Tuesday, November 29, 2011

To Daily Blog or Not to Daily Blog...That is the Question

There are thousands of personal bloggers in the Blogosphere breathing a heavy sigh of relief tonight. Why? Because. 11 more post to go and NaBloPoMo 2011 is laid to rest.

Some - like alienbody - have already written their posts for tomorrow and have set it to auto-publish...you know, just in case the "zambie" apocalypse happens and they're too busy running for their lives (or eating whipped cream and pie) to login and click "Publish". I love how she's covering all her bases.

The point is she did it.

Many of you did it. Some of you for the very first time. Some of you for the 6th time - like Masked Mom.

And always there is that sigh of relief and a major sense of accomplishment. You've proven to yourself that - even with jobs, spouses, partners, kids, colds, major holidays, travel, lack of inspiration, attention to personal hygiene, sleep, and everything else you had to do this month - you can and did publish something every single day.

Some of you are distressed or feel guilty about the quality of your content - like Word Nerd Speaks. Some of you - like Livvy - felt as though you were failing (but did not) mid-month. Some, like Home Reared Chef, cheered us all on from the sidelines - even after she, herself, had to take a break from blogging for a number of personal reasons.

The point is you did it and well - even if you felt like your content was crap (it wasn't).

So...what now?

Many of you blog because you want to be read. Many of you blog because there is a dream of becoming one of the "Big Kids" of blogging. You know, the ones who blog for fun as well as for profit? Well...every single one of the Big Kids will tell you blogging isn't always fun or easy or fast.

It's hard work.

Today, I read a blog post from Om Malik - one of the Big Kids - about having blogged daily for 10 years. TEN YEARS, People!

He started blogging professionally (and personally...but his stats don't include his personal entries) 10 years ago. He's averaged THREE posts per day since he began...even with a family and a full time job. That's a lotta posting.

In the entry marking his 10th Anniversary of Blogging, he listed 10 lessons learned about blogging.

Here are the first four:

  1. Blogging is communal: In 2008, I wrote that “blogging is not just an act of publishing but also a communal activity. It is more than leaving comments; it is about creating connections.” That is the single biggest lesson learned of these past 10 years. Every connection has lead to a new idea, new thought and a new opportunity.
  2. Being authentic in your thoughts and voice is the only way to survive the test of time.
  3. Being wrong is as important as being right. What’s more important — when wrong, admit that you are wrong and listen to those who are/were right.
  4. Be regular. And show up to blog every day. After all you are as fresh as your last blog post.
Be regular. Because if you only post once a month? You're going to be hella smelly.

Interestingly, he goes on to state in lesson #6: "...blog if you have something to say and respect your reader’s time."

This seemed to me, given Word Nerd Speaks' post, a particular conundrum. How are we supposed to be regular if we don't always have something to say?

The answer is...we don't. But we try to come up with interesting and relevant content - every single day.

Be honest. During the month of November, did you not dream about content, wake up thinking about content, and, on the days you were totally blocked from writing, wrack your brain for content? Did not, each and every one of us who finished NaBloPoMo, come up with content every single day?

It was Livvy who said, "...On these days I wake already writing in my head...By the time I get back to the house I have taught myself (it's taken a year) to ignore the beds, the washing-up, the washing and simply make a coffee on the stove, turn on the computer and... start."


You've already started. Haven't you?

So...again, I ask you, now what?

What do you want from the NaBloPoMo experience? It's perfectly acceptable to say all you wanted was the knowledge that you'd successfully posted every day. But...what if there is more to it?

If you're looking for more and more readers, if you're looking to "build your brand", if you're looking to write beyond your blog and make enough money to sustain you and your family on, you're going to have to continue what you started.

Otherwise? You're just...smelly.

You've already started. Only you are keeping yourself from success.


1: OK 2 if you haven't knocked out today's post yet. In which case, why are you reading me? Go! Now! Go! Get ye to your own blog :).


Unknown said...

What a wonderful post, with insightful reflections. I'm still trying to figure out what Nablopomo has done, but it has been all good. Still not sure what I'm doing with my blog, but I don't want to stop. The community, yes, the community.
Love ya, Janey! High fives, low fives, elbow touch, pinkie wiggles.

cdnkaro said...

