Is your blog a waste of time?

By July 23, 2010 Blogging

Blogs have been categorized as:

  • Pointless
  • Ego-capsules
  • Not read by anyone
  • Overdone
  • Underpaid
  • Time wasters
  • Not real marketing tools
  • Should I go on?

That’s great. Go ahead with your bad self and believe that hooey. But it just occurred to me that my two main writing gigs right now (you know, the ones that are feeding and housing and otherwise gainfully supporting my family) are mine because of this blog.

After seeing/hearing one of the co-founders of gig #1, I wrote a post about my experience sitting in the audience and moving about my life in relation to what she’d spoken about that morning. I emailed her and thanked her and shared the link. The rest, as they say, is in the bank and on my resume.

When I began writing for company #2, the boss checked me out online—which led him here. Which led him to the realization that if I wrote for them the way I write on this blog, they would have writing and content creation and creative vision that completely broke out of the industry standard (in a good way).

What I get from these stories is this: people/companies/industries want to do it differently (or the good ones that are worth working for do anyway). They want to stand out. And they’re looking for something real, that resonates.

In both cases, I didn’t follow some weird, get rich quick gizmo. I was just myself. I was writing the way I wanted to write. The way that I love to write. The way that lights me up. I followed my own trail of happy. Hit my own personal sweet spot. And, kapow, it lit some other people up, too.

Remember when people sent wild and crazy resumes—in video, in varying shapes and sizes, in the guise of a gimmick? (That seems like it was the 80’s, maybe early 90’s? Because in the 80’s I was still a kid…so why would I have known that? Anyway, I digress.)

This is like that-ish. Only better. I say: create a space where you can be YOU. And don’t make it a one time deal like the resume. Keep it going, let it move and ricochet and travel with you. Let them see you write, sing, sculpt, build, sell, help, cook, run—whatever it is that you do in just that you-like way. Let yourself out. Fully.

Wonder if you’re wasting your time.

And then rev up your vacuum—first on the ‘blow out’ setting…until you’re ready to start pulling it all in.

Image credit: pittcaleb

Join the discussion 22 Comments

  • Alisa Bowman says:

    Yeah, a really super smart chick once gave me the shortest and best advice for succeeding online. I believe it was: Be you.

    (Yes, that was you who told me that).

  • As always, Julie. Thanks for helping to clean out the cobwebs.

  • Heather says:

    I hate leaving ‘great post’ comments but this really was one. Fantastic. Thanks for the reminder!

  • This was just the pick me up that I needed today. Just because you’re a good writer doesn’t necessarily mean that the task of writing will always be a piece of cake. Thanks for the encouragement!

  • Nikki Groom says:

    OMG (said “O.M.G”). This is definitely the best post you’ve ever written. And there have been some good ones. But this one is smack-me-over-the-head-with-a-hammer bang-on-target good. I STILL haven’t really got going with my own blog and I’ve consumed HUGE amounts of information and advice from this and that source. But you’re sooo right – instead of worrying about which direction I should take or what I should write about, I should just put myself out there in all my glory and let others soak it up and pull me in if they choose. Definitely great advice.

    • Julie Roads says:

      Ha! Umm….I thought this post was kind of dumb. And almost didn’t publish it. And then I thought, whenever I feel that way, people seem to end up liking the post. So I published it and voila. I have no idea about the math there. Very odd. But fact, nevertheless.

      • Nikki Groom says:

        Haha. I actually re-read my comment and thought maybe I was being a little over-enthusiastic. To qualify my comment, it was the best post you’ve written (or maybe 1 or 2 ;)) in terms of the fact it really resonated with me and the fact I’ve been umming and aahing about blogging and not just getting on and DOING. :) So yes, I’m definitely glad you published, ha.

  • Nikki Groom says:

    Oh, and what is that saying? “Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.” Ne’er truer words spoken.

  • Thanks for putting this one to rest once and for all. It’s only a waste of time if you’re not enjoying yourself or putting your real self into it. I would still love my blog and write in it even if nobody else ever read it. You have to be doing it, at least in part, for yourself.

    • Julie Roads says:

      Totally true! I don’t even look at my stats anymore. And I used to be obsessed. Writing this blog is as important to me as eating, sleeping and running. It is vital to my well-being. End of story.

  • Laura says:

    Love it. Love it, love it, love.

  • I’m going to link to this with a big “So there!”

    I only started blogging a year ago, and I am in love with it. The ability to write what’s on my mind, and be myself… what freedom and joy. And guess what? Recently, I got an email from a company saying they were “big fans of my blog” (a phrase I will cherish forever. fans?!) and wanting to work with me. I’m a huge believer & advocate for “following our own trail of happy” (as you put it), trusting that when we get lit up, it will light up others as well. Seems like Marsha Sinetar’s book was right: “Do What You Love and the Money Will Follow.”

    p.s. Great post!

  • Debra Denton says:

    Some of us bloggers feel like the work we put into our blogs isn’t appreciated sometimes despite the amount of work that goes into it. It’s not just the source of your inspiration but the research, choice of photos and actual writing. Bottom line is if you aren’t enjoying what you are doing in the first place then maybe you need to rethink why you are doing it. Great post; it was first visit to your site also.

  • I just started blogging the end of April. I love it and it’s so true, just do what you’re good at. My hubs pooh-poohs the whole thing but I’ve picked up new clients and people appreciate my passion for what I do.

    My last blog is “Did it Break too Soon? How to Send back Defective Products” at jewelryassemblychicks.blogspot.com

  • Julie Roads says:

    Nikki – no apologies, I love your comments, that’s what this is all about! and Congrats!

  • Shelly says:

    I haven’t yet thought my blogs were waste of time – because I have enjoyed writing them! There is nothing like getting a comment from someone that had something to say about what I wrote! :)

  • It’s so nice to be liberated from all the “corporate correct” pressure, and to not only have the tools to express ourselves – but to realize that, in fact, people really do want what we have to offer without us having to be cubicle drones. Thanks for underscoring this delicious truth!

  • I love when I find someone genuine. That’d be you.

    This post…inspired! It got me thinking about ways I might make my blog a better reflection of how I think, less about the impersonal business content that people might find helpful.

    Gary V once said (parphrasing) that information can be googled, but unique content is what people will pay for.

    Now following your blog!

    RHonda Hurwitz

  • Alisha says:

    Thank you for this. It’s hard to keep pressing on with my blog when I feel like I have to prove that it “does something” other than give me my own space to be myself and to share myself with others. That’s all it needs to do.

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