Why Blogging Experts Aren’t Always Right

3Cs of blogging

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Article by Wendy McCance

Like many bloggers, when I started getting serious about my blog, I began to read as many blogs as I could.  I figured out who the supposed experts were in the area and soaked up every bit of information I could about having a successful blog.  In the beginning there was so much to learn and tons of information I was able to use in my own pursuit for success as a blogger.

A year passed and searching for new information became more difficult.  There is a ton you can tell a new blogger, but what about when you are humming along?  How do you get your blog to explode and become as popular as some of the bloggers I wished to be like?

It finally hit me when I began to read information I didn’t agree with.  These bloggers don’t necessarily know everything.  In fact, as my numbers keep doubling and the longer my blog exists, I realized something else, the bloggers I looked up to have had their blogs for years.  Of course their numbers are where they are, they have stayed consistent and the numbers expanded over the time in the same fashion as I have seen with my own blog.

Many of the bloggers I read up on started their blogs before blogs became a big deal.  Less competition made it easy to expand at a quicker rate.  They did a good job of answering the questions every new blogger has and kept a steady schedule by adding posts at regular intervals.

What made me stop and reevaluate was when I began to get emails I didn’t agree with.  I think there is a point a long-term blogger hits where the information is no longer helpful.  I think some bloggers try to help the more experienced bloggers, but many times the advice no longer works as a once size fits all solution.

The two emails I received recently were from subscriptions I had.  I get updates when new content is posted.  The first email stated that you shouldn’t post during the holidays.  The reason was because supposedly numbers drop off because people are too busy to stop and read a blog this time of year.  The suggestion was to stop blogging for the rest of the month and instead do research, plan out your content schedule and clean up your blog.

Personally the only time I see a drop in views is when I don’t write a new post for a few days.  Even during the holidays I see good traffic.  In fact, I think many people get a bit more leisure time to do more reading than usual.  Many people have additional days off and want to catch up on their reading.  Blogs are great because you can take just a few moments to read and aren’t committing yourself to endless hours of reading material.

The other email I received said that the blogger turned off their comments and felt it wasn’t important to hear from readers or comment anymore.  The reason was that they didn’t have the time to read and answer comments.  They were overwhelmed and burnt out. They offer workshops and mentoring and if a reader has questions, they suggested the reader just sign up, pay some money and the blogger would be more than happy to help them out.

I think this move is disastrous.  You build your blog on readers.  Tell your readers that unless they want to pay you, they aren’t worth your time and watch all of your hard work go down the drain.  In my opinion, the reason a blog is what it is rests on the interaction.  The goal is to get people talking and to provide interesting topics. How do you go viral on a post if you have silenced the readers?  How do you stay connected and know what they would like to read if you can’t hear from them?

I understand being burned out.  Honestly, in both emails it sounds like the bloggers are in desperate need of a break.  These are incredibly hard-working and successful people who have really put themselves out there for others.  I can see a blogger saying to post half as much content during busy holiday seasons.  I can see a blogger saying I am sorry but I am so busy I can’t answer every question anymore but I really want to know how you feel.

This is what I have learned.  Every blogger brings something to the table.  The advice they provide is what works best for them and what might work best for you too.  That being said, you are an individual.  You have your own style.  If some advice seems to make you question the benefit of doing it, maybe it is bad advice for you.

The bloggers who wrote their suggestions and whose thoughts didn’t jive with my own blog might have a handle on what will work best for them, it just won’t work for me, and that is the point.  Your personal voice needs to remain authentic.  Sure, try some new ideas, but don’t do whatever an expert suggests just because of who they are.  If you don’t question all advice you get and weed through the stuff that doesn’t sound right for your own blog, you are sure to have a blog that isn’t as good as it should be.

Wendy McCance

Wendy McCance is a Michigan based freelance writer and social media consultant. Wendy has gained attention as the founder of the popular blog Searching for the Happiness which can be viewed in 9 local papers online, including the Oakland Press. The combination of writing skills and social media knowledge is what makes Wendy such a powerhouse to work with. Stay tuned for opportunities to advertise, guest post and as always, have your questions answered.

To contact Wendy McCance about a writing or social media assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: mccance.wendy@gmail.com

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21 thoughts on “Why Blogging Experts Aren’t Always Right

  1. Pingback: Follow Up to: Why Blogging Experts Aren't Always Right | Searching For The Happiness

  2. Hi Wendy…here’s another one I agree with! I enjoy reading your blog because you do as you say, write about things you’ve questioned and what comes up for you. That’s help AND original. And I think it is a key to a successful blog…or at least a blog that has advice for me.

    I too try to write in a way that fits me…I think the problem with so many “advice about blogging” bloggers is that there main goal starts to be “how to drive traffic to my site” rather than how to write about what I’m passionate about. When I start doing that then I will stop. The best part of blogging IMHO is writing about where I’m headed, what I think is important and interesting, and the numbers are ONLY secondary. If it’s not a passion, don’t do it is my advice, because it is a lot of work. But, as Confucius said (I think it was him!) “If you love what you do you will never work a day in your life.”

