The Difference Between Bloggers & Writers

There are writers without blogs but no bloggers without writers or so someone once told me.

I must have scrunched up my face a bit when they said it because they immediately got defensive and told me I knew what they meant.

Sadly this mind reading ability they credited me with doesn’t work on other topics and in other areas because if it did I’d make use of it.

Hell, a fella could make a lot of money and do a lot of fun things with that kind of magic or so I imagine.

Can’t say for certain because I have never had the opportunity to try it out. Not entirely  sure that I’d want either, sometimes it is better not to hear and know certain things.

The Difference Between Bloggers & Writers

But if push comes to shove and you want more a more substantive answer I might dig into how a blogger has to produce content and make sure the blog works as it should.

Those of you who are long time readers have seen several theme changes here and are probably aware that every time I change something I have to fix something else to make sure the parts and pieces work together.

Ten thousand posts makes that a bigger job than you might realize because that touches upon links, SEO and more.

It means thinking about whether you should optimize old posts so that they work better under the current situation or leave them alone.

For example, my current theme uses a featured image at the top of each page. The posts that don’t have a featured image look a little bit naked  without that image.

Go back into the archives and you’ll find lots of those and lots that weren’t tagged or categorized, not to mention the tons of broken links.

When I started this back in 2004 it was a whole different ballgame and I didn’t think about organization, SEO, monetizing or any of the other crap that comes with this stuff.

Should We Delete/Modify Old Posts?

I often think about what to do with old posts. I wonder about whether I should delete some and or modify others.

I correct spelling or grammatical errors whenever I come across them, but I tend not to do much about trying to optimize old posts for SEO other than maybe adding meta data or a keyword to focus upon.

And of course I do my best to fix bad links as I find them.

As for deleting old posts, well I have gotten rid of a few that were embarrassing or so riddled with bad links they no longer made sense, but I tend to be very cautious with what I nuke and what I don’t.

Those old posts tell a story and they help provide benchmarks I can use to determine if I think my writing has improved and or is improving.
writing_poetryMy pal Mr. Frost and I share that bit about endings in common, I often have no idea where I am going to finish until I get there.

That is part of the fun in writing for me, I take joy in the journey. It is a giant puzzle that I put together piece by piece.

The more time I spend reading and writing the better I become and the easier it gets to put those pieces together or so I often say.

There are those moments where I wonder if the best I can do is spew out tired crap that would be better used to wrap fish in.

Sometimes the biggest challenge is to maintain perspective about the quality. That doesn’t just apply to whether we think our work can be improved but also to the stuff we think is great.

Home runs fall into foul territory from time to time and even the most graceful of us can trip and fall down a flight of stairs.

Ten thousand posts makes that a bigger job than you might realize because...Click To Tweet

And now dear reader let me share another thought with you that rumbles around the old percolator inside my skull.

What would happen if I walked away from the blog?

Would I be happier or more fulfilled by spending more time elsewhere? Would I be more productive?

Would anyone notice or care?

To Be Or Not To Be Noticed

I have said many times I write first for me and then for you. I have shared thoughts about how I would write regardless of whether anyone commented on my posts.

And I have.

Not every post has a comment. Some are orphans that have received no outward expression of love.

But I wonder how it would feel if I found out that I left the game and no one cared. It might hurt more than I like to think or imagine because as much as this is about practicing my skills and chronicling the lives of my family there is something more to it.

There is the dream that in some way this leads to a different sort of writing gig than the places and opportunities it has already taken me.

There is the brutal truth that would come with that knowledge that no one cared.

“Your words don’t resonate or move people. You can’t make them imagine places or people or feel something.

And if I can’t do that, well then I can’t expect to turn fantasy into reality.

A Father’s Truth

I try not to tell my children to do as I say and not as I do as much as possible.

This is one of those areas where it is important to me to show them the importance of not just talking about a dream but of taking action to move it from one place to another.

I’d rather try and fail than fail to try.

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12 Comments

  1. Nina December 20, 2015 at 6:40 pm

    The going back and fixing it all can make you crazy! And what if you switch the layout/theme again? I don’t know what I would do if I had 10,000 posts. It’s a hard call! I’d caution against overly making everything SEO ready because posts like that definitely start to read like an SEO list.

    • Jack Steiner December 22, 2015 at 11:59 am

      I don’t spend much time at all optimizing my old posts for SEO, but trying to fix them so they look good with a new theme/layout, well that I definitely do as I am able to get to them.

  2. Mitch Mitchell December 10, 2015 at 5:30 pm

    This is really interesting because I’ve had many of these same thoughts over the course of 10 years. Would anyone care if I stopped; do they care now? It’s because of this that I decided some time ago that I blog for me first, others second. It’s more of the driving force behind staying consistent and not just giving it up and deciding to have more fun playing video games every night.

    On to the second part, what to do with old posts. I’ve removed some from the general public but I can’t think of many that I’ve actually deleted… and I have multiple blogs. Every once in a while I do go back and adjust a post when I want to internally link back to it because a part of it fits the latest post. I don’t have 10,000 posts, but I do have close to 4,000 posts across 5 blogs at present that would take considerable time to get to (actually it’s a bit less than that since one of those blogs wasn’t created until last February but still…). Instead, I let them stand on their own merits until I either need them or get a bit of inspiration and decide to fix them… such as those posts that had videos embedded before YouTube went and changed how they coded video; curse them! lol

    • Jack Steiner December 11, 2015 at 7:48 am

      Hi Mitch,

      The decision to blog first for yourself is a key element in longevity, or at least I see it as being that for me. It is what smoothes the rough edges away. Certainly helps make it more fun and enjoyable.

      Old YouTube videos seem to be one of the primary offenders for me in old posts because the links are bad, or the embedding doesn’t work etc.

      Not always of course, but enough times for me to be aware o f it.

      It ties into the two biggest issues I have with old posts:

      1) Is the quality close to what I want to present to people?

      2) If there are links are they still good and does the formatting still work.

  3. Nicole Johnson December 7, 2015 at 6:57 am

    I have often thought the same thing. Great post!

  4. Larry December 3, 2015 at 7:21 pm

    I hope that dream comes through one day.

  5. Chloe Jeffreys December 3, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    I’m not sure I agree with the person who said every blog has a writer.
    Certainly every blog has someone who can use a keyboard and knows how to connect to the Internet, but those skills do not a writer make, as you l already know.

    Anyway, I’d miss you.

    Chloe

    • Jack Steiner December 4, 2015 at 11:00 am

      Thank you.

      You are right, access to a keyboard, typewriter or pen is not the sole requirement for becoming a writer. But I figure until I am perfect I need to be somewhat judicious in how critical I am of other people’s writing.

      Ok, that is not entirely true, lack of perfection won’t make me less likely to shake my head and roll my eyes. 🙂

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