Staying excited about blogging

Empty beer glass.
Beer blog­ging – time for a refill?

In mark­ing his 1000th post, fel­low beer blog­ger Tan­dle­man sug­gest­ed (as we read it) that beer blog­ging was in the dol­drums at the moment – that Twit­ter had stolen some of the con­ver­sa­tion that used to take place in the com­ments sec­tions of blogs and that beer blog­gers were there­fore less moti­vat­ed to write new posts. Oth­ers sec­ond­ed that emo­tion. (© Smokey Robin­son.)

Speak­ing for our­selves, we’ve nev­er had more ener­gy and enthu­si­asm for blog­ging, but we do know what they mean. With that in mind, here are a few things that keep us keen, which you may or may not find use­ful.

1. John­ny Five needs input!

Read a book, vis­it a pub, drink some­thing new, go to a muse­um, watch a film… It does­n’t have to be direct­ly beer-relat­ed: we’re suf­fi­cient­ly obsessed with beer that even the most mun­dane and tan­gen­tial expe­ri­ence can trig­ger an idea for a blog post.

2. “You’ve got to have a project.”

An acquain­tance of ours used to say that with ref­er­ence to his love life, but it applies more gen­er­al­ly. Maybe it’s a book; maybe it’s a self-imposed ‘mis­sion’; a con­tri­bu­tion to the col­lec­tive wis­dom; or a record of a trip abroad; but it does­n’t real­ly mat­ter. The point is, if we have a goal, we have a rea­son to write a post, rather than putting it off until, sud­den­ly, it’s been six months since we last wrote any­thing.

3. Try some­thing new to spice things up.

Yes, this has all gone a bit Dear Dei­dre. When we’re bored of writ­ing, we take some pho­tographs, make a graph, dig up some videos, paint pic­tures, cook some­thing. We write in a dif­fer­ent voice to the one we nor­mal­ly employ. We make a list. Go off top­ic. Blog about blog­ging.

4. Avoid the blog­gers’ equiv­a­lent of Dar­ti­tis.

The longer the gap between posts, the more seems to be rid­ing on the next one. We try not to ago­nise too much about whether to post some­thing: we write quick­ly, read it through, and bung it up. If peo­ple don’t like it, so what? You win some, you lose some. It’ll be for­got­ten tomor­row when we put up the next post, and the one after that.

5. Take a break before you quit.

It’s always sad when blog­gers quit. When we real­ly lost enthu­si­asm in 2010, and thought about quit­ting, what we actu­al­ly did was take a break. We decid­ed how long it was going to be and announced it, with­out feel­ing the need to apol­o­gise. At the end of that peri­od, our note­books were bulging with ideas for posts we want­ed to write. (If they had­n’t been, then that would have been the sign to call it a day.)

Please for­give us for blog­ging about blog­ging – we don’t do it often, rel­a­tive­ly speak­ing.

17 thoughts on “Staying excited about blogging”

  1. Twit­ter does seem to suck up some of the “quick com­ment on a news sto­ry” stuff that may once have been blogged. But, on the oth­er hand, if that means blog­posts are more con­sid­ered, that may not be a bad thing.

    Also Twit­ter is utter­ly ephemer­al, where­as you can still link back to past blog­posts.

  2. Write less often.… We don’t need to post every day, or even every week for that mat­ter. I believe that if you start tak­ing blog­ging like a job (and an unpaid one at that!) you will at some point hit a wall…

    And I don’t think Twit­ter has tak­en that much of the con­ver­sa­tion away (though if you fol­low Twit­ter close­ly, which I do not, it could be an inter­est­ing source of new mate­r­i­al).

  3. I don’t know. I like to ham­mer out posts whether I am ful­ly con­vinced by them or not. This is not to say one should wal­low in crap but some of the best ideas come out of half-baked writ­ing. Plus it is only a blog. I write seri­ous stuff all day for a liv­ing. And, best of all, some peo­ple will mis­read the best writ­ing in amaz­ing­ly mis­guid­ed ways. For brew­ers, for exam­ple, self-described “pas­sion” seems to include license to make some out­ra­geous accu­sa­tions which are in the end some of the most fun­da­men­tal­ly hilar­i­ous stuff I have ever read. I say put the stuff up on the ‘net and watch where it goes. It’s like a child with a bot­tle of lish liq­uid for mak­ing bub­bles in the back yard.

  4. We need more calm voic­es of rea­son, not few­er. Blog­ging lends itself bet­ter to that than Twit­ter (which has been leech­ing some of my blog-ener­gy away too).

