What Needs to Change About the Current State of Blogging

Posted on March 18th 2014

What Needs to Change About the Current State of Blogging

ImageWhen it comes to blogging and content creation, calculation is something few writers opt for anymore. Social currency today is measured in relevance, timeliness, and strategic keyword placement in the title of an article. “13 Reasons Why Olaf from Frozen is My Spirit Animal” would be a good example of hitting all the right nails on the head here. It’s relevant as the Disney movie is still trending, fast to whip out, (probably) requires little to no extra outside research, and the title lends itself to easy, bulleted reading for a wide audience.

While this is fine and well to a certain extent, my question is: where did all the meaty online posts go? Is this current model the most sustainable in the long-term? I don’t think so. I think the bubble is slowly starting to pop on leaning on gif-listicles/quizzes/Instagram photos as the bulk of the blogging content format. I won’t deny that for SEO purposes and driving in site traffic it’s incredibly useful, but the outward appearance is surface-based. If writers want to leave a lasting mark behind, as opposed to more skeletons in the internet graveyard musing on which Kardashian sister they’re most like or 34 gifs to explain why we should all drink more wine, they’re going to have to scrape past the surface and dig deeper.

Get picky and stay hungry.

One of my favorite Thoreau quotes has long been, “Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still.” You should hunger for whatever it is that you’re blogging about and make it your mission to know all within that area you possibly can. When someone writes about a topic that matters to them or is on a subject they’re genuinely excited to see grow and shape over the years, the passion for it shows and draws in the reader. As far as my “picky” portion of this title goes, that’s more of a nod to remaining fastidious in your work. Before you publish anything, double check your research and get all numbers, names, and dates right. If you want to be considered an expert on any one area, the last thing you want is a million comments under the article pointing out how you cited the wrong vocal actor for an animated character.

Remind yourself that FOMO doesn’t exist.

FOMO, Fear of Missing Out, is an unfortunate reality. In a study by Harris Interactive and MyLife, about 56% of people online experience anxiety related to the idea that they’re missing out on something important online, whether it’s a #breakingnews tweet or a status update on Facebook. As a result, it’s easy to spend the better part of the day scrolling through the dashboards on Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook to ensure we haven’t missed anything major.

Don’t invite in the comparison of your life to someone else’s. The anxiety you have that someone else may be doing better than you is based off of a status they undoubtedly put some time and consideration into molding just right themselves – there’s a story behind every moment and sometimes the details are not as positive as they appear to be on the surface.

Cultivation needs to be on par with harvesting.

I like to think of this as attempting to rush-write on a topic that’s still too “green” before you’re ready. Avoid publishing articles that you’re still missing bits to, be it a quote or photo image credit. Rushing into something, despite the thrill of being one of the first to cover that specific event, will ultimately make you look unprofessional if you do it on a sloppy note.

You don’t need to blog about everything.

But we do, don’t we? Doesn’t everyone need a picture of every green shake we blend pre-marathon race prep and a status a day counting down the days to our weddings? Nah. There’s a school of thought that believes we do, and it goes hand-in-hand with FOMO, but having a Twitter account doesn’t mean a minute-by-minute progress report of our daily lives is necessary. Less has always been more and in the blogosphere especially, this can create anticipation for our next posts to come. Calculation too, you see, as you can carefully chart out your next move without feeling stressed to write a filler post.

howveryheather

Heather Taylor

Heather Taylor is a social media manager, freelance writer, and blogger. She has had her written work published with Yahoo! Shine, Forbes, The Shriver Report, Social Media Monthly, BettyConfidential, HelloGiggles, The Huffington Post, and more. Contact her on Twitter @howveryheather or directly email howveryheather@gmail.com.

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Comments

This Post today actually hit on something that i am writing. And i wonder many of the same things.

for the sake and love of the conversation will use this post as an example. while i writting i see

facebook 11 shares

Twitter 172 shares

Linkedin 15 shares

G+ 6 Shares

and roughly 200 shares for other media.

What i do not see is an actual conversation (comments) on this post. and i ask myself:

  • why?
  • why do people prefer the simple click to share something, instead of expressing an actual insight, opinion, sentiment on the source (this post)
  • are this shares carrying any true relevancy, or people are simply sharing for online presence exposure?

very interested in hearing your thoughts.

Hey Daniel! Thanks for reading and also thanks for being the first to comment here - you're awesome. I have noticed some additional commentary for this post creeping up in my Twitter @ mentions which is interesting as it is still conversation created, just not directly on the website where the article is hosted itself. That said, there's something about being the first to comment on anything that incites a strange kind of pressure sometimes. The need to sound informed and opinionated, but also still witty enough to the point where the majority will agree with you. (Groupthink before the group shows up, essentially.) This pressure ceases to exist if you reblog something on autopilot or share with a "so true!" message at the top and leave it at that. I believe that what you share showcases various facets of your personality, but that facet is ultimately dulled unless if you make an educated point or commentary with it and really stick to your guns on the matter. As far as sharing itself goes, it's interesting to note how the shift of influence works online. Sometimes a few well-placed hashtags can take you pretty far, but as I've mentioned before in the piece, the posts only stand the test of long-term time if they have been prepped to do so with great research and a strong voice leading the way. - Heather

The one Part i do not agree (and this is me only), is when you say. "The need to sound informed and opinionated, but also still witty enough to the point where the majority will agree with you." Back in the day people actually shared thoughts, not really because they were likeable, but because it actually carried value and meaning. And yes you also had those spammers ("this is great").

I am not on the trend of commenting to sound opinionated nor informed, but actually to express feelings, ideas, disagreements, and other thoughts. And yet always respectfully.

Don't get me wrong i am not against Social Media sharing, but i do believe it had mellowed and dulled the conversation, fear of the public eye type of effect.