Here’s why you should quit blogging

by Craig McBreen · 45 comments · Social media


Strange coming from me, eh? 

Someone who called this his digital heaven. WTF?

I’m as serious as a heart attack though. This can be an amazing space to learn, grow and flourish, but it also has more time sucking power than a black hole.

And you may be like that fuzzy little guy running on the wheel with no end in sight.

Think about it.

Are you enjoying your time here? Or, has it become a daily chore? An act of drudgery?

If the later is your answer, it’s time to jump off this monster of a wheel and do some soul searching.

I don’t want to get all dramatic on your ass, but you do get what I’m saying, right?

If you’re engaging in one or more of the activities listed below on a daily basis, it might be a good idea to “punch out” for a spell.

1. You’re spending all your time consuming versus producing.

If you don’t know why you’re here, maybe you’re spending too many hours in the bubble, reading away but never acting.

Avoidance results in zero progress and most social media activity is avoidance.

And if you have no plan, maybe you should untether from social for a while. Give yourself a break and experience life.

Or, maybe do the following each morning:

Write. Create. Plan.

Stop reading email first thing in the morning. You can stand to ignore Facebook and Twitter for a few hours too.

If I start my day with email and social media, it’s almost a guarantee that I’ll be unproductive and this kind of thing can suck the life right out of you. This process sets the tone for the day and can make a potentially good day a crap day.

Yes, social can be a wonderful playground, but it can also become an endless mill of consumption.

Start your day in creation mode.

2. There are a million other things you’d rather be doing.

I can’t wait to write every day, and have a hard time stopping. But I like to think writing is a worthwhile pursuit.

Is writing more pain than pleasure? Has blogging become drudgery?

You know how I feel about embracing discomfort, but the type of pain above will simply suck you dry. If the practice is weighing you down, it might be time to take a social media vacation and reevaluate why in the hell you’re doing this.

Do you think your brain is wired for this shit? Me neither. If blogging is making you unhappy, please do yourself a favor and stop or back off.

3. You read nothing but blogs.

Yes, I know this might read like anathema to the social crowd, but it’s a hard truth.

Reading, sharing, commenting. It’s all good, but if your only reading list originates from your Google Reader, you need to make some changes.

I know some insanely creative bloggers – Artists, writers, marketers and community builders. But there’s also a crap ton to sort through. And if all your day is spent consuming post after post after post, where’s it gonna get ya?

If your goal is to produce the best content you can, read as many books as you can get your little hands on. Give your RSS feed a rest and start here.

4. You don’t feel a sense of purpose.

This isn’t about money or emulating Mother Teresa. But it does concern you and why you’re here.

Can you define it? Are you on the cusp of “it?”

Listen. I think the social web is a ferociously creative place. It’s changed my life for the better, but I don’t feel like I’m wasting my time.

If you’ve been here for a while and you’re not growing, why not examine your reasons. Maybe you’ll find there’s no good reason.

Or maybe it’s time to shut down your laptop and go back to the drawing board.

Perhaps a little break is all you need. And you soon come back rejuvenated and ready to do some major league ass kicking.

5. You care too much.

About what other people think, that is.

Um, people are judging you all the time. Yep, they are … so what? Do you worry about ever little thing you write? Worried you might offend?

Plus this judgment is usually superficial and they generally couldn’t care less, really. They hate and move on to the next punching bag. Not to burst your self-important little bubble, but that’s the fact, Jack.

If you’re crowding your brain with this useless nonsense, you’re stifling your creativity.

I’m not saying you need to drop more F-bombs than Chris Rock or be the second coming of Sam Kinison, just be YOU, that’s all.

This is a big one for me, because the social web can kind of grind you down this way. One day you’re ready to unleash a big ol’ can of whoopass and the next, your a blogging eunuch.

That hurt, right?

It’s blogging folks. Stop over-filtering and just say it. This isn’t giving you the green light to offend. It’s not like that and you know it. Just stop worrying, that’s it.

I just want you to enjoy your time here and make things happen.

Please do hit me with some bits of wisdom in the comments below.

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{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

Christiano Kwena January 10, 2013 at 7:12 am

Ahem, cough cough!

First of all, even if its drudgery, never stop. The universe is unfolding as it should and if you quit now, you will quit again, and again. Take heart amid the punches and kicks, you get those because you are a creative.

I read email the first thing in the morning, it just happens to be the time when am done with my work (a night owl); so, don’t follow his advice of not reading email.

