Why I Want to Talk You Out of Blogging

Goldfish think of bloggingHave you been thinking about starting a blog, but can’t seem to launch?

Or maybe you started a blog, but it isn’t really getting any traction. You find yourself bored with it or even dreading writing posts. Still, you keep plugging away at it.

If either of these scenarios sounds like you, I think we should have a little heart-to-heart.

This may make some writers angry, but I want to talk you out of blogging. I think it’s probably not for you.

In fact, if you just forgot all about blogging, you might well earn more as a freelance writer.

Bad reasons for blogging

I get emails like this all the time:

“I’m trying to start a blog, but I don’t know what to post about.”

or

“I’m really bored with my blog. I haven’t posted on it in a while.”

or

“I really need more clients, but it’s hard to find marketing time because I need to post twice a week on my blog.”

When I hear comments like these, I want to grab the writer by the shirt collar and say, “Stop!”

Let’s rewind to the beginning.

I want to ask you an important question:

Why are you blogging?

If it’s only because you’ve heard you have to blog or you’re not a happening 21st Century writer…that’s not a good reason to blog.

Here’s an important thing to know: Not all writers need a blog.

If you’re not looking for paid blogging gigs, or to grow a blog into a lucrative business — well, those are the only two real reasons to write a blog, as a freelance writer who’s serious about earning.

There are quite a few freelance writing niches where a blog doesn’t necessarily present your writing in the best light. For instance, you want to write annual reports or technical documentation or white papers, a blog isn’t a great calling card.

If you want paid blogging gigs, then your blog could be a great writing sample for you.

The no-passion, no-mission problem

When I ask writers what the goal of their blog is, many can’t tell me. If you don’t have a mission for your blog — and a passion for writing it — stop now.

Devote yourself to marketing your freelance business more aggressively in other ways. Go to networking events. Use InMail. Send query letters. Whatever it is.

You’ll end up finding better clients and earning more than if you kept flogging away at the blog idea you’re lukewarm about. You’ll get better clips and build a nicer portfolio that impresses more clients compared with just having your own self-published blog posts.

Each of us only has so much free time, and bills to pay. If you need immediate cash, definitely don’t let a startup blog suck up all your time. Blogging is a long-term earning strategy — so work on it in your free time after you get your bills paid.

On the other hand…if you can’t fall asleep at night because you’re so excited about what you want to write on your blog, and you’re attracting subscribers and comments, stick with it.

Blogs that are growing and have an engaged audience are worth the effort.

The telltale signs you shouldn’t blog

Wondering if blogging is for you? Ask yourself this:

  • Do you resist the idea of sticking to one idea or theme?
  • Does the pressure to come up with new blog posts make you feel stressed or tired rather than excited?
  • Do you find yourself putting off writing your posts?
  • Do you hate Twitter and the idea of social-media marketing?
  • Does the prospect of guest posting on big blogs terrify you?
  • When it’s suggested that you could skip blogging, is the emotion you feel relief?

I’ve had many writers tell me that last is exactly what they feel when I explain to them that blogging is not mandatory, and they could promote their writing other ways. Relief!

If so, let me be the one to take the load off your shoulders: You don’t HAVE to blog.

For those who have a burning passion to explore a topic in a dialogue with readers, blogging is the best thing ever. And it can lead to amazing freelance opportunities and the chance to earn an independent income from your own writing, on a platform you control.

But if you don’t have a topic you are itching to write on where you could see yourself coming up with dozens of posts, and you need writing income now, don’t blog.

There are other ways to get samples and build your freelance income, and other types of freelance writing that pay better rates than freelance blogging.

Do you have a blog? If so, leave us your URL and tell us why you blog and how it’s working out for you.

 

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93 comments on “Why I Want to Talk You Out of Blogging
  1. Catia says:

    I found this a really interesting read! I have been blogging for around 18 months now, I actually find I have TOO many ideas for posts and not enough time to write the content. I hate social media though, I mean I have my main bulk and f followers on Twitter but I just feel completely ignored in the whole blogging genre I\’m in. Funny thing is I got a position as a contributing writer in January for my dream brand (unpaid) which I love.
    Catia xx
    Catia recently posted…3 Shampoos for Thick Hair You Need To UseMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      You love that your dream brand doesn’t pay you? Try not to love that too hard…and to quickly leverage those clips to find a paying client, I’d say.

  2. Justin says:

    I love Web design, I love games, and I love talking about the Internet. So I started a technology blog. Blogging gives me a sense of accomplishment.
    Justin recently posted…Rant on USB CordsMy Profile

  3. Joe says:

    Hi, sorry to come late to the party, just found my way back to the article, but I want to ask an extension of an earlier question. What, if anything, should a fiction writer be blogging about? I’m interested in breaking into young adult horror, and I thought my blog could be about young adult advice. My theory is my readers will be high school, early college, and my blog could be an instructional approach to those moments when we’re not enjoying a common interest in ghost stories. There’s a time for enjoying vampires, and then there’s another time for learning about financial management and those other subjects that just help young people overcome mistakes we all made growing up. Any advice would be very much appreciated. Thanks in advance.

    • Carol Tice says:

      You know…I’m not a fiction expert. I recommend heading over to Writer Unboxed or Storyfix or Build Book Buzz for tips on how to build your fiction platform.