    1. Yes, espe­cial­ly if you don’t often update your blog. (Not an issue in your case!)

      A bit annoy­ing when peo­ple repeat­ed­ly link to the same blog post with­in 48 hours, but not the end of the world. We tend to do Tweet once just after we’ve post­ed and then might link again if there’s been a real­ly inter­est­ing com­ment or an update.

      Use­ful if the Tweet sum­maris­es what’s in it and why we should care, rather than just CHECK OUT MY BLOG!!!

  5. I sup­pose this is why I’ve con­tin­ued to write reviews and beer thoughts on my blog. It might not be a well­spring for blog hits and seri­ous dis­course, but if you have a thirst for try­ing new beers and revis­it­ing old ones as I do, it’s an advan­tage for keep­ing the blog fresh. The only inspi­ra­tion I need is vis­it­ing my beer shop or pulling some­thing out of my refrig­er­a­tor. It might not be the most valu­able mate­r­i­al, but it’s there for those who want it.

    1. I’m the same way. I try to find new beers as often as I can, which offers dif­fer­ent expe­ri­ences each time and makes me think of new ways to write about each beer. This itself has helped me come up with new top­ics to write about.

      Per­son­al­ly, I think Twit­ter has only enhanced my abil­i­ty to come up with new ideas because it’s eas­i­er to bounce thoughts and ques­tions around in real-time, then take a day or two and col­lect my thoughts before pre­sent­ing a more well-thought blog post to address a top­ic or par­tic­u­lar beer.

      Twit­ter and blog­ging don’t nec­es­sar­i­ly work sup­ple­ment each oth­er so much as offer new ways to com­ple­ment each oth­er. At least, in my view.

      Cheers on bring­ing up a valu­able top­ic to con­sid­er!

  6. Did Tan­dle­man also walk to school, uphill both ways, in the snow? Because that’s how his post came off—a bit “back in my day”. I per­son­al­ly hope that the state of beer blog­ging has changed since T wrote his first post.

    Speak­ing as a beer blog­ger, I think beer blog­gers take them­selves far too seri­ous­ly (present com­pa­ny excluded—of course.)

  7. Apart from your use of graphs – I know it’s only occa­sion­al but you real­ly do go off on one when you do – I find your blog refresh­ing­ly inter­est­ing and easy to read.
    Keep it up.
    As for Twitter,Facebook,Instagram,Reddit,Linkedin etc they’re all com­plete and utter bollocks.I feel my life is so much more reward­ing not using social media – it’s like being eas­i­ly able to avoid the real­ly bor­ing twat at the end of the bar.
    Imag­ine being unfriend­ed by some cretin you’ve nev­er met – how fuck­ing sad is that ?

  8. I’m suf­fer­ing a bit of the oppo­site at the mo, I’ve loads of ideas & enthu­si­asm but almost zero time or at least qual­i­ty time to sit and pro­duce some­thing not rushed JUST to blog.

    That’s how it’s felt in recent months, it’s frus­trat­ing but should­n’t be as in real­i­ty as has been said its sup­posed to be sn enjoy­able unpaid hob­by for most?

  9. Craig. Bear­ing in mind that it was my 1000th post, a lit­tle ret­ro­spec­tion was­n’t that out of place sure­ly?

    Even if it is out of place I reck­on fin­gs ain’t what they used to be, but I’m still in there pitch­ing and look­ing for­ward.

    PS Why not come over to my blog and com­ment? That might be fun.

    1. No, you’re right and sorry—after com­ing back and read­ing that, I real­ized I came off more douchey than fun­ny. No offense intended—honestly. Sor­ry , again.

  10. I think blog­ging is no less fun for the exis­tence of social media.

    Indeed, as a new­er user of Twat­ter I find it very use­ful, as I admit you sug­gest­ed I might back in when­ev­er it was. Hav­ing my Sheffield-cen­tric posts Retweet­ed by Sheffield based Twit­ter­ers is also quite inspir­ing – I love that imme­di­ate, local, rel­e­vant inter­ac­tion that the sil­ly com­ments require­ments on Blog­ger would oth­er­wise dis­cour­age.

    And if I am find­ing inspi­ra­tion or rea­son to con­tin­ue in short sup­ply, theres always (mean­ing­less) stats.

    Work­ing as an acces­so­ry to Satan (AKA Civ­il Ser­vice), I find the dis­cov­ery that I have acheived ran­dom record­ed num­bers that have no bear­ing on the qual­i­ty or pop­u­lar­i­ty of the blog espe­cial­ly edi­fy­ing. And know­ing that most of my “hits” are Rus­sians seek­ing details of hairy men just makes it all the more worth­while some­how.…

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