26 August 2009

How to Know When to Stop Blogging?

I came across this site of Lorelle on Wordpress about blogging and I was stunned by these words, "Blogging isn’t for everyone, and everyone doesn’t need to blog. There are times when you should stop blogging, and there are times to take a rest from blogging".

I still consider myself new to blogosphere and I do believe in what she said that blogging isn’t for everyone and you don’t have to blog if you don’t want to.

So here are Lorelle's tips for "“how to know when not to blog”.

1. Stop blogging if you don’t have a purpose: Honestly, you don’t have to blog if you don’t want to, and if you don’t know what to blog about, don’t. If your blog has no purpose, stop blogging.

Your blogging purpose doesn’t have to be specific, but it does need to exist. A blog purpose is the reason you blog, the definition of your blog, and why your readers come back to read your blog. If you are blogging about your daily life’s activities and affairs, then that’s your purpose. If you are blogging about a specific industry such as online technology, space, transportation, or ice skating, that’s your blogging purpose. If you are blogging about a specific rare area of science, math, or research, you’ve found a purpose for blogging.

If you blog because it fulfills some deep inner need to express yourself, and it makes you happy and motivates you to get up in the morning, and that feeling lasts longer than 3 months, you’ve got a purpose for blogging. Keep blogging.

Vague, empty blogging just because it’s something to do, or because everyone else is doing it, is useless and a time waster. Stop blogging.

2. Stop blogging if you do not have the time: If your time is limited and you can’t find time to blog, don’t. You don’t have to post every day. You don’t have to post ten times a day. In fact, you don’t have to post more than once a week. Control your time and if you feel the time crunch, don’t blog.

3. Say “no” if you are already over-committed: Blogging isn’t for everyone and when you’ve got a lot of other things going on, stop blogging. If the withdrawal pain is too much, then you can restart blogging, and stop something else. But don’t start blogging when you can’t keep up with the rest of your life.

Stop blogging if you are over-committed on your blogging, too. You don’t have to blog every day. There are thousands of news bits and articles I’d love to write about on my blogs, but sometimes, I just have to “say no” when time is short and I’m running out of energy. Not everything has to be blogged about, so by choosing only the topics that really matter to me and to my audience, I’m blogging wisely and with purpose, not straining to get every ounce of information from every source published on my blog. Quality over quantity.

4. Don’t blog when you’ve run out of original things to say: If you find yourself blockquoting everyone else and not writing anything original, stop blogging. Find your own voice and say what you want to say. You can quote others and use their words to highlight your point of view and help your commentary, but don’t just blockquote and echo what everyone else is blogging about. Let your blog be you and your voice or stop blogging.

5. Don’t blog if you don’t have the temperament: Blogging is a fad for those who blog for short term or vague reasons. Blogging takes time, energy, commitment, discipline, organization skills, communication skills, and research and writing skills. Blog because you understand how it works and you enjoy blogging. It’s not for everyone. If you don’t have the temperament or personality for maintaining a blog, then don’t. Do something else.

6. Don’t blog when you are emotional: When something strikes at our soul and spirit, the natural tendency is to lash out. Stop. Don’t do it, and don’t do it on your blog. Go ahead and pummel your keyboard with your first thoughts and reactions but DO NOT PUBLISH IT. Save it and wait a while. Think or stop thinking about it. Come back in a few hours or days and then give it another look. Does it really say what you want it to say? Is it the truth or just a rant? Don’t blog when you are out of control with emotions. Take your time and make blogging a conscious decision.

7. Be careful blogging about topics “close to home”: This is a tough one. Much of blogging is about sharing your opinion and voice on a subject. But when that subject cuts too close to your spirit, your words may incite others or hurt you later.

Your words matter. What you say matters. Sometimes when the hurt is still too close, we tend to lash out or say things we regret later. Think through your blog writing and take care not to do more harm.

8. Be aware that there are certain stages in your life when blogging is not a good option for you: Once you start a blog, do you have to maintain it forever? Some do, but most people don’t. Your blog is a reference point in your life as you share your opinions and knowledge at this time in your life. Sometimes life will take priority over your blog and other times your blog will take priority over your life. Find a balance between the two, but if you can’t and you have to stop blogging, stop. You may not always blog, and you may not always blog about the same things, but go with the flow and know that not all blogs last forever and blogs evolve over time.

9. If you stop blogging, don’t burn your bridges: If you make the decision to stop blogging, don’t make a big deal about it. The more you publicize your quitting, the harder it will be to return if you choose. Don’t burn your blogging bridges. A note on your site that says you are taking a vacation or time out is fine. If it’s permanent, fine. If it isn’t, you can pick up where you left off, no harm done. Always leave your options open.

10. Don’t blog just because your friends blog: Again, just because everyone else is blogging, you don’t have to blog. If you do, do it because you want to blog. Do it because you have something to say and you love writing.

11. Don’t be bullied, coerced, or co-opted into blogging about a specific topic: You choose what you blog about. You don’t have to blog about something because everyone else is. You don’t have to blog about something because you are told to or challenged. Don’t let commenters or other bloggers pressure you into writing, commenting or responding to their comments if you don’t want to. There are a lot of mean spirited bloggers out there, many using flames and trolling to attract traffic to their sites. If you don’t want to play the game, don’t. It’s your choice.

12. Don’t blog about it unless you can prove it: Question your sources. Don’t blog about it unless you can prove it or stand by your claim, or be willing to ask forgiveness when proven wrong. Blogs are becoming sources for news, but not all blogs are reliable news sources. In fact, not all news sources are reliable. Check your sources before you make a claim to make sure what you claim on your blog is true. Don’t spread rumors and don’t tell lies. Verify when you can, and when you can’t, tell your audience of your doubts, or don’t share the information at all.

13. Stop blogging when there is no return on your investment: Just as with your investments, stop blogging when your investment in blogging gets little or no return. If it doesn’t “feel good”, you’ve run out of things to write, or it is consuming your time and energy away from “better” or more important things, stop blogging. If you are blogging to make money and expending more time and energy than the income you get from blogging, stop blogging. Find another way to make money. When what you put into blogging exceeds what you get out of it, stop.

14. Don’t risk your safety when blogging: Don’t steal other’s works. Don’t let others steal your work. Don’t spam or comment spam, and don’t encourage comment spam to exist. Do not blog about something that could get you arrested or worse, unless you are blogging to save the many and fully understand the risks. Take care when blogging against your employer or any other associates. Blogging can be dangerous as words can be used as weapons. Maintain your privacy, but also take care with your words.

15. Bored with blogging, stop blogging: If you are bored with blogging, or bored with what you are blogging about, or your blog writing bores you, it bores your readers. Stop blogging and find something else to do.

Remember, blogging is for everyone, but not everyone should be blogging.

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