I rarely rant but I’m going to hop up on my soapbox for a bit and call BS on a few ‘blogging purist’ mindsets that I find counter-intuitive to producing a strong blog with great content. Like ‘social media purists’, their blogging counterparts get caught up in the magic of the media — often getting lost in their artistic process.
As such, three viewpoints frequently expressed by this crowd include a resentment for blog deadlines and editorial calendars, outrage over scheduled tweets promoting posts, and selfishly hoarding your own content rather than guest posting elsewhere. Let’s take a look at each one of these in detail.
Blog Deadlines vs. Blogging When You “Feel It”
There are purists out there who say you shouldn’t set deadlines for your blog — “It should just flow.” “It’s either there or it’s not.” “If I don’t have anything to say, I don’t blog.” These opinions are incorrect, self-important, and signs of an amateur blogger.
Simply put, if your blog is a part of your business, you need a defined process and schedule for producing your content. Moreover, if you hope to improve your craft and your output, sticking to a ramped up calendar mapping out the content you want to cover will help you get where you need to go.
Some might be quick to write off my sharp rebukes as mechanical, crude, and devoid of creative thinking. However, my background is in the creative arts where I studied theatre including acting and playwriting. It was in David Adgmi’s playwriting class that the mantra “writers write” was drilled into my head. And it was in John Cameron’s acting class that I learned the danger of relying on needing to “feel it” to produce a performance. Rather, you need cold, calculated process to create consistent content, either on stage or online.
Scheduling Post Promo Tweets vs. Being Present Online, ALL the Time
Creating great content is only half the battle. You have to bang the drum and let the world know that there’s new stuff for them to read by sharing your post across your various social channels like Facebook, Google+, and Twitter. As the latter’s current moves at an exceptional clip, many like Guy Kawasaki advocate staging a series of tweets throughout the week at various times to maximize your content’s exposure.
This is easy with tools like HootSuite and Buffer, however by quickly plugging your data into the tool SocialBro, you can see what times throughout an average week your audience is online and time your tweets accordingly.
Some purists find this activity ‘fake’ as you aren’t really present for immediate follow up. While its not ideal it’s often a necessity. Even the busiest minds in social media aren’t able to monitor their feed real-time 100% of the time. This too gets back to blogging as an amateur versus blogging for business. If your blog is a business you need to deliver your content throughout the week to align with when your audience is online.
Is it better if you can be online to engage a bit? Sure but you can’t always build your schedule around your Twitter audience. Take advantage of the tools and use them responsibly.
Guest Posting Freely vs. Hoarding Your Content
There are also those out there who are notably stingy with their blog content, not guest posting elsewhere for fear of diluting their own content on their blog. I’ll tread lightly around this one as I know it’s a delicate area. Plus it’s one that I only recently broke free from.
Blogging takes time. Guest posting elsewhere when you are trying to keep your own blog afloat can at first seem like a conflict of interest. However, if you clear the short-term hurdle of time, there are many benefits. For starters, you have potential exposure to a new audience that could lead to increased clicks back to your blog and connections on various social channels.
New content can also lead to new thinking about your blog and business. A recent guest post I did for my friend Heather Whaling actually led me to a treasure trove of new content for my blog and beyond by spurring me to think about a process in a new way. Was it extra writing? Yes but there was a big return on the investment.
To be clear, while I come down on the side of occasional guest posting to give your content wings and additional exposure, you can overdo. There are countless blogs out there that would love guest content. You have to research your options and chose wisely so that your guest posting time is well spent and your core blog remains a strong content hub.
The Rant Concludes (Where’s the Tylenol?)
More than a rant on what grinds my gears, these thoughts are meant to spur your own thinking and blogging processes. While these are simply my own axioms, many overturn dangerous and dogmatic thoughts that can discourage people from becoming better bloggers and stronger online brands.
What blogging myths have you debunked? How have they set your content free and made you a better blogger?