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What’s Wrong with Blogging? [Take 3]

Posted By Darren Rowse 17th of February 2010 Reader Questions 0 Comments

Whats Wrong with BloggingBack in 2005 I asked my readers a question that surprised some for a blog like ProBlogger – I asked readers to talk about what was wrong with blogging.

I introduced the question by sharing a story of a debate between a Christian group and Pagan group where each group was asked to not argue FOR their own belief system but to share what they disliked about their own Faith perspective. The result of that debate was fascinating.

Instead of it ending in an angry fight where everyone just had their beliefs reinforced the debate was actually quite constructive with both groups coming away having learnt something about the other and more importantly themselves.

Similarly the responses to my question about blogging were insightful also (in fact I’ve asked this question twice previously – in 2005 and in 2006 and both times were fascinating).

There were a couple of things that came out of those discussions:

  • it was a place for some bloggers to get some stuff off their chest about their frustrations with the medium.
  • the answers actually gave a number of blog tool developers some great ideas. I know that at least two WordPress plugins were developed to solve issues that came up in the conversation.

It’s been 4 years since I asked the question last – so in the hope of a productive conversation I thought it worth asking again.

What’s Wrong with Blogging?

What are the limitations of blogging as a medium? What are its weaknesses? Where does the blogosphere and/or blogging tools need to improve? What are you main challenges as a blogger that you don’t think you’d have in other mediums?

Hopefully in answering this question and deconstructing the medium of blogging a little we can play a part in the improvement of blogging as a whole. By identifying what’s wrong perhaps we can improve it.

Like last time the rules are simple – say anything you like about blogging as long as it’s not positive (note: I’m not inviting you to critique individual bloggers – but the medium itself). You can do this in comments below or by writing a post on your own blog (just leave a link below so we can find it). There are no wrongs and rights and everyone’s critique of the medium are valid and welcome.

So – what’s wrong with blogging?

Over to you!

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. I don’t know if there is anything wrong with blogging. I enjoy it period. Yea I am hispanic and my grammar and spelling sucks but you know what I am being myself. I am writing about what I like and I am connecting with others that like what I like.

    I think its a great question Darren, I think you should ask “What’s great about blogging or what opportunity does blogging bring?” You know I am unemployed right now and broke and even though I came into the blogging with the mentality of making tons of money online I now understand that is not why I blog. I don’t believe there is nothing wrong if anything there is plenty of good things with blogging.

  2. What’s wrong with blogging is that there is no simple way to find good blogs. If you google a keyword, you’ll get the ones that rank well, but not necessarily the good ones.

    So it’s a little like being on a treasure hunt. Seeking out the good blogs while ignoring the sploggy ones.

  3. A problem with blogging falls squarely in the lap of some bloggers who stray off track, failing to discuss, explain, and expand the topic they originally chose when starting the blog.

    Stay focused, and readers will become loyal and share blog posts with their friends and associates.

  4. Wowzers, you must’ve been reading my mind.

    I got a lot off my mind when I wrote about my frustration with blogging about a week and a half ago.


  5. What’s wrong with blogging? People who can’t express their opinion in a mature way so they write disrespectful comments.

  6. Blogs are like instant gratification. I can literally type a couple of words, and then hit “publish” to send it out into the world. Sometimes looking back on posts I’ll wish that I had been more patient and let a post evolve and grow before sending it out into the world.

  7. A few thoughts:

    1. I love that there is no barrier to entry – but there should be some standards – drives me nuts when so many people ignore copyright laws, for exampe.

    2. I have to agree with other commenters – the name. “Blogging” just sounds cheap.

    3. Affiliate commissions – How can I ever get an unbiased opinion on something when so many are working so hard to promote products that legitimate reviews rarely bubble to the top of search rankings. e.g. web host reviews. I’d love to see Google not rank articles that are purely sales documents…

  8. Web sites afraid of being real. I like a personal touch, rather than over hyped, get out your wallet approaches, I am not afraid of getting out my wallet, but there has to be trust first, that I am dealing with a real person.

  9. There’s not a thing wrong in the world with blogging. It doesn’t matter what business your in; if you don’t bring traffic to your site you won’t make money. I spent over a year not knowing how to bring visitors to my site. But the simple truth is, if you can create a ton of links leading back to your site you’ll get traffic. Some may ask, but how do you know anyone will click on those links. Well that’s simple too. Post in targeted places, where people are asking the questions that you want to answer and solve with your product or service. I guess you need to know how to do that too huh? LOL! Ok :)

    Go to google “search based keyword tool”, click on “Or see top keywords across all categories” and enter a search for the niche you want to analyze. It will automatically show you the most popular “key word phrase” for that keyword. You can either use that key phrase or click the magnifying glass and use the key phrases shown in Google Insights. Use the keyword phrases to create key word phrase questions. Enter those questions into Google Alerts “in parentheses” and wait for results.

