To Blog or Not To Blog
Monday, 18 November 2013
There's such an intense focus upon ranks and popularity that many tremendous blogs can go unrecognised. I know that SEO's and PR people find Google Rank and Domain Authority deciding factors in what necessitates a 'Good Blog' whilst bloggers may see parenting site rankings of blogs as the holy grail of success, yet I've visited plenty of high ranking blogs and granted some are incredibly well designed with great content yet others seem to mainly consist of reviews and sponsored posts with little substance inbetween. Don't get me wrong, I'm no stranger to the odd review or sponsored post, I can be quite mercenary, yet I like to think it makes up the minority of my blog content.
What is blog success though? Is it page hits? Ranking? The amount of PR opportunities offered? The amount of followers one gets? How many awards a blog has received?
Likewise what makes a good blogger? Is it how popular they are within social media circles?
I've been blogging and journaling online for around 16 years now in various places and under various guises (livejournal, deadjournal, ujournal, vox, scribble,nu, blogger, wordpress to name a few) even now I have several blogs that are semi-active. Yet, it's only been in the past four or five years that I've blogged to an audience as opposed to just friends. I'm not a particularly good writer, I don't especially have anything of interest to say, I'm not savvy with the design aspect and I have very few followers and I doubt I'll ever be nominated for an award, but that's okay with me. It really is. People are reading it, I can tell from the statistics. Occasionally they'll comment too and to me personally one single comment means more then a few hundred views. I'm not popular, I'm too socially inept to be cool. Again, I'm okay with that (most of the time!) I'm always incredibly surprised when someone says they like my blog and I enjoy the times when I've been approached to guest post or have had my posts feature on other sites.
What do I personally look for in a blog? I like to get a feel of the person who's writing (not like that, don't be a perve!) a glimpse into their mind/heart/life. I like bloggers that have a 'voice' in the way they write. I like to be made to feel something, whether it's laughter or sadness or even simple camaraderie when I read their posts. I like honesty and an element of genuinity. Some bloggers I'd like to know, other bloggers I'd like to be. I like reading blogs that are written to be read not to just be liked. I like everyday documentation of the little things in life, the inner narration of other peoples minds and the experience of their life. I like opinionated rants and information too. I like those who write merely because they like writing or need to write without being precocious or pretentious.
The best blogs and indeed the best bloggers, in my opinion, are those that don't try to be popular or even aim to be. They have avid readers rather than thousands of followers. They're popular not because of their actions but inspite of their lack of action in the blog world. Those that write for themselves. Those that write just to hope that someone, somewhere may read it. The every day ordinary people who know not of their unique brilliance.
There's all sorts of reasons to blog, for the challenge, popularity, opportunities, money, exposure, influence etc. All perfectly valid reasons to blog.
Me? I blog because it's easier and cheaper than therapy. I blog because for that short time when I'm typing, I can pretend I'm talking to someone and not just to myself inside my head like usual. I blog in some pathetic attempt to leave a mark somewhere...proof I existed. I blog because I like to write. I blog because there's a comfort in the possibility that someone somewhere might read it. I blog, primarily for me. Occasionally, I blog because I really need some money.
Why do you blog? What makes for a good blog in your opinion? What about a good blogger?