  4. Jorge Pérez says:

    Hi Carol – Many thanks for sharing your ideas. This post gives some food for thought, no doubt about it.

    However, there is something in your post I do not fully understand: “For instance, you want to write annual reports or technical documentation or white papers, a blog isn’t a great calling card.”

    The reason I’m asking is because I am planning on starting a blog as a Technical Writer. Could you please elaborate on this sentence?

    Thanks again!

    • Carol Tice says:

      Jorge, blog posts don’t resemble writing technical specs for products much. So the blog posts don’t make as directly relevant of a writing sample as if someone is looking for freelance blogging work.

      See what I mean?

      You certainly could use a tech-focused blog to show your familiarity with the industry and what’s going on with it. Not saying it’s of no use…just not sure it’s as useful if you want to do a highly specialized type of writing that’s quite different from blogging.

  5. Karen J says:

    Hi, Carol!
    After reading more of the new comments here (especially the one Chrislyn Pepper posted on August 6, 2013 at 11:13 am), I’ve got a “sideways” question about blogging for another company:
    What are your thoughts on billing for “Interacting with Commenters”?

    Thanks for doing your usual stellar job of that, too!

    Karen
    Karen J recently posted…Aaahhh! Fairyland…My Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      I ususually consider responding to comments part of the job, as a paid blogger. One of the reasons I usually charge $100-$125 a post to make it worthwhile. I certainly consider that part of my job with Forbes…and of course more comments helps my algorithm there and I’m partly paid on traffic – a model I expect to see more of in future. So it’s not just something they might WANT you to do, but something you should be in the habit of doing that will help your reputation as a paid blogger and may even increase your pay. 😉

  6. grumpytyke says:

    I have four blogs. I don’t blog for money. The blogs have brought me into contact with, to date (the oldest blog is about a year old, the youngest a few days), more than 300 people around the world who I would not have ‘met’ otherwise. I have just one comment about your post, on the email question you say you frequently get:
    “I’m trying to start a blog, but I don’t know what to post about.”
    My answer would be, “If that’s the case, you shouldn’t be trying to earn a living by writing, let alone have a blog. If you were really a writer the problem you would have is choosing which topic of the dozens milling about in your head to post about; once chosen the writing is no problem, and quick”.

  7. Marie says:

    There are a lot of so called writer out there who are blogging and I’d like to send them your article! ;o) It seems more polite than just telling them, “Hey, stop blogging! Your subjects are silly, you can’t spell (or you just can’t type without errors?) and composing sentences that make any grammatical sense at all, well, you can’t seem to accomplish that very well either.” Then I look at my blog and think “and who are you to talk young lady!” Ahhhh well, we just keep slogging on, don’t we?
    Marie recently posted…Your personal research assistantMy Profile

  8. Stephanie says:

    I’ve recently started blogging about foreign language learning, and I’m absolutely loving it. I’ve only been doing it for 3 weeks, but I’ve already made some good contacts – including a paid blog post and an offer to work with a language learning site.

    I don’t yet know where I’m going with freelance writing. It interests me, but I haven’t put much time into marketing yet. I write for a content mill at 30 dollars per article, but I know that I need to start doing my own work. For now, I’m just reading everything I can on here and in the Den.

    • Carol Tice says:

      That early positive response says to me that you’re a strong writer with a lot of potential, Stephanie. 😉 Sounds like your blog is a good sample to get you gigs! Nice job.

      Once you start marketing more actively, even more will happen. For now, look for more guest post opportunities to get you more exposure, I’d say.

  9. Why does a blog HAVE to have a readership?

    I have written blogs for content mills particularly health and marketing topics. I made enough money to cover my household expenses by working a lot of hours with no readership. However, I read that I could make more than 4 cents per word if I went after my own clients.

    So, my new blog was to showcase my ability to write the kind of blogs I wanted to sell, since I didn’t have bylines. I marketed directly to businesses by phone, email and social media (learning, but enjoying). I don’t have a readership at all, but I attracted two clients through my website.

    I’m asking, because apparently, I haven’t gotten blogging yet. I focused on informative and actionable health and medical topics on my blog. I marketed to companies in health and medical fields needing blogs, but I got clients in construction and travel.

    How is trying to build a readership going to get me the work I want to do? I would have to write on blog writing and not health like I want.
    Chrislyn Pepper recently posted…Can You Die of a Broken Heart?My Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      It doesn’t HAVE to have a readership if it’s primarily a writing sample…but it does help you get blogging gigs if they see you getting engagement — comments and social shares — on your own blog. They might be drawn in just by the writing, but increasingly I find they also want to see you understand social media marketing and how to attract and respond to comments.

  10. Nick ( says:

    I blog primarily to help other people learn what I have learned. Income is secondary to that, but it is also a nice incentive.
    Nick ( recently posted…Taking the Scenic Route to My Dream JobMy Profile

  11. Annette says:

    I’ve had a personal log for several years; not this one though. The original was named The Ward House, which was how my house was known the community. This name actually created an issue with ghosts (long story), so I abandoned the blog and brand I’d created and began the recreation which has become Luna Love Farm. I love to blog and it was a way for extended family to keep in touch with what was going on in my neck of the woods. Now that my other business has picked up and the harvest is beginning, writing has taken a back seat for the moment. *sighs*. Love the advice and insight!

