Let Sleeping Blogs Lie

This morning I wrote a bad blog.

This isn't it (I hope).

So I re-wrote it. Not good enough either, effort number two was also dispatched to the digital trashcan. Re-write number three now sits in my drafts folder. It will come out sooner or later.

But not today: its not ready.

What is a Blog?

Having written over 250 blogs in the past two years I've learned a thing or two. How to write a good blog? Try these ideas.

  • Content is king. Depth is important and knowledge rules. People will tell you that SEO, graphics, links and photos will drive visitors but I'm all about connecting not counting. There is no substitute for high-quality well thought out information. Solid content gets visitors, comments and shares.
  • Voice matters. I enjoy so many bloggers like Julie Waddell (@JAWaddell), Gem Reucroft (@HR_Gem) and Jay Kuhns (@JRKuhns): each of them writes so much better than me I sometimes wonder why I bother. But I can't write like them, I can only be me. You can only be you. And you know what? That's enough. Find your own voice and use it: we're waiting for you.
  • Know your limits. Just as in enjoying fine spirits know when to say when. I really enjoy Impressionist art, global politics and acoustic guitar – but I don't understand them well enough to write about them. Respect your audience and write about what you know. Knowing your boundaries ensures your blog is a joy, not a joke. Focus wins.
  • Respect the Muse. I write every weekday – I do not publish every weekday. Sometimes, as in this morning's attempt, I could not get the link between my head and heart and keyboard to sync up. Sometimes you have to let it go and come back tomorrow. Forcing a blog is not pretty and in so doing you won't serve your readers or yourself.
  • Ask Why? The topic you're addressing has been addressed before so why take the time to write about it again. A different perspective can help us all, but more of the same is just, well, more. Ask yourself why you're writing, and more important why we're reading. And remember: editing is your friend!
  • Think twice before you bite. Yes, the blogosphere is full of snarky sarcastic writers spewing venom and vile in various rants. But think twice before you jump on that bandwagon: many readers (including me) won't go back to see you and its very hard later on to change your stripes. Remember, love may be fleeting but digital is forever. Be nice.

There you have some of the things I try to keep in mind when I write: maybe they'll be of value to you when you stretch your fingers over the keyboard.

Above all, know that when you've got a blog that just won't work its okay to put it back to bed and try again later.

Let sleeping blogs lie.



10 thoughts on “Let Sleeping Blogs Lie

  1. I can honestly say that it’s a mutual respect. Your blog posts are so grounded that it sometimes feels like a rush of much needed fresh air. Thank you for your support, but also for the inspiration too.

    In particular, I like the comment about knowing your limits. Especially when it comes to spirits and maple syrup.

    • Thank you for the kind words Julie: I enjoy the ease of our relationship and the fact that our comments are usually tinged with a bit of dry humor, but right now, I thought an earnest thank you unadorned with joking was appropriate. I appreciate your comments. šŸ™‚

  2. I have about a million partly written posts. Some are 10 words and others closer to 1000 but none of them are going to be published any time soon. You wrote the reason so beautifully here: I could not get the link between my head and heart and keyboard to sync up. Thank you!

    • I do the same! I like to capture ideas but I also want to respect the reader: no blog gets out unless I think it adds value. So nice to see you have the same standard. Just another reason I see the connection to you so clearly Alli. Thank you.

  3. Great work as always Christopher and wise words. However, I do think it’s ok to write about something you’re not an expert on, and sometimes this can even add fresh perspective. I bet you could write a great post about impressionist art…

    • You may be right Helen – sometimes we do hold ourselves back when the world could use a different voice. I’m not sure anything I write about art would be novel, but I do believe the reader could easily sense my love for artists and their work!

    • I agree with Helen that it’s okay to branch out and talk about things that we aren’t a SME about; however, it’s important to add that particualr caveat – some people forget. There’s danger when your perspective might come across as counsel.

      • True enough: I would try to be clear about where I thought I had some expertise and where I was just expounding. (Although I try not to expound!)

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