    I like to receive the alerts in Google Reader, but you can also receive them in your Gmail box. Go to the blogs or forums listed in the alert and comment, answering the questions being asked about your niche. Then leave your name, email and web address. Instant targeted links leading back to your sites. It’s just that simple and more fun than you could ever imagine. Stop killing yourselves and do it the right way.

  10. My problem is that it’s a mass-medium, which means it will be used by many but also abused by some. Spamming, bashing, sharing illegal and disrespectful things online got way easier.

    And I also agree with the people above which say that there are to many ‘average joe’s’. Anyone can write on the web, filling it with content. While only 1% of everything posted online is actually worth reading.

  11. What’s wrong with blogging is that it remains a separate part of my life, trapped in my laptop. It still freaks me out sometimes that I have imaginary friends whom I know only by their little twitter avatar and might not even recognize on the street… but then I guess that’s what is wrong with me, not blogging.

    Another problem is that so much of blogging seems to be about how to make money blogging, and I never wanted to do that. It’s hard to not get sucked in. But again, that’s my problem.

    I’m not creative enough to think of something wrong with the medium itself.

  12. I agree with much of what has already been posted. There is too much information out there to sift through, the format of a blog itself can be daunting for someone to actually find quality information, and etc. etc.

    I think the biggest problem, as has been mentioned (but I’d like to reiterate), has to be making a name for yourself/your blog. I don’t think that wanting to become a well-known blogger is a bad thing; why else are you spending so much of your precious time writing and publishing content online? Getting recognition and a following is difficult, and trying to realize what sort of content that will get you such a following is difficult as well.

    Another issue is the A.D.D. of people today. I’m not talking about an actual medical disorder, but about the fact that your average person only spends a couple of seconds on a web site. If something doesn’t jump out and grab their attention, their gone. This is a direct result of the vast amount of “noise” available online. All of this noise makes blogging seem like a fruitless endeavor.

  13. The two fundamental flaws in blogging are the dating of content and site navigation.

    The latter is simple; a blogger usually churns out dozens of topical, but not necessarily related posts with little for the visitor to do except read other posts (perhaps most commented or something) which may not answer their particular problem at that time. Subscribers tend to be the one’s who like a series of articles the blogger has written and want to hear what problems “could” be solved or have other non-immediate reasons like following someone to see what else they do. The sites which truly help people solve specific, timely problems tend to be well structured websites … not blogs.

    The dating of content is inevitable. As newspapers are frantically purchased in the morning, they lie strewn all over cities by that very evening. Even the best papers don’t last.

    This means every blogger is tied to the ‘content wheel’ much akin to a hamster in order to retain traffic and income (not helped by the high bounce rates thanks to site architecture). Search engines arguably treat blogs the same way as a new source. Sure, Google blog search brings in visitors quickly, but you’ll find your traffic on all but the most linked to blogs tail off after a few days even.

    The answer… use blogs not to push content and solutions, but to engage a subscriber. PREsell if you like – otherwise use a structured website that is both search engine friendly and visitor friendly. It doesn’t date nearly as much!

  14. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with blogging :-)

  15. About the only thing I can add (after reading through the other comments; some really interesting views there I have to say) is that I out and out hate it when bloggers gain a critical mass of traffic, stop providing good information, then start using the medium to make the false true.

    I’ve seen it happen in a couple of the more local area blogs, it’s pretty horrible. Not a problem with the medium itself of course, but it is a bit of an issue with the bloggers.

    Other than that there’s not much else to add. I like that it’s so easy to access, though I agree that there’s no great method to find new ‘good’ blogs and there’s far too much noise. Don’t see any solutions to that yet though.

  16. Great post Darren! What’s wrong with blogging? It is too easy to begin, but I’ve not enough time to post frequently on all my blogs.

  17. You just need to promote your site through the same medium you are using to comment this blog. Having links pointing back to your site is the only way to generate more traffic.

    Also some blogs allow you to post a link “IN” your post so you can anchor your link in a key word, like affiliate marketing for instance. Then search engines will associate your site with keywords and convey you as an authority on those topics.

    Also this kind of traffic adds up quickly, especially the more you promote and get your link out there. I would rather have 2 or 3 visitors a day than 0. I would rather have 10 or 20 per day than 0

  18. I think that’s what’s wrong with blogging has been said looking through the mass of comments.

    It is unfortunate that due to various techniques used in the industry that Search Engine’s do favor those with thousands of backlinks, etc, etc, and the little guy with informative posts that actually brings real value are left in the dark ages.

  19. There’s plenty wrong with the fitness niche. Too many people promoting bogus products which they know are a complete waste of money.

    When someone searches blogs for an honest review of a product or program they have to comb through a bunch of fake reviews which are nothing more than homemade commercials.

