If You Plan To Speak Forever, You Can Blog Forever

One of the best things about running your own blog is that you can write whatever you want, whenever you want.  There’s really no pressure to do anything really, and I don’t understand why some would feel otherwise.  Several blogging buddies have gone straight up cold turkey, not writing anything for months.  They tell me they can’t keep up with the schedule of writing great content.  Who says content has to be great?  They say new jobs lead them to not have the time.  Are you working 100 hours a week?  I’m sad because I miss their posts and our interactions.

Blogging shouldn’t be a chore, it should be easy.  Blogging is writing, and writing is like speaking, which comes as naturally as breathing.  Surely you speak everyday to people, whether in a fun or work setting no?  If so, why is it so hard to put some words together on paper and press publish?  Oh yes, we’re afraid of what people will think of our writing.  Yes, it’s sometimes a debilitating feeling.  We feel we should always try and write something meaningful and profound.  Gimme a break.  We’re bloggers for goodness sake, not the authors of Crime & Punishment and The Invisible Man!

Look around the blogosphere.  There’s hundreds of non profound posts out there.  There are posts about doing this and that when the author has no clue.  Boring makes up an extraordinary majority of articles on the internet, so don’t worry one bit if your post has the personality of a waxed figurine.  Although we’re only a small micro fraction of the web, I’m pretty confident that someone will find us interesting.  Don’t believe me?  Try putting the worst piece of crap on Craigslist, and I guarantee you tons of people will ping you to pick it up.

If you speak at all, you can write.  And if you plan on speaking forever, you can write forever!  Come back blogging buddies, come back.

Bloggers, what are your reasons why you don’t write more often?  Is blogging easy or hard?  Non bloggers, share with us your excuses as to why you’ve stopped working on some endeavors such as a New Year’s Resolution?

Regards,

Sam @ Financial Samurai – “Slicing Through Money’s Mysteries”

Sam started Financial Samurai in 2009 during the depths of the financial crisis as a way to make sense of chaos. After 13 years working on Wall Street, Sam decided to retire in 2012 to utilize everything he learned in business school to focus on online entrepreneurship.

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Comments

  1. Paul Williams says

    I’m guilty of feeling like everything I write should be interesting and profound. But there’s so much in personal finance that’s not really exciting but extremely necessary. Maybe it’s not exciting to me since I’m so familiar with all of it?

    I think we tend to become blind to the things we’re familiar with and we forget the excitement and interest we had while we were first learning the subject. I remember really being excited when I finally learned what a stock is and how mutual funds work. But now when I write an “Investing Basics” article, I feel like it’s soooooo boring. The truth is that for someone, somewhere it is really exciting!

    Thanks for this post, Sam. It’s encouraged me to look at my writing in a new way – as if I’m reading it and learning for the very first time. I don’t think this is an excuse to always cover the basics and never write interesting material. But it’s an important thing to remember so we can avoid burnout.

    • Financial Samurai says

      Why feel guilty? Do you feel guilty when you say “hello” to your friends and family? Probably not.

      I hear you on writing about the more mundane basics of investing articles and stuff. That is pretty darn boring.

      Frankly, I think most readers would rather read about personal, interesting stuff here and there, with the occasional “how to” or tips post.

      • Paul Williams says

        Haha, I don’t feel guilty. I’m just guilty of what you mentioned in the post – feeling like I should always try to write something meaningful and profound.

        I try to mix up the personal with the “how to”, and I try to make the “how to” interesting and engaging if I can. Sometimes though, I wish I had a lot of the main “how to” stuff finished so I could easily point readers in a general direction depending on where they are at in their financial situation.

        P.S. Your reply comment box is a bit wide for me. It extends into the sidebar and I can’t see what I’m writing when it gets to the edge. Sorry for any typos!

  2. David M says

    I agree with this entry 100%, thanks for posting!

    I’m not a blogger. However, I agree that bloggers should not worry whether it is great of not and should just go ahead and post. There are some blogs that I have been following for a few years now and I wish some of them would blog more often – even if it’s not great. Some blogs that used to be daily are now only a few times a month. I respect these bloggers, thoughts, ideas and opinions and thus I wish they would blog more often about anything.

    Hopefully bloggers will this entry of yours and it will get them to post more often!

  3. Kevin@InvestItWisely says

    Completely agreed, Sam. I’ve learned to just go with the flow, write when I have something to write, and to try not to force it. It’s my hobby after all, not my job.

