What Happens When You Get Bored With Blogging
There were three priests, five rabbis and a Buddhist monk and myself standing at the bar in Downtown Los Angeles. We were gathered for the Interfaith Social Media Smackdown and the bar made for a nice place to hang out in between sessions.
It might sound like an odd sort of combination to you, but social media is being used by everyone these days so it made sense for us to schedule a chance to talk about the most effective tools and platforms for the various clergymen to use to look after their respective flocks.
All of that made perfect sense to me. What I couldn’t reconcile was how my ex girlfriend had also dated not just one, but two of the priests. Of course back then the “fathers” hadn’t been pledged to god, but that wasn’t what threw me. What I couldn’t figure out was how I fit in the equation.
How did a nice Jewish girl turn two nice Catholic boys into priests and not have any impact upon me. During two years of dating I might have called out the lord’s name once or twice but it was never tied into a thought about becoming a rabbi.
The Post Really Starts Here
If you have made it this far I must confess that I made up the part about the Interfaith Social Media Smackdown and virtually everything that goes with it.
What I didn’t make up is having spent time in bars with some rabbis and that is because I have friends who are rabbis, but we are not going to talk about that now.
Rather we are going to spend a few moments talking about what happens when you get bored with blogging. It is far more common than many people might realize.
There are multiple causes for boredom in blogging but I would suspect that most of the time it happens for one of the following reasons:
- You don’t know why you are blogging and consequently you are sort of wandering around the blogosphere without much purpose.
- You have pigeonholed yourself into one niche and reached a point where you can’t come up with new material.
Blogging can be a grind. This is a marathon and not a sprint. The best and most successful bloggers are almost always those who able to sustain their efforts over the long haul.
When you lock yourself into only writing about one small niche and are afraid or unwilling to move from it you have to work harder to maintain your interest level. It doesn’t matter how much you love writing about the great woolly weevil and it’s exceptional weaving because sooner or later you’ll reach saturation and feel like you have said almost all there is to say.
Boredom Is Bad For Your Blog
Boredom is bad for your blog because it impacts your writing and your readers suffer. You won’t always hit a home run with every post but boredom will make it much harder to get a hit.
Part of the reason I mix things up here and get “creative” with headlines is because it helps prevent boredom and because I am ever curious to see what impact my words have.
Sometimes I stir it up just to see who responds to things like How To Use Your Oral Skills To Please Others. A while back I wrote a post called 69 Reasons Why Fathers Make Better Lovers and got a boatload of traffic and emails from it.
It was real engagement and many of the conversations were about social media. I found it to be interesting.
But Does It Add Value
I have to tell you I hate reading 1,933,432 posts about your content must always add value. You must always educate your reader or make them laugh, blah, blah, blah.
I hate it because it leads to sterile posts that have no passion or personality. Sometimes you have to shuck that aside and suggest that the reason the person you are writing about is so uptight is because they haven’t been laid properly in a decade.
Sometimes you need to ask your reader to imagine their grandparents having sex because you need to wake them up. It is not done to disgust them. It is done to make them wake up because they have just read 1,933,432 posts about how to be a better blogger and they are bored.
The Bottom Line
To me the bottom line is simple, have fun. If you have fun with blogging it will come out in your posts and your comments. This is a good thing.
People want to see your personality and to feel your passion. They like being around happy people. Any time you can make people smile and feel good you are providing value that is immeasurable and important.
And now I have to go think about writing more about the Interfaith Social Media Smackdown because that has real potential.
My Inner Chick December 12, 2012 at 9:47 pm
—Great Tips, Jack.
Here’s what I believe:
My reader is smart as hell. If I am bored w/ my blog, she/ he will be, too.
My suggestion is: If one is bored w/ one’s blog. STOP blogging & don’t waste the reader’s time!!!
Andrea December 13, 2012 at 5:54 am
Jack December 15, 2012 at 7:18 pm
That makes lot of sense. Ultimately if we care about our readers we need to write with them in mind.
Andrea December 10, 2012 at 7:44 am
First off, I want to let you know that I came here because of Marketing Day’s link. I almost didn’t click, but I did. Then, after getting over my disappointment that the opening story was fiction (I have rabbi friends), I found one nugget that resonated most:
“You have pigeonholed yourself into one niche and reached a point where you canâ€™t come up with new material.”
I’ve been blogging since 2000. We called them “online journals” and “online diaries” back then. For years I blogged about everything that interested in me. In early 2008 I decided that I needed to get focused on one topic, so I looked at the topics I was writing about to see what I wrote about most often and most passionately about, and in May 2008 my food blog was born. “Food blog” isn’t specific enough for most people when they ask what I blog about, and then I sometimes get flustered.
Two months ago I started a second blog, a “business blog” (the one linked here), that basically goes back to talking about multiple interests: Career, SEO, digital marketing, life coaching. It’s where I’m at, between “jobs” and careers, a freelancer.
I don’t know which is the “right” way (one niche or more) but I think that whatever way keeps the blogger passionate and engaged, rather than thinking of the blog as an obligation or chore, IS the right way.
My rule: If it doesn’t feel right, don’t write it. Like creating food, the secret ingredient to blogging is love. Love is the secret to content creation period. It shows.
If you’re not feeling it, don’t blog it – especially if it’s a personal blog that no one is paying you to write. Why would people return to a blog if they see obligatory filler, when there are so many other blogs to read?
Jack December 11, 2012 at 12:21 am
Nice to meet you. I have more than a few stories about rabbis and because they are friends I can’t tell those tales- they know mine too. 😉
There is no one way to do this but I am confident that personality and passion are the difference between success and failure. If you aren’t excited about what you are writing about then you can’t expect the reader to be either.