    Thanks for your consistently good advice Wendy! And have a fantastic Christmas! -Kathy

    • Thanks Kathy. I agree that without the passion blogging would be difficult. You can tell too when someone really enjoys blogging. It changes the tone and makes the reading more enjoyable. Have a wonderful holiday!!!! Thanks again for sharing your thoughts. 🙂

  3. Silencing your readers?! The first thing that literally came out my mouth when I read that was, “Eeee!” I thought the point was interaction?! That’s a gutsy move and this person must be INUNDATED with comments to say the least. But even still, how do you even know what direction to go in moving forward if you don’t have their commentary, their needs, their take on what you are supposedly do FOR them?? I don’t know about that one Wendy…lol! YOUR point makes sense! What works for everyone, won’t always for you!

    I do have a question, though, as I’m still in the stage of soaking up and reading EVERYTHING blogger 🙂 One of the reasons why I enjoy YOUR blog so much, is not only the reality and straightforward truth of what you are sharing, but also because you talk about blogging in a way that works for regular bloggers. A lot of experts ONLY talk about the business of blogging for people who are trying to teach others how to blog, and sometimes it’s hard to get that information to apply, when your own business isn’t about “selling” the way to blog and how to keep track of SEO and so forth. So I guess my question would be, where do you find other help like yourself, that helps bloggers be successful, even if THEY are the product (something like yourself) and are not selling how to ways to other bloggers?

    • If I am reading your question correctly, the answer is that I don’t know. I will search the web whenever I have a specific question that needs to be answered, but I have never found a blog that really talks to the beginner. It seems like I get the same regurgitated info over and over (titles you can use that go viral, best SEO practices, how long a post should be etc…). Those are the articles that I have read but they never really helped me.

      What I have done is to write articles that answer the questions I was looking for and figured out through trial and error. Not to say there aren’t other blogs like this, I just haven’t run across them. My way of doing things won’t answer everyone’s questions or be a right move for every blogger, but it is just another suggestion with information on what worked for me.

      Hopefully I read your question correctly and was able to answer it.

  4. I think I receive the same emails as you! 😉 I agree with you about not posting around the holidays. My numbers would DROP substantially and I need to keep my numbers up for advertising purposes. Even if I tone down my posts, post things that are simpler, that’s better than not posting at ail.

    • Thanks for your comment Krystal. I wish I could get an insiders look at the blog where they won’t be posting. It would be fascinating to see the inner workings and why they feel not posting is right for them.

  5. Wendy,
    I have not started to blog yet. I am still looking for my niche. That being said, I also received the blogs to which you referred. I also felt uncomfortable with the advice. I appreciate your opinions and read you nearly everyday.

    Wishing you and your family a wonderful Christmas holiday.

    • Hi Carol, thanks so much for your comment. When I started blogging, I didn’t have a niche either. I just wrote whatever I felt I wanted to discuss. It helped me find my voice and narrow down what area I wanted to focus on. I truly believe as a beginner the focus shouldn’t be on the audience, what your blog looks like or anything other than a focus on yourself. As you get more familiar with having a blog and as you find yourself, you can tweak your blog to make it into exactly what works for you. Trust me, the name of my blog came to me and I never put much thought into it. After all I have done, it is not what I would neccesarily call it now, but it became popular under this name and it is authentic to what I was thinking at the time.

      Wishing you a fabulous holiday season!!

  6. Hi Wendy. By the way, I love your blog. I agree one hundred percent with your opinions on this post.

    Like you, I started blogging without a clue. I don’t plan ahead or schedule posts. I just love writing.

    And I read the same post about the holidays. I thought it was interesting but not advice I would take. What works for one person doesn’t mean it works for another. We are individuals (we are not borg – watching too much Voyager LOL) and that’s what makes it work.

    Wishing you a wonderful weekend, Darlene

    • Hi Darlene, thanks so much for your comment. The blogger who posted that really threw me. Love their advice, but this particular post seemed much different than what I usually read on that site. Hope your holidays are fabulous!!

  7. Very interesting article Wendy. I am beginning to think that I’m too much of a rebel to follow any particular plan, although I am very aware that I do need to set myself more structure in the day.

    I’ll be honest, when I started blogging I had no clue, I didn’t read any other blogs, and I have never planned any of my posts in the almost entire year of blogging. I just go with the flow and ideas and go with it and know maybe a couple of days beforehand what I’m going to write. I wouldn’t advise anyone to do this but I am afraid that if I try to do it any other way I’ll feel stifled and then I won’t be able to write anything. How long can I do this? Who knows, time will tell.

    I will be taking some time off over the holidays as I know I won’t be able to get to my blog much over the Christmas period but the idea of turning off comments? Wow, never. That is just a crazy idea. I just can’t see the point of blogging if that were to happen.

    Merry Christmas Wendy 🙂

    • Hi Sherri, I have a secret for you. I have never scheduled posts either. I write when I am inspired. That is why I think my posts come through so authentically. I have blogged for a year and a half. I never read a blog and had no idea what I was doing when I started either. I still swear by my method. It works for me. Happy Holidays to you!! 🙂

  8. I agree. You can’t determine the success of your own blog by measuring the success of others. What works for one does not work for all. I have yet to increase my numbers but instead of writing for maximum seo I write because I enjoy it and because I enjoy being read. I still hope to have lots more readers but it will be because my writing becomes that much more appealing as I learn how to write better articles and improve my writing skill.

  9. Thanks Wendy, for another informative to the point article. We each have our own unique style, the one size doesn’t fit all point you made, cuts right to the bone of truth. I take away something each time read something I find on your site. What brought me here bright and early today, was the title of the article, it caught my eye immediately when it “popped” up on Twitter. It was just what I needed to read to start a new day. Thanks for what you do. Regards

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