    I think the blog is the longest personal project I’ve ever been involved in. I’ve eventually gotten bored with anything else I’ve ever tried beforehand, but not with the blog. I think it’s because with a blog, we get feedback right away. We get validation from other readers right off the bat, and so it feels like it means something, at least to a few people out there. If I never received any comments at all, then I don’t know if I would have lasted this long.

    Thanks for including my healthy living post!

    • Financial Samurai says

      True, comments definitely keep us bloggers motivated.

      Some bloggers have complained and whined why nobody visits their sites, yet I NEVER see them comment or promote any other site, so why should anybody, who are all bigger blogs visit theirs? You got the hang of it.

      It’s a hobby indeed. Might be a little rough for the full-timers… then again, maybe not!

  4. Simon Zhen says

    I’d think the professional blogging community is at fault here. As bloggers, most of us have been exposed to those who are making a living through blogging and seek to achieve the same. We’ve been instilled that we must post on a schedule or we must post X number of times per week. We must use the right keywords and pick a good post title. Content is king because it brings traffic and that in turn brings in $$.

    Therefore, our minds are warped to believe “we must say something” rather than “we have something to say”.

    • Financial Samurai says

      Some good thoughts there Simon.

      I guess perhaps that’s why I don’t get burn out, or going cold turkey. I don’t understand how you can burn out from speaking, which I equate to writing.

      You’ve come to the answer to why bloggers burn out. It’s because bloggers are doing it for the WRONG reason, which is to make money instead of just write and build a community.

  5. youngandthrifty says

    Thanks for including me Sam =) Yeah, I did feel guilty too about having to include everything that was technically personal finance related (like how to invest in the stock market etc) but lately have been loosening up a bit and writing fun personal finance related posts.

    Wow- great minds think alike- I was just cleaning up my twitter list and deleting all the people I was following back then who were so active!! I think I ended up deleted >25 people. Remember PF Ninja?? I guess it’s important to post the amount you CAN post (because we really should have lives outside of this PF blogosphere) otherwise it’s super easy to burn out.

    Please come back PF bloggers!

  6. Wojo says

    The primary reason I took a break was because that space gives me perspective to reevaluate things and tend to the larger picture. Maybe it’s a psychological barrier, but I just couldn’t do it when I was in the “trenches” of writing on a daily basis.

    • Financial Samurai says

      Hi Wojo – Good to hear from you. Why do you think you were “in the trenches”? That sounds like wartime mentality and very difficult going?

      Why not just write some of your thoughts like a journal once a week instead? Love to hear more of your insight!

      Looking forward to your re-launch.

      Cheers

      • Wojo says

        Tough question. Writing is a labor of love for me–very satisfying but very mentally draining at the same time. Constantly creating doesn’t let me step away.

        But your post has stopped and made me think–what am I really after with my break? Am I trying to get perfection at the cost of writing? So thanks. I might start writing sooner than I thought…

  7. Nunzio Bruno says

    Aww that was some great sentiment. You are totally right though, not only is there a ton of no basis mediocrity out there..it’s not really that hard to keep up with content. I really enjoy all of our interactions so I hope that everyone that I rub digital elbows with actually does keep blogging forever. At least I know I will give it my best with Financially Digital :)

  8. Canada Finance says

    Running a relitively new blog I feel pressure to add good content. I also feel that I can be preachy or not add enough personality into my writing but I guess this will pass over time.

    • Financial Samurai says

      I feel ya mate. When you’re new, hopefully you can bust out of the starting gate otherwise you might languish for a while. Looks like you’ve got a lot of great content, and a very cool Favicon for your site! Just go out there and build some relationships and guest post once in a while. That always works.

  9. Ron says

    I too, have noticed those that drop by the wayside. After building a site for months (even years) they tend to get tired of it. Of course, there are always those who buy up blogs that are 2+ years old, presumably to take advantage of site rankings and Google’s “age authority” but those bloggers sell themselves short in my opinion.

    Blogging consistently IS hard work if you want to do it right, do the research, do the editing, and the SEO. Working on a site 3 hours per day for a measly $300/month equates to less than half of minimum wage. I can understand the difficulty in justifying that much effort for those few results, but those same bloggers have probably written at some point in the past about persistence!

    I personally think the key to maintaining persistence is to know when to take a break, know that writing and publishing something several times a day (a la The Simple Dollar or Get Rich Slowly) isn’t feasible for most people. Back off, man, just write something a few times a week and enjoy it rather than try to keep up with money making pros who do it full time.

