10 February 2011

5 Things Bloggers (and everyone else) Should Do Less Often

1. Talk about Money.

I know that a majority of bloggers are in it for the bottom line and for getting paid.  But honestly, I'm here because I love to write, I love to watch the evolution of social media, I love to work with an organization that does great work (an an AmeriCorps*VISTA I work with a non-profit), and to use social media and blogging to share that information with the rest of the web.  
You'll notice that my site has no ads.  This is for 2 main reasons: because I know I don't have enough followers for those ads to make any money and because as a VISTA member I'm not allowed to have a second income.  The other reason is honestly, I hate going to a website and feeling like the entire thing is a ploy to get me to add to the consumer/wasteful culture that we've cultivated here.  
I'm here to do what I love...and I wish others would do more of the same.  

2. Worry about traffic

All bloggers want to be read...I mean...why would you bother writing what you're writing if no one is reading it?  And I completely agree I sometimes get depressed because I know that my blog has a low readership.  However, if all you're doing is worrying about traffic, recycling old posts over and over and over again in your Twitter or Newsfeed I'm probably going to unfollow you or stop coming to your site because you lack new content.  I hate clicking on a link from my favorite bloggers and finding myself at a post (I've already read) that they wrote months ago...give me something fresh!  You're going to lose your old traffic with boredom and what you need are LOYAL followers...not new ones.  
So remember that while we're all trying to increase readership...no one wants to read a blog with stale content; so make that you're first priority.

3.  Use Buzzwords they don't

Perhaps this isn't just for bloggers but a general rule I want to remind all people about in life.  While buzzwords may make you sound "cool" or "in" if you don't understand what you're talking about you're just going to end up looking like a fool.  At a current management interview I was a part of, a woman referred to our community garden project as an "environmental endeavor" while another explained her experience in "mediating conflict" where the people in question were never in the same room at the same time.  And honestly...if you're writing about a buzzword you really should know what it means...otherwise...in most blogging communities, someone is going to call you out.  So grab a Webster's before using a Buzzword.  

4. Forget about themselves

A lot of bloggers are entrepreneurs who are trying to "make it" in this world and while that's great I want to remind everyone (especially myself) that you need to focus on yourself some days when you're "Getting your Sh*t together" (P.S. If you're not part of Sarah Robinson's Escaping Mediocrity 28 days series sign up here NOW!).  Most importantly...even if you're not interested in the entire series, read Mark Silver's post to remind you that your business isn't everything.  

5. Live Online

While I LOVE making connections online and I think its great to make true friends and lasting relationships through social media and blogging there is something to be said about getting out of your apartment.  I constantly feel overwhelmed by the number of Tweets or Facebook posts I miss, the amount of news in the world I can't keep up with, the industry talks that I won't ever understand, etc.  But at the same time, I need sleep and more importantly...I need sunshine.  I worry about those people (including myself) who never seem to have an appropriate balance in their lives.  Whether their balance be work/life, computer/real people, inside/outside, reality/fantasy a lack of balance is bound to lead to burnout and that's the last thing any blogger needs.  
So remember sometimes, CALL your friends instead of IM them, walk into a coworkers office instead of emailing them, go out to dinner so you don't start eating at your computer screen or TV every night, and most importantly GO OUTSIDE!  Humans are like plants...they need sunshine!  And I know for those of us that live in the North that's a little hard...but at least sit by the window today...its beautiful!

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