Very inspiruing post, Jane. I've started this little ritual of reading all the blogs I follow and then moving on to my own. I have loved and hated NaBloPoMo at various times, and my goal is to keep up the daily posting. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

This was my first attempt to do something like NaBloPoMo. It's been an education in discipline.

I have been blogging - in one format or another - since 2002. I started off on Livejournal, added Dreamwidth about a year ago. I added Facebook and Twitter for my more inane content*.

I like reaching out, connecting. I like having people read my words** and finding something in them. If I can amuse - yay!

It is my dream to be published as a fiction author, one day. Short stories, flash fiction, and someday - the Holy Grail - a whole novel.

I didn't quite make the NaBloPoMo's every day. The Venusian Death Flu made sure of that. But I posted every day that I could sit up at the computer. I made new connections. I won a Liebster*** Blog award!

I will continue posting as much as I can. I hope that you do the same. :)

* - Because I post a lot of the random things that cross my mind. Stuff that has no place really, in a blog.
** - I may have mentioned this, before.

Anonymous said...

I left a big ol' comment on this last night, but Blogger was moody and it didn't post.

First of all, thanks for the linky love. :O)

My blogging goals? Initially, the blog was a way to make up for the loss of the column after the paper went belly-up. My fix.

Then a friend mentioned that if I want to sell some books, I needed to "develop an online presence," so I kicked it up a notch. The big payoff has been the connections--finding kindred spirits, making friends 'out there,' reading someone and thinking, yes!. That's been HUGE.

My blogging goals now? I'd lovity-love-love to gain lots of readers (lots and lots of readers). I'd like to continue to find blogs that make me laugh, make me think, and touch my heart. And yes, I'd like to make some moolah blogging. The hubs and I are planning our escape from the city, and though life in the sticks will be less expensive, it won't be free. I'd love to make enough blogging to cover my household contribution.

And I'm ready to do what it takes.

Ernie Hendrix said...

No way on earth could I create a blog post every day. No way. And I'm really impressed with people who can. Especially people like you who not only manage to post every day but also manage to post something enjoyable or interesting to read. You've done wonderfully and I look forward to many more posts from you.

(Ms) Ernie

TangledLou said...

I'm glad I read this before I muddled through my own post today. Excellent encouragement to keep it up. I soooo don't want to be smelly. So glad I found your blog through this whole NaBloPoMo thing.

alienbody said...

I don't always read all the comments before commenting myself, but I figured today was a good time to do it. The other comments some of what I feel about NaBloPoMo, as in being read and making connections and having people identify with what I write (on days where I make sense). I have no desire to write for a living, because I'm too damned frightened of it and humbled by the overwhelming talent of others - and, I just can't think of things to write about all the time. I would make an excellent sitter & contemplater of things, but not actually *work*. Sadly, I was unable to get my Couch Warmer business off the ground - can't understand why no one would hire me??

Excellent post, as usual. Thank you for the shout out AND...YAY!...the Vambie's must have gotten hold of people stuffed with turkey and are unable to continue with their plot to overthrow humanity due to all the tryptophan rich blood. But I'm staying vigilant - I'm going to make more pie.

Lucy said...

I loved this post!! And, gosh, I don't want to be smelly!!! Now, that would be just awful, I mean the thought of it, yikes!

Anonymous said...

One of the nicest things about this particular NaBloPoMo, and I have done a lot of 'em, is meeting you.
Sending love and light from New York City

Jenn and Casey said...

This was a great post!! Glad to have "met" you, and congrats on NaBloPoMo!!!! wweeeeeee!!!! Why isn't Melissa handing out pie yet?

Just Jane said...

I wish I had a "like" button for all these amazing comments! You guys are sincerely awesome and I've enjoyed meeting each and every one of you.

As Melanie said, "High fives, low fives, elbow touch, pinkie wiggles." (I love Melanie!)

To Simply Frances especially. Thank you. That love's coming right back atcha from Denver.

Unknown said...

Awesome post! Couldn't agree more.

Masked Mom said...

As I commented on my own blog, this has been by far the best NaBloPoMo for me. Thanks for being part of what made it so great.