Bad Blogging


This post is not for you but for me. It is a reminder that bad blogging comes from forgetting the simple rule that every story has a beginning, a middle and an end. It is that simple. Yet sometimes I find ways to complicate it. Sometimes I get caught up doing 187 things at once and I miss the mark. It is frustrating to me because I know that I am better than that or more to the point, I can do better.

In other news I have spent the past few days in Seattle with a group of bloggers and assorted personalities touring Nintendo and trying out the new Nintendo 3Ds. It is a very impressive unit and I am pleased to have been given one by Nintendo. The 3D function works without glasses and some of it is absolutely amazing.  I did notice that it seems to have placed some strain on my eyes. I haven’t yet ascertained if that is from lack of sleep, the machine or a combination thereof.

My time in Seattle has been quite enjoyable. It has been a pleasure meeting some bloggers in person and learning more about them. I have had some great conversations with a number of people regarding the business of blogging which is certainly related to this trip.

A couple of comments about the business of blogging. Many of the bloggers I know either online or IRL talk about working on their blogs for hours. Some of them have remarked that they wish that they would be paid for their time. Well there are a number of things to consider and or think about. “Free trips and gifts” are compensation for your work. You can assign a dollar value to them which is part of why the FTC and IRS have opinions about this.  However free trips and products don’t pay the mortgage, buy groceries or gasoline for our car.

Clearly this begs the question of whether you can generate revenue for your blog, also known as “cash.”  The answer is that you absolutely can do so. It is too late to write a detailed post about this so I’ll provide some general commentary.

Brands have money to spend and will do so if they believe it will help them generate solid leads and secure loyalty for existing customers.

The bloggers job is to demonstrate to the brand that they can help them to make that connection.

The blogosphere is saturated with bloggers who work for free or are engaged in indentured servitude. They hurt all of us. Every time they give it away for free they make life more challenging for those who wish to get paid.

Many bloggers do a lousy job of marketing themselves. They don’t understand how to give a good elevator pitch and can’t explain why working with them will benefit the brand/campaign.

I don’t like smoke and mirror games but I sometimes think that promoting ourselves as content providers or publishers might generate more respect than blogger. Not sure that I believe it, but I am thinking about it.

And that my friends is my reminder that bad blogging comes when I forget to keep it simple.

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  1. Texan Mama April 2, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    Hey jack. Great meeting you in Seattle and chatting with you on the bus.
    I was talking with some other ladies in the airport about the business of blogging and found that I was the ONLY one who isn’t getting paid, even just a pittance for running ads. Still, I don’t mind. I feel like it gives me a lot of freedom – If I don’t want to post, I don’t. If I want to post on something controversial, I can. If I don’t like a certain product that an ad company is promoting, then I know it won’t be on my blog. But the take-and-give is that I have a lot of freedom, but also lots of lint in my pockets. lol

    Take care. I’ll be back to read more!!

    • Jack April 3, 2011 at 8:20 am

      It was a lot of fun. There is something to be said for having the freedom to write what you want. I have turned down opportunities that I thought were restrictive because of that. Besides who wants to read a blog that is written by someone who has been bought.

  2. Stan Faryna April 2, 2011 at 9:26 am

    This is the first comment ever made from my iPhone. Cheers from Bulgaria.

  3. Lindsay Dianne April 2, 2011 at 8:12 am

    I get so tired of people who are willing to work for “a chance at a gift card”.. or other such nonsense. I will work for cash, or my wage in product, like you said, in the trips and trials.
    But it definitely is possible to be a successful blogger. And would be easier if not for some of the bloggers involved in the industry.

    • Jack April 2, 2011 at 10:59 am

      Unfortunately some people don’t understand that their bad business practices can have a substantial impact upon many others. I think that many of them have nothing but good intentions and if they were aware of what they were doing would change.

      Some of them need to be educated in terms of dollars and cents. If they realized that they were working for pennies they might not be so quick to do it.

  4. TheKitchenWitch April 2, 2011 at 5:05 am

    Jack, did you meet Jen Yu? She’s one of my favorite people!

  5. MaryWitzl April 2, 2011 at 2:06 am

    I’m one of the guys who’s giving it away for free, such as it is. But I’ve gained so much in the process: a good critique group, real flesh-and-blood friends, invaluable writing tips, and much more.

    So in that respect, I’ve been pretty well rewarded for my efforts, and I haven’t even had to sell shoes or plug soft drink brands.

    • Jack April 2, 2011 at 6:58 am

      The question is what you are giving away. As writers/bloggers we all operate in one huge pool and sometimes the ripples from the actions of others can affect all of us.

      My concern lies in whether people do things that devalue my work and make it harder for me to be compensated appropriately for the work that I do.

  6. subWOW April 1, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    Wow. That’s some sweet gig! So are you the hero in your children’s eyes now? You went to Nintendo HQ! And met the CEO! ^_^

    I now need to tell my co-worked I was wrong: he’d asked me what I thought of the Nintendo 3D, specifically whether it’s now cool ’nuff that he doesn’t need to pine for a PSP (more grown-up looking) and can do with a Nintendo 3D. I said, Sorry no dice. Your review may cheer him up.

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