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If Your Blog Died Today…. What Would It Be Remembered For?

Posted By Darren Rowse 18th of February 2009 Other Income Streams 0 Comments

If your blog were to die today – how would it be remembered?


Here’s a little 2 part exercise that might be fun (although slightly morbid) – and hopefully insightful. You’ll need half an hour or so to do it properly.

1. Write an obituary for your blog 10 years in the future

Project yourself forward 10 years, imagine that at that point you decide to end your blog having achieved everything that you want to achieve with it and write a short obituary about your blog as you’d like other people to have seen it to that point.

Keep in mind that your blog has been as successful as it can be and you’re ending it at the peak of its game.

  • What do you want people to say about your blog?
  • How do you hope it will have been perceived?
  • What will people miss about it the most?
  • What ground has it broken?
  • What has it achieved?
  • How has it helped people?

Take 10 minutes to write this obituary and dare to dream big.

2. Write an obituary for your blog as it stands today

OK – back to the present. Lets just say that you blog ended today. Perhaps it was hacked, perhaps you just decided to delete it or perhaps your server died and you didn’t have a backup – the reason doesn’t matter – the exercise remains the same.

Write an obituary for your blog as you think others see it now.

  • What would they say about it?
  • What would people miss about it?
  • What has it achieved?
  • How has it fulfilled a need or service in people’s lives.
  • What ground has it broken?

This exercise is one I did a few years back in another context and it was a powerful and motivating exercise. The key to it is to look at the two obituaries (the one you want people to write in the future and the one that people would write now – and to compare them and to sit with the differences.

The reality is that most of us have not yet achieved what we want to achieve with our blogs – however the question is, are we moving in the right direction to make our dreams a reality?

Many bloggers that I talk with have grand dreams and hopes – but their day to day blogging doesn’t take them closer to them.

Once you’ve compared your two obituaries – the next step is to start to put together some concrete steps that will enable you to move from the present reality to the dream for your future. These sorts of dreams don’t just happen – rather they are the result of taking daily steps towards your goals.

If you’d like to share your obituaries (or at least what you discovered in writing them) in comments below I’d be interested to see what you come up with.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. My blog obituary would say something like..

    Flopidle.com 09/05/08 – 02/17/09
    Tried So Hard, But Just Never Quite Made It.

    Then a follow up comment in the newspaper would probably read along the line of…

    “Not surprised!, Ive got more solid information from some of the blogs in my toilet!”.

    Something along those lines;))

  2. That’s true, we’re still trying to find our “blogger voice”. Writing an blog obituary might be a good idea…Will have to get back to you on that.

  3. Definitely an interesting trick that will take your own image of how you want your blog to be and map it out over what your blog actually is. I guess from there it is a matter of filling in the blanks to see it actually come about.

    I’d rather my blog just not die at all though, thank you very much.

    Justin Dupre

  4. “…delivered articles without something in return…” – PinoyInGermany.blogspot.com

  5. …useful and helpful…

  6. Excellent! Hypothetically looking back on your blog for great perspective of your current focus. Well done, Darren! :-) Eric

  7. I recall a similar exercise in 7 habits book, if I’m not mistaken.

    Thanks for bringing this up. This is a great exercise to really think about where I want to go forward with my blog.

    Plan changes, but there’s nothing better than a surge of motivation thinking what I could do with my blog a few years from now — or as you say, in 10 years.

  8. Excellent article Darren this sounds like an excellent way to figure out what goals you have and help you how to achieve them.

    I am going to take you up on this task and write my obituary later on today, I am sure it will help me figure out what goals I have left to achieve.

  9. It’s along the same lines, and I thought of this a while back. What if I passed away and Tumblemoose just shriveled with no explanation to the readership?

    I’ve considered writing a final post with instructions to my SO on how to post it if something horrible happened.

    Sorry to be so morbid…


  10. Wow this is very thought provoking, I am working on it now.

  11. For my death penalty topic I just posted… I’m getting email and comments about it – controversial? A little bit. I just have a low tolerance for people that make dumb decisions that affect the lives of others – sometimes horribly.

    Also my crummy comment system – anyone have any recommendations (WP), please send – !

