It kinda thought I would enjoy blogging. But what surprised me even more is that I really, genuinely enjoy reading other peoples blogs. Even (especially?) when the topics they discuss that have nothing to do with anything on my blog. A perfect example: I read a post from a retired Florida police officer about seat belts, and loved every second of it. That’s what blogging should be all about: People sharing the interesting things that they know with people interested in knowing about it.
But for every good seat belt article, I see a lot of posts that make me want ask why did you bother to post this? Here’s my list of posts I love to hate:
The I-Blog-Because… Post
Sure, it’s a good idea to know why you do the things you do. But instead of telling us why you’re doing it, do it first. And you know what, we’ll get it. We’ll figure out why you do it.
In protest, I will never write, or even think about why I blog. It’ll be a complete mystery to everyone. And won’t you be sorry.
The I-Couldn’t-Think-Of-Anything-To-Say Post
Being honest is great. But, if you don’t have anything to say, don’t say anything! Your readers will be happy to wait until you do have something to say. Most your dedicated readers probably use feed readers anyway, so they’ll know just as soon as you do find something to say.
Besides, with the millions of posts out there, and the volume of information linked to by del.icio.us and digg, there’s almost no excuse for not having anything to say. Put a little effort into searching, and you’ll find your lolcat… er… muse.
Any Post Tagged “Blogging” That Doesn’t Provide Useful Blogging News or Ideas
Some people seem to tag every post they write with “Blogging.” No kidding, you’re blogging. And you’re also cluttering up my tag filters with stories about your dramatic teenage roller coaster relationship and your lolcats. (Though it is hard not to enjoy a good lolcat. Check out my favorite.)
Also, it bears mention that the advice to “blog for yourself“, does not qualify as a useful blogging pointer. It’s a cliche and a blog-killer. If you “blog for yourself” you will always have one reader. (Note, I did not say “at least one”, I said “one”. And by “one” I mean you.) Instead, consider blogging for your readers. Write your post, re-read it and ask yourself the following questions:
- Why would anybody want to read this?
- What could I add (or subtract) that would make somebody want to read it again, and maybe email it to a friend?
The Apology-For-Not-Blogging Post
(See The I-Couldn’t-Think-Of-Anything-To-Say Post) The only way for this post to be saved is to convert it into a brief comment at the beginning of a real post, perhaps one discussing what happened or one with travel photos.
Now some quick Q&A inspired by this post…
Just who the heck do you think you are “Brian’s Random Thoughts” to make fun of my lolcats?
That’s easy. I’m a schizophrenic month-old blog that had 149 hits yesterday. Count ‘em: 149. Best day ever, and this blog is feeling cocky.
Why would anybody want to read/re-read this?
That’s easy, for the monkey picture.