The Great Relief That Comes When You Quit Blogging


TheEnd

…and the guilt.

..and the feeling of failure.

But above all the wonderful sensation of FREEDOM.  Of getting your life back.  Blogging can feel like a great hunger that constantly needs to be nourished.  There’s a sense of panic when you haven’t posted in a long time.  But when you stop?  

Ahhhh…

And then, if you’re an addict, you’ll likely – but not right away – start another blog.  Like I did.  HighTalk, now entering its fourth year, is actually my third blog.

I quit the other two.  One after more than three years (and a couple of awards) and the second after less than six months.

I’m convinced that blogging – especially for solo practitioners – is provisional pursuit.  Every blog has a short lifespan – like a house fly – it may be one post or 1,000, but eventually all blogs come to an end.  Unlike the great newspapers of our day, we will not be celebrating the 100th or 150th anniversaries of blogs.

And, trust me, that’s a good thing.

Already we’re seeing the likely end of a good many social media blogs.

One of my favorites, Todd Defren’s PR Squared has been on the wane for several months as Todd builds his agency SHIFT Communications into a world-class shop.  As Todd noted in a recent post about the fate of his popular blog “the better long-term bet is to start checking in on the SHIFT Blog much more often: that’s where the Good Stuff will be posted, more often than not.”

Todd promises to keep posting on PR Squared when he has something to say, but the days of his 2-3 posts a week are over.

Even the mighty Robert Scoble – the cyborg blogging machine – can’t keep up.  In the last four months, Robert has only posted four times on his blog Scobleizer.

It’s not just social media geeks either.  Even professional and prolific writers can’t keep it up forever.  One of my favorite authors, the talented J. Robert Lennon, had a fantastic must-read literary blog that went defunct almost two years ago (I kept it in my RSS feed for many many months just hoping it would suddenly start to breathe again.  It didn’t).

Although Mr. Lennon appears to be back with a new blog as part of his website. Fingers crossed.

But blogging isn’t forever.  So treasure your favorite blogs while you can.

Because one day – could be at any moment – they’re going to stop, including this one.

What are your thoughts on blogging?  It’s longevity?  Do you blog?  Have you quit blogging?  Why?

Links:

PR Squared “What’s Up with PR-Squared?”

Scobleizer

J. Robert Lennon’s new blog

17 Responses to “The Great Relief That Comes When You Quit Blogging”

  1. An honest take on the realities of blogging, George.

    I’m reminded of something another blogger/friend said…that she’s written the same blog post 900 times, i.e. readers come to her page for one or two main reasons and that’s what she tries to focus on.

  2. When I can’t think of anything for my blog, I notice I suddenly have lots of ideas for NEW blogs. As a blogger, I think it’s like writing very long books, sometimes the story is over, and it’s time to write a new one.

  3. What I like is that blogging is free, an it doesn’t matter if anyone reads it. What matters is the humility that comes from writing it, the metacognition of thinking about what you’re going to say. How do you explain yourself? How do you describe in a couple of paragraphs, why you did something? How do you respond out loud? If you’re good at it, some people are going to read it, and if you’re not good at it, you’ll become good at it if you stick with it. This is such a micro publishing platform, that basically you’re doing it for yourself, and forcing yourself to be part of the conversation.

    Traditional media platforms make possible a kind of unilateral intimacy. You “know” the talk show host, the performing artist, or the conference speaker. But social media has taken this to a whole new level. It makes possible bilateral intimacy—engagement. The result is that you can be more connected to your fans, customers, and supporters than ever before.

  4. Hi Alison:
    900 times? That’s quite a feat!

    Hi Mandy:
    I like the imagery of a blog as a book that naturally comes to a conclusion. Very visual…

    Hi Patrick:
    I don’t know if I buy that blogging is free. It takes a lot of time and effort to write a blog – and that costs something. Even as a reader your subjected to ads, promotions, etc… Your attention has a cost. But I do think you captured the rest of it quite nicely.

  5. This blog has something so few of them have – COMMENTS! I can’t tell you how many fancy shmancy, major media blogs I see that never have ANY comments. I don’t think you need analytics software to tell you that nobody is reading that blog. My blog (BartStewart.com) is buried in so many thousands of spam comments I don’t know if there are any reader responses or not. Something’s got to give.

  6. Hi Bart:
    I wish I could say HighTalk is always lively with comments – but they come and go. Just lucky to be writing content lately that has folks wanting to comment. But trust me – not always the case. And you aren’t the only one being constantly attacked by comment spammers. They definitely seem to be on the upswing lately.

  7. I think blogs die when the blogger finds a better platform to get the same value they were getting from their blog. Maintaining an audience on a blog isn’t easy, and sometimes it just makes more sense to share the same content and try to have the same types of conversations on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumbr, G+, you name it.

    For me, my personal blog has been going strong for almost 6 years now with no end in sight. I still use other platforms, but I don’t have the same types of conversations as I do on the blog. Different channel, different value. Once it stops working for me, I won’t quit. I’ll just move my “blogging” to some platform other than my blog.

  8. Hi Jamie:
    You triathletes don’t count. Most of us will quit. You healthy bastards just run faster…

  9. this is fascinating. i came here bc of your fp’d post and i couldn’t agree more. i think there’s a lifecycle to this sort of thing… xo, sm

  10. I hope not. I’d like to continue my blog. I’m using it to build a fan base, and want to continue it to keep in touch with the same.

  11. Yes, I can imagine a future where the reason that I started the blog in the first place wont be relevant anymore. And then the blog will end. But something else will start. And it will be bigger and better and somehow fill this cold, dark hole in my life. (sorry – was that too much? I do worry about the addiction part though…)

  12. I find Patrick’s comments about blogs being an exercise in free expression really interesting. I agree, but also find that most blogs are written to advance something…if not a product, then a set of beliefs, viewpoints, a lifestyle, a cause, a movement etc. So the intersection of the metacognition (as he calls it) and the effort to promote something is interesting…and could that be what wears out the individual after awhile?

  13. Hi Alison:
    Good point. I think blogging by its nature is opinion based and every blog has an agenda to promote something (be it an idea or a product). So there may be a time where people are sick of being “marketed” to and we’ll all go back to the inverted pyramid style of newspaper writing.

  14. Great post! I do blog, and I haven’t yet quit. Like any writer, I have my weeks were I post every day followed by a month of nothing. I love the freedom of writing whatever I want, whenever I am inclined, to whomever is willing to read it (besides my mom who is bound to love everything I write. haha. Poor woman).

  15. freelancesalesconsultants January 10, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    Reblogged this on FREELANCE CONSULTANTS and commented:
    What can I say?
    Good ideas here – love your work…

  16. Honestly, I just caught this post today. Thanks for the kind words, sir. I struggle with “quasi-abandoning” my blog (I miss it) but the reality is simply that my time is best spent running the business, interacting with clients and prospects, nurturing our culture, etc.

    In terms of “innovating” for the sake of my blog, I think those days are over: younger, smarter, more ambitious folks (and more to the point, more professional outfits like Social Media Examiner, Mashable, etc.) will win that game. You’ll note, though, that I didn’t feel comfortable “slacking off” on the blog until we’d hired a guy who was smarter and more prolific and focused. And I wasn’t lying when I said “the good stuff” would now more often be found on SHIFT’s corporate blog. There’s some genuinely good stuff there lately!

    So for me it was less, “laying down the sword” than “passing the torch.”

  17. Hi Todd:
    Great clarification. I like the idea of passing the torch rather than laying down the sword. Although I do hope you feel the need to lift up the sword and swing it every now and then!

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