  12. Unfortunately, we just had a huge player in the book blogging community pass away over Thanksgiving. The loss was tremendous and her absence very tangible. She was a huge community builder and hosted several reading challenges, a book review carnival, and weekly memes. Her activities were continued but it literally took at least 12 people to take one what she contributed. I often wonder, if I passed away and my blog was left behind (instead of my blog dying) would my absence be noticed?

  13. My blog obituary might read like this…

    Agent SEO was a young blog that died well before its time. It provided useful information from an industry pro, but lived too short of a life to make an impact.

    It has made a grand total of $3 in adsense during its short 1 month lifespan and has educated a handful of readers.

    I would like to think it was unique in it’s approach to SEO, but only history will tell?

    Great article…a funny way to think about our own blogs!

  14. I fully agree that writing a blog obituary would be very useful and insightful. You’ll come to think of many unforeseen things. It will be fun and enjoyable too.

    Though I haven’t written my blog’s obituary, I’ve written my own obituary, where I’ve analyzed about my blog’s position too. It was really fun to write that!

    It was ‘Meghna, Who?’ http://meghnaspages.blogspot.com/2008/11/meghna-who.html

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful idea!

  15. What a great application of the obit exercise–it’s something I’d done in a different context a few years ago as well and I was surprised how much I got out of it. This seems like a really powerful way to think about a blog–thank you so much for posting it!

  16. A loving and inspirational young blog has regrettably passed away today.

    During its short lifetime, it managed to reach and inspire countless suffering souls in time to turn their lives around. Its unique focus on lasting happiness and inner peace set the standard for a new trend in personal development: Compassion in Action.

    Fortunately, the many souls that were already touched and inspired will continue the work this blog started.

  17. A blog that helped tyro and intermediate guitarists reach the summit of their musical careers

  18. The ground? well, I think is all about laziness!

  19. I did this exercise at the beginning of the year. I just thought it was something we should do at the beginning of each year with our blogs. I am now in the process of taking daily steps toward my goals. I even have thest daily steps written out in a datebook. I just need to make sure I don’t procrastinate!

    krissy knox :)

  20. Potpolitics a personal do follow blog was a blogger’s blog. Reaching out to the world on various topics concerning bloggers suddenly passed with Mr Sullivan’s good fortune,who was last spotted enjoying a Jack and Coke in the Bahamas :)
    thanks Darren Stumbled and of course twitted :)

  21. The obit exercise is one that was introduced to me at the first of last year, and I must say this is a superb and (slightly morbid) splash of reality.

    Everyone should try this! Thanks for posting it :)


  22. Thank you very much for reminding this method. I actually did something like this to set some of my goals in life.

    But, perhaps due to work load I forgot how and what made my so focused.

    For some it might be an experiment but to me, it’s a method worth betting on.


  23. Aaahh, Darren makes me think more! I went through an exercise similar to this for leadership development. My obituary was not great. I’m glad to see this exercise applied to digital content.

    HA! I told myself I would not post any comments today. Now back to Getting Things Done #GTD


  24. Hmmm. Good questions! I’d hope people would say that it gave advice and tips from my own interests and therefore my experience.

    Hopefully someone can look at my personal blog and tell what my interests and strengths are as a person.

    The obituary as OTHERS see it today is a tough one for me. I suppose I can do a first time Reader Audit or a “regular reader audit” to get a good idea.

  25. Really interesting. Big key to blogging is having that plan and direction. To many people have goals but aren’t doing much to reach them. You have to remember to look at your blog from someone else’s point of view. What are they thinking when they stop by?

  26. What a great post topic!

    Okay, here goes:

    “dannybrown.me was a healthy little blog until getting the nod on Chris Brogan’s 8 Marketing Blogs to Watch in 2009 list. After that, the pressure to live up to such praise was too much and Danny’s writing well dried up fairly quickly.”

    With the follow-up:

    “Just goes to show you can’t fool all of the people some of the time.” :)

  27. Great post! Really gets you thinking of the direction your blog has gone and is heading! Love it.

  28. “Brogan had it all wrong, but damn, he was charismatic. Nice guy to know. Do what he says? Hell no!”

