BECOMING A BETTER BLOGGER: Square Peg, Round Hole

Last updated on January 31st, 2014 at 08:40 pm

A complex drawing I made back in 1999.
There was a time where I realized that creating anything that was worth it would need a WHOLE lot of work. I mustn’t forget this.

Blogging is a hustle. It requires you mind, heart and soul to produce content and have it truly reflect who you are. With so many bloggers out there, you’re unlikely to see any returns from your writing without a lot of effort and a lot of time. Building a blog is a labour of love, and you need to mould it into something outstanding. But if you’re a blogger putting content out and relying on consistent frequency and not consistent quality, I’m sorry, but you’re doing blogging wrong.

Is Consistency King?

These past few years of immersion in social media haven’t been passive for me. On top of all the events, the tweets and the new relationships I’ve developed over that time, I’ve attended many webinars and conferences; read ebooks and blogs; and spoken with many “thought leaders” about social media and being successful with it.

Much of it points to the same thing — be consistent with your content. Let your audience know when to expect the next instalment so they’re subconsciously ready for it. Expectation is key.

And I agree — I’d love to move to a Monday-Wednesday-Friday format, putting content out at 9 every morning, ready for all the people who want some content to consume before they start their busy days. But that’s not going to happen.

Not yet, anyway.

Thirst vs. Truth

I’m a mix of a few things when it comes to my blog — a realist, impatient, and an ambitious perfectionist.

My realist side knows that there’s only so many hours in a day, and that blogging isn’t my top priority. My marriage; my relationship with family and friends; and maintaining enough income to support my lifestyle (among others) far outrank it, so I must be realistic about how much time I can put toward my blog.

My impatient side, however, wants to see this change. It wants importance now. It wants to make blogging a higher priority and for all of it to amount to something today — to call his own shots and be seen as some authority in some industry somewhere. He has no plan (he hates planning) and wants everything to happen immediately, without fully realizing how much work it takes for anyone to get anywhere.

Especially in social media.

But it’s the ambitious perfectionist side of me that’s really running the show. He refuses to release content until he’s added tags to the images; scanned the text to make sure it delivers as powerfully as possible; and feel like it’s the best possible effort that he could put out. Sure, he’d like to put content out regularly, but to him, blogging is an art form and he’s not about to compromise it by trying to force something mediocre out to try to hit an arbitrary schedule.

And that’s where I see the problem — too many bloggers are using an outdated rulebook and focusing on hitting that schedule without making sure that what they’re putting out is the very best that they can produce.

Quality Over Quantity — Every. Single. Time.

Crosswordmania 2008
We can’t accomplish anything that’s worth it overnight — just ask the ridiculous amount of crosswords, Sudokus and other word and number puzzles I solved to try to hone my brain!

Blogs have been around for well over a decade, and it’s not like the market for people’s attention has shrunk since then. If you want to make an impact, you’ve got to give people a reason to want to pay attention to you. Engagement isn’t a natural by-product of creating content consistently — you have to earn it by making stuff that you stand behind. That you’re passionate about. That you believe in.

And you won’t get that if you half-ass your craft to hit a quota.

To those of you who’ve managed to balance quality and frequency, I applaud you. You invest the time, you don’t cut corners, but your time management skills are stupendous enough to keep it consistent. You are the type of bloggers we need to aspire to become if we ever want blogging to get the respect we so obviously crave.

To everyone else — it’s time to wake up; mediocrity isn’t going to cut it anymore. The Internet is flooded with content — most of it mediocre — and convincing an already-swamped audience that you’re the person to listen to will need info and content with the highest calibre of authority, entertainment and value available to them. It’s like I said before — stand for something or you’ll fall for anything, and guess what:

if you don’t step your game up, you’ll definitely be falling behind.

–case p.