I was planning on writing a few articles in advance last night but I was a little tired so instead, I decided to just lie in bed and read some blogging related articles (I call that being semi-productive!). After reading a dozen or so articles I noticed that many of the people leaving comments on one blog were the same people leaving comments on the others. Which isn’t particularly peculiar except for one thing : they all ran blogs which were hardly ever updated.
I try and leave comments on good posts when I can and I know that it is a good way to build relationships and to get a little extra traffic to your blog, particularly a new blog. I also check my newsreader every morning and check out the latest news from newsbreaking blogs and blogs I enjoy reading. However, spending time doing this should NEVER, I REPEAT NEVER come at the expense of updating your own blog.
To put it bluntly, there are a lot of people who need to Stop Reading and Start Doing!
Firstly, let we just clarify that I don’t think bloggers should stop reading posts which help them improve their writing, promote their blog or making money through their blogs. Just like anything else, there is a learning curve in blogging. However, too many bloggers are spending their time reading about how to be a good blogger instead of just rolling up their sleeves and putting in some hard work.
Answer this :
- What is the point of reading writing and grammar tips every day if you don’t spend time writing posts and trying to turn your weaknesses into strengths.
- What is the point of promoting your blog on other blogs and forums if you only update your own blog every now. If you make a great comment on some elses blog and someone decides to visit your blog to find out more about you, are they likely to subscribe if you you post sporadically?
- How can you make money from a blog that is not updated much? Short answer is that it is very difficult. So why would anyone spend more time reading about making money online than actually trying to do it?
The bottom line is this : everyone who works online needs to prioritize their time, whether they blog part time or whether they are lucky enough to do it full time. They need to work out how much time they can spend each week blogging and then figure out how best they should spend that time.
Reading other blogs is valuable. It will help you keep up to date with the latest news related to your blog and it will frequently give you inspiration for a blog post too. However, most successful bloggers know that it can be a timewaster too which is why they spend the majority of their time writing great posts instead of reading them (infact, in the book Blog Blazers many top bloggers admitted to not even reading any other blogs at all!)
I’m the first to acknowledge that it’s easier to sit reading blog posts all day instead of writing them, just the same as it’s easier to sit and read a newspaper than it is to write for one.
Now I don’t want to come across as a hardass here but I think a lot of bloggers need a hard dose of reality. Here are two things I have learned over the years and something I think a lot of bloggers need to start realising :
- There is no easy way to make money online.
- No one makes money online by doing things half heartedly.
Now, there are some ways of making money online that pay more than others. I myself have made most of my money online via gambling related sites however I spent a lot of time working on the websites which generated me those commissions (i.e. it wasn’t luck!). Granted there are a few people who came up with a unique idea and got lucky but they are few and far between and for 99.9% of us, there is no short cut!
Don’t be fooled by all these idiot marketing gurus either who promise you the life of a rock star by working a 4 hour week. These courses are nothing more than a classic pyramid scam and the reason they won’t tell you what the secret is on their sales page is because there isn’t one. Infact, 9 times out of 10 their ‘marketing secret’ is to get you to sucker more people into the scheme to make you money (and them too!). Think about it, if someone was making $500,000 a year by working 4 hours a week, would they really be wasting their time telling other people how they did it?
Stop Reading, Start Doing
I love reading blogs. I do so regularly via my newsreader but I try and do it sparingly. Too many bloggers are not though and are spending more time reading than they are writing. The best way to develop your blog and improve as a blogger is to do one thing : BLOG.
I recommend spending no more than 25% of your time reading and commenting on other blogs. For example, if you have 5 hours during the week to devote to blogging, try to not spend more than an hour reading and commenting on other blogs (Please note, replying to comments on your own blog should be counted as blogging time).
Bottom line, to be a successful blogger you need to put in the work. Doing so half heartedly just doesn’t cut it. So stop reading other blogs and start updating your own!