    • Financial Samurai says

      I believe those bloggers sell themselves short as well. I didn’t realize people would sell their blogs for only 10-18 months of revenue. Less than 1X sales is a joke! Maybe I should start a massive blogging conglomerate and buy up 30 blogs and flip em later. Would be a lot of work though!

      I donno why people would want to compare themselves to TSD and GRS. Those guys have all day to blog b/c that’s what they do full time! If I blogged full-time, sure, I could take this site up a notch and push more content, but most of us bloggers have lives outside of our sites.

      Thnx for your thoughts!

  10. Everyday Tips says

    I used to feel more pressure to post more often, but if I miss a day, I miss a day. (I post about 4-5 times a week.)

    I am a very new blogger, and there are a lot of great bloggers out there. I obviously have a long way to go, and many have set a very high standard.

    Quite often, I write just to write what is on my mind. I do not have days and days of blogs written ahead of time, although I wish I did. (Especially today since I just returned from being out of town.)

    I do pressure myself somewhat, but that is just how I am. If I care about it, I pressure myself, and I am sure that is not going to change. However, since I have relaxed somewhat about the content of my posts, I enjoy writing more. (Although others may not enjoy reading it more.)

    • Financial Samurai says

      Welcome back! I just returned the other day as well, and I am one of those who have an archive of 10-20 fully written posts. Sometimes the archive gets to 20-30 posts and I FORGET what I’ve written! Shrug.

      I hope you and everybody in the Yakezie can stick it out long term. The 2nd challenge is going to be great!

  11. Sandy L says

    I don’t know about this. If I wanted to hear about someone’s lame day, all I need to do is login to my facebook account.

    I don’t want my posts to just be rehash my boring day. Luckily there’s plenty of material out there for colorful commentary.

  12. Amber @ Blonde & Balanced says

    Last week, my uncle, 6 states away, had a brain anuerysm and heart attack. My parents rushed away and I rushed over to their house to house-sit & dog-sit. My entire week was thrown for a loop. I just opened a new site & couldn’t get many relevant posts up. So, sometimes, life happens.

    You know those days where your mouth doesn’t seem to be connected to your brain? You either put your foot in your mouth or can’t even form understandable sentences. Those days often carry over to paper and just as I can’t talk, I can’t type. I hate those days. :)

    I go through blogging spurts – posting every day for a week and then only one day the next week. Inspiration, life, and an occassional dysfunctional brain/mouth connection have a direct relationship with my posting frequency.

    In a perfect world, I would never have those day where my thoughts can’t translate to paper and I would pound out content several times every day. :) Until then, I’ll just try to find a scheduled balance among life and inspiration.

    • Financial Samurai says

      Hi Amber, sorry about your uncle. Nice of you to house sit while your parents where away.

      I hear you about brain/month dysfunctionality. Posting everyday is A LOT! I don’t like to do it b/c I’d rather have a day for folks to comment, and a day for me to respond to those who’ve commented. Hence, 3 or 4 posts a week is enough.

      Hope all is well!

  13. Jeremy Johnson says

    Hmm, that’s an interesting take on it Sam. Blogging is easy for me when I write from inspiration with something I think is valuable. The biggest challenge for me is trying to reach people. Sometimes I wonder if I am really having an impact. That’s when blogging becomes hard. When I think I’m writing and nobody is listening.

    I don’t really do it for $$ right now. But I realize that some $$ for it sure would be nice…

    • Financial Samurai says

      I think at least one person is always listening. It is tough to scale. If I were you, I’d continue to comment around the blogosphere and build those relationships. They are all bound to come.

  14. Echo says

    As a reader, I want to see new content all of the time…just for the simple fact I know you’re still out there. Plus, when I get up in the morning with my coffee and sit down to read my favorite blog, and there is no new post that day, it can be annoying.

    As a new blogger, I am not really having a hard time posting every day (yet). I agree with you, it’s just like speaking and you never run out of things to talk about :)

    Every day you will hear something or read something that will inspire you to write something. I find that I just keep a notebook and jot down ideas, which I can turn into full articles later.

  15. Greg McFarlane says

    Sam, I have to disagree. I push myself to give original, lasting content that no one else is doing. Twice a week, at least 800 words, no matter what.

    I’d feel guilty if I didn’t write something profound because every page view is an investment in that reader’s time. I know if I go to a pf blogger’s site and read a headline that says “7 Ways To Put More Money In Your Pocket”, and Way #1 is “Buy things on sale”, I feel like I’ve just wasted 11 seconds of my life. With 8 billion blogs out there, don’t we owe it to our readers to never mail it in?

