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Friday, February 10, 2006


Posting desperation: When anything won't do

Posting desperation. You know the feeling. It's a sense of panic that you have no post up on your blog, and worse, you have no ideas about topics. The feeling is a misture of guilt, panic, and what could even be described as fear. The overwhelming torrent that blog failure is about to occur causes many a blogger to post just anything at all.

Instead of the blog writer's usually well thought out postings, some off topic discussion takes their place. Like the evil doppleganger of myth and legend, lurking and biding its time in the shadows, the bad posting is always there, ready to replace your great blog. Don't let that potential disaster happen to you.

Instead of letting some slipshod meaningless post fill that taunting empty posting box, it would be better for you and you blog to skip a day. I know, I know, that is probably blasphemy to the ears of many. Not posting at all is also a solid blogging technique that is rarely discussed. Because not writing anything for your blog is, in effect nothing at all, the subject rarely arises. Think instead of the alternatives.

You succumb to the siren call of that vacant blog interface, and start to write. The words are well off your usual topic, yet are not really personal either. Perhaps they are a rant, or even a personal attack on someone. The possibilitities for posts you could live to regret is almost endless. While a good business, sports, legal, or political blog will occasionally carry personal posts, your desperation post is not one of them. If you're lucky, the end result is a meaningless ramble about nothing. If you're unlucky, the post could be a black mark that could follow you for years.

Your blog's credibility, as a reliable source of useful and informative ideas, is shattered. While one stray post might not harm your blog, a long series of desperate columns just might. Your readers arrive at your blog seeking interesting posts. That is the promise of your blog brand.

If you've never thought of your blog as a brand, it's time to change your thinking. There is a very good chance that your readers know you, and perhaps your business, exclusively through your writings. If that's the case, your blog has developed a brand loyalty based on your great posts. That blog branding is transferred to your business or professional career. Notice how the perception of your brand includes impressions of all aspects of your business, including your business blog.

Relationship building, based on trust, is a powerful aspect of blogging. Developing a rapport with current and potential customers and clients is one of the keystones of a business blog. Your reading audience gets to know you, and by extension, your company. People buy products and services from other people who they know and trust. Long term customer and client relationships are built, one step at a time, through nurturing that trust.

Don't throw that hard won trust away by posting something you might regret later. After all, search engines like Google, Yahoo, and MSN Search retain web pages for many years. A bad post can haunt you and your business for years.

Don't let bad posts happen to good people. The blog you save might be your own.

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Great point!

One way to break the logjam is to look through your archives for topics. At least one of the posts will suggest an additional idea to you - you can post a followup to that original article, and link back to it.

Basically post the same content that you would put in a comment if the archived post were on someone else's blog

This mini-posting is better than nothing at all, and if you link to an older post from your archives, may resurface a good topic for new readers who haven't slogged through everything you've ever written. And it's definitely better than an off-topic rant.
A wonderful post indeed and one I agree with too... Actually it does make me feel less "guilty"...

Thanks a lot

Keep it up!
Great post, it's nice to hear this discussed :) I also like the inclusion of thinking of the blog's brand and keeping the theme/style/audience consistent.

Something I've found helpful for ideas to write about is whenever inspiration strikes, I write a title and a one or two sentence description and save it as draft in my blog software (WordPress). Hopefully, I'll come back to these and finish them. Right now, I have about 12 or 15 "ideas" that I'd like to research more and publish -- when I have time :)

Thanks for the fresh perspective.
If I could make a suggestion, there's a nifty little tool I've started using recently, an editorial calendar. It can be found at http://andywibbels.com/post/987

While not posting at all can be better than the evil doppleganger, the calendar does help when experiencing writer's block. I don't use it everyday, but when I have a lot of ideas I put them in, and when my brain is useless I refer to it.
I think you're right, it's best to not post anything!

Another handy tip is to keep a post or two on the backburner, for just such a moment of nothingness.
Thanks for the comments everyone. They are greatly appreciated. It's good to know that other bloggers are thinking about these topics (or rather the lack of topics) as well. :-)
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