Blogging about Blogging about Blogging

Woah. You guys…the comments section on yesterday’s post. Just wow.

You guys gave me a lot to think about with this blogging thing, and I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one struggling to find my niche. And after hearing all of your thoughts, concerns, opinions, et cetera, I think I have a little better focus now.

To me, the overarching theme in the sentiments that almost all of you expressed was this: different people like different things.

For instance some of you expressed a desire for a blog to be focussed on one topic, for it to have some overriding theme that connected all of it’s posts together. Others said that as long as a blogger speaks with passion in his own true voice, that is enough to build a following.

And here’s the thing: I don’t think either side is wrong. There is no blog that is going to appeal to everyone. This is something we bloggers know, but then often manage to ignore.

Also, some bloggers are far better at writing topically than others. For instance, I love Jody Hedlund’s blog where she writes in a very informative manner about writing and social media, but I also enjoy Jess Witkins blog where she talks about her life and occasionally discusses the speed bumps she encounters on the way to writing her first book. And my main man Don Whittington somehow manages to combine the two by talking about a particular piece of art each week, and then transitioning into incredibly moving and deeply personal thoughts inspired by the piece.

So I’m here to tell you that no one has the definitive answer as to what to write about on your blog. Chuck Wendig is proof you can get by rather handily writing about writing (though as we saw yesterday, not everyone is going to like his approach). But you can’t be Chuck Wendig and neither can I. That’s not to say you can’t write about writing. Just do it your way.

Which leads me into the first of my two rules for bloggers:

1. Be yourself.

Unless you’re a serial killer. Then maybe try being someone else.

Actually you know what, scratch that. I bet people would throng to read a blog written by a serial killer.

You can fake being someone else for a little while, but in the end you’re going to burn out. Which leads us to rule number two.

2. Stick with it.

And really this is good advice for anything you want to do in life. You want to write a book? Stick with it. Want to build a good marriage? Stick with it. Build a one to one scale model of the entire world in Minecraft? Stick with it.

Because lets be real here: you’re going to make mistakes. You’re going to have posts that bomb. You’re going to have moments of crisis where you wonder if your blog is going in the right direction. All of that is fine.

Screwing up is not the end of the world.

Giving up is.

Huh. That’s has a nice ring to it.

Anyhoo that’s it. Really. On those two principles I believe you can build a successful blog. It’ll take time. All good things do. But if you keep pressing forward eventually you’ll find the right path.

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10 responses to “Blogging about Blogging about Blogging

  1. on the ball (chair)

    What you’ve said rings true. My biggest beef is that there is too much of it all.

  2. I follow and enjoy blogs that do all of the above, and then some. I’ll stick with a blog if it does any one or some combination of the following:
    – provides me with resources about or gives me food for thought about writing
    – teaches me something new about a topic I’m interested in
    – makes me laugh
    – is about something I can relate to
    – has a unique, genuine and well-written voice
    As for my own blog, I think of it as a teenager. It is growing and changing and discovering what it is good at and where it needs work. And I’m okay with that.

  3. Blogging about blogging about blogging. Heh, tomorrow’s #terribleminds post is similar. First paragraph:

    “Blogging cannot get more useless when a blog blogs about blogging, and even worse, here I’m going to blog about some blogs that have in fact already blogged about blogging, and that’s so much blogging it hurts.”

    With a shout-out to Bergopolis over here.

    — c.

  4. Great advice! I’m a new blogger, so I struggle with just writing posts regularly. Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. It’s all so interesting and incestuous.

    I blog to document my process as a person managing bipolar disorder and to reach out to others with mental illness, so if you stumble across that serial killer blogger point him in my direction, okay?

  6. Berg, I love your personality! I agree with Hawley. Ablog has to have a personality and components that keep me coming back. I miss writing about writing, bur I’m experimenting with blogs to see which ones get the most traffic. My traffic is increasing ever so slowly but it’s a postive arc anyway. As they say, it’s takes time to buils an audience, platform, following. Great post, thanks

  7. Al, if you think you are struggling to find a niche then I am done for! Mine is so all over the place, but in the true spirit of your first rule, I have to accept that that is me and so stick with it.
    And how straight and narrow does the right path have to be?
    Happy writing!
    Patti

  8. Hi Albert:

    I am new to you, having been referred here by a reader of mine. (Okay, I feel like I am at the doctor’s office. Let’s begin again.)

    Hi, I’m assuming you have heard of Kristen Lamb, right? If not, you need to check her out fast because your blog is right on target with her Tuesday Twitter blog and if you simply put her name somewhere in your post you would win a chance to have her read a boatload of pages of your next book or have her critique a query letter or do a blog diagnostic. Things look pretty good over here. Maybe she’ll just hand you a big bag of cash. I’m kind of assuming you know who she is, right? And Clay Morgan? You have to know Clay, right. I mean, you are all about Zombies and so is Clay! I mean, he wrote a whole post about Zombieland for my blog.

    So I guess what I’m trying to say is that I like you. And your content and style. But don’t fall in love with me because I’m in a cage, too. But it’s a pretty fancy cage, so I’m okay with it. 😉

    Come and check out my bloggie if you care to. Be warned that while I’m a teacher, I’m also the Chief-Twit-In-Residence.

  9. True! This is a great advice to anyone trying to achieve their dreams. 🙂

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