  12. Erica says:

    I love my blog, RubberDuckyCopywriter.com.

    I blog about writing, bouncing from freelancing to cubicle-dwelling (as a writer) and maintaining sanity in between the bounces. In short, I blog about being a creative and a professional writer.

    I just upgraded to a premium WordPress theme and have fallen in love with my blog all over again. I don’t have plans to monetize it at this time; that’s what my paid writing gigs are for. But I’m going to keep it up all the same.
    Erica recently posted…The day I met author Linda Joffe HullMy Profile

  13. MJ Gottlieb says:

    Hey Carol- Great post. I think it is really important that you mentioned that you need to be excited at writing a post as well as have a specific subject or topic to write about. I agree that if you think of it as a chore there is a problem. Gary and I started the N2ITIV blog in order to share our experiences and what we learned from the mistakes we have made in our years in business over the last 22 years. I also use the blog as a platform to promote the book I have being released in November. I also find it very therapeutic.Thanks again for the great insight. Best-MJ

  14. I never aspired to be a blogger, but have found that it is the best way to share tech info with small businesses. I love all things tech and especially love when technology can help entrepreneurs and small businesses get ahead.

    You can find me at http://www.tekgrl.com.
    Brandy Lawson recently posted…Print from your iPhone with GoogleMy Profile

  15. Liesa Malik says:

    I have two blogs — one to promote my fiction writing (my first novel published in June) and one to promote my work as a freelance marketing consultant. Both are great fun and I’m learning more all the time. Because I post once a week for each, there is plenty of time to generate ideas, talk to people and post my thoughts. Always looking to improve, so any suggestions (other than “quit”) are appreciated.

  16. Carolyn Tate says:

    Great article, and so true. I started a blog last year and couldn’t figure out what was wrong but I dreaded writing it. Then I figured out, it wasn’t a subject I cared about all that much. I was just writing it to show I knew that field.

    Now I have a blog Champagne Cartel that is all about working mothers and how we should prioritise ourselves. Loads of how-to tips, big ideas and fun topics with some other fabulous working mums I know. This has made all the difference. I am in love with my own blog, love updating, marketing, editing, everything.

    I think it shows when you love what you are putting out there. And I have also scored other writing gigs because editors have seen my writing on my blog and liked it. It’s the gift that keeps on giving!
    Carolyn Tate recently posted…Champagne chumsMy Profile

  17. Yup, I have a blog, and am on a bunch of social media sites. My name is getting out there. Unfortunately, my book is not being written.

    You might be the Oprah who told me to quit blogging.

    But I doubt it.

    I love it!

    I’m small, and I am building relationships with people.

    They even share my posts!

    I think I am doing just fine, for being only 7 months old. I didn’t expect that ANYONE would be reading my blog, but they are!

    Hmm. Does this make me happy? I wonder.
    Lorraine Reguly recently posted…Top 10 Tips To Make a Good ImpressionMy Profile

  18. Neil says:

    Hey There,

    I am an avid blogger! My blog, BehindTheMusic.ca is my baby! I’m excited about posting daily simply because I love the topic in which I chose to write about: MUSIC!

    I am passionate about my site as well as have a mission for it. I have hopes of one day monetizing the site by selling ad space and concert tickets. If all goes, it will be a REAL business in the future.

    I just wanted to share my thoughts on blogging because your email was most definitely interesting.

    Thanks for the emails! I enjoy everyone of them!

    Take Care,

    Neil N.Turner
    Writer/Editor
    BehindTheMusic.ca

  19. Bonita says:

    Carol,

    Thank you so much for this post that set me free! I’ve had several blogs over the years and actually enjoyed them for a while and gained readership, but most of them are ghost towns right now. Your post freed me to keep my curriculum website and to only have one blog- my author’s blog.

    It’s taken a lot of trial and error, but I’ve finally come to realize that I’m the type of writer that likes to write something from start to finish and be done with it. I loathe Twitter, get flabbergasted with technology, and have been putting off writing of all kinds because I have a cloud of blog guilt hanging over my head.

    What I really want is to focus all of my efforts on articles and books/ebooks. Blogging has been a time and energy drain. So, today I’m quitting all my blogs except the low maintenance one that is home base for all of my writing endeavors.

    Thank you! I feel lighter already!

  20. Kay Fudala says:

    Carol,
    I didn’t get a chance to talk with you at WDS (you were in Jeff Goins’ meetup)! You are calling attention to something that many people don’t want to address. I agree that blogging is not beneficial if it becomes a chore or if it doesn’t relate to your message.

    I blog about combining my career and my talents. Corporate world is rife with people who are running meetings or updating spreadsheets. Many of these people are really not using their strengths. My goal is to inspire them and also to pass on lessons I am learning from my research, writing and classes, to the next generation. Kids need to learn these lessons early on in life.

    Thanks for the insightful post!
    Kay
    Kay Fudala recently posted…Entrepreneurship Lessons From Drama Class, Part 2My Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      Hi Kay — sounds like an interesting blog — and sorry we didn’t end up connecting at WDS! With 3000 people there it was hard to get to everyone I would have liked. 😉

  21. Carol,
    I love reading your perspective. You bring the focus onto so many topics that people seem to misunderstand.