    • Financial Samurai says

      Maybe, but not at the expense of not having fun and quitting cold turkey all together.

      The funny thing is, some might think their writing is profound but others won’t. While some might think their writing is not profound, but their readers do. Hence, I just say just write instead of never write at all.

      Everything is rational. If one is really writing profound stuff all the time, their site will flourish.

  16. Charlie says

    Nice post. I’m not a writer but I agree with your logic. Sometimes we get so caught up in our own fears and doubts that we get paralyzed and lose all momentum and productivity. I need to do a better job of using set blocks of time to get things off my to do list instead of working on things without any timeline and losing track of time.

  17. Forest says

    Sam you are 100% right….. We are bloggers so we can write what the F**k we want!!! I still write a lot of boring stuff when I want to just because I like writing it and it’s my blog…. If someone else likes it, it’s a bonus.

    The way I try and work is write stuff and sometimes publish it, sometimes let it sit in drafts and update later…. When I write something that I think people might actually want to read then I work on the wheels of promotion, tweeting it and asking people to come comment…. Look through my archives and you may wander to yourself whey you ever bothered visiting my site ;)

  18. JT says

    I think if you’re writing about a topic you don’t have much interest in (because of the $ factor), they, yes, blogging will be hard. It would also be hard for me to talk about things I’m not interested in too.

    Once I let go of the “rule” that every single post had to be 100% epic, original, and never before seen nor heard by mankind, I actually started to enjoy blogging!

    Now I’m able to share interesting stuff and add my thoughts about what’s going on in my niche topic. If readers aren’t interested in what I have to write then they don’t have to come back.

    I just think “please the reader at all costs” is mis-leading and, like you say, not fun at all. It’s a balance but I’d rather enjoy what I’m doing first.

    Thanks for another great post, Sam.

    • Financial Samurai says

      Hey JT, glad you no longer have the weight of the world on your shoulders!

      I know several PF bloggers who’ve burnt out due to writing insipid money affiliate posts. I’d burn out too.

  19. Jolyn@Budgets are the New Black says

    My reasons when I don’t post for awhile is usually b/c of my kids and family and wanting to put them first, and sometimes I have to step away from blogging so I have the energy and focus for them that they deserve. I love blogging, but it’s not my number-one priority right now. But occasionally I find the way I’m spending my time isn’t reflecting that. I’m working on managing my time better so I can have the best of both worlds! But ultimately it’s all good, so long as I keep coming back, eh?

  20. Daniel says

    One thing I hate is the pressure of HAVING to write X days a week. Since I’ve slowed down my posting schedule, I’ve had better ideas and have enjoyed it much more.

    It’s definitely not the time commitment. I can write a post fairly quickly if I have the idea (assuming it’s not heavy on research. But sometimes the ideas take awhile to appear in my head.

  21. Investor Junkie says

    You know the comment mama always said. If you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say it at all. Am I writing for a novel or a big research paper? Certainly not, I would rather focus on quality than quantity though when I’m discussing investing. The topics of social-economic issues that you discuss IMHO much easier to write. It’s mostly about opinion than researching, stats on investment returns, taxes, etc.

    In my case part of the research also helps me understand the investment ideas I’m discussing.

    My primary reason is time constraints at the moment, but should lighten up in Sept.

  22. Evan says

    Hmmm I hate the lame posts, but at the same time I don’t judge people for putting it out there. I am sure I have a few mixed in there (probably more than a few at nearly 400 posts lol).

    Notwithstanding, I get a little sad when I see a great blog, a blog MUCH better than mine stop getting the attention it deserves. It makes me feel like if they gave up why should I continue? It is a shitty attitude but I get frustrated sometimes. Although having a hobby that pays me instead of costs me, feels great lol

  23. Money Reasons says

    The irony, I’ve noticed is that some of the blogs that I thought were near perfect, are gone. Even now, I see a lot of great people with blogs, tettering on the fence. It’s like in that Leathal Weapon movie where Danny Glover mumble’s “Not out on the ledge”.

    I understand that life take first priority, and there are solid reasons why it happens, but still, I hope they come back… I miss their perfect voices in my head.

    At first, I thought it was a too hectic posting schedule. But IMHO, one of the most intelligent, most beneficial bloggers stopped blogging and even pulled the plug on his blog.

    • Financial Samurai says

      Who might that be? Any hint? I don’t get the transition from the first sentence in your last paragraph to the 2nd.