All I do, is check my Google reader for new posts, then I read them, over time if a blogger gets it wrong, I unsubscribe, and if they feature some good links, I follow those and subscribe to more relevant blogs. It’s efficient to rely solely on your rss reader, with fewer choices, you execute more and get time to rest.

Craig,
This was a good post, you voiced your opinion.
Christiano Kwena recently posted..Your dilemma as a creativeMy Profile

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Craig McBreen January 10, 2013 at 11:28 pm

Hello Christiano,

Hey! :)

I agree with you to a certain extent. All work is not fun and all passion all the time is B.S., but I’m talking about spinning your wheels because you don’t have a plan. If not, it might be time to reevaluate.

Whatever works for you re: email, but I always find it best to hit the creative stuff and planning early. It’s more about discovering your own rhythms and not reading email at those peak times, and not being sucked into the spiraling social vortex.

Thanks for your comments, Sir! Appreciate you stopping in.

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Tim Bonner January 10, 2013 at 2:02 pm

Oh dear, this brings a few things home to me Craig! I think I may be all of the above.

I generally have to do things when the kids have gone to bed otherwise there are too many distractions and I’m pretty tired by then unfortunately.

I made a pledge to myself over the holidays that I would concentrate on new content and less on reading blogs and commenting. Shame on me that I haven’t made a great start to that in 2013.

Well, that’s what I’m going to do from this evening. I’ve managed to get a few minutes away to come by and visit you as I thought it was about time. Thanks for the wake up call!

Tim
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Craig McBreen January 10, 2013 at 11:32 pm

Hi Tim,

Oh, so was I, but I’m reformed ;)

I used to have a home office when my kids were younger, so I completely understand the challenge you face.

It’s hard because social is so alluring. Maybe it’s the little recognition we get or that minor dopamine rush, but it is work staying away and it’s about developing good habits, me thinks.

You’re welcome and have fun with the kids!

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Jon Buscall January 10, 2013 at 3:40 pm

I tend to accept the ebb and flow of content creation. Yes, I have strategy and editorial calendars but I also make sure I measure my data to ensure that I’m brining work in and putting the work in for clients. It’s very easy to read in this kind of space and get lost chasing wormholes. We can all over analyze and over blog / read blogs / participate in the hope of perfecting things when sometimes it would just be beter getting on with building better relationships with the clients we have.

The best thing I ever did was to measure the ROI from blogging and keep a better balance. I wrote less posts in 2012 than ever before but put out more podcasts. I still got more traffic to my site, more clients and billed for more work than in the 7 years I’ve been doing this. Sometimes it really is time to stop blogging (as much as before !).
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Craig McBreen January 10, 2013 at 11:39 pm

Hi Jon,

There certainly is an ebb and flow and nothing ever goes perfectly according to plan, so for me it’s just about developing better habits, ’cause I’ve been guilty of wasting time like everyone else.

“We can all over analyze and over blog / read blogs / participate in the hope of perfecting things when sometimes it would just be better getting on with building better relationships with the clients we have.”
– So well stated and so true!! Sometimes we are so immersed in the social web we neglect those who help us pay the bills (not a good practice).

I like what you are saying and contrary to what many say, I think podcasting is here to stay and will only get bigger. So glad it’s working out so well for you!

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Carolyn January 10, 2013 at 3:43 pm

Oh my! I am constantly surprised at how many bloggers just up and quit their blogs. It’s like a good friend moving away from your hometown. You promise to be in touch, but it just isn’t the same after they’re gone.

You’re right, though. Blogging is too much work for people to consider it a chore. You have to love it and have a passion about it to continue week after week, year after year.

I didn’t check off any of the items on your list, Craig, so I guess I will continue blogging, at least for the next week.

I hope you’re not quitting, Craig!
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Craig McBreen January 10, 2013 at 11:43 pm

Hi Carolyn,

So am I, and they often disappear without a peep!

It is so much work and if you have no plan, it just seems kinda crazy to me, as there are other things in life that are so much more rewarding. But if you enjoy it and have a plan, well …

I’m glad you’ll be around for a while and I’m definitely in this for the long-haul! Plotting like a madman every day ;)

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Carolyn January 11, 2013 at 12:04 am

Uh oh. I have no plan.
Is that an absolute requirement? I hope not…
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Craig McBreen January 11, 2013 at 3:13 am

Carolyn,

I have a hard time believing that ;) For a woman without a plan you sure have something special going on over at The Wonder of Tech.