I set up multiple blogs because they serve different purposes for me and because I attract different types of readers. That is what has worked best for me, might not be the same for someone else.
The trick is figuring out which method works for you and it sounds like you have.
Andi-Roo ( December 8, 2012 at 2:44 pm
What I love most about being a non-niche blogger is the freedom it allows. I can write about whatever I please, in whatever fashion fits my mood, and not worry that it might not sit well with my audience. My followers already know to expect the full gamut of extremes on my blog. And… I sure do have fun! Here’s hoping readers have fun, too! 🙂
Jack December 9, 2012 at 12:03 am
That makes perfect sense to me. I too love the freedom of being able to write about whatever I want whenever I want and however I want.
Sue Neal December 7, 2012 at 2:57 pm
Apologies for duplicate comment above – site froze and it looked as if it hadn’t been posted first time around – sorry – please feel free to delete one!
Sue Neal December 7, 2012 at 2:55 pm
Scan-reading this, I mis-read a line and thought you were spending time in bars with rabbits – which is still making me grin.
I like your philosophy, Jack – if you’re enjoying yourself, chances are your readers will too.
Great fun – but don’t let those bunnies have too much to drink,
Sue Neal December 7, 2012 at 2:50 pm
Scan-reading this, I mis-read one line and thought you were spending time in bars with rabbits – which is still making me grin.
I like your philosophy, Jack – if you can keep yourself amused, chances are you’ll keep your readers engaged. It doesn’t matter how smart or informative your content is, it’s no good if it sends people to sleep.
Great fun – but don’t let those bunnies have too much to drink,
Jack December 8, 2012 at 12:09 am
I have spent a fair amount of time in bars with rabbis. Most of that happened before they became rabbis, but there have been some special occasions that took place after as well.
There is much joy to be found in writing. Sometimes it is just because of the fun of placing words in a pleasurable order and sometimes it is because the topic is fascinating.
My favorite moments are a combination of the two, Always easier to write when you like what you are writing about.
Hope you are having a great day.
Julie Barrett December 5, 2012 at 3:45 pm
It does have real potential! Actually send some of your Rabbis over here. We need to have a discussion about how a non-Jew Jew can raise children.
Never, ever read those boring posts, is my motto.
Great to see you today, you Pirate 🙂
Jack December 6, 2012 at 1:08 am
I know a million, most of whom have had that conversation more than once. It was fun hanging out with you and everyone else too. Hope you had a great night.
penneyfox December 5, 2012 at 1:34 pm
That first part was a freaking riot! Not sure if this helps you with your Interfaith smackdown BUT I was asked to teach a social media workshop for a Catholic School (the admin folks and the parents on staff). In my research, I actually found something from the Pope where he was accepting of social media as a way to stay connected to the younger generation. That one threw me back – I SO wasn’t expecting to see that one!
Just thought I’d let you know your story has some real potential 🙂
Jack December 6, 2012 at 1:06 am
Thank you, I am glad you enjoyed it. I had fun writing it, so much so I just might add to it.
I read the other day that the pope is on Twitter. Was sort of surprised to find out that he wasn’t using social media before that but…
bridgetstraub.com December 5, 2012 at 12:17 pm
Ahh, but can there ever truly be too much written about the wooly weevil and it’s exceptional weeving?
Jack December 6, 2012 at 1:02 am
No, the weevil is mighty, magical and mystical.
â¤ Julie Maloney â¤ ( December 5, 2012 at 9:47 am
I’ve been blogging since 2008 and never thought I’d drop out but I got so burned around this time last year I just couldn’t take it anymore. I noticed most people drop out during the holidays, I actually just started back up about a month ago. I felt like something was missing and as soon as I started back up I realized what it was!
Jack December 6, 2012 at 12:55 am
I used to visit your blog from my old blog, so I noticed that you had hung up your keyboard for a while. Blogging can be a real grind, sometimes we just have to walk away or find a different approach.
Glad you are enjoying it again.
Hajra December 5, 2012 at 7:46 am
This is one of our brilliant posts !
I tried figuring the why, who and what of blogging a long time back. I think fun is what works. If you are not having fun reading, writing or doing the social media jazz, then you just need to sign off!
Jack December 6, 2012 at 12:53 am
I always get the sense that you are having fun with all of this. That is very cool.
Shonali Burke December 5, 2012 at 7:14 am
OMG, I LOVED the way the post started! Thanks for the laugh to start my day, Jack.
Jack December 6, 2012 at 12:51 am
I am glad to hear that. I love making people smile.
Joe December 5, 2012 at 7:01 am
I write about my family most of the time, so every once in a while I do have to throw in a monkey wrench or two… to keep my interest piqued – forget about the reader. 🙂
If I ever get to the point where I write a “how to be a more helpful blogger” post, I hope someone smacks me (literally or on-line). There’s more than enough of that Sominex going around…
Jack December 6, 2012 at 12:50 am
Our interest as writers is of paramount importance. If we aren’t excited about what we are writing it will come out in our words and that is just not helpful.
Nancy December 5, 2012 at 4:35 am
Blogger boredom happens to all of us — even the most devoted. I do it mostly for the connections I’ve formed, but also to keep my mind sharper. It makes me talk about things I wouldn’t normally share. It’s all good. 🙂
Jack December 6, 2012 at 12:48 am
The connections and mental acuity- I like it and not just because those are some of my reasons too. It is all about fun.
Stan Faryna December 5, 2012 at 3:54 am
Obviously, I agree with you, Jack. A good blogger mixes it up. Because, we’re all mixed up. For all the right and wrong reasons. [grin]
Jack December 5, 2012 at 3:14 pm
Yeah, we are all a little mixed up, now aren’t we. 😉