      Donno why go cold turkey. Hosting is like $12 bucks a year, and once the blog is set up, it’s good to go!

  24. Kay Lynn says

    I’ve noticed several blogs I like to read going dark over the past six months. It irritates me because I feel abandoned as a reader. Strange, isn’t it?

    I think they skip a week or two and then the burden of posting keeps getting bigger and bigger as time passes.

    If I can’t post because of vacation, illness or work I don’t worry about it. Just start back up in a week or so. This is my hobby (and yes I know my posts aren’t profound).

  25. Roger, the Amateur Financier says

    Well, as one of the bloggers who went cold turkey, albeit it temporarily and with the express intent of coming back this month, I suppose I should comment. While I can’t speak for every blog who’s ‘gone dark’, here are my three reasons for not posting anything for most of the month of August:

    1) Time: Probably the first thing (or one of the top three, at least) on the list of reason why a blog has gone dark, my hiatus was motivated by a lack of time. August required a lot of my time, eating into my already limited ‘free’ time. Even if it only required an hour or so a day to keep my blog running, things like repeated visits from family members, studying and preparing for graduate school, and spending time with my fiancee had to come first. Looking at the time I would have available, I didn’t think I would have the time to write decent, or even half-@$$ed, articles, so I decided not to push myself. Given how little I got done in terms of the maintenance, catching up on comments, reading other people’s blogs, and everything else I wanted to do during my hiatus, I think I made the right decision, not trying to force myself to write several times a week on top of it.

    (While on the subject of time and my fiancee, it is worth mentioning that even the hour or so a day I was putting into my blog was starting to cause some friction between us. When I told her about my hiatus (she doesn’t follow my, or anyone else’s, blog), she commented on how nice it was to have more time with me during that period. When it comes right down to it, if forced to choose between continuing my blog and making her happy by stopping it, I would cease blogging in a heart beat.)

    2) Boredom: I’ll be completely honest, writing about money for over a year was starting to get me down. On top of that was all the ‘side work’ you’re supposed to do to promote and otherwise keep your blog on the radar; if it was JUST writing five to seven (give or take) articles a week, that would be one thing, but there seems to be a list half a football field long of everything else you’re supposed to do to be a successful blogger. Some of it’s enjoyable (reading and commenting on other blogs in your area of interest, for example), but much of it just gets tedious. Taking a break gave me a chance to shake my ennui and refresh my creative writing juices, to say nothing of putting things into better perspective.

    3) Money: I’ll be completely honest: one of my major motivations for starting a blog was to make a profit. If I had been making a sizable profit from my blog (and I’m not greedy; one, two hundred dollars a month would be a huge leap over what I’ve made to this point), I think I would have been more reluctant to go on hiatus. (It might have even helped Sondra warm up to my blog; if I point out that my blog paid for all our meals out last month, I think she’d be more tolerant of the hours I spend in front of the computer.)

    One of the things I tried during my hiatus, in fact, was to explore alternative sources of alternative income, to see if I could supplement my blogging income. (Before you ask, I didn’t have much luck, at least yet; the busy-ness of the month left me with little time to make much of an effort, alternate income-wise.)

    To answer your second question, I think that blogging, in terms of putting thoughts into words on a computer screen, can be easy or hard, largely dependent on how much research and other effort you put into it. That said, if you have a goal for blogging besides simply putting your thoughts out into the ether (say, making money), that substantially increases the challenge, and I think it’s meeting those other goals that cause people (myself included) so much trouble.

  26. Rob Ward says

    That’s a great way of thinking about it…writing like I’m speaking. I enjoy writing, but I don’t so much enjoy the editing or trying to make a “perfect” post (which of course doesn’t exist).

  27. FinEngr says

    Quite simply – connectivity.

    I don’t have a smartphone, and with a recent housing move, being out of the country, & traveling locally – it’s been hard to manage the site unless I head over to a library or wifi hotspot. *I did take my laptop to the hotel with me, hence the new book interviews…but haven’t added much else.

    Writing is the easy part, its the managerial tasks of maintaining the site (looking for an upgrade), reading & commenting on other sites (giving thoughtful responses vs “Wow – great article!”), and simply keeping the activity up on other social media.

    Would you believe it, my ranking has almost DOUBLED from what it was before I left! Guess we’re looking at a month’s time, but its amazing how quickly changes can change if you aren’t constantly CONNECTED to the site.

    Thanks for the welcome back… :)

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