Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Blogging: A Tougher Job Than We Think?

The intro blurb to this article about blogging asked why blogs have a higher failure rate than restaurants. Hmmm, interesting question, I thought. The article explores the challenges of blogging - including how you deal with blogging even when you think no one is reading i.e. "If no one reads your blog, does it really exist?"

This is a problem that many bloggers will face at some point, or more realistically, will continue to deal with as long as they blog.

Many of us, if we are completely honest with ourselves, start to blog filled with the highest aspirations for our blog and the type of followership we expect to nurture, as well as the ways in which we hope to influence the world. What we don't often bargain with is that almost every other blog starts with the same degree of ambition and setting our blog aside takes a great amount of work. In fact to run a really engaging blog could be tantamount to a full-time job what with time to think of topics to blog about, time to live a little so that you have new experiences to share, time to do some research to make your posts sound a bit more informed, time to actually write these posts, and let's not forget the time to respond to commenters on your blog as well as going round other blogs to drop comments there (the online equivalent of networking).

Let's face it: it's incredibly hard work! I shared my own challenges in this earlier post in Nov 2007.

Many of bloggers start out with enthusiasm, but relatively few bloggers find that they can sustain this effort (a 2008 survey by Technorati, which runs a search engine for blogs revealed a whooping 95 percent of abandoned blogs).

Some bloggers who hang in there for the long haul might find their writing style evolving over time (this will almost certainly happen) and maybe choose to reveal less about themselves (I blogged about this in Dec 2006 when I started to be aware of my changing blog personality).

I love how the article ends with the blogger confessing to her continued high expectations from her blog. Frankly, I don't see how you can blog without having bucket-loads of optimism and hope.


Lani said...

Well, well... This hits home because I used to be a blogger. I was really into the 'Nigerian blogosphere' but I stopped abruptly for a lot of reasons, not least the fact that people started sending me e-mails identifying me. Was I shocked?

I thought I could be invisible! I think that's probably the major reason why I stopped blogging. I really wanted to be able to write without being identified. Just me and my thoughts. I guess it was naive to seek solititude in cyberspace. And no, I didn't switch to Facebook, Twitter or the like. I just stopped blogging. I sometimes miss it but... It was good while it lasted, though.

Ore said...

Oh, I didn't realise that you were Nigerian.

I was very surprised when people started identifying me too. Though in retrospect, I don't know why I was as I use my real first name and gave out a number of things about myself (not very personal things though).

Some bloggers do seem to manage to retain that anonymity somehow.

Anyway, there are always personal journals for private thoughts.

Lani said...

Oh, I am Nigerian in more ways than I am not...

And thank you for introducing me to Rebecca Walker. I'm currently reading her "Black, White, and Jewish" memoir and the "Baby Love" book should arrive next week.

She's actually not a bad writer though I find myself rushing through the book because I have so little time to devote to it.

Ore said...

I haven't read any of her books (Rebecca Walker). I haven't even read any Alice Walker. I bought Meridian many years ago, but haven't touched it yet.

It's difficult appreciating books when you have to rush through them, but that's the only way for me to read these days too, it seems.

Pilgrimage to Self said...

What a great post Ore and oh so true. I am trying to kick start my blogging again with not much luck but I am not giving up hope - not yet anyway.

I had a quick run through of all the blogs I have listed on my page and more than half of them have been removed. Sad, I really enjoyed reading some of them.

The longer I keep my blog going though the less I am concerned about how many comments I receive or who reads it. These days I blog because it's cathartic for me.

Ore said...

@Pilgrimage: Please do revive your blog. I loved reading it. I know what you mean about dead blogs. :-(
So many of my favourites are no longer around.

I think we are getting into the 'middle ages' of our blog lifes, so we are like 50 year olds who strive to live for themselves.