    I blog at IntensityForLife.com, where my purpose is “to inspire and empower people to lead more active lives.” I believe our bodies and minds are made to be challenged.

    Most of my articles are about similarities I have noticed between physical challenges and mindset needed to progress in other areas of our lives.

    Thanks for all you do,
    Jake
    Jake Woldstad recently posted…Single Track Thinking – Not Always EasyMy Profile

  22. Jo Grix says:

    I agree with your assessment about writing blogs for cash. Like any other project there’s a fine line between doing what you love and a chore that never ends. And since I’m being daring enough for a first comment, thank you for having a blog like this, it’s helped a lot since I discovered it.

    My blog might have (at some point) been intended for monetary purposes, but not anymore. I’m way too sporadic to consider that path. (hopeunconquered.blogger.com)

    My website came with a blog feature, but I mostly use that to whine and such about my writing, it’s more of a personal blog than a professional, but I’m backwards like that. (That’s at dragonheartink.webs.com).
    Jo Grix recently posted…Worlding Building and MeMy Profile

  23. Susie Klein says:

    I agree 100%. I have never understood the articles that give people ideas for their blogs, because I struggle to keep from OVER blogging! For me it is a natural and simple expression. I used to journal for years and blogging is another, more intentional and creative way to achieve that release that comes with the process of writing.
    If it does not come naturally and it is not fun, then don’t do it. Why add another thing to feel guilty about neglecting. We have enough, right?
    Susie
    http://www.recoveringchurchlady.com/

  24. Terr says:

    I had a few blogging projects going. One was a showcase blog for my writing work. In June, I decided to completely change the type of work I marketed myself for. So, I let that blog die.

    I had a great blog back in 2011. I wasn’t in a mental space to keep up with it, let alone promote it. It was a blog that talked about making the most out of bad situations. I’m probably going to bring that blog back, now that I’m in a better head space.

    I currently have a blog that kinda lacks definition. It’s an affiliate site, but I also discuss the lessons I learn from my favorite forms of entertainment (Movies, books, music). I thought that maybe the whole concept was too high-brow or out-there. That’s when I decided to treat the blog like an online coffee shop and the blog topics would be like the coffee shop discussions.

    I can still do this. I let it go for the summer (Unintentionally) because

    a). I really needed to stop attempting so many things at once, accomplishing nothing

    b.) No one was reading it and I wasn’t optimizing it to get found on search engines

    c.) I lost interest in creative writing for a time. This happens from time to time. Sometimes an artist looses all interest in their passion (Usually because they’re depressed).

    But I’m working my way towards that blog project as well. I’m scared. I guess I feel like it failed before but it could really succeed in time. I’m trying to tell myself that I should write posts for me. I need to be like Angie. I need to write about what I’m passionate about and I’ll develop a tribe in time.

    Okay yeah, I confess that having a blog makes me feel a little bit more “with it” but there are lots of writers and marketers who are doing just fine without one. But the social media aspect of it makes me itch.

    • Carol Tice says:

      Have you seen the movie The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel?

      If it feels like a failure, it must not be the end yet. 😉 Because there’s always a happy ending.

    • Karen J says:

      Terr ~
      As an avid reader-of-blogs, I’d be very interested in seeing your “lessons from entertainment” stories – affiliate links, not so much – though how you present them would make a big difference. Were you writing your own product reviews or collecting other sources, or what? Many formats fit under “affiliate site”. And the coffee house morph of that one sounds very promising! Comment-thread conversations (like this) – with give-an-take among the author, the readers and each other are a big part of what keep me coming back to a blog.
      Congratulations on getting to “a better head-space” for writing about “making the most out of bad situations” too! 🙂
      Karen J recently posted…On Cigarettes… mine in particular 🙂My Profile

  25. Jevon says:

    I started my blog as one of the answers to the question “how can I become a published fiction writer?” Having a platform is an advantage when looking for an agent in the 21st century, and is a good way to get your book out to the world if you’re self-published. So I think blogging isn’t just about freelance writing to make money.
    Jevon recently posted…How to Make Your Writing Better Than Watching a MovieMy Profile

  26. I blog because life is challenging and people need HOPE and encouragement every day! I have a passion for it!

    My encouragement blog is http://www.anewdaycafe.blogspot.com

    Jackie M. Johnson
    Freelance Writer/Editor/Marketing Copywriter

  27. Hi Carol,

    I’ve definitely struggled with the questions you raise, and have found myself much more enthusiastic about working on my clients’ blogs and building their content marketing strategy vs. working on my own.

    Part of my struggle for the last year was perfectionism, which led to major writer’s block.

    I’m having much more fun now when I approach writing on my blog as a way to share what I’ve learned, what has helped my clients.

    “If you want paid blogging gigs, then your blog could be a great writing sample for you.”

    That’s definitely another reason I blog, especially as I am offering my writing/editing services.

    As for social media, the one drawback for me is the 24/7 aspect. I find I need to step away and refuel. But as a work-from-home consultant, it’s energizing and satisfying to build these virtual connections that build a network of colleagues with whom I can exchange, and support.

