Blog Killer

The Blog Killer

I’ve recently come to a bit of a conclusion. It may or may not be correct, but I’m going to share my theory anyway and see whereabouts it lands.

Here’s the thing. A lot of blogs are pretty bad. There’s no getting away from that fact, unfortunately.

I know this all very much depends on what your definition of ‘bad’ actually is. However, for this post, it’s worth exploring what exactly makes a blog or website live or die. Some steps can be taken to ensure a blog or website doesn’t fall victim to the blog killer. However, it’s a tricky balance to master and could make the difference between success and failure.

If you’re thinking about getting started with building a blog or online presence to showcase your skills, you might find this post helpful before you begin.

What is the blog killer?

There are many different interpretations of what makes a particular blog absolutely fantastic or just completely flat. It may be the writing style, it may be the choice of subject matter and it may be its level of popularity or lack thereof. It might even be the visual layout of a blog. Some of the most well-subscribed and followed blogs out there are, in my opinion, absolutely exhausting to read.

To read.

Let’s think about that. This isn’t a withering examination of the efforts made by blog writers to create content. Far from it. I’m the first to admit that those of us who commit our thoughts to the everlasting typewriter of the web are brave indeed. It takes courage to put your work out there for others to read and comment on.

However, this is precisely why the writing we share is so important, even if we don’t think about it on a day-to-day basis. Effective writing is written for readers. When we think about who will read our work in the days, months, years and Skynet generations to come, it becomes more important to try and create something of quality. Something you actually want to share. Something you genuinely think others will find useful and be able to get something from.

What makes one blog live longer than another?

What is the true blog killer? In my opinion, there’s only one real culprit. Forced content.

I’m talking about those posts that are written purely for the sake of getting something, or anything out there. The ones that are written because of the schedule we give to ourselves in the quest to feel more productive. The ones that are written out of habit, and with nothing of any real value to add. That’s what I believe can turn a blog from a powerhouse of information to a damp squib of nothing at all.

It’s not hard to see how this can happen though. I’ve fallen foul of this trap myself of late, thinking that I have to put out at least three posts a week. Or giving myself a hard time for not being on top of a self-imposed writing strategy, for example.

It’s a false goal though. Quantity rarely equals quality and never has that saying been truer than in the world of creative writing and blogging.

The blog killer thrives on self-doubt

As digital creatives, we have to work hard to try and resist the pressures that we often feel within the sphere of ‘content creation’. Social media often makes people question their written work. Am I doing enough? Should I be creating more often? Have I made enough effort with my work? It’s exhausting.

The most important thing about this whole endeavour is that the writing you put out there is something you genuinely want to represent yourself. It’ll live in the digital age for a lot longer than we will, so we need to make sure it’s not complete and utter drivel.

So with that in mind, I’m going to make a promise to myself that the work I create here will only be the posts I genuinely want to write. Things that I want to represent me in times to come. I’m under no illusions about how fine of a balancing act this will be.

The trick isn’t so much about creating the right kind of content in the first place. More so that revisiting and repurposing will become crucial to progression, and that’s something to think about as a next step.

Next steps

Sometimes it’s difficult to keep your work relevant, especially if you’re just starting. Check out some of my beginners’ guides to blogging and freelancing to help you work out a plan for your online presence.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on what keeps blogs and websites fresh and interesting. Do you have any feelings about layouts and page design? What kind of things keep you coming back to a certain website or blog? Whatever your stance, I’d love to hear from you about it. Leave me a comment below.

5 thoughts on “The Blog Killer”

  1. I know exactly what you mean! Sometimes I hate some of my posts because they feel so forced and I wasn’t really ‘in’ to them. But the ones I feel have passion grown through my finger tips are always my favourite and actually always become more popular than previous posts!
    Much love, Caitylis x x

  2. I know what you mean. Also, its so not dry and tatty! Mind you I think you're onto something about the anx barrier. I feel the same – but I don't actually think many people actually will read my stuff so that's what kind of allows me to post….for now anyway! You should just post your stuff, fuck it. I bet it's infinitely more interesting than 'what's in my make-up bag x30212792' etc.

  3. Oh I get you. I get you so hard right now. I subscribe to the "only write when inspired" rule and I haven't posted owt for nearly two months though. I'm an inspiration-free zone and my webpage is dry and tatty.

    I reckon there's a strong anx barrier between stuff in my head and stuff I publish though. Not much gets through because I worry about context/content/copyright/it's a shite idea/it's been overdone/no-one will get that etc. Bah!

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