Anything Worth Blogging is Worth Blogging Badly

guest-badgeWelcome to one of many regular installments from self acclaimed blogging “guru” Matticus. Learning about blogging techniques is one thing. Actually going through with them and carrying them out is another and that’s where I hope to help!

From the many emails and conversations and forum posts I’ve read and had over the past month on Blog Azeroth and abound, I’ve figured out that there is one aspect common in all bloggers and that is the fear of sucking.

There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.
– Colin Powell

Common blogging fears

  • Flames from readers
  • Comments saying “You’re wrong!”
  • Not enough research done
  • Getting facts wrong
  • Offending people

And I’m just skimming the surface here. Don’t try to be a perfectionist right off the bat because it’s nearly impossible to write the perfect blog post every time. Blogging has a learning curve to it. Start with the idea, then support for the idea.

That’s it!

As you gradually progress, you’ll notice your blogging will improve. You’ll start receiving feedback. People will start pointing out grammatical mistakes, factual mistakes, and whatever else mistakes. It happens to me all the time. In fact, I had one particular reader who was so adept at pointing out every error I committed that I eventually gave in and brought her onboard so she could help fix my posts after I had already written them =).

write-damnit Don’t be worried about fixing your mistakes right away. The most important thing is to get the process of writing down regardless of how it looks and how you sound. Get into the habit of writing whether it’s every day, every 2nd day, or right before you to go sleep or during lunch. Whatever time you pick, make sure you stick with it and commit. Otherwise you’ll start to lapse and wane and your discipline will be rendered non-existent.

Once you get your writing habits developed and you start blogging punctually, then you can spend more time on formatting.

This is not to say that fact checking isn’t important. It is. But it’s not something you should obsess over right away as a blogger. The moment you start getting paid to blog is the moment you need to make an effort to get your facts straight in a really obsessive manner. But since you’re starting out, don’t bust your chops with irrelevant things like that right away.

Besides, it’s good comment bait for people to swoop in and say “Hey, you made a mistake here!” and then you respond by saying “Oops! Fixed! Thanks!”. It makes you look good due to the pseudo reader and writer interaction that’s happening ;).

Exercises

Try this whenever you hit a wall:

A major in game event happens which affects you strongly. Write as sincerely as you can how you feel about the situation and how it will change things. Maybe a friend left the guild or a piece of loot dropped that you really wanted but didn’t get. Don’t worry about the spelling or grammar. Write for 30 minutes on back to back days about it.

karate-1 Eventually, you’ll get to a point where a blog post will take more than an hour to finalize. I know bloggers who spend a few days crafting one post. I typically spend 90 minutes on average on a post. The process includes conception, raw writing on paper, typing it on the computer, editing it again, formatting it, finding the necessary images to help accent it, and then finally promoting and publishing it.

I highly doubt anyone is born a natural blogger. It’s a craft that takes nothing more than repetition. In fact, blogging should be a form of martial art because it takes an insane amount of practice before it becomes second nature. Repetition, repetition, repetition. Don’t stop writing. Because once you do, it’s going to take a monumental effort to get back into the groove again.

Try asking anyone that’s taken a break from blogging how hard it can be to get back into the swing of things. There’s still a period of adjustment they go through. But if you love blogging, you have to actually blog. Even if the posts are fail, you have to keep pushing. Even on days where you just don’t want to crawl out of bed, you have to keep blogging (a simple I don’t wanna blog because I feel like crap and why you feel like crap would work). Because at the end of the day, bloggers who don’t blog aren’t bloggers.

Don’t ever be afraid to suck.

Remember that.

Image credits: kaibara87, lusi

7 comments to Anything Worth Blogging is Worth Blogging Badly

  • Hmm… interesting points. But what about when you have a post that just isn’t what you had in mind… so you keep trying to improve it… and improve it… and you can’t write anything else, since that one is in the wings… and it just never gets published because it’s never good enough? I think that’s a valid worry that a lot of bloggers have, too.

    As usual, well thought out article!

  • Let me get this straight, I should keep blogging even though I have so much fail I have to keep the extra fail boxed up in the basement?

    Now that I can do =)

  • Dechion, you can’t get better by not doing, AMIRITE?

  • I totally agree. There was a great comment from someone who’s name I forget. Something like, “Get your (project) posted now, since now is the worst it will ever be. You can always tweak and improve it, but if you don’t post, because it isn’t perfect, it will never be posted.”

    Get it up there, go ahead and fail, but get it up there. Heck, turn off comments for awhile. When you turn them back on start asking for comments. You may be pleasantly surprised by what you get.

    If I was worried about failing…well, my blog wouldn’t have ANY posts.

  • … and if you’re just to lazy or ignorent to do insane amounts of research about theorycrafting, upcoming patches etc, you can always stick to the opinion/ranting kind of posts = less risk of getting facts totally wrong. Blogging isn’t necessary always about educating people. It’s also about entertaining! Chose the field that comes most easily to you, don’t bend yourself into something that isn’t you.

    I agree totall about your points. Don’t overdo it. Don’t hesitate. Don’t get afraid of the blank sheet. Just keep on writing until it it becomes one of your basic needs, or as you put it, a second nature. It will. Eventually. Just be patient.

  • sah

    i write daily because I am a freelance writer but i use my blogs to write about the things I like. Unfortunately, there are a lot of times I find it difficult to find the time to blog and I get so frustrated sometimes.

    I would really like to be paid for blogging, that way I wont have to write about things that I have no interest in but unfortunately, I have no idea how to do that.

  • bbr

    Some posts can be done fast, some take days as they require some research and type fitting.