Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Burning out on blogging

The title to this post is entirely misleading.  I am not burning out on blogging so much as I have seen a few other high profile gaming blogs make that assertion and I thought it warranted talking about.  In particular both Tobold and Larisa announced recently that they are going to cut back on their posts on their very widely read WOW blogs.  In both cases they have hundreds to thousands of readers, tremendously busy comment sections after every post and have been posting regularly for multiple years.  Both talked about wanting to do other things, not wanting to feel obligated to post and not feeling inspired, and yet both are still making posts and seem very excited about the recent WOW patch, though not all positive.  This makes me wonder why most people make blogs and what reasons they have for making sure posts go up on a constant basis.

Tobold tried putting up a donation button on his blog to see what kind of responses he would get from it.  I believe he made about 100 dollars over 6 months with thousands of loyal readers so I figure that I stand to make enough to buy a candy at the 7-11 if I put a donate button on my blog.  I know some people who have tried out putting ads up on their blogs and gotten zero dollars in return, so obviously it isn't worth doing for the money unless you are one of the extremely tiny top few.  I blog for a bunch of reasons:

I like the writing practice.
I have lots of opinions and I want to share them.
I find it interesting to see which opinions get ignored and which get torn apart by my readers.
I want to learn from all the experience of my readers and provoking them to respond makes that happen.
Blogging helps clarify my thoughts and forces me to really sharpen the edges of my ideas.
I like sharing things with my friends and family so those who want to can keep up on what I am thinking/doing.
I want to know if I can get a lot of people reading or not.

There are some days that I don't have much to say but I find that ideas come when I ask for them.  The very act of sitting in front of my computer and absolutely needing to find something interesting to say makes me look around at the world and hunt for remarkable things, so obviously just needing to make a post is helping me learn.  There are other days where I have lots of ideas and not enough time to get them all out so I end up saving them for the next day.  I think if there were ever to come a time where I really didn't want to post and felt like the act of looking for a topic wasn't going to bring me any joy I would need to stop there but that has never occurred.  I think one thing that must be challenging for most bloggers is the necessity to say something every day with no immediate reward or punishment involved. Once there is an obligation there things can become very frustrating and writing can feel more like a job with no pay instead of a labor of love.  I understand very well the feelings Larisa and Tobold have though, since I am sure it is similar to raiding in WOW.  At some point the obligation to show up for 10 hours a week feels like a chore instead of an opportunity and you need a break from it if only to show yourself exactly why you do want to go back.  I have taken my break from WOW for these past few weeks; I wonder if I will ever need the same sort of thing for blogging?


  1. I put ads up on my blog over a year ago when I was rarely posting and when absolutely no one ever went to it just to play around with the settings. I left most of them up when I actually started posting again and they've brought in a total of $1.81 all-time. Not even enough for Google to get around to mailing me a cheque, but I could buy a pretty sweet candy bar if they did.

  2. Are you paid by clicks, Ziggyny? Because I've definitely clicked the ads on your site a couple of times just to funnel you some sweet, sweet cash.

  3. It's a little complicated and depends on the ad type which I don't get to pick. Some ads pay per view and some per click (and I think some only pay if you actually buy something from the site, but as I recall those are for huge things like mortgages and diamonds). Google uses some algorithm to determine what to show in my boxes based on how good my boxes have been in the past for the ads they put in and what advertisers are willing to pay and so on along with the content on the site.