Blogging is one of the most blogged about topics, why is that? Why do people blog? How do they decide what to blog about, how often, how many places, how many words? I’ve been doing a lot of thinking this month and one thing I’ve reconsidered is why I blog and what I’m trying to accomplish by blogging. This post is an attempt to put these thoughts into a coherent form and allude to what will be upcoming on Muskblog.
Why do people blog?
The answer is it varies. Some are in it for the money. They blog for pay or as a form of self promotion or the promotion of their company or organization. Others blog about a trip they’ve taken or their progress towards personal improvement. People blog about their hobbies, their interests, their passions. The last three are probably the best reasons to blog. I think people also blog because they are lonely and confused, I know I have.
Why am I still blogging?
That is a question that I’ve asked myself and it leads to bigger question. Big questions require a lot of thinking but often lead to short answers. Because. Be Cause. Be Use…ful.
Utility has something to do with it. People asked me to blog, they got something out of my writings. Sometimes it is tangible, sometimes it is satisfaction, sometimes it is amusement, sometimes it is just relief. But why am I still blogging? Well in some ways I’m weak. Maybe I have a personality that is susceptible to addiction. I have stopped blogging, took the whole thing down for six months, proved to some people including myself that I could. I do censor myself some, but not enough, I do edit, but again at times not enough.
I blog therefore I am, that’s Cartesian, but I’ve read more Nietzsche, which means I most closely resemble a Cynic. I explored Nihilism, but in the end you have to stand for something if you want to stand at all. Perhaps the philosopher I most identify with is Socrates, he taught to question, plus he was executed for corrupting the youth of Athens, that’s badass.
I continue to blog, because throwing away years worth of effort seems to imply that the struggle wasn’t worth it, that the blog wasn’t worth it, that I’m not worthwhile.
What have I done right?
I sometimes wonder if I’ve done anything right or worthwhile. I chose WordPress early and that has grown to become the dominant blogging platform and one of the world’s leading CMSs. I’ve also stuck with it when many people who started blogs stopped writing, abandoned blogs outnumber active ones. I’ve also tried to remain true to myself. I don’t pretend I’m someone else, I don’t claim esoteric or insider knowledge, I don’t have all the answers. I don’t even have all the questions.
I have gotten better, I’m capable of Quality. And it is this capability I need to embrace while remaining true, real, authentic. Those aren’t words you usually hear in mainstream blogs and that’s probably why I read very few popular blogs. I’m not trying to be a celebrity, I don’t even know who celebrities are anymore, what are they famous for, where is their quality, their capability, their utility?
What have I done wrong?
Do you have a comfortable seat, this could get lengthy… Seriously my flaws are many. I know what to do, can articulate it, then proceed to not follow my own advice, my own learnings. My two biggest blogging mistakes are not being focused and not capitalizing on those brief moments when I had some popularity or influence. Quality control has been lacking and this is what I need to improve the most. I also need to leverage all the time and effort I’ve put into Muschamp.ca over the years, the effort, the costs, haven’t justified the returns.
What does the future hold for Muskblog?
Hopefully a commitment to Quality. While I’ve been unemployed I ran out of excuses for not doing some things such as improving this blog, indeed the entire domain has been augmented, modernized, strengthened. I can’t fix all the spelling mistakes, I can’t take back things I’ve said or done, rephrasing things may not matter to some, but I’ve spent far too much time editing old posts to improve their Quality.
You are your Google results. I said that, perhaps even first. I’ve said a lot of things first, occasionally people notice, but in the future I hope to be more assertive, more proactive, more accomplished, perhaps even more philosophical.
On Problogger, someone wrote and tweeted “7 Powerful Ways to Get Your Blog Noticed”. I’ve been cynical about some similar statements and posts in the past. That doesn’t mean I haven’t tried to heed people’s advice. This includes adhering to many of Jakob Nielsen’s 10 Commandments of Blogging. More recently, I implemented most of Yoast’s WordPress SEO tutorial, but I don’t think a lack of SEO is a problem, I think a lack of Quality and a lack of opportunism has cost me.
I need to make more of my life.