Andy Hawthorne

To blog or not to blog

Deciding to keep a blog is easy. Adding a constant stream of great content is not so easy...

Being a web coder means your own web site is in a constant state of flux. Mine has just changed again because I wanted all the emphasis to be on content. Blogging seems like a good way to have a steady turnover of content.

Writing is a process that improves with practice. That's why I like writing blog posts. It's a way for me to keep my writing skills sharp and focussed.

But the question about blogging is a good one. Blogging does deliver fresh content. But if the content is shit, there might be a downside. That downside being, a lack of readers.

Fresh content and good content

So that means if you are going to write a blog, you'd better have something to say you'd better have something that others will find interesting to read.

See what I did there? Sorry to be the bearer of (potentially) bad news. But nobody gives a shit that you've just been on holiday. Or been to see your favourite band or... You get the idea.

Blogging ain't social media.

You need to be as particular about content as a newspaper or magazine is. Because, unless you are writing for self-gratification, your output needs to be worthy of a read.

It might be amusing when someone tweets they've just been for a dump. But writing any old crap won't work on a blog. Not if you want people to actually read it.

There's a thing called content marketing. It's a bullshit phrase that means: businesses write blog posts to help sell stuff.

On one had it's useful information. On the other, you can waste valuable minutes of your life reading some marketing spin about how great their products are.

I've learned that the most successful type of posts either give the reader something or have an element of controversy.

Dangerous territory...

I like to blog, I think we've established that. But when I was drafting this post, it occurred to me that I was entering dangerous territory. Writing a post about the need to generate good content is like loading a gun and holding against your head. And then asking someone else if they would like to pull the trigger.

Blogging is a great way to get your point across. Or to share something useful. But it's not just a case of assembling words into sentences.

In fact, blogging is hardly writing at all. It's more like finding something out and then writing it up so that others can discover the same thing. But in an informative and interesting way.

So, if you are going to blog, make it count.