The Foundations Of Blogging

I haven’t blogged about blogging for a long while now. I suspect it has something to do with the fact I now spend more time living life out there than I do blogging. In retrospect, that is a good thing. After all, what’s a personal blog worth if you don’t have a personal life to go with it? Of course I bring this up now because Lorelle pointed me to Copyblogger’s post on the Zen of Blogging.

Being a practitioner of Buddhist philosophy, I can relate to that post. I do however have my own way of crossing all my “t’s” and dotting all my “i’s” and after all these years of blogging I think it’s time to revisit the foundations of what makes a blog stand tall above the rest.

It’s Your Content:

Yes, the phrase “content is king” has been repeated before so many times, I think the sentence has lost all meaning. Yet of all things, content is what defines how good (or bad) a blog can be. In the light the mushrooming ad-driven blogs, content-centric posts have been taken aside for the sole purpose of generating revenue, making original unbiased opinions a rare commodity. Even so, bloggers like ChickyBabe, Lorelle or even Liz Strauss have managed to prove that content is truly king.

It doesn’t matter if you blog about your personal thoughts, blog about an application or blog about blogs. It matters that whatever you have to say, you’re passionate about. It matters what whatever you have to say it’s your own words. Whatever you have to say, its your own content. It starts there and I daresay it’ll end with it.

It’s Never A Popularity Contest:

Or I should say, it’s never quite the popularity contest. Yes, there was this whole deal on A-list bloggers and the rest of us a while back, and while their words do outweigh the rest of us in the blogosphere, it makes no difference in what they say and what we would say. Being well read by thousands of people doesn’t mean you write something worth reading. Neither does a handful of people reading your blog mean that you’re a lousy blogger. It just means that they probably know how to market their blog better than you do.

Look at it this way, uniqueness doesn’t guarantee popularity. More likely than not, the horde mentality for the common might drive that uniqueness to the brink of obscurity. It might also mean that you spend more time being passionate on what you do to bother with showing off your content, which needless to say is better than droning on about what other people have already done their life.

The point is, if you spend more time worrying about how many people read your blog as opposed to actually expressing your self on your blog. You’re threading on something far worse than being unique and not well read. You’re going to be normal and not well read.

It’s About Passion:

Have you ever loved something so much that you put your entire heart into it and despite the ups and downs, you loved every moment until you got your just desserts? Blogging is no different. Blogging about what you want to blog about is no different. It’s about loving what you blog about. It’s about expressing your thoughts and opinions and making the people feel whatever you’re feeling the moment you wrote it.

When you blog about something, take a moment to read what you wrote. Do you still feel the emotions that drove you to write what you wrote? Do you still believe in what you wrote? Because mind you, if you don’t feel the emotions bleed from your posts. If even you don’t believe in what you put down. How is anyone else going to relate to it? How is anyone else going to believe in what you say?

You don’t have to be a damn good writer to bring your thoughts and feelings out. But at least start by having them when you write. The rest comes naturally and we all learn. We always do.

Pride and Criticism:

There is a saying. “Feel proud that you did great. Feel horrible that you screwed up” I’m not one for false humility and modesty because it doesn’t get you anywhere. Uncertainty and insecurity when you blog certainly contradicts your passion for it, unless you actually are blogging about how uncertain or insecure you are in life. Contrary to what Copyblogger said, I think that ego is what makes every blogger successful. Despite what we might say, every blogger is a narcissist and because of that, we appeal to being good at what we say. We strive to do even better and that isn’t such a bad thing.

The only downside which makes sense is that because we are full of pride in one’s self. We make ourselves miserable when we fail to reach our own expectations. But looking at it from another perspective, that’s also a good thing. It reminds us that we are not perfect and we will never be. Striving to be better at what you do isn’t without realizing that you can screw up. Make no mistake, when you’re right, you have all the reason to flaunt your pride, but you should also remember that we make mistakes and while most can be avoided due to common sense (assuming you have one), sometimes we need a good kick from people who point out that we’re wrong.

There is no harm in knowing that you still need to know more. All the better when you come out the other end knowing way more than you used to because of it. How’s that for narcissistic pride then?

Conclusion:

At the end of it, the foundations here would make little difference to those that are unique on their own. In a way, all of them have been rehashed and retold by so many people so many times. It’s just that, for some people including myself, I would want this to serve as a reminder that blogging, despite it’s various incarnations whether as a personal journal or a information distributing nexus, still depends on one thing. You. You define your content. You decide your readership. You drive your passion. You choose whether or not you want to accept criticism. You.

All the foundations do is to hold up the blog around what matters the most. Because despite whatever reasons, we’re still the ones putting everything down. The only difference is, will our blogs stay up and grow taller? Or will it crumble down into obscurity, apathy and otherwise pointless subterfuge? That’s something worth re-examining don’t you think?

8 thoughts on “The Foundations Of Blogging

  1. These days everyone has a blog, but what makes a blog unique is the person behind it and how they choose to project themselves. I see a fair bit copied from elsewhere, ideas exploited from others (without referencing), even design and concepts, and that reveals a lot more about a blogger sometimes than their words.

    I agree with you that content is king, (and thank you for the kind reference), it is that which brings me back every time, that relationship forged through the written words. Without it, there’s always the X button.

  2. HEY! it ate up the rest of my comment. Psh.

    Anyway, what I wanted to say was that your words ring true. Sometimes I get a bit hung up over the fact that I don’t get many hits but then I remind myself why I started blogging. I needed an avenue to rant and to “improve” on my writing skills and blogging provided the platform.

    Excellent post btw 😉

  3. ChickyBabe: I agree with you totally that blogs reveal more about a person than a person would care to say. Not everything told is based on words. Your blog reflects that too. But I like what you said. There is always the “X” button.

    Boinq: Haha, it happens from time to time and thanks. Yeah. It isn’t a popularity contest, you got to remember that you’re narcissistic as well. You just have to grow from it. Everything else follows naturally. 🙂

  4. Thank you for sharing this insightful information. I started blogging January 1, 2007 just to challenge myself to keep doing “quick writes” on a daily basis. I, too, have noticed that a lot of content pertains to “money, power, and technical.”

    Nevertheless, I’ve met some beautiful people who have something meaningful to share. As you know, dancing to the beat of a different drum is not popular, nor easy, but it is liberating and rewarding.

  5. As long as we find meaning and connect with the community, being different is not lost to us. It just makes what we write much more readable. Keep up the spirit and never forget to have fun from it!! 🙂

  6. Being well read by thousands of people doesn’t mean you write something worth reading. Neither does a handful of people reading your blog mean that you’re a lousy blogger.

    I blogged about the subject once. If I may quote what I said:

    the blogosphere is a social ecosystem, and that makes it a scale-free network. A network of such nature is made up of — given that every node can link to any number of other nodes — a few nodes with many links, and many nodes with few links. Put bluntly, there will always be only a small handful that gets the most attention and floats above the plankton.

    Short story, nothing is egalitarian when a lot of people are involved.

  7. Then again, that’s because we want to define it that way. We get sucked into believing in what other people say that we run our blogs around the social fads. A lot of blogs do that. Going back in a round about way, what about the originators? What about the underdog blogs out there that don’t follow the social gaff?

    Society defines, yes. But society isn’t always for the better. Digg is one example of where it goes completely wrong.

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