Recently, I was chatting with some friends about blogging, and how it’s changed over the years.
From social media to richer forms of content creation like videos, podcasts, story-driven blogging, etc, it could be forgiven to think that blogging as we know it (writing a post, publishing, hoping others read it either on the page or vie email/RSS) is about to disappear.
One of the reasons that came up was the fact there was so much mediocre blogging on the web. And, to a point, this is true.
With so much emphasis placed on eyeballs and clicks, quality can often be forgotten or eschewed for some other metric.
It led to a nice discussion on what was really important when it came to blogging.
Killer Content or Kill the Content?
One of my friends mentioned that the most important part of a blog post was the headline. I countered that the headline didn’t matter if the content sucked, while my second friend’s take was a killer headline can help guide the post.
This then led to the question of the post itself.
I mentioned that it’s not always possible to post killer content every single post, as much as we try to as bloggers looking after our readers. My second friend asked if the reader learns, then isn’t that killer?
I responded yes, which means that in that respect even mediocre can be killer.
This turned into a great follow-up discussion about whether you should post at all if your writing is just mediocre, with my second friend suggesting that instead of regular posts, only publish when and if you’re going to knock it out the park every time.
I don’t disagree with him that mediocre posts shouldn’t be published (it’s why I used to have about 25 posts always in draft mode, waiting on some tinkering with content).
Where I do differ is that it’s down to interpretation.
Your Bad is My Awesome, and Vice Versa
As a blogger, I go out of my way to try and make sure that whatever I publish has both relevance and information that will help my readers. I’m pretty sure every single blogger out there is the same.
Yet the relevance and “brilliance”, if you like, is down to the reader.
Say I write what I think is a killer post about social media monitoring tools.
To some readers, it could be the greatest thing since sliced bread. To others, it could be, “Meh, I know this, this post has no value to me. Next.”
To that person, the post is mediocre because of the information (or lack of) inside the post. Yet to the reader who never knew this information, the post may be killer because it’s opened their eyes to something they never knew.
As I mentioned to both friends, no-one sets out to deliberately write a mediocre post – but sometimes some posts will always be better than others, that’s just natural.
The point is to be happy that what you wrote doesn’t short-change you or your readers. Unless you have that confidence, don’t publish.