No plan? I don’t believe it … :)

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Carolyn January 11, 2013 at 2:21 pm

Okay, I will make a plan…to get a plan. ;-)
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Craig McBreen January 12, 2013 at 12:55 am

Sounds like a plan ;)

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Rob Skidmore January 10, 2013 at 5:57 pm

Normally I wouldn’t write a comment unless I had something of value to add.

But I just had to say that this post is spot-on awesome.

Great stuff Craig.
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Craig McBreen January 10, 2013 at 11:44 pm

Hi Rob,

Well the fact that you took the time to comment just made my day, Sir!

Thank you!

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Ralph January 10, 2013 at 6:21 pm

You ARE a pain in the ass Craig.
You ARE also very much correct.

Personally, it took me a year to figure all that out.
I might be slow.

Unfortunately for you this site is one that I compel myself to visit weekly for the express reason that the content of this post purports.

Too bad for you.
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Craig McBreen January 10, 2013 at 11:46 pm

Hi Ralph,

I’ve heard that a few times ;)

And glad you agree.

I think most who start heading down this path take a while to figure it out. I haven’t figured it out yet, but I’m working on it daily!

Thanks so much for visiting and commenting and yes, too bad for me!! ;)

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Julie Barrett January 10, 2013 at 6:34 pm

Hi Craig, I’m going to agree with you here, being social (in this sense of the word) is a huge time suck. I’ve never cared what people think so that’s probably why at my place it’s “small but mighty” – I write about what I want to write about, and I love the engagement that I get. I’ll continue it exactly as long as I still enjoy it and people still come by (or, even if they don’t!) I would like to get around like I used to, but it became too much and interfered with everything else I needed to do, so I took a big step back a while ago and just enjoy it when I can squeeze it in. I am much happier as a result and I would say my family is, too! Thanks for saying this – breath of fresh air :)
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Craig McBreen January 10, 2013 at 11:51 pm

Hey Julie,

A time suck like no other, right?

“small but mighty” I love that! And glad that you are busting a move, your way.

It’s often the best thing to step back, unless you are cruising along with plan in hand and just loving it. Otherwise it might be time to chill out and reevaluate.

Sounds to me like you’re doing all the right things and so glad you’re happier for it!

Thank you for stopping in!

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Joe January 10, 2013 at 7:19 pm

It’s not a resolution, but I’ve been doing well so far this year cutting back on my social media consumption – very little Twitter, even less Facebook, only making time on LinkedIn to connect with colleagues. And reading only the most important blog posts. I’ve pared down my reader, and I don’t read every post.

My time is far better spent with family and friends, working out, cooking, reading books, walking my dog, and enjoying some sunshine.

As far as content creation, I will only hit “publish” if I feel a post is worthy and awesome – to me. I think I did a pretty good job with that in ’12, but feel I can be even better this year. Nice post, Mr. McBreen!
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Craig McBreen January 10, 2013 at 11:55 pm

Hi Joe,

Yeah, those platforms are great of course, but if they dominate your day, you might just be a social media addict ;) I keep paring down my reader too and lately have been reading way more books than blog posts.

“My time is far better spent with family and friends, working out, cooking, reading books, walking my dog, and enjoying some sunshine.”
– Man, that sounds great! I think you and I have that cooking bug too, huh?

Glad you’re rolling along your way. Thanks for the visit, Joe!

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Mary Stephenson January 10, 2013 at 10:02 pm

Hi Craig

Good advice. I have taken to the point I don’t understand much about Facebook and Twitter and don’t spend much time messing with them. May be someday I will figure how it all fits in, but it is a lot of energy that I could use elsewhere.

I try to write a decent amount of posts for my main site and when the inspiration shows up I write for the other sites. Trying to make connections with people through their blogs. Evaluating the best way to spend my time. Do get caught up in sifting through my emails, but have decided to unsubscribe to one’s that keep sending me the same old garbage. There is only so many hours in the day and I have to spend the time where it does the most good.

Started taking some educational courses online and feel that what I can learn through this can help me along the way. Not sure where I am totally going with it, but learning and enjoying is what matters. When I feel it is becoming like a chore that is when I know I have had enough.

It would be wonderful if we could do it all and still have free time, but it is impossible and trying to can become downright depressing. It really is all about the best use of your time and not to waste any. If one feels like all they are doing is going round and round, time would be better spent taking a very long vacation from all of it and then comeback and give it another try. If the heart is there you would know it, otherwise hang up your mouse!

Mary
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Craig McBreen January 11, 2013 at 3:08 am

Hi Mary,

Thanks and I agree. I do what I can with the platforms, then get out before they suck me in ;) Oh and like you, I was once subscribed to one too many lists and every time I revisited email there were another 20+ messages … emptying the in-box became an obsession. Now I only deal with the most important client emails, then goodbye, it’s time to do something better with my time.