  20. Blogging’s problems are the same problems suffered by every written medium — too much is written, and not nearly enough of it is remotely interesting. Go to the library and look at all the books on the shelf — most of them are not very good. Sure, they were good enough to get published, but most of them are garbage. The same is true of blogging (only multiplied a million-fold) — most blog posts are either unoriginal pap, or derivative pap, or just plain old pappity pap. Rubbish. There was a great article a few weeks ago by a writer talking about how he never has time to read books anymore, because his entire life is consumed with news, and Twitter, and social media, and other junk. Blogs can be interesting, but most aren’t. People are writing who have nothing to say.

  21. Great post! It reminds us that nothing is wrong with blogging. It encourages freedom but likewise warns us to observe the rules of good writing. Unless we do, blogging will be viewed by the critics as wrong, when in fact it’s just case-to-case mistakes that are not representing the whole of blogging.

  22. There are plenty of flaws with blogging, but most of the problems have more to do with bloggers rather than the medium itself.

    As far as I see it, the medium is nothing more than an informational or personal site that has chronologically organized posts.

    The issue of losing good posts and information in the thousands of posts that will eventually inhabit a blog is a problem, but bloggers themselves could solve this if they really wanted to.

    From that comes somewhat poor navigation, most blogs just have an archive page of some sort, this isn’t the best way to find things, and blog searches are often bring poor results if the blog is big enough. I actually had a hard time finding one of my own posts once, I knew what it was about but forgot the date and it took me a minute to actually find it.

    This is all off the top of my head, who knows how much sense I’m making haha. Good post idea though, or should I say bad post since this a negative comments post?

  23. Hiya!

    I find that my problems with blogging are specific to the type of blog I run. It’s a pretty crowded niche and other similiar bloggers (we are mostly female of the species) can get a little bitchy, territorial and cliquey.

    ALSO, I love the networks created by blogging and through twitter I have gotten to know lots of authors, this sometimes makes it difficult to review their books in a totally objective way (especially if you’ve just been chatting to them about what you’re having for tea!)

    Oh, and what do you do if someone nicks your ideas?! It’s not pure plagiarism, just stealing ideas for regular features – there is no way to stop that and it kind of bugs me. I have some great weekly feature ideas and my closest blogging competition seems to post a thinly veiled copy of it soon after. Gah!
    Other than that, though I adore blogging :)

  24. Whats wrong with blogging is the learning curve in every part of blogging. From the ‘easy stuff’ like grammar and content to the ‘hard stuff’ like advertising your site, everything sounds so simple until you go ahead and actually put them into practice.

  25. I like everything about blogging except one large issue! Getting traffic.

    If a person is just starting with an unknown name to back them up it’s a long uphill battle until you get some momentum.

    I have some ideas that I may be able to put together to help new bloggers overcome this rough patch!

  26. It’s not so much about promoting some of these products as it is about capturing the attention of readers with the niche that those products represent. If I post a comment about twitter with an anchor in it both pointing back to my site and to the niche of Twitter Tools then the search will identify the niche as well as counting the click to my site. I just increased my chances of getting visited by an immeasurable percentage. I won’t go into why participating in blogs and forums is SO important. There seems to be too much aversion to the whole concept. Fact is, if you just start getting back links to your site, you’ll get tons of traffic. Trust me you’re doing more work by avoiding the creation of content, than I am by telling you about it.

  27. All the redundancy. So many blog posts say the same thing as something that has been said/written about 100 times already. Would love to see people being more original and doing research like a journalist would do to develop a unique storyline.

  28. I hate that when creating a blog with a domain name and hosting, you are pretty much limited to used WordPress. I started off with Blogger and while I have a WordPress blog also, it isn’t as easy for me to use as Blogger. It is probably because I am not used to using WordPress and I find it really un-instinctive (that probably isn’t a real word, but you get the point).

    Just seems like WordPress has the monopoly

  29. SEARCH! Blogging needs to have a search engine / directory that does a great job at excluding spammy results!

  30. In the area of interest that I blog about (craft/art, kid’s stuff and homewares) there seems to be so many blogs that other people write that promote other people’s images/products.So many craft/art blogs seem to repeat the same images/products, therefore alot of these blogs have nothing new or original to say and it all becomes a bit of pointless blogging and tired reading. With all this borrowing of content it is also worrisome that many links do not link back to the original source.

  31. We got some real dorks in here. But NOT YOU Elyse. Just accept that Blogger And WordPress are two different types of blogs. People don’t give Blogger very much credit, but I think that in the long run they will prove to be the more foundational of the two and far more sophisticated.

    I use both, but WordPress more, because I am just not learned enough to do anything more than post to my Blogger blog and lead traffic to it. (I do have adsense set up in it though) WordPress makes it easier because they have plug ins, widgets and such, whereas in Blogger you learn more tricks by interacting with other bloggers and attaining knowledge through direct experience.

