogging for fifteen years). I totally empathize. You can read his final note to his readers.

Other bloggers decide to quit for different but still understandable reasons. Writer, Sara Hepola blogged for five years before informing in her last blog: “Blogging wasn’t helping me write; it was keeping me from it”. Her post This Is My Last Entry explains a little more.

Both these authors quit for valid reasons but neither encouraged others to do the same. Below, writer L.L Barkat pitches a strong argument against experienced writers blogging, in this post that she guest-authored for Jane Friedman’s blog a couple of years ago.

 

Other Arguments against Blogging
One fundamentally important argument against continued blogging is that the role of the blogger on the social media spectrum has changed hugely over the last decade.

Back in the day, sharing the latest installment of your life on a weekly or even a daily basis, to an ever increasing amount of subscribers (if you were lucky) would (hopefully) bring comments, shares, likes etc. Giving the blog author new-found confidence; perhaps kudos too, and, quite possibly, an inflated ego as well.

 

True Creativity? Honest Voice?

If your readers liked what you were writing, you’d put concerted effort into not letting them down, which meant working to please them, not yourself. At that time, blogging (although still hard work) became, arguably, more of a rewarding pastime than it is nowadays.

It gave published and unpublished writers with something to say an equal platform to get their voices heard. Some lucky posters even became well-known and popular in certain fields or amongst certain groups. Young or old; pro, or non-pro, company based, media or non-media outlets, anyone and everyone could (and often did) use their voice to spread their message across the blogosphere (actually even writing this word now does feel kind of dated).

twitter birds singing

Twitter

These days, it’s not that people aren’t still blogging – that’s simply not the case. Blogging is still popular but not across as many different groups as it once was. It’s become a lesser counterpart to the more widely used, instantaneous, sometimes quirky social media and micro-blogging tools available today.

However, writers will continue to blog because writers love to write, but with so many new (ish) kids appearing on the social media scene during the last decade: Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat (to name a handful) it’s blogging by those under thirty that may have had its day now!

This ties in with another extremely important thing I haven’t mentioned but probably should have earlier, mobile technology.

 

Mobile Technology

Sharing your life with followers through your blog on a regular basis, using, let’s say a smart phone would be a more drawn out and a tiresome business these days; but status updates, picture uploads or sharing what’s on your mind to your group of followers in less than 140 characters, well, that’s easily done through the technology we carry in the palm of our hands today.

Smart phone use for accessing social media is on the increase and the newer methods of social media communication reflect that. Blogging doesn’t. Mobile technology advances have changed the blogging spectrum but this definitely doesn’t mean that blog writing is over.

writer's block

avoid writer’s block

Blogging can be anti-Writing

One last point that I want to make is blogging can become a chronic habit to avoid real writing. Writing for book or publication requires decisiveness, discipline, and mental focus. You can be relaxed with your conversational style writing when you write a blog post but if you working on a book project, your words and sentence structure matters.

Our human body is optimized to avoid stress and work and therefore your mind will do anything to avoid the real work – writing. If you feel that you are spending 80% of your writing time on writing blogs and 20% on your book, probably you should take a break from blogging and practice writing in the journal until you can reverse the ratio. Remember, blogging is to supplement your crystallized thoughts that you put into a book or other print/digital publication, not to replace it. Don’t let your blog become a form of writer’s block.

 

Arguments for Blogging

When writer, Dan Blank also guest authored Jane Friedman’s blog a couple of years ago, he delivered some compelling reasons to continue blogging, and gave his take in this post on when it’s the right time to kill off a blog and move on.

A lot of what Dan says makes sense, despite the growth of new social media mediums and mobile technology ensuring that blogging takes a back seat in terms of production, follower growth, shares, likes etc. there are still some great advantages to be had by creating and regularly updating yours (whether you’re over thirty or not!)

blogging is street credibility

Blogging is adding to the credibility

Employment

Most potential employees that I’ve come across love it when candidates provide a link to their own blog or website, especially if its subject matter is linked to their company in some way. An example, if you blog about health and well-being and you’re attending an interview at a sports club, it will probably serve you in good stead, so long as it is written well.

Actually even if what you’re blogging about has nothing to do with the position you’re applying for, it’s still a quick and easy way to showcase your writing talent. For example, if you’re applying for a job as an Online Content Producer but you blog about, let’s say, Bee Keeping as long as your blog is well-written, free from grammatical errors and interesting, it will show that you’re already familiar with producing online content, putting you one step ahead of candidates who don’t blog or have a website. You can’t really say that about having an Instagram or Twitter account.

A blog is out there on the web, it’s easily accessible and will be for a long time to come. Also, if you notice you’ve made any grammatical errors etc. once your blog has gone live, you can always go back, make corrections and re-publish, you don’t have that kind of investment with Twitter or Facebook publishing and feeds.

 

More reasons to continue blogging

Let’s say, you’ve always wanted to write a book, but the prospect of writing one has always been a bit daunting (the amount of time, focus, and research it requires has never felt achievable) depending on what you’ve been blogging about. You may well have the makings of a best-selling e-book hidden within all those blog entries you’ve been posting over the last few years.

For example, if, over the last ten years you’ve been blogging weekly about the latest happenings in the Hip-Hop world, collating what you’ve written could well be turned into an ebook entitled The Changing Face of Hip-Hop since 2005.

Similarly, if you’ve been writing about gluten free healthy eating, or your secret life as a dominatrix, why not go over your posts to see if you have enough material to create an ebook or impress a publisher.

