Blogging is either a demanding waste of time or the greatest marketing tool ever, according to two articles Faith Kramer sent me.
How can blogging be both? Let’s take a look:
1. Blogging is a Demanding Waste of Time
At Crain’s Chicago Business, a story called Bloggers quitting what they call a demanding task with few rewards profiles those who shut their sites. One launched careers of others on his site, but not his own. Another chronicled a sabbatical but when it was over, had nothing more to say. One became a parent and said his blog became less interesting because writing about his wife and family was off limits. The last person quit because he found it too much of a time sink. Says the article:
“Some have simply switched to another blog-like medium, say, Twitter or Facebook. Others have faced unpleasant facts about blogging. It’s cheap to do but usually doesn’t pay. Having a platform may be fun at first, but building a following takes much more work than simply typing and posting.
And millions of them go virtually unnoticed, despite the occasional breakout sensation like the humorous Stuff White People Like and the Julia Child-inspired The Julie/Julia Project.”
The story said that, for the first time, the number of bloggers in the US declined last year, the first reported drop in blogging. (It also reported there are 31 million blogs just in the US. That’s 1 for every 10 people!)
2. Blogging is the Greatest Marketing Tool Ever
Now let’s hop over to to a Blog called Marketing Conversation, to a post called 8 Reasons Why Now is the Best Time to Start Blogging, by Abraham Harrison. His first reason to blog is: There’s less competition for any particular topic. The previous story, by comparison, quoted a blogger who said there was so much more competition now than when she started her blog 5 years ago that she wondered how she could succeed if she had to start one now.
Harrison also argues that most blogs are on life support, so you can come in and own your space by blogging 4 times a week for 12 to 18 months. And instead of interviewing people, Harrison draws on his own success of increasing his blog ranking by hiring writers.
So who’s right? You are. If you haven’t started a blog yet, you’re the only one who can decide whether jumping in will be worth the time and effort. It depends on your goals. If you’re hoping for celebrity status and an influx of cash, you’ll be disappointed. If you have something to say, want to connect with other food lovers, or need a way to increase your online visibility, a blog could meet your needs.
And if you already have a blog, I don’t think it’s wrong or negative to keep evaluating if your blog continues to be worth the time and effort. For more on that topic, see the thoughtful comments on a previous post, Is Food Blogging Too Much Work?