Why everyone blogs about blogging - but should we?
Nicky and I are new to blogging. We didn’t even (whisper it) really read blogs before we started our own. One of the things I’ve noticed though, in various Facebook groups that we’re now part of, and internet searches that I’ve done when I really should have been sorting out the washing, is how many bloggers blog about blogging.
To paraphrase a lawyer joke:
"There is no shortage of bloggers on the internet. In fact, there may be more bloggers than people."
A quick internet search provides some mind-boggling stats: 20,800,000 google results for 'How I created the world's best blog'. 'Secrets of my blogging success': 3,520,000. 'Why I am the best blogger in the whole world ever': 29,500,000. Even 212,000 results for 'Neh neh neh neh neh I am the ultimate blogger.'
I think this is a problem. Reading about blogging is only interesting to those who are blogging. It isn’t interesting to the actual audience you’re looking to build. This article isn’t going to covert people to become avid readers of Woman in Progress. (Though if it does, you can expect me to blog about blogging every week…) There isn’t much inherent value in it to be honest.
So why does everyone do it? I’ve come up with a few theories.
It’s a virtuous circle
People who are building their blogs want to learn how to build their traffic. So people write about building their traffic and, hey presto, they build their traffic. Let’s face it, that’s why I’m writing this blog. I’m hoping to prove my point. Also known as Click Bait.
Trying to fill space
To grow your blog you need content, and content isn’t always easy to create, so go a bit meta and navel gaze - et voila. There is, I’m afraid, very little genuinely original content about blogging out there. Most are teaching the same lessons recycled in a slightly different way.
Lordy the dullness. But SEO is important for generating traffic to your blog. And traffic means potential revenue (or at least the ability to review something). And including key words such as 'blog' are relatively easy to fit in when you’re writing about blogging. This post alone has completely nailed it. Bloggy McBlogface.
These are the post with lots of blog stats - how many readers, how much cash they made in the last month. We all want validation and this is one way to get it.
Faking an audience
The last reason is perhaps that the audience for new blogs is mainly bloggers? That the great, establish blogs are already out there and new ones like ours are unlikely to make it big. There’s a great podcast by Sara Tasker with Kat Molesworth on whether blogging is still relevant. She is adamant that the future is to write about something that people want to read. So to write about blogging? To navel gaze? This really only appeals to the ever-growing contingent of new bloggers all looking for the ‘answer’ to fame and fortune. “Read my secrets. I’ll help you make millions just like I haven’t yet.”
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not judging you. I’ve just done it myself. But I do question its value - to me and to the internet. I think for us, on this blog, the best thing to do is to write abut things we find interesting. About how we're all just finding our way. Tell stories about women who aren’t quite sure what they’re doing with their lives. Talk about cocktails. Confess things that make us feel slightly uncomfortable. Mention our children occasionally. And hopefully this will find us our audience. And, perhaps, the mega-bucks.
P.S. I’ll update this post with stats on how many hits it gets. Our current average monthly page views is 2,543. What will this post bring?