    I guess one needs to judge for themselves the greater benefit. Of course Blogger is NOT afraid of applications or plug ins, but they are selective about what kinds they allow to be implemented into the Blogger format. I for one don’t blame them at all. WordPress is always crashing!!!

  32. The biggest issue I have is that any one and thier mother can do it. It is true that the cream of the crop usually rise to the top but there are many cheap and easy ways to bypass the talented, worthy, and rightfully due. I usually spend an hour a day wading through mud just to get to “problogger.net” type of material. Grrrrr. An hour a day keeps 15 million bloggers away.

  33. The biggest problem I have with blogging is the potential for abuse. It’s getting harder and harder to actually find good information on-line because there are so many bad blogs out there just trying to beat the search engines rather than provide good content.

    This is frustrating for those of use who want to find good content, and is also frustrating for those of us who want to make our own quality content available. I hate when I put a lot of time and effort into a post only to see hundreds of SEO obsessed crap appear ahead of it in the search engines.

  34. The main challenge for me about blogging is time and passion to keep still consistent to blog. I have problem to do that and still search the solution.

  35. This blog contains some great stuff. I read through the archives and found gem after gem. Since it’s not updated as often as some blogs, I am using rss2email to handle its feed so I get an email everytime a new post is published.

  36. Blogging is demanding. It demands more of your time, and of your writing and editing efforts. it needs nurturing and it can make you sad if you don’t have comments from readers. And I’ve read some bloggers apologizing …for what? I don’t see why bloggers should apologize for something they’re not bound to do. Blogging is a privilege. . . not a duty.

  37. I have a problem with people who think that blogs are just meant for “good information”. People have forgotten the true value of “free enterprise”. If you don’t wanna make money online, then which good information are you referring to? “HOW TO BROWN NOSE YOUR SUPERVISOR?”

    I don’t get it with you kids today. You think you know everything. I guess we’ll see how reading poems and credibility updates pays off when the government finally takes every dime. You won’t be so smart then will you? How’s that for “problogger.net” type material?

  38. A big frustration so far to me is that Google’s way of listing things seems opaque at best. With thousands of hits in Yahoo and hardly some in Google I’m sure something’s amiss. Now I’m not complaining, I’m not expecting Google to sort of promote my blog. But with Google getting the most search requests it’s a bit like not being listed in the phone directory or living on a road the mappers forgot to include in the street map. And one thing I don’t want to do and won’t do is thinking about “how to phrase things” only to please Google. Not only does it feel a little like a thought police, but it would clip creativityand spontaneity plus – what might then happen to the other search engines that currently paint a truer picture of the actual POTENTIAL search results at hand? So Google, when I see these discussions about PageRank and keywords, meta entries and all that, is a kind of a threat to bloggers who on one hand want to be free writers that have found THE medium for their self-expression and on the other hand, while not doing it for a living, even without ANY financial interest in most cases, still want to make themselves heard resp. read and therefore have a lively interest -no, not to impose their views and writings on others!- but to be found by exactly those people who they believe they’re writing for!

  39. What’s wrong with blogs is they’re not real websites. It’s a known fact that people are searching for information, and blogs are all over the place when it comes to finding something.

    But what’s really wrong with it is it’s too easy to do, so it attracts every Tom, Dick and Harry who wants: 1) His fifteen minutes of fame; and 2) To make a living out of telling me what he had for breakfast; or, worse yet, 3) To make a killing out of telling me how to make a killing out of blogging.

  40. The constant need to keep ourself updated with the newer things is one thing that feel hard to do.
    however, that is common to anything nowadays. Apart from that hitch, I love blogging.

  41. Several days ago I wrote an article entitled, “Making Our Voices Heard” (http://www.effectivefamilycommunication.com/making-our-voices-heard/), about how the internet and blogosphere is a great place for people to hide behind the curtains of life, without having to take action, despite the negative consequences of not having meaningful relationships.

    As a counselor and therapist, rather than write about my opinions, perhaps it would be more meaningful if I ask several questions on the topic of Darren’s question (from a mental health perspective of course).

    1-Does interacting on the blogosphere fulfill our social needs as humans?

    2-Does socializing on the blogosphere lead to isolation and withdrawal in our face-to-face relationships?

    3-Is blogging an escape from reality or an extension of reality?

  42. blogging is good for internet growing and for the people how blog

    since the blogs created the internet using have been tribbled or even more (talking about my country Egypt )

    i love blogging

  43. People seem to be forgetting how immense the internet really is. This isn’t your mothers blogosphere guys. It’s not a sandbox, where somebody needs to get out because the kid with the big red bucket and the metal shovel’s climbing in. A person who’s convinced he’s not listed isn’t creating content. I can do key word search in Google, Yahoo, Bing or wherever and not even understand it; and I