in blogging

Not Blogging? Stop Apologizing.

Did you blog today? How about yesterday? Last week? Last month? Come on man!

Consistency is the key to blogging success. You must post on high-traffic days like Tuesday & Thursday, write SEO-friendly copy, targeted headlines, include a photo…you know the drill, right? Right.

Enough of the BS. Yes, it’s true, consistency is important if you’re looking to grow your audience – and all of the other things mentioned above are good practices for any blogger to put into action – but if you’re focused on all the things you’re “supposed” to do – you forgot the most important thing about blogging – the reason you started blogging in the first place - because you love to write, you love to communicate. You have something to say and you need a place to say it.

But sometimes you don’t have anything to say. Sometimes you draw a blank. Maybe for a day, maybe a month, or maybe you decide blogging just isn’t for you.

Whatever the case, the message today is simple: Stop apologizing.

I’ve done it. You’ve done it. Odds are we’ve all done it. We “slack off” a bit with our blogs for some amount of time and in our first post back we apologize for being gone. We invent the need to apologize to our readers for our absence, and we come up with reasons why we didn’t have time to write (note: you always have time, if you make time, and if blogging is important to you).

Stop¬†apologizing. It’s just a blog. Seriously. It’s okay. Life happens and sometimes your blog isn’t at the top of your priority list. The beauty of a blog? It’ll always be here when you’re ready to write on her. And your community, at least your loyal readers and followers, will be right here reading when you make it back.

The point? Priorities change all the time. I used to spend hours and hours every week writing here and reading other blogs, commenting, tweeting, etc. At that time, my blog served a different purpose – it was a place for me to build my own “personal brand” and in short, was something I could point to when looking for a job.

Now? I’m in a much different place in my life and my blog has taken a bit of a back-seat. I have time for it when I make time, and I don’t when other things take precedence. There may be a time when I start writing more, or maybe not. It’s as simple as that.

Stop apologizing, focus on what’s important in your life, and go be great at those things.

(Photo c/o monkeytraffic)

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29 Comments

      • I’ve done it (several times) myself, Sean. But like I said over on your blog, it’s all a part of our evolution – your blog is an extension of you and it’s not always going to be a priority. But it’ll always be here when you have time for it.

  1. THANK YOU. Over the past few weeks I’ve lost track of the number of blogs that have published a “sorry I haven’t posted in a while” post. Not only am I thinking these people need to relax, I’m thinking they don’t owe me an apology. Post when you can. Make it the best you can make it. And stop apologizing.

    • Yep – it’s just a blog – but for some reason we do often feel the need to apologize when we don’t give it “enough” time or we post less frequently. Hopefully my message here will hit home for a lot of folks who are over-stressed about keeping up with their blogs.

  2. thank you for this, I’ve been feeling the invisible pressure to post and this week just hasn’t lent itself to writing anything of quality so I haven’t. Now I don’t feel like such a failure :)

  3. when i see a blog in my reader that starts off with, “sorry i haven’t blogged in awhile!”, or “man, i’m a really bad blogger lately, i PROMISE to do better soon” i immediately disregard.

  4. I might start a blog with – I haven’t blogged in a while because …. and then talk about the cool (to me) thing I have been doing instead of blogging.

    Blogging is like talking , except on the Internet. The same rules should apply – if you don’t have anything to say, if you’re really pissed off or if you don’t know what the hell you are talking about, then you should just keep your mouth shut. I have not blogged some days for all of those reasons, sometimes all of them at once!

    Sometimes I blog every day for a while. Sometimes I don’t blog for a week or more because I have too much work to do for paying clients, and they come first.

    Actually, I started my blog, which is mostly about statistics and software – occasionally on small business issues when I am ranting or raving – because I wanted a convenient place to store information as I discovered it. I’m still surprised when I meet people at a conference and they say, “Hey, I read your blog.”

    My kids say people reading a blog someone else writes about statistical software is nerd squared, but it amuses me and other people, too, so I think the purpose has been achieved, however often I happen to write it.

    • Well said – blogging is a conversation – and one of the biggest challenges is knowing when NOT to blog. You point out some great examples – when you’re really angry, when you don’t know what to say…there’s plenty of situations where not saying anything speaks volumes about your character.

      Blog when you want to blog. It’s as simple as that.

  5. I cannot express how glad I am that you wrote this post:

    I’ve struggled with this exact element in recent months after deciding to hang up blogging for a bit to focus on a book project. At times, you have to eliminate distractions and focus on what is most important – the writing.

    I’ve had it up to eyeballs with the constant chatter over blogging do’s and don’ts.

    How about we write when we have something worth saying, enjoy the process and quit forcing shitty content in the name of blogging 101.

    • Yep. Agreed 100% – write something when you have something worth saying, and don’t write when you dont. Besides, people can tell very easily when your writing is “forced”. The only time worth writing is when you want to write. Cheers!

    • Yep – there’s no point in writing just for the sake of doing it. Write because you want to be writing, because you have something to say, and because you love doing it.

  6. Great post – true and timely. Who’s judging anyway? The only person who gives us a hard time about ‘slacking off’ or not posting frequently enough is ourselves. Time to put the stick down and relax!

    • Agreed. Of course that could be said for anything. We’re constantly being worried about being judged by everyone else when really, at the end of the day, the only thing that REALLY matters is how we feel about ourselves.

  7. Normally I’d agree with this, but since I’m a writer for a blog that’s not mine (PluginID), it’s tougher for me to justify not posting on a regular basis – I feel like I’m slacking at my job if I don’t, because, really, that’s what I’m doing.

    However, when I start my own personal blog (as a way to build my personal brand), I think I’m going to relax a little bit and be okay with not posting all the time, like you said. The thing I want to ask you is this: would your personal brand be weaker if you didn’t post/tweet/comment all the time when you went through that phase?

    • Good points/questions, but I believe his focus was on personal more than job-related blogging. Now certainly, if your entrepreneurial success hinders on your blog, then by all means go all out.

      But I still caution that we’re reaching an alarming level of static that tends to wash out some of the differentiation and individuality. I’d go for quality over quantity any day, but that’s just me. I’d argue that at some point the well will overflow, and I think we’re dangerously close already with social media and everything that is lumped under that umbrella.

      • Yep, I am solely talking about blogging when it’s for pleasure. If you have to blog for work because it’s your job – umm, you probably should be doing it. Unless you don’t want that job or don’t like getting paid :)

      • Thanks, Ninja (or should I call you Brett?). I like the way you think.

        I guess the question is: what’s going to happen when the well overflows? How well will we be able to differentiate between what is meaningful/valuable and what is not?

        My bet is that people who are great curators of excellent content are going to be a lot more valuable.

  8. I’ve started my own “life without pants” on Monday afternoon and am thinking about doing this whole blogging for a living thing…very intriguing. But where to start? Could you give me some tips?

  9. Right, there are best practices to follow in the beginning, but it’s more important to remember the reason why you started writing, and more importantly to go and live life and not write about living life.

  10. Was I your inspiration for this blog? You and I have had this conversation many times. I think about it – I have blogs in my head! – but it never seems to make it to the computer. And then I feel bad. Then it’s like going to blogger confession…bless me community for I have not blogged…

    Great post, Matt! Looking forward to chatting with you next week!

  11. Matt offers many words of wisdom and I think the blog post really resonates with me as I’ve started trying to gain more experience blogging by starting a personal one before going “pro”

    better to not write consistently than to write meaningless dribble!

  12. You have just made me feel much better. Granted, I am still in the position of “needing to build my brand” or whatever, but still. There are sometimes when I blog just to have a new blog post up, and boy, you can tell that’s what I was doing, too.