Over the last two and a half years of blogging, I've published many tips and tricks to help people who are just starting blogging on how to find time to blog, styles of blogging or ways to optimize your blog. One thing I haven't written that much about is how I decide whether something is good enough to post. To say I write about what I'm interested in is probably pretty obvious - but I don't always like everything I write. What I realized recently was a lesson that I had learned and been using on my blog, but never shared before.
One trick I have talked about before is that I have a simple notepad document where I write my blog posts, collect ideas, and essentially keep all my rough thoughts and writing before cutting and pasting them into Typepad. You can probably imagine that over two and a half years, this file is pretty long. During my time away from blogging, I went through it to see if there were some posts I had written previously which I could publish. To my surprise, there were 17. Not 17 ideas for posts (I have dozens of those), but 17 fully written blog posts that I never published for one reason or another. Sometimes I didn't like my perspective in them. Other times I didn't feel that I had a strong point of view. Still other times, the post was good but the timing for posting was wrong. For one reason or another, I wrote all of these posts and then decided to bench them.
My first thought was that some of these posts could be a perfect archive of material to quickly publish while I would be away from blogging. Unfortunately, as I read through them, I could tell they were mostly average and would not make the greatest posts. Of course, I could improve or rewrite some of them, but the easy thing to do would have been to just post them as good ideas and not worry too much about the writing. I didn't, which leads me to my piece of advice for bloggers who are building their blog and struggling with continually putting out good content ... don't let "blog guilt" or a feeling that writing is a necessity drive you to publish content that you're not happy with. Sometimes what you don't write says more about you than what you do.
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