Blogging and writing

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 replies on “Staying excited about blogging”

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.

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).

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.

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!!!

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.

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!

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.)

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 ?

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?

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.

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.

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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