Good to hear that you are learning and enjoying.

Yes, trying to do it all is not only impossible it can lead to a hard crash, which is no fun at all. So depressing is right.

“otherwise hang up your mouse!”
– I like that!

Thanks for stopping in.

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Julie DeNeen January 11, 2013 at 3:43 am

So I’m gonna go out on a limb here and call your bluff.
I think you wrote this because you know that a blog post about quitting blogging would catch blogger’s attention.

You are as much in this game as anyone I think! :P

I do agree about the social media vortex. I agree about watching how much you consume verses produce.

But honestly, I find that too many bloggers don’t bother to comment or read other bloggers! In fact, it is the opposite — lots of self- promotion without a ton of sharing.

Ultimately, most bloggers have other things they are working on – novels, freelance writing, etc.

It is a balance..but so are a lot of things. Blogging is no exception.

I’ll give you one thing- you did get me to read it.

Though I prefer to create solutions to problems rather than encourage people to quit.
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Craig McBreen January 12, 2013 at 1:06 am

Hi Julie,

Uh-oh … ;)

Well, I have to admit that I try my best to craft interesting headlines, but I try not to be too link bait-y about it. Not sure how successful I am at that ;)

I don’t consider this a game, but I am having fun, but glad we agree that this is a vortex just waiting to suck you in.

I too think it’s a balance. I don’t want people to stop reading and commenting, but there are only so many hours in the day and it shouldn’t become so all consuming … doing all that work for pretty much nothing. So you are very right, it is a balance, like so many other things, just find your reasons and don’t get sucked in.

I am not really encouraging people to quit though. I’m asking each individual to question their reason for being here. And I wrote this because I, like many others, struggled with this early on. Getting the most out of blogging requires a ton of discipline, unless you’re simply in it for fun and games.

Thanks for reading and commenting. Really appreciate you stopping in!

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Sheila Bergquist January 11, 2013 at 9:24 am

Very interesting post! I agree that sometimes you have to take a break because if you don’t, you will get so burned out you will quit. I am very guilty of reading too many blogs because I want to learn as much as I can and am afraid I’ll miss some important missing clue to make my site a success if I don’t read them…but it can get very tiring and lead to info overload. I’ve finally learned when to back off a little and regroup. I love this article!
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Craig McBreen January 12, 2013 at 1:10 am

Hi Sheila,

Glad you enjoyed!

The social web has fried many. I’ve only been at this for about 16 months and I’ve see so many quality people vanish. Poof!

I love reading blogs too, but have learned to balance things out a bit, and read other stuff. This helps with creativity and it also can help you avoid the echo chamber effect when writing. I’ve sure had my ups and downs and I think we all go through blogging slumps, but I wrote this, ’cause I want to help a bit with blogging longevity ;)

Hope you have a great weekend, Sheila!

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Barbara January 12, 2013 at 10:36 am

It is in the well balanced mixture, is it not, Craig? I remember so well that I read in one of your early posts: write and be creative first thing in the morning!

When I read the title of your post I knew it was time to stop by for a little bit longer! Caught in the act, how did you know? But I am happy to see that I am in good company and now it is time to get a plan as Carolyn so wisely said!

Have a great weekend!
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Craig McBreen January 13, 2013 at 11:20 pm

Hi Barbara,

Indeed! I’m glad you remembered that, and it really does work … ignoring those distractions early in the day.

Ha, caught in the act :) You know what? This is a battle I’m always fighing.

Time to plan! Hope you had a great weekend in that beautiful country of yours.

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Ali Richards January 13, 2013 at 11:48 pm

I laughed at first at this self defeating blog idea and thought WTF until I got through it and thought yes indeed. I also think some people blog because they think they have to rather than the need to share or be insightful.

I took a break from it all and am now back enjoying reading and commenting once more.
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Craig McBreen January 14, 2013 at 4:04 am

Hi Ali,

Glad you got through it ;)

” I also think some people blog because they think they have to rather than the need to share or be insightful.”
– Exactly!

Glad you’re back and commenting at my little watering hole. I really appreciate you stopping in!

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ThinkingWords January 14, 2013 at 4:38 am

So agree with you and I would add if you are a blogger starting out and trying to write “the one” stop trying. “The one” won’t come when you are trying too hard.

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Craig McBreen January 14, 2013 at 9:24 pm

Glad you agree.