    Best,
    Alison
    Alison Cummings recently posted…How to Aggravate a Social Media Expert in 40 Words or LessMy Profile

  28. Eva says:

    So, I kinda feel bad after reading this. I honestly like seeing through what I’ve started but I dread opening my site and yes, I hate Twitter and the idea of internet marketing. Carol, I just want to write and I am a good writer so why is this so hard? I’m a bit relieved that I don’t need a blog but its cool and I figure it makes me look like a professional. What to do, what to do?
    Eva recently posted…Are Google Rankings Important?My Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      Once again, Eva…that depends on your goals. What kind of writing are you trying to do?

      Don’t continue with a blog just to finish what you started. Blogs actually don’t have a ‘finish’…they go on forever unless you wrap it up! So don’t get caught in that trap.

      If it’s well-written it can provide some useful samples for you, especially if you don’t have any other samples.

      But if you dread opening up your blog, think about how readers must feel!

  29. Breanne says:

    I read a quote recently – maybe from Ramit Sethi? – saying that blogging was the worst way to make money online.

    Personally, I think it has its place – but that place isn’t what most freelancers think it is. It’s a good way to build credibility, but it doesn’t do your work for you. You still have to make people aware of you, then perhaps your blog will convince people that you know what you’re talking about.

    But it’s certainly not the place to spend all your time and effort, especially in early days – when your focus really ought to be on early wins and making sales.
    Breanne recently posted…A Quick SurveyMy Profile

  30. Linzi Clark says:

    I started my blog this year (www.office-breaks.com) and am really enjoying the journey. Having sent off countless pitches to traditional print media which were either ignored or rejected, it is lovely to get some recognition at last! In addition to learning lots about social media, I’ve also been invited to guest post and have been approached by marketing agencies which is really heartening. In terms of getting your name out there as an unknown, I don’t think there is a better to promote yourself. However, I do completely agree that passion for your topic is key otherwise it could become a time-consuming treadmill.
    Linzi Clark recently posted…5 ways to shake up your work dayMy Profile

  31. Kathy says:

    I’ve enjoyed both the post and all of the comments. Now to add my own: I started my dog blog – HealingRescueDogs – almost 3 years ago because I wanted to build an authority platform for the book I planned to self-publish. I “mined” this blog for material that I expanded into several of the narrative essays that are included in that book, Love Always Wags Its Tail – The Dogs That Changed My Life.

    As I look at what I want to do with my writing/editing skills today, (which is to freelance both of these in a few specialized areas) I also know that this niche-blog and my book won’t be included in the web site I create to advertise myself as a freelance writer.

    Blogging helped me to reach an audience, introduced me to the blogging community and, even though I didn’t intend for this to happen, it also brought me my first clients – people who hired me as an editor.

    All of that said, blogging without purpose is a time thief. What I notice is that even though I’m still writing posts, my weekly production has clearly slowed down as I’m working though this next phase in my writing life.
    Kathy recently posted…Anaphylactic Shock in Dogs is Scary.My Profile

  32. Karen Cioffi says:

    How funny that my post for today in on blogging. You offer great advice for deciding whether blogging is suited for the individual. While I am focused and have a mission, blogging does become burdensome at times. But, the benefits are worth marching forward. If you are focused and remain consistent in your blogging efforts, you will generate visibility, traffic, and authority. All good things. 🙂
    Karen Cioffi recently posted…Online Marketing – Is Blogging Worth the Time and Effort?My Profile

  33. Sharon Enck says:

    I started a blog years ago for fun and to leave a little legacy for my daughter. My posts depict the humorous side of being a hockey mom and fan. Even without a lot of comments, views etc it eventually landed me a gig writing on a fan site for the Phoenix Coyotes, features in a magazine and a regular paid blogging given for a girl’s hockey website. I included the URL in my query letters and despite the low stats I got the jobs. Why? They liked my content. It can work! Good luck to everyone and thanks for all your great articles. You inspired me and made me brave enough to send out that very first query. My blog is http://www.puckgal.blogspot.com

    • Carol Tice says:

      Good for you — if you write the heck out of your blog, it can get you gigs. I always took the approach of treating every post like it was a $1-a-word magazine assignment in terms of the effort I put into it…and I’d say that’s paid off. 😉

  34. I’ve got a blog, but it’s got cobwebs on it. I have a few ideas, but don’t always have time to fit it in. Then I get various ideas for blog topics that I’m not sure fit with the current theme of my website so I hesitate.

    When I do write a blog post I get raves from people who read them. They like the content, find them worthwhile and helpful, and I get lots of encouragement to keep writing. But trying to earn a living writing with no other financial back up takes the majority of the time and efforts. And I’m not able to always market as much as I’d like. So the blog gets sidelined.

    I answered yes to several of your questions. So I guess I’ll occasionally blog, but is that wise? Or should I just delete what’s been written over the past three years and forget it. I’m thinking I’ll blog occasionally, maybe it will spark a renewed interest that might get me going?

    But I’ve got case studies I want to write. White papers I want to write. Maybe start grant writing or focus on writing annual reports and business plans for bigger corporations. I’m thinking you’re right, blogging isn’t my niche and I should just close that closet door and smile that I tried.

