It’s Blog Week this week, and earlier in the week somebody, let’s call her Geraldine (not her real name), shared her blog post with an apology for cheating. Cheating! How do you cheat at blogging? Well in this case, Geraldine had written a follow on from her post of the previous day. It had occurred to her as she went to bed that there was another angle, and so she got up the next morning and wrote a short post, from this new angle. Her thinking was that because it had been so easy, and was quite short, that it was cheating.
Why should something that’s easy and quick and short be considered cheating? Why do we assume that for something to be worth it, it has to be arduous? When you think of all the phrases you hear around the concepts of work, ‘good, hard, honest work’, ‘work hard, play hard’, ‘all that hard work has paid off’, ‘blood, sweat, and tears’ in conjunction with worthwhile results from working at something: is it any wonder that we associate ‘work’ with difficulty and struggle.
Luckily, when it comes to blogging there’s no such thing as cheating, because blogging can be easy. And quick. And fun. Yesterday I set a challenge in Blog Week: set a timer and write a blog post in 30 minutes. Everyone who took up the challenge managed it. They all wrote and published a post in 30 minutes. Some of us went back after it was published and corrected a few spelling or grammar errors, but the point was that we’d written a post in 30 minutes. Quick, short, easy, and fun.
Other ways of ‘cheating’ at blogging include repurposing content you’ve sent out in a newsletter; writing a short commentary about a meme you’ve shared on Facebook; posting something you’ve shared on Instagram with a few extra lines about it; posting a link to another person’s blog post or a news article, with your opinion or endorsement. There are countless ways to ‘cheat’ at blogging. What’s your favourite?
I think this is a hugely helpful way to think about blogging. There is so much information ‘out there’ about how to write the perfect blog post, getting your titles right, SEO optimisation, what your ideal reader would find most helpful… Sometimes it can be overwhelming and stop you writing anything unless it’s perfect! Having a balance between longer more considered posts and quicker ones has to be the way forward for those of us who wish to blog but also have a ton of other stuff to do (that would be everyone then!)