To be (a blogger) or not to be...

January 15, 2009



I've been looking into this whole idea of blogging and this post is about my thought process and the questions I've asked as I learned more about blogging and social media.

Information Overload

I've spent the last few weeks reading hundreds of blogs, personal websites, momversation, mommy blogs, and even blogs for moms who don't blog. It's pretty addictive, not to mention overwhelming. I start reading a blog, click on link after link, and reach websit
es that had nothing to do with what I began. While it does lead to some very interesting blogs and information, it can be quite distracting when your goal is to look for specific information. How do bloggers organize all those thoughts, information, and ideas? Definitely need to research that.

Blogs like Chris Brogan.com, seth's blog, 43folders, wright creativity and others are an invaluable resource for writing tips and tricks, inspiration, and even a kick-in-the-butt to start blogging and beco
me join the community of social media. I'd have to say that this post is almost a direct result of reading their blogs.

Do you need to take a creative writing class to start a blog?

I looked at the profiles of a lot of successful bloggers and I have to admit that most of them are writers, journalists, copywriters, people in advertising and marketing...people that have had some writing experience. At the same time there are popular blogs
by moms, grandmoms, crafters, blogs on fashion, childcare, horror novels.....take a look at alltop.com and you'll find a blog for every category under the sun. Many of these bloggers are not professional writers but they manage to write effectively and judging by the comments, they seem to have quite an audience as well. While some blogs were not really captivating enough for me to stay and read, I admire the determination and persistence of the writers. And being creative is a habit and so is writing. I've always harbored a fascination for writing even though I haven't ventured into that area before. So I'm looking forward to where this journey will take me.

Finding a niche
for your blog
Heather at do
oce.com has over 700 comments on some of her posts and she started out as a mommy blogger writing about potty training, disciplining, and trips to the pediatrician. Maybe not everyone's cup of tea but 700 comments on one post! Wow! But then again she's a writer and communicates everyday parenting trials and tribulations with a dose of humor and style that make readers want to come back for more.
There is a tremendous audience on the internet for all kinds of blogs, personal or otherwise. The key is to figure out if you want to write about what interests you (you may only end up with a viewership of one, if the topic is not as fascinating to others) or try to stay ahead of the curve, and write about interests that others can relate to and not be just another me-too blog.

What is a good blog, then?

There are thousand of topics on which you can write. Ultimately that which is close to your heart will be written well since what we're passionate about will always come through in our writing. But, what if people are not interested in your topic of conversation. I suppose we need to try to write in a way in which this may add value to someone else and interest them enough to rope them in. Gosh! that's a lot of pressure and also requires sales and marketing skills. There was a reason that I didn't do well in that industry.

One of hinduism's oldest scriptures, the Bhagavad Gita, says, "Do your duty without being affected by or thinking about the results of that action". So my advice to myself is, start writing and things will fall in place because you definitely aren't going to become a writer by simply feeling creative. As Merlin Mann says,
"A good blog is written by a blogger who thinks longer, works harder, and obsesses more. Ultimately, a good blogger tries."

And right now, that's the plan. Try.Obsess.Think.Write. I'm not going to wonder about where my blog will fit in, in the big scheme of the blogosphere. For now the mantra is: Focus on the action, not the result.


Photo credit: stardust, Roland

In three words, I can sum up everything I've learned about life. It goes on.
-Robert Frost

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