  29. This is an amazing thought…my answer: today-“Nothing”; in a month or so-“Living for me and you”.

  30. Since this is a terrific post idea I’d be pre-empting a blog post scheduled for tomorrow. I’d sleep on it tonight – it’s 12:37 am in the Philippines already – post on it tomorrow, and will be back here to report what obituary I have come up with on my blog.

  31. He was a good blog. He was survived by his owner, and two other network blogs.

    =( I am so sad now.

  32. What a wonderful exercise! Thank you so much for this post. What I learned was that right now I am humming along and doing okay. Mediocrity. Here’s today’s obituary:

    “She read mine so I read hers.”

    And what I want to be doing is connecting to people in a meaningful way.

    Just being acceptable is not going to get me to connect and grow the way I want to.

    I have gleaned some lovely lessons here, maybe too corny sounding to share, so I won’t. However, I do believe that what I have learned in the exercise is going to come out in my blog.

    Merci, Darren!

  33. Why are your posts so much better than John Chow’s? I like his posts and all, but each and everyone of yours is interesting and helpful. All the best mate!

  34. I need help writing my blog’s “birth announcement”, because I’m not blogging yet, thinking about it… more so planning about it. Ideas, anyone?

  35. Remembered for giving unique content with more emphasis on readers then ads and quality over quantity.

  36. “Such a fascinating little site – obviously spent more time in social media that writing her weekly post which undoubtedly lead to its demise.”

    The social pressure to compete with Danny brown and Chris brogan obviously proved to be too much. Ta ta little blue!

  37. Mine would be, “he started brightly but just like everything else in his life, he couldn’t keep it up”
    My life is a story of half finished everythings…

  38. “The twitter world held a moment of silence that was felt around the world at the death of Sheila’s blog.”

  39. Great question, Darren. Highly reminiscent of Steven Covey’s “Begin with the end in mind.” principle. This is a serious question I need to be thinking about as I plan out my blog strategy.

    I can tell my head is gonna start hurting real soon now. :-)


  40. This sounds like an awesome experiment. I think I might write something like this up and post it. It should really help clarify any goals I have more my blogs.

  41. Today’s Obituary

    -Here lies a blog that had great potential and interesting articles but was taken from this world (wide web, of course) to early. May Politicalblogtips.com rest in peace. We know the traffic was so low that it was already quite at peace!

    Thanks for the great article. Fun idea!

  42. I think for all the blogs that I have.

  43. Not to sound too macabre, but this would also be an excellent writing assignment for high school students, substituting “blog” for “you.” Thanks for the idea!

  44. I would copy the lines of spike milligan

    “I told you I was ill.”

    RIP http://www.shop-bright.com

  45. I narrowed down how my blog would be remembered by a few quotes:
    These three quotes come to mind:
    “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” ~Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

    “If we could assign a career to each of you or give you a way of being, we would ask each of you to become an inspiration. When you are able to live in this capacity and to be truly an inspiration to all who encounter you, you will be living your light, and that is quite profound.” ~ Bringers of the Dawn: Teachings from the Pleiadians

    “A true leader is not the one with the most followers, but one who creates the most leaders.” ~Neale Donald Walsch

  46. if your blog died today, what trace would it leave? When your grandkids ask what you did, what will you have to show them? All that work….

  47. This is the same exercise Covey uses for personal development.

    I’ve done it for me, I think it’s a great idea to do it for my blog.


  48. Well we are only 1 month old and already have over 250 posts on the current events in the NHL – pro hockey. If it died after even only one month we would still be a great marker for what was happening in and around the league at this moment in time. I’m quite proud of the start we’ve had.

  49. This is cool. Well…it is pretty hard for me to write on my 2 months old blog but still I don’t think I can resist. Will surely give a try .Thanks for sharing this!

  50. “poor lil’ thing was just learning to crawl, how sad”

    My first site was started in Oct, but was Christmas related, so it is now in a coma. I’ll start reviving it in early fall, witha full overhaul. I started to get decent traffic, but the season is short.

    The blog I am currently working on, has only been up publicly, for less than a month, so few would miss it yet.

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