    Thanks for the post Carol, as always it hits the nail on the head with great insight.
    Linda Hamilton recently posted…What Do You Say When an Interviewer Asks — Why Should I Hire You?My Profile

  35. My blog is part of my website, Journey to Natural Living, an online magazine that seeks to encourage and empower others to live a proactive, natural, healthy lifestyle. I write about the things that I do and share articles from experts. I am also a freelance writer for the Farmers’ Almanac. As a nonfiction natural wellness lifestyle book author and editor I have been building up my online presence prior to proposing a new book manuscript to a publisher. Writers desiring to write nonfiction books need to have a platform to attract a publisher’s attention. Join us online at http://www.journeytonatliv.com and http://www.facebook.com/JourneytoNaturalLiving

  36. Scott says:

    Great post, and this is something that needed to be said. I was in a writers forum once where a bunch of people were all excited about some new ABC blog project in which writers post 26 alphabetical-themed posts over the course of a month. “I haven’t posted anything lately on my blog, but this will get me jump-started!” so many of them said.

    And I just thought, how sad. If you don’t already have the passion for blogging, you shouldn’t be wasting your time with it. Spend that time pursuing paying gigs instead.

    Since you asked, my blog is a travel site about quirky roadside attractions and road trips around North America. I love blogging about my travels and the audience is fairly large, so it’s going well. It’s also helped me get a solid number of travel writing assignments elsewhere.
    Scott recently posted…August Featured Travel Destination: The YukonMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      Right on, Scott. I never know what to say when writers ask me, “How do you come up with ideas for your blog? I’m really stuck…” Because I always have at least two months’ worth of headlines waiting for me to write! Always SO many more things I want to say that I think will help writers earn more than there is time in the month or slots in my 3x a week schedule…and I am definitely NOT going up to any more frequency!

      When you’re running out of ideas for your blog, it’s time to reexamine why you’re doing that blog and see whether it needs a new direction, or you need to end this and start a new blog altogether, or whether blogging is maybe not for you.

  37. Pauline says:

    I started a blog when I returned to University as a 40 plus student as I could see this was a major turning point in my life.
    I made no attempt to send it around readers ( which must seem odd) and it felt like a way of getting down some observations and records for myself.
    I only managed a few entries as I was busy with my new life.
    Then after writing an article for a magazine I was asked to blog for a prominent website so I realised perhaps it was worth my while continuing.
    I have just submitted that blog and now realise the other ‘hidden ‘one will be linked.
    Pauline recently posted…Who said organising a Conference was easy?My Profile

  38. Dee Dee says:

    I’ve been blogging for a long time, and for most of that time, I wasn’t sure how I could take my writing (I’m an essayist) and turn that into anything lucrative. What I’ve done over the past year is focus on where essays are welcome and now I’m learning to submit items, while maintaining my blog. I had no idea I could do both until writers like you kept saying it was possible!
    Dee Dee recently posted…The Unthankful Heart Discovers No Mercies…My Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      Earning from essays is tough…glad I encouraged you to find the markets you need! It’s a bit of a hunt for good-paying essay work.

      But you could always spin some blog posts into an ebook you might sell yourself. I certainly know other essay-type bloggers who’ve done that successfully.

  39. Jen Anderson says:

    I’ve had a personal blog for several years now (fashionablylatetotheparty.blogspot.com). It’s given me a chance to be funny, and seek support during my adoption experience. I’m working on a novel, so I see it as audience building. But I enjoy it and it doesn’t take time away from paying work. And I’m looking for paid blogging work, so my blog shows that I can stick to a schedule, and my posts serve as additional work samples.

    But I have decided that I have to stop blogging for other sites for free, except for guest posts with links back to my blog. If it’s not building my audience, or making me money, then it’s not worth my time.

    I don’t stick to one topic on my blog, but with a humor blog, the tone and voice is the constant instead of the topic.
    Jen Anderson recently posted…Letting It All Hang OutMy Profile

  40. For all good reasons to not blog, there’s always the changes that happen once you start that make you want to quit.

    From the excitement of writing multi-layered posts with one story line in the text and another in the hyper-text, to doing what amounts to public service announcements, the potential feels endless.

    You hit the bottom of your niche and don’t bounce back because you run out of ideas, run out of time, and all you want to do is run away. Then what?

    Look at blogs you read and find a way. Instead of reinventing the wheel, tweak your blog for a re-fit. Need a good example? There’s this writer named Carol Tice…
    David Gillaspie recently posted…Get A Handle On Your LifeMy Profile

  41. jordan clary says:

    I have a blog I started about two years ago while traveling and have continued it even though I’m back — these days it’s a lot of photography. However, a couple months ago I began a new blog http://www.americanzenstone.com that’s about gemstones, minerals and jewelers from North America. I want to eventually monetize this blog and spent a lot of time reading about blogging and even wrote a business plan for it before I started. And I don’t know how it’s going. At this point I blog twice a week and promote on Twitter and Facebook. Still not much traffic.

    • Carol Tice says:

      Instead of twice a week on your blog, see if you could blog twice a month or weekly on your blog, and make the other posts guest posts on bigger blogs. That will grow your audience faster.

  42. Esther says:

    I absolutely positively love blogging more than anything else. It is the most fun I can have with my writing. I just started a new one!
    Esther recently posted…How to be A Superhero (even if you feel old)My Profile

    • Frances Cave says:

      Thank you so much …I`ve been feeling that I really ought to start a blog because “people” say no-one will take me seriously if I don`t.

      I don`t want to start a blog.

      I need my ideas for writing features, not for a blog. I haven`t time for both, either.

