Posted by Mitch Mitchell on May 19, 2008
On a blog called Problogger, written by Darren Rowse, on a post called Should I Stop Blogging, he listed 20 questions people should think about if they’re trying to decide whether they should stop blogging or not. I decided, instead of either copying his whole list here, which would be theft, or writing a comment on his blog, which would get lost in the volume of “good stuff here” posts, I’d comment on a few of his points here instead.
Most of his commenters liked #3, “Am I getting personal satisfaction from posting?”. I think this is key, because if you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, and it feels more like work than fun, then either your quality is going to suffer or the frequency of your writing is going to decrease, probably both. I know many people who get into blogging because they believe it’s critical for their business, rather than their yearn for having something to say. No one likes working at a bad job; don’t create one for yourself.
I think #4 is important also, “How Many Posts Did I write in the Last Month?” If you’re trying to write one post a week just to keep up, that’s fine, but if you only had one post in the last month, and you’re dreading having to write another one just to have something down on paper, you’re probably of the mindset that this is something you don’t want to do. The only way to bring people to your blog is to have new content; without it, you won’t build up any loyalty at all. And, if you’re not looking to build loyalty, then why did you start the blog in the first place? You can’t even say you did it so you’d have a place to talk about your business or anything else because you’re not using it at all.
To this end, #13 fits right in: “Is the blog giving energy to or taking energy away from me?” If it’s a great effort to continue blogging, your energy levels have to diminish whenever you start thinking it’s time to write something. Sure, there are a few times when I’m just not feeling it as I start writing for one reason or another, but usually before I start writing, I’m fully engaged because I’ve just thought of something I’d really like to address in some fashion. I almost always feel a major sense of accomplishment once I’ve hit “publish”, and that gives me a nice boost.
The final question, 18 on his list, is a good one: “Do I have anything original and useful to say on my topic?” This one is more subjective, because it’s not as much about whether you have enough content but rather if you have enough content, AND are you willing to use your personality to help get your points across. If I wanted to, I could just post all sorts of written text, mine and that of other people, and become that kind of source for information. But how entertaining and engaging is that? If someone is writing on the failed merger between Microsoft and Yahoo, for instance, it’s not anything new because a lot of people wrote about it. However, your perspective and passion on the topic, as well as your words, offers your readers something that they can’t get from reading the same exact news story from multiple sources. Of course this goes back to step one of my blog writing series, where I said people should think about what they want to write on their blogs, but not set too fine a line on what it is they can address, otherwise it stifles the process. We all want to share and entertain, but we have to be ready at times to give a little bit of ourselves and let our personality come through. If you’re just going through the emotions, it’s like a bad marriage; it will be found out eventually.
Anyway, those are my favorite points of his post. I hope you check out the rest of it to see where you believe you may fit on that scale. Good luck.