Where Have All The Bloggers Gone?

Are you a blogging dropout?   Keeping a blog updated often  requires determination and sweat, a passionate tenacity to blog on, and sometimes, it can be emotional and stressful.

Well, you could say it's more like skipping breakfast because you're rushing to work. While lunch break could be a quickie affair. And dinner...well, you call home, saying something like "Dear, I'll be late..."

Also, most bloggers would be going through a period of inactivity known as writer's block after the initial enthusiasm or facing some kind of personal inertia. Or they just feel they are going down a nowhere highway in their blogging, especially the so-called "Make Money Online" blogheads. So, for many, the truth sinks in evetually - is it time to hang up the mouse by its tail!

So lately, we have been asking the question: Where have all the bloggers gone? This title comes to mind quite easily because we remember the folk song "Where have all the flowers gone?" made popular by the folk group Peter, Paul and Mary.

If you look around the blogosphere, you'll notice the rate of dropouts has been quite remarkable in recent years although there are new ones jumping on the bandwagon. I'll refrain from naming some of these dropouts because it's their own judgmental decisions to quit and it's none of my bloggity business. I'm just an observer with nothing to gain from it.

It happens to many of us, unless you're one of those who chugs along on high-octane fuel. Such a person would be zipping from post to post like a knife cutting through butter.

Is there such a person out there? 

I think I have bumped into a few of them in my blogging experience but their posts are like a dime a dozen...there's more fluff and bluff than anything worth remembering.

Also, I have observed some of them blogging like there's no tomorrow. You can say these are the super-charged bloggers who are literally blogging while they eat and sleep! Holy cow, it's more like flogging than blogging! Again, quantity outweighs quality in their content.

I have also missed some blogging friends who were very active doing social networking in recent years. I've known a few of them who started their blogs with zest but it seems they have also lost that early fire in the belly.

Blogging can be addictive. An obsession. A full-time job. A business venture. A vehicle to rant and rave. A media for socializing. A playground. And what have you?

It all depends on what you want to be as a blogger. You win some, you lose some. As I have written on this site in an earlier post, there will always be a gazillion of new bloggers coming onto the scene while many of us call it a day.

Perhaps, some will get a second wind and make a comeback. All the best to them.


Is Your Blog Worth Reading Or Going To The Dogs?

Is blogging a dog's life?  You may wonder why very few people pop over to read your blog. One major mistake, especially for those who are just starting out with a new blog is that they fail to write for their audience.

Hey, why don't I get visitors to my blog? You wonder. Well, for a start you need to write compelling blog posts. Your blog post should resonate with readers. Think of a mouth-watering dish that's so delicious it will make a person want to ask for more.

Yes, a compelling blog post is the key to convince a visitor that there's something worth reading on your blog. That might convince the visitor to want to return and read more of your future postings.

There are so many blogs out there that are crying for visitors but the owners of those blogs do not realize that their scattered thoughts and bad prose are just prompting people to run for the hills instead.

If you want them to read and appreciate your writing, you have to start thinking like a marketer or a copywriter. You have to be able to write without stumbling on your tenses. Be focused, be creative, be witty and be a conversationalist.

Writing articles or blog posts is all about communication. In my humble opinion, effective communication is the key to unlock the craving of your reader.

Unless your blog is only for your family, your business colleagues, or your dog and cat, you're probably writing with the hope that someone will read about your thoughts. You can bet not many people are on the same wavelength. So you need to write something that will capture their interest. . .and imagination.

Well, you can write about the birds and the bees and everything else under the sun or the moon, but all the subject matters have to be compelling with the 'wow' factor in them to keep the reader glued to your article.

So if you want your blog to flourish, you have to write about something that people will find it worth reading and could benefit them in profound ways. And yes, you can make them laugh or smile, or make them cry.

I repeat. Build a loyal readership with unique content that resonates with your readers. Write compelling articles or posts that provide useful information and tips. Something that will benefit the reader in some way. That's the way to keep them coming back to your blog.

I have touched on this topic before and this article is an update for those who have not read it. Yes, sometimes you can update a post you wrote a few years back and 'take it back to the future'!

Some people say blogging can be hard work.  Well, if you want to find a place in the blogging sun, you have to slog more than you blog ... sometimes.  - Markk

Photo credit: Meagan

 Blogging for Bliss: Crafting Your Own Online Journal: A Guide for Crafters, Artists & Creatives of all Kinds  Creative Blogging: Your First Steps to a Successful Blog  Blogging in Pink: A Woman's Guide


Learning from the Blogging Experience

CHANGE, WE CAN.  Whatever your endeavour, there'll come a time when you need to change direction and move on. It's the same with blogging.  Once you have achieved a certain milestone and your blogging experience has given you the confidence to step up a gear or two, then maybe it's time to take your blogging to the next level.

On the other hand, consider this a pertinent question: Is it no longer cool to blog? Has blogging become too tedious for you to carry on, or has the passion and determination gone out the window?

Blogging started in a democratic way allowing freedom of expression on a platform open to everyone who knows how to kick-start a blog. For the early birds who caught on to the blogging craze, it was an exciting world of expressing yourself to all and sundry who came to read your blog.

This was the time when those in the know about Internet entrepreneurial ventures developed their blogging skills and moved on to the next level of their blogging experience. From blogs filled with personal ramblings and idiosyncratic musings, they changed gear and moved into the realm of making money online with their blogs or they eased up and become more circumspect in the way they blog.

The ones who made it big-time in their blogging are now sitting pretty as professional bloggers - some running many niche blogs earning residual income albeit with the help of some other bloggers who are being paid to keep these blogs running. Some would like to call them the A-list bloggers and they have garnered a huge following of fans, because like bees, these fans love to gather around the beehives where the honey (or money) pot is supposed to be.

That's not far from the truth, because if A-listers are supposedly great money-makers that's where the fans (or fanboys as dubbed by other bloggers) will like to hang around, hoping a little bit of crumbs here and there might help to "enlighten their blogging experience" and in the process take them to the "next level."

But thankfully not all bloggers are "honeysuckers." Some bloggers do have a mind of their own and they have enough sense to learn from their own experience to understand how things work when it comes to search engines optimization,  getting organic web traffic, internet marketing, keyword targeting and other relevant issues that will help to enhance their knowledge of the world of blogging.

Ebb and flow in blogging

Truth be told, it was generally assumed that it was much easier to reach the top in the early days than it is today. Having come this far, I'm inclined to agree with that assumption. The Internet has evolved in many ways after more than a decade.  There are probably a gadzillion bloggers on this planet today, so it looks like if you fall out on the wayside, there'll be others to replace you.

Just like in business where many retailers gather around in the same vicinity creating a kind of synergy, competition will be keen and it's up to you to have what it takes to outdo your competitors to stay on top of the situation.

In that sense, you can say there's a state of equillibrium in the blogging experience despite the ebb and flow. Nothing changes even when the blogosphere undergoes various changes. So we are where we are. It is how we motivate ourselves from a standstill position to somewhere more rewarding that counts.

Does this mean I'm hanging up my mouse? My answer is an emphatic "No." There's still some blogging streak in me. I'm just going to pace myself, be more focused and not blog like a 'Mad March Hare' you read about in Alice in Wonderland.

Sometimes you learn there's a better way to do things than just following the herd. Stay true to yourself and be focused in what you do. -- Markk

* PhotoCredit: Jasen Miller