wendylbolm

The first rule of blogging for journalists (and everyone else)

In Uncategorized on March 29, 2008 at 4:39 pm

It’s already time for March’s Carnival of Journalism, hosted by Journerdism, and I’ve already broken the cardinal rule of blogging.

I haven’t posted in a long, long time.

My readership has disappeared (except for those who still subscribe to it on their RSS), and if I want to build this blog up again, I’ll have to start almost from scratch.

This isn’t that big of a deal to me, I’ve been working on other projects and receive no money, advertising or otherwise, from posting here. It’s just one of my many labors of love.

However, if I was posting for a blog affilliated with a company, newspaper or magazine, I would be in a heap o’trouble right now.

Since it’s been so long since I’ve posted, now is the perfect time to talk about the reasons why carting around a dead blog should be avoided.

Dead blogs are ignored by the community.

Once you stop posting for a few days, your readership declines. People stop cruisng by. If you stop posting for a few weeks, you’re in trouble. And, if you stop posting for months, forget about it. Your blog is just another hunk of dead weight on the outskirts of cyberspace.

Therefore, your blog will no longer direct traffic to your company’s
site.

Basically, if you’re using your company’s server, your blog is now taking up valuable space but is providing no benefit. It’s a leech.

And, people checking out your blog for the first time from the site will find themselves at a dead end.

If your blog is linking to outdated material and hasn’t been updated in ages, chances are readers are going to hop to another site instead of going back to check out the latest from your company/newspaper/magazine.

I’m not the only offender, either. It surprises me how many companies, especially media companies, offer links to stagnant blogs by writers and editors.

I have a pseudo excuse for not blogging. I’ve been busy with tons of important side projects and class assignments that have effectively eliminated my free time.

This is the same excuse every single other delinquent blogger out there is using. Busy people run out of time to blog.

The next time you give this excuse when you could be posting a couple sentences and a link to your newest article or other exciting content, consider what a few seconds out of your day might do to draw in more readers.

And, while you’re at it, check out one of the projects eating my precious time: here’s the TravelVideoStore blog.

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  1. […] MY MUSINGS 2.0: The first rule of blogging for journalists (and everyone else) “Dead blogs are ignored by the community. Once you stop posting for a few days, your readership declines. People stop cruisng by. If you stop posting for a few weeks, you’re in trouble. And, if you stop posting for months, forget about it. Your blog is just another hunk of dead weight on the outskirts of cyberspace. “ […]

  2. I think individual blogging has reached it limits. If we want to think of it serving a journalistic function then it really does work best when the blogger has a good reason to post regularly and with an audience in mind.
    There is no reason why people shouldn’t write online in blog-form with sporadic or functionless posts, but then it doesn’t work as journalism.
    cheers
    Charlie

  3. I agree that individual blogging is reaching its limits, however I believe that individual blogging, especially for newspaper and magazine sites, will soon serve the same purpose as columns used to serve in the papers. I think that, in many ways, organizations are going to have to change the way they think about blogs and the functions they serve. I.e. in the same way many sites update with articles before they make their way into the print product, I think soon many columnists are going to be updating their blog before their column makes its way into the print product.

    Food for thought- if I search Google for a term and come across a blog that hasn’t been updated in a year, I usually don’t even bother looking at it.

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