Thursday, February 04, 2010

Why You Should Not Start a Blog

I had a two part post going on about reasons to start a blog, part 1 and part 2. And despite my statement that I think you should start one, there are plenty of very good reasons to not do so as well.

"But wait!" you ask. "Didn't you say that everyone should write one? That we all have our own stories? That we're all unique and fragile snowflakes?"

Kinda. But my reasons to not start a blog are more about form and implementation. As opposed to the reasons I gave to start a blog which were about more personal and relational aspects.

Garbage, you say? Well, here are my reasons and see what you think:

1) You Won't Commit To Blogging

Whether this is because you don't really want to do it, or because you're just too busy to do it; either way you find yourself being unable to commit to blogging. Now, I don't mean blogging every day. Many incredibly popular blogs only update every other day, or on M/W/F only, or once a week. But they have a schedule and they are committed to it.

I post often, not daily, but I sit at right over averaging 5 posts a week. I read blogs that have 2-4 updates every day, and some that update once per week. What those have in common is an understanding with their readers how often information will be presented, and when you deviate from that understanding it can create problems. If nothing else, it throws you out of rhythm and creates an artificial resistance to creating more content.

2) You Think Blogs Are Magazines

Some people write blogs because they are writers, because they want to be writers, or because they think they're writers. Just because you have a blog, doesn't mean you're a writer. You're not publishing a book, or editing a magazine, or doing a piece for a newspaper. You're writing a blog post. The rules are different. Some would say there are hardly any at all.

Magazines also don't have feedback, at least not the same way blogs do. So if you don't want the kind of back and forth feedback that blogs provide through comments, then it may not be for you.

Personally, I don't trust a blog that I can't comment on. And if I don't trust it, I don't read it.

3) You Think Blogs Are Billboards

Blogs don't exist to pitch your own product over and over and over. Even if that product is yourself. If your blog becomes a giant advertisement, the only people who will read it are other advertisers. They smell their own. Now, that may make you popular in whatever circle you'll be blogging in, but it creates a nice solid wall from getting people outside into it.

It's also pretty fake. People don't like phonies.

4) You Have Nothing To Say

This is a tricky one. As I said in one of my other blog posts, I think we all have a unique story. And I think that all of us have experiences that can benefit others in some way. But just because we have them, doesn't mean we have the capability to talk about them. We may be un-awesome at communicating, we may be very reluctant to put ourselves out there, we may constantly second guess the relevance of our opinions and story. We may be confronted with so much self-inflicted resistance that it becomes paralyzing. So much that even though we all have our own relate-able experiences, we convince ourselves that we have nothing to say.

And once you convince yourself that you have nothing to say...well, you then have nothing to say.

5) ????

What other reasons are there for not starting a blog? Can you think of any?

For that matter; if you don't blog, why?