I do think you find your voice over time, and you’re right, not trying too hard to find that might just help avoid the dreaded burnout.

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Helen Hoefele January 14, 2013 at 12:50 pm

I’m still working on finding the focus for my blog, but I do force myself to blog at least once a week. It’s time consuming, but I do enjoy it once I get going. Even if I don’t have a burning topic, I find that writing helps me sort through my thoughts on a topic as I explore what about it caught my attention in the first place. Plus, its good practice for when I do have something more meaningful to share.

What I did change though is that I now write one more-in-depth piece per week instead of trying to write on the often-recommended three-per-week frequency. I haven’t found a way to enjoy getting my frequency up.

You are right though, doing other things in the real world gives me more ideas for what to write about than just browsing around online. Getting out and about does seem to be the best way to create something more original, too.

Good post. Your headline drew me in, thinking it was another Blogging Is Dead post, glad it took another direction.
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Craig McBreen January 14, 2013 at 9:30 pm

Hi Helen,

There are differing opinions on this, but I do think posting at least once a week is very important for someone just starting out.

It is time consuming, no doubt. But you’re so right, once you are immersed in the writing ideas often spring forth. Sometimes you sit down to write on one specific topic and end up with something completely different. That’s the creative process.

I like your plan. I think it’s more important to focus on writing quality pieces versus churning stuff out. If you love your current setup I certainly wouldn’t change it.

Glad you enjoyed and thanks for the comments!

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Ashvini January 31, 2013 at 10:39 am

Hi Craig,

Food for thoughts. I think passion is an ultimate weapon for keeping the blogging spirit alive. That is why people who start their blog just to earn money often end up as spammers or failures.
However passion also can dry up leading to a loss in creativity. While learning a musical instrument for example , one often gets up and down in growth curve. Sometimes its no growth for months with a period of great growth in a small time. The thing for me in such situations is to take temporary breaks and let it all come back.
I really liked the points you shared here. Thank you.
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Craig McBreen February 1, 2013 at 3:54 am

Hi Ashvini,

“That is why people who start their blog just to earn money often end up as spammers or failures.”
– Yes! There is definitely no grand purpose there.

Passion will certainly ebb and flow, if it’s always there you’re pretty darn lucky. Nice comparison. When you’ve put in thousands of hours trying to learn something (say guitar) it must be magic when you can just make that thing sing.

Appreciate you stopping in, Sir!!

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Brian Meeks April 29, 2013 at 7:27 pm

I read your test questions and I’m proud to say that I’ve passed! I can keep blogging. It is a good thing, too because I just did the math and I’ve posted every day for the last 1,214, it is my favorite part of each evening, and without it I wouldn’t be able to write nearly as many novels.

I love my blog.
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Craig McBreen April 30, 2013 at 7:09 am

Hi Brian,

Well, you are an inspiration. I try to write every day, but post every day? That is impressive. Exciting to see writers like you bypassing the gatekeepers … I love my blog too.

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Priya April 30, 2013 at 8:44 am

Hi Craig,

I keep dilly dallying the decision to quit blogging. After having lost almost all of my readers, I still keep thinking they’ll visit someday. Gosh, I sound like an addict, don’t I? I’m not an addict, but definitely a dreamer. Found your words interesting. And AJ Leon’s spunk, too.
Priya
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Craig McBreen April 30, 2013 at 3:44 pm

Hi Priya,

I figure if you’re not enjoying the process, it’s either time to get out or re-tool. I’m a fan of not giving up, so I usually come out on the side of reevaluating and coming at it from another direction. Dreaming is good! It’s turning those dreams to action that’s the trick. Well really no trick to it. Just creativity, hard work and determination. Hope you choose to stay in the game.

Thanks for stopping in!

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Astro Gremlin May 9, 2013 at 7:45 pm

Social media is a huge time sink and it doesn’t really pay off for your blog. I do it, but I don’t kid myself that it’s blogging. You are much better off working on your titles, your in-page subtitles, and making content that YOU would read. If people don’t like it, at least you do, and that’s more important than any amount of traffic. Well, traffic is pretty fun! But what are people reading when they get there? The real judgement that stings? When YOU know what you posted is crap.
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Craig McBreen May 10, 2013 at 3:42 pm

It sure is. And to your point: Yes, create something you love, otherwise there is no flow. Traffic is good, but you’ll get no traffic if you pump out content you’re not excited about … it shows through.

Thanks, Astro.

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Morgan September 30, 2014 at 3:14 am

At this tiome I am going away to do my breakfast, later thyan having
my breakfast coming again too rerad additional news.
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