      How very reassuring to be told I needn`t blog.

      Thank you so much again

      • Carol Tice says:

        Glad I could help! I hate seeing writers waste time on a blog they don’t even want to do, when they should just market their services more aggressively in other ways.

  43. MaryBeth Matzek says:

    Thanks for this post. I keep struggling to have a personal blog and just felt like I “had to” have a blog since I’m a writer. I can write blogs for other websites, but when it comes to writing stuff for my own blog, I have no idea where to start or if I write something, how to keep it going.

    • Carol Tice says:

      There’s no law that if you are blogging for clients you have to also have your own blog. Your client blog post samples can be your portfolio for getting other gigs.

  44. Terri says:

    The purpose of my blog, blog.terrificwords.com, is to help others find inspiration and motivation as they search for success. Of course, it took me a while to figure that out.

    I used to be the person you spoke about in the post who just blogged because it was the “in” thing. Not only did I blog because I thought it was popular, but I also only blogged about writing because I thought I was supposed to. It was extremely hard to come up with ideas and stick to my blog schedule. After a few months, I finally realized I was blogging for the wrong reasons and made the switch to blog topics I truly cared about.
    Terri recently posted…A Surefire Way to Get What You Want In Life: Get HelpMy Profile

  45. Mysia Haight says:

    I enjoy blogging about my adventures as an adoptive mom (I adopted my daughter at age 9, six years ago) at mystifiedmom.com. I have another blog at mysialeehaight.com (yes, that’s my name), which I didn’t intend to become a blog. I started it as a website/portfolio to help market myself as a marketing copywriter. Then, I read something somewhere that there’s nothing worse than having a blog with out-of-date posts. So, I created a post about a marketing book I had created a press kit for–and attracted more followers than I had for my “mommy” blog. I actually enjoy blogging about my freelance work but am not sure if I have the time to maintain two blogs–unless I find a way to make $ from at least one of them. Any advice to help me clarify my focus would be greatly appreciated!
    Mysia Haight recently posted…Props for CharmMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      Think it goes back to your goals for each of those blogs. Are you achieving them? Or is one not going anywhere? Has it run its course? Blogs also have a lifespan and sometimes they are ready to wind up.

  46. Amandah says:

    @Angie… Great blog title!

    I provide blogging services and have a blog on my writer website. However, years ago I fell into the trap of starting too many blogs. I let some of them go, but haven’t made a decision about the last two. My head says, “Keep your blogs.” But my heart says, “You’re just not into the one blog anymore. Let it go. However, take the information from the other blog that’s in alignment with your author career and transfer it to the blog on your author website.” I have a tug-of-war going on within me. 😉
    Amandah recently posted…Comment on What Cats Can Teach YOU About Social Media Today by Amandah BlackwellMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      I have yet to meet anyone who’s built more than one successful blog at a time. I say put your energy on one. When it’s earning or bringing you regular leads or whatever your goal is, you can dial that one down and focus on another.

  47. John Soares says:

    Carol, I agree completely. I’ve seen too many beginning freelance writers who post almost daily on blogs that hardly anyone reads, when instead they should be sending out LOIs and improving their writing and marketing skills.
    John Soares recently posted…My Nightmare Freelance Writing ProjectMy Profile

  48. paula says:

    I’m a blogger, but I agree with what you are saying! It shouldn’t be something you feel pressured in to doing. I share on a pretty broad variety topics on my blog, but it’s working for me! I have a bit of an income coming in from here, definitely bigger than what I’m making freelancing, but I also spend more time on my blog. It just depends on the person and what their long-term goals are. I want to be an author, and I’ve been told by multiple people in the publishing world that blogging is really important when you are hoping to write non-fiction books, so I pour a lot of time and effort into blogging and social media.

    http://www.beautythroughimperfection.com/
    paula recently posted…Best Ever New Big Sibling Gift IdeaMy Profile

  49. Wow, this is like that time when I was 15 years old and my Mum said out of the blue “You know, you don’t HAVE to take higher chemistry”. I still remember the relief. I started my Barcelona blog two years back and most of the time love writing it (or should that be, having written it) – the issue is I’m so busy with, frankly, having a life in Barcelona that I’m lucky if I manage to blog once a month. And then there’s the Blog Guilt. I agree with you entirely – if your heart’s not in it, walk away.
    Julie Sheridan recently posted…Two years in – how Barcelona has changed meMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      There’s nothing wrong with blogging once a month, if that’s what you’re into. That still creates a blogging sample…a lot of the big bloggers are posting infrequently these days, and mostly guest posting elsewhere. Can be a great strategy.

  50. Jon Clayton says:

    Carol, I blog at Laboring In The Lord.com. Have done so for yeard. Never have difficulty finding material. Time is often an issue… Thanks!

  51. Victoria says:

    I am the owner of two blogs. My first one is Young Work at Home Moms where I talk about my passion and journey or working from home. My second one is Giveaways 4 Mom. On this one I review product, host giveaways, and write on topics relevant to moms. I started the giveaway blog to be able to review products as well as interact with other mommy bloggers.
    Victoria recently posted…Astrida Naturals ReviewMy Profile

  52. Elke Feuer says:

    Great post, Carol!

