Friday, April 24, 2015
Update! (Elements of Blogging) #AtoZChallenge
One thing about blogs that really annoys me is when they aren't kept updated. This is especially true when the URLs are posted on social media profiles such as Twitter for example. If an interesting sounding Twitter account recommendation comes my way and I see a blog URL listed, I often don't bother following them if I go to the blog address and find that they haven't posted for six months, a year, or even more.
This is true for any place where a person advertises their blog URL whether it be FaceBook, a business card, or even an author's recently published book. If you aren't going to keep your blog updated then don't advertise your blog link as a place for me to go visit!
Exceptions to this might be those blog owners who are essentially using their blog page as an informational web site to provide contact details, biographies, or any other strictly business facts that might enlighten visitors who just want additional information. If this is what is being done then the page should not be referred to as a "blog". Using this terminology for a static site is misleading.
The Blogging Commitment
Anyone who decides to become a blogger should accept the responsibility to keep their site updated. When I go to a blog that doesn't have any posts for a month or more it leads me to question the professionalism of the blog owner and wonder why that person blogs. Especially if the most recent, now months old post is open-ended leaving the readers to expect a new post to come soon. That's when I have to ask, "Where is that post?"
Life can get in the way and a blogger is entitled to change his or her mind about their blogging agenda, but that's when some sort of finalized post should be put up. At least tell us "Closed Until Further Notice" or something of that nature. And then be sure that you don't have any promotional material or on line links that are directing people to your dead or sleeping site.
You don't have to post every day or even every week, but you should make it clear when visitors can expect to see posts. If you only post every first Monday of the month then make that clear. If you are one who doesn't like being confined to a schedule or merely blogs when the whim strikes then you should make that clear to visitors as well.
Personally, I am not at all impressed when I visit a blog where there has only been sporadic activity and when it does happen the writing is banal and of little interest to readers. The worst are the bloggers who admit that they have been slack in posting and then mention something about their uninspired state of mind--"goodbye that's all I can think of today, see you when I feel like posting again." If that comes from an author especially, do you think I want to read that person's books?
The A to Z Test
During the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge we see some of this blogger reliability exemplified. So many blogs are stricken from the list during the month of April because they aren't able to keep up. With the exceptions of sickness or other unforeseen life circumstances, most of the bloggers who get booted because of inconsistency of blog posting are just blogging like they normally do. You can look back over their older posts and see the evidence of inconsistency everywhere in their blog history.
Part of the A to Z goal is to instill good blogging habits like consistently posting content of reasonable quality. Those who fall behind due to old bad habits need to coerce themselves into building blogging muscle and creative mind stretching.
If you keep up the daily A to Z pace then you are either blogging in your usual professional manner or you are working towards that goal. If you fall behind but are catching up, then you know you have what it takes to be a real blogger with a professional attitude about the craft of writing and now you just have to start pushing yourself a bit more.
For those who dropped out or never responded to the communications of the co-hosts, maybe you need to reassess why you have a blog and whether or not you should continue to have one. While you're at it you might want to take a good look at everything you do in life and how well you are doing at those things. Blogging is a responsibility that to a great extent mirrors your character.
Finally, if you are one of those people who has a blog that is rarely updated, please don't share that link with us. I might go to read your out-dated post one time, but if it's still there when I return later you've lost a great deal of credibility with me.
Do you think I'm taking blogging overly serious or would you tend to agree with what I've said here? Do you blog according to a certain schedule? Do you take any action if you know you won't be posting for a designated period of time?