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To blog or not to blog

Posted by Michael Bloch in web development (Thursday May 21, 2009 )

..that is the question: whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the taunts of blogging peers, or to join in and compete against a sea of other blogs..

If you’re still struggling with whether or not to start a blog, I’d like to share this pearl of wisdom that popped up during an IM conversation with a non-blogging colleague of mine:

colleague: Yeah, to blog or not to blog… that is the question
colleague: But doing both is a bit dumb.

He nailed it.

What he meant was starting a blog and then not continuing on at least a semi regular basis is not such a good idea. That point of view arose after he was contacted by someone appealing for coverage on a project we’re both involved with. The site looked fine, but the blog hadn’t been updated for over a year.. it’s a bit of a turn-off. It also leaves potential customers wondering “is this guy still around” or “is this business still operating”?

Before starting a blog, ask yourself this important question..

Why start one?

If your answer is “because everyone else is and X said I should”, that might be the basis of building a blog that fails.

There’s lots of good reasons for starting a blog; for example, to drive more traffic, or in my case to help un-blinker me a bit as to what’s happening in the industry; but unless you do have a good reason and the time to burn, don’t waste your time – focus on your core tasks and what you’re best at in regards to promoting your business as it will likely bear more and better fruit.

However, there is a way around it if you start a blog and then find you’re “blogged under”.. simply prevent the post dates from displaying. This would work well if your posts are mainly evergreen content rather than date sensitive; i.e. news-type items.

I’ve done something similar to this in another project – removing dates on blog comments, so visitors reading them wouldn’t be discouraged from participating in what might otherwise seem to be a dead thread. It certainly works; a little too well at times.


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