    I’m going to share this post on my website and to the writers in my group. Many of them feel they have to blog or need to start one. This will take away that anvil pressure looming over their heads. LOL!

    I have one blog and I post once a week. I use my blog to talk about my books, for readers to get to know me, and to encourage other writers. I enjoy blogging and plan to use it as a platform for other writing avenues. Here’s the link to my website.

    http://elkefeuer.com/
    Elke Feuer recently posted…One Amazing ConferenceMy Profile

  53. Great post! I started several blogs, but this one is the first one that has stuck because I have a clear goal. I started a blog, The Content Marketing Writer, to help freelancers learn and transition into Content Marketing Writing. One, I love the topic and two, it is increased my own content marketing business because when prospective content marketing clients come to my site they can also see that I am knowledgeable about the topic. Also, the blog has tremendously helped the SEO of my website for people looking for a content marketing writer.

    Blogging is a lot of work and I think you really have to be passionate about it to make it work.
    Jennifer Gregory recently posted…Do I send an LOI or a Pitch for a Content Marketing Gig?My Profile

  54. Carol, here’s another question that maybe you should ask in your list of telltale signs:

    Is there a market for your blog?

    On my blog, I try to give practical tips about web copywriting. But I don’t think that many people have the stomach for more technical matters. Most writing types seem to prefer motivational posts and easy reads.

    I suppose if you’re not sure about blogging, you’ve still got to give it a try. It’s the only way to find out.

    In the relatively short time I’ve had my blog, I’ve already noticed some posts get a much better response than others.

    I’m not sure about other people here, but certainly for me it’s more a case of improve and adapt.
    Kevin Carlton recently posted…Two crafty conversion tricks copywriters can learn from eCommerceMy Profile

  55. I’ve thought about starting a blog about my subject area just to have sitting on my web site in order to reinforce topic specialization. Is that a worthwhile idea, or does it sound like it would just be a waste of time?

    • Carol Tice says:

      Depends on your goals for your writing business, and what other clips you have, I’d say. Are you looking for blogging gigs in your topic? If so it can be useful.

      • I would take them if they came my way! I’d mostly look for business reports or technical manuals, but my best clip right now (okay, my only clip) is a guest blog post for a friend’s very influential business site. I had an idea of starting a blog about the subject area itself might be a useful way of supporting my writing/editing service and establishing myself as an expert – or at least getting people to believe I know what I’m talking about! 😉

  56. Willi Morris says:

    Yay, Carol! I remember in the Den when you told me not to focus so much on blogging. And it’s true – those do not make you the big bucks. I’ve stuck to the one post a week (or every other week) thing, and I love it.

    Why?

    I’m already writing and editing *other* people’s blogs – my clients! If you do it too much, you get burned out really, really quickly! I do absolutely love it, though. Having the passion is what it takes to do anything!
    Willi Morris recently posted…2 Simple Truths Everyone Needs to Know About BloggingMy Profile

  57. Michael says:

    I have tried to start blogs several times in the past and haven’t gotten them up and running — until now. I’ve been blogging twice a week (on Tuesdays and Thursdays) since December.

    I blog to get my thoughts down on paper. Sometimes, it’s valuable insight to my readers. Other times it’s just for me. Knowing that I don’t necessarily have to build a HUGE email list takes a lot of the stress out of blogging.
    Michael recently posted…What I learned doing customer support from my carMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      If you’re blogging just to jot down your own thoughts, then more power to you! But if you need time to build a freelance business, that time spent on 8 blog posts a month is taking a lot of marketing time away.

  58. Angie says:

    Hear, hear!

    There are so many blogs out there (by writers and in other niches) that make it absolutely clear the writer either isn’t serious about blogging or doesn’t really like the topic. And if you’re writing on a topic you don’t like or don’t care about, it’s going to show – and that is *not* going to impress potential clients.

    I started out trying to write about copywriting/content strategy, because I thought that was what potential clients would want to read. I hated it, though, and I never got a single subscriber or regular reader on that blog. So I ditched it and went with a topic near and dear to me — combining stress relief with my love of all things geek. (It’s at tranquiligeek.com.)

    Does it tie in directly with the work I do with clients? Nope.
    Does it provide a much stronger showcase of my blogging ability, since it’s a topic I’m passionate about. Definitely.

    So, this is my long-winded way of saying I definitely agree — not all writers need blogs, and those who do need to stick to topics they’re truly interested in and passionate about, or it’s just not going to work.
    Angie recently posted…Deprexiety Soup: Geek Anxiety and DepressionMy Profile

  59. Sally says:

    I say blogs for all 🙂

    Creating and maintaining a blog is a good method to understand social media, marketing and all of the informational deliciousness that the digital age offers.

    Sally x
    Sally recently posted…A migrating idea? Digital Native; Digital Immigrant.My Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      But what if you’re not interested in doing social media marketing and you want to write magazine features or tech manuals for software companies? Not sure blogging is the best use of your time there.

3 Pings/Trackbacks for "Why I Want to Talk You Out of Blogging"
  1. […] Carol Tice of Make A Living Writing even discouraged freelance writers to STOP or not start blogging at all if they see some tell-tale signs. Check out her post here. […]

  2. […] Carol Tice of Make A Living Writing even discouraged freelance writers to STOP or not start blogging at all if they see some tell-tale signs. Check out her post here. […]

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