I don’t know about you, but I tend to blog mainly on things I feel passionately about, or where I feel I have a valid opinion that will stimulate debate and constructive criticism. I don't do it to win customers, but rather to show that I have a brain that goes beyond thinking just about my stock-in-trade all the time. I do it also hopefully to garner respect in the business world I operate in as someone who has an informed view about the space in which they move.
Interestingly (perhaps), I seldom write about copywriting. Of course, I've done a few 'tips' pieces aimed at trying to put a stop to the plethora of abysmal online job ads that clog up the online airwaves. I’m often found to be banging on about the lack of quality in online job ads too. But, by and large, I'm not here to teach someone else to do my job, otherwise I'd have less of a job to do. I prefer instead to choose a topic that’s close to my heart, I’ve had experience of, or that I feel strongly about, and go on about that.
Is it a waste of my time? I don’t think so. I only do it when I HAVE the time i.e. in between jobs, maybe when there's a lull. Or, if it's something that particularly peeves me, I might do it of an evening or at the weekend. If a paying job comes in while I'm writing it though, the blog will get put on hold. Admittedly, there’s an awful lot of crap out there. For instance, some people have it carved in stone as part of their business plan that they must write, two, three, maybe even four blogs a week so that they can 'engage' via social media. 'Pee off' would probably be a better description than 'engage'.
My rule for blogging? If it’s something I don't feel passionate about or a subject that I don't know enough about or feel is worthy of being debated or brought to light, I won't write about it. Sadly though, we live in a technological world where loads of rubbish articles sit in the background of someone's website as traffic drivers. Hey, I don't make the rules, but nor do I abide by them. I am my own man. I write as I see fit, in the hope that it makes sense and maybe stimulates someone enough to put finger to keyboard and reply. Twitter is my weapon of choice. Facebook, to me, is a hideous invention, only made bearable by being able to keep tabs on far flung family and friends. That’s all I use it for.
I'm fortunate to have enough work to go round at present, but, I'm not foolish enough to not appreciate that may not be the case in the future. Thus the thinking is that, through my blogging, through getting people reading my articles, I hope that sometimes, just sometimes, when they happen to be in the market for a copywriter, they may think "hold on, who was that guy whose blog I enjoyed reading recently?" and take the time to track me down.
In summary, I believe anyone should be allowed to blog if they have something worthwhile to say. If, however, it's a case of just going through the motions or putting another 'top tips' blog out there for the sake of the business plan and some kind of flawed strategy, then I wouldn't do that, ever. The internet’s cluttered full of lame, poorly though through and 'samey' content. The secret to me is to try not to be just the same, but instead to develop your own individual voice, whether that be talking about your business sector, the workplace, quirks in people, redundancy, the economic climate and its affect on you, or just pure life in general. I think if you can be seen to have a valid opinion, an empathy, a certain style and tone that people warm to rather than nod off to, then a blog most definitely has its place to play.
What do you reckon?