Huldra Forsvant (Theodor Kittelsen)

Huldra Forsvant (Theodor Kittelsen)
Huldra Forsvant (Theodor Kittelsen)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

5 Tips On Reducing Blog Angst

Most people who have a blog go through periods of blog angst. Or what me and my scientific colleagues here at the institute have dubbed, blangst.

Why do I have to post today, I don't want to post today! Why aren't those fools commenting, that post was freakin awesome!

Here's a few tips to ease the heartache, things that have worked for me, a chronic blangst sufferer.

1. Set a pace and momentum you can keep up. Would you like to have ten posts a week? Yes? Will it be stressful to keep up? Yes? Well don't post ten. Try five instead.

2. Lower your expectations. Want a stack of readers and a stack of comments? I do too, but you can't depend on that for blog satisfaction (blatisfaction), or you'll be disappointed all the time. Be prepared to post for your own sake and enjoyment, and don't stress so much about getting a response. Hopefully the rest will then fall in to place.

3. Try to keep the majority of your blangst to yourself. Don't feel like writing today? Don't tell us you don't feel like writing, it makes us not feel like reading. Don't tell us you're bored with your blog, it makes the reader bored as well. I'm not saying don't be yourself, but just be wary of frightening everybody off unnecessarily. If you don't want to write today, just don't.

4. Jot down post ideas somewhere so you're not sitting at the computer with no ideas. I have a notes thing in my phone, and whenever I think of something, I just type in a word or two to help me remember.

5. Devise a cruise control system to take the pressure off the days you can't be bothered. For me, this is coming up with regular features that are quick, simple and limitless. A quiz. A song. A photo. A review. Silly close ups of famous eyes. These things take the pressure off the rest of the week, by setting up a framework to build on.


Simone R. said...

Yeah, I like this.

I also think don't take yourself too seriously. Or if you do, try not to let me see that you do. Don't imagine that your blog is your great contribution to the world, your way of teaching and instructing us all. This kind of thing makes me want to fire spit balls at you. [Ben, I love that you never ever do this.]

Ben McLaughlin said...

Taking a post too seriously is a path fraught with danger-- the longer you ruminate on some grand post idea, some wonderful thesis to knock peoples socks off, the longer the post becomes.

After finally writing it after pondering it for seven weeks, it winds up being about four times longer than a post should be. It may be written really well, and be interesting, but the length scares everyone off.

The result is no comments, and a lot of dissappointment. Then you don't post again for six months.

Nathan said...

I like to teach and instruct people about largely pointless things that they don't care about (or don't know that they care about them).

Does this make me a bad blogger?

I just assume that when people don't comment on my long posts it's because the agree completely with what I have to say. In fact, I reckon that's a healthy view of blogdom. Most comments are nitpicking or some other annoying form of disagreement.

Ben McLaughlin said...

Heh, you're a rare-breed thick skinned kind of blogger, Nath. If there were more like you, there would be a lot more healthy blogs about.

I also like your idea of assumed agreeance, unless otherwise stated. Good call.

Nitpicker comments are my favourite kind--

BLOGGER: It's hard for me to write this, but I'm really depresed and and am struggling with life.

NITPICK COMMENTER: Um, don't you mean 'depressed', with two 's's?