Sunday, July 19, 2015

My Advice for New Bloggers - Don't do it!

Nick Leffler shared a tweet of mine in his blog post Community Advice for New Bloggers.

It's a great post. And I say that because it got me thinking. Not many posts that I read, or write for that matter, do that any more. In fact I reflected so deeply on the post that I felt moved to blog here again. I haven't posted here in a while and the few posts that I have done have been few and far between. So, special thanks to Nick for writing the post and for all those who shared their thoughts about getting started.

Blogging has changed so much over the last 10+ years. In the early 2000s blogs were pretty much all we had for sharing our own content online. Compare that to today's social media cacophony and I can see why people don't even feel it's necessary to blog. Why bother, when I can just post to twitter, or update my status in Facebook, or share an article on LinkedIn, or share photos on Instagram...I almost typed Flickr but that's not so cool these days...and now I feel old.

Today's blogosphere seems to have a lot of rules. There are a multitude of books on how to blog, how to write the best headline, how to make money with your blog, and so much more. The wild west world wide web of yesterday it seems has matured into the big city internet.

Professional writers have taken over the internet providing an unending stream of content to large blogging sites like The Huffington Post and so many others. Blogging has simply become a shorter form of writing for the professionals and aspiring professionals. And I find that quite sad. Those who simply want to write in a blog stop themselves because they don't feel like they are good enough, or ready. I call BS!

I never started writing this blog to "become a writer". Although I will say it built my confidence in sharing what I know. Honestly, my favorite part was knowing that I didn't need to be a good writer to start my blog.  I didn't need to worry about spelling, I didn't need to worry about grammar. I just didn't care because the only person I was doing it for was me.

When I first discovered that people were finding my blog and reading it, and commenting on my grammatical errors I was SHOCKED to say the least. But after getting over the initial fear and uneasy feeling of being judged I found a comfortable groove and enough positive, friendly supporters, that I just kept going.

It actually became quite fun to know that I had the power to irritate the grammar nazis with a misplaced apostrophe, or using too instead of to. But my personal favorite has always been using too many exclamation points. I LOVE IT!!!!! And more importantly...I really dont' care if you don't!!!!!!!

See?! That's what blogging was.  It was the internet's first gift of user-generated content. Then it all when to hell from there.

If you really want to start something with a little more 21st century kick, start a YouTube channel. If you really want to write about your chosen profession, then just use the platform built into LinkedIn. You don't need to mess around with wordpress, or the headaches that come with it, just to express yourself these days. There are plenty of really simple platforms for expressing yourself in writing.  Make your life easier and just start blogging in those spaces.

My blogging advice to those who are set on doing it stands as stated in Nick's blog.  But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that really isn't what I should be advising anyone. If you are a writer, or want to be a writer, then fine. Go start a blog and practice your craft. There is no better environment for practicing than in the real world. So go for it.

However, if you are looking to express yourself with the medium of tomorrow then consider video. The YouTube explosion today, is what blogging was 10 years ago. It's raw. It's undefined. And yet, it's got a large enough community for support and encouragement. Check out the backchannel for Vidcon this week. It's the largest gathering of YouTubers. You'll probably see me tweeting about it quite a bit this week.

Don't start a blog! Start a YouTube channel!!

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