I am not a player just a blogger

Blogging is not dead

Blogging doesn’t always have to lead to followers, comments, etc. some writers care little about these things because they’re truly writing for themselves. Let’s say, you’re going through a hard time health wise, and you need to learn more about certain conditions, if someone else has had the same experience or diagnosis as you and has shared what they’re going through on a blog, that blogger has fulfilled their need to write and created something valuable to you and future readers, no doubt paying little regard to the amount of likes and shares etc.

 

Business Blogs

Blogging can be good for business, done properly it can direct business to your company website e.g. if a savvy DIY store owner posts several ‘how to’ blogs, such as – how to unblock a drain, how to unblock a pipe, etc. Their blog may help users fix stuff themselves without the need of an expensive professional if you own a plumbing shop or DIY store, sharing one or two tips about common problems, could lead people to your site and increase sales and materials. Making it a win, win situation for both parties in an instance like this.

 

Conclusion

I can understand why people need to stop blogging if it’s not working for them anymore (as in the case of Andrew Sullivan and Sara Hepola) if stopping feels like the right thing to do, then it’s the right thing to do!

But for me, continuing blogging feels exactly like the right thing to do, contrary to some of the arguments I’ve included, I plan on blogging more. Why? Because I blog for pure pleasure, I am also a book writer and when I don’t feel like working on my manuscript or writing something new, I still want to sit down and write something and blogging helps me in reaching my daily 1000-2000 word count. It’s also an easy way to answer questions that I get on social media (from my readers) or to share with others, things that I learned the hard way. By blogging I am revising my own lessons and crystallizing it into specific topics.

When I write a blog it still feels like it’s about my needs rather than other peoples, and I know other bloggers out there who feel that too. People will always need to share their stories and experiences, not just for egotistical reasons either, whether they’re professional writers or not.

Blogging works for me because I’m a fairly new author, therefore my website is not ranked high in Google. So blogging good content is my way to earn that right to show up on Google’s first page of search results for certain keywords. I’m also lucky that I have a team of friends who help me generate ideas for my blog posts and a Virtual Assistant who handles my social media and saves me some time.

In spite of all my arguments for my continuing to blog, I must also add that once I get busier with my book writing, the blogging will slow down. If it ever comes down to choosing between book writing vs blog writing, I will pick book writing over blog writing any day, hands down to be honest. I’m not expecting that to happen any time soon and I’m also not sure that I could ever bring myself to write that final ‘goodbye and thank you’ blog and have the courage to press ‘publish’.

 

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What do you think about blogging? If you think there are more compelling reasons for or against blogging that I have not mentioned here, please feel free to comment. The first 10 commenters are always my favorite and I like to personally communicate with them via email (sort of like buddies). So share your thoughts. Any other questions please feel free to share with the community.

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20 comments

  • AldenUEmry

    Hey very interesting blog!

  • Timba

    Thank you for your wisdom for I already see it happening. You have changed my life.

  • Mara

    What type of images am I ‘legally’ allowed to include in my blog posts?

    • Hi Mara, glad to hear from you. You can certainly use anything that is your property (your own images and edits of your own images). You can also post images which are in public domain (search free stock photos). You can use some of the Wikipedia pictures under CC license). Good luck!

  • Uno

    Help: Either double major with journalism and creative writing, or a “good” school in an urban area where I could major in journalism and minor in creative writing? I’m a sophmore in high school but I know I love to write and I don’t know what I’d enjoy more as an actual career, journalism or creative writing. What would be the best college for someone like me?.

    • Go for creative writing, Uno! I would suggest, create a blog, start writing short essays and short stories. With a degree in creative writing, you can also go teaching route which will allow you more time to focus on your personal projects such as writing a book or novels. Journalism is a popular career and there is a lot haggling and constraints in terms of what you write, how you write and how soon you can write. I would suggest anyone, deciding between the two go for BA in Creative writing and then do MA as well.

      All the best!

  • Stephan

    There’s certainly a great deal to think about here. I love all the points you’ve made.

  • Oliva

    This blog post is really a good one. Very good. It helps new internet users who are wishing in favor of blogging. I am so thankful to you for this blog.

    • Hi Oliva. You are most welcome. Please let me know if I can be of any help to you in your blogging journey or business.
      Thanks for reading and staying here. This blog is my home. 🙂

  • Grace

    Well said. Most writers get caught up in marketing and twitter and blogging and don’t have a single book out…I am truly inspired by your words. Please share more tips on writing.

    • I completely agree with you Grace. I am sharing writing tips on my blog on a weekly basis. I am also making videos for YouTube. Please check them out for an entire series on writing and the creative process. Good luck!

  • Derek

    Attractive collection of awesome content. I just stumbled upon your site (literally from StumbleUpon, Haha).
    Great work, buddy!

  • Hippie

    There are a lot of blogging sites dedicated to celebrities (ex. Perez Hilton), love, fashion, travel, and food. But, how do I start one of my own specialty?.

  • Great article. I’ve been a “wanna be” writer since I was a child. It was all I can remember ever wanting to do with the exception of photographry. I remember being so grateful for the gift of sight. I wanted to share what I saw with the world. If they could only see it through my eyes, they would be amazed. They would see that God existed.

    Your article made me realize I have spent too much time procrastinating about writing my book and need to stop finding excuses. Onward I go! Wish me luck.

    Thanks for the pros and cons!
    CPark

    • Thanks Carol. Glad to hear that you found this post helpful! Yes, blog is to share your world views without any constraints or rules. But a book is a medium where you tell the complete story with discipline and precision.
      Let me know if I can be of any help. Good luck!

    • Sukey

      Everybody is very special, you are special, you have a sleeping giant inside of you, you are light and you just need to reach it, remember never judge others because they all are in a different growth phase, and we all are in an evolution path of soul growth. You are a very special being

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