Daily Archives: August 6, 2010

On a BlogRoll: do you have what it takes?

The other day–in my spare time–I trolled my blogroll and commented on the blogs I follow.  As I continued down my list, it struck me that many of the bloggers are inactive or mildly active.  Some blogs have changed focus or been deleted altogether.

Besides being a product of the normal summer slump, I think part of the blogging blues stems from the message that writers must have a platform and a presence to do well in the sales department.  Years before our manuscripts are ever considered for publication we scramble around trying to garner a large following of potential book buyers–whether we want to or not.

We hop on the blogwagon, completely unprepared for the time and effort it takes to maintain a web presence of this magnitude.  Instead, we simply hear the message and, in one knee-jerk moment, we contribute our words to the ever-growing cyber monster, only to let them peter out when we realize what, exactly, blogging entails. 

Blogging has a personality of its own.  It is hard work.  It requires vigilance and demands a certain stamina.  Nobody tells us this before we sign up for Blogger or WordPress.  Nobody has a ready-made quiz to determine our blogability quotient.  In fact, the only handbook out there is a hodgepodge of words written by bloggers themselves. 

No wonder so many writers start a blog only to have it die an uncertain and painful death.

And so I bring you the dubious, most unscientific-est and completely unreliable blogability quiz: Do you have what it takes?

  1. Do you have more time on your hands than the lazy grasshopper?  IE, can you spare the hours it takes to blog and comment on other’s blogs?
  2. Are you more organized than a garden ant?   IE, can you balance your writing life and your real life without having your tunnels crumble?
  3. Are you more prolific than a rabbit?  Can you provide new and unique posts as  frequently as Mama rabbit populates the garden with offspring?
  4. Are you as regular as the sun rise each day?  Can you stick to a blogging schedule without fail, even if you’d like to sleep in for a change or hide behind the cloud cover for a day?
  5. Are you devoted to your blog like a mama bird is to her fledglings?  Will you feed it, nurture it and help it grow even through the worst storm?  Hail?  Rain?  Tornado?  Earthquake?  Life?
  6. Are you more social than a dolphin?  Can you cultivate and maintain relationships by hanging with other bloggers at their pad?

If you answered no to any of these questions, you may need to rethink your blogability quotient.  Still uncertain?  Answer the next two questions.

  1. Are you a caterpillar, dreaming of the day you change into a beautiful blogging butterfly, but doing nothing about it besides eating all the chocolate in the house?
  2. Do you have the attention span of a gnat with ADHD, zooming from one idea to the next to the next to the next…?

If you answered yes to either of these questions, you undoubtedly should not start a blog.

All joking aside, what difficulties have you faced in starting or maintaining your blog?  What tips do you have to encourage longevity on the blogroll?  And by this I don’t mean how do you get a large following.  I mean how do you physically and emotionally manage the task?

To all the bloggers out there–active, inactive or newbies–I wish you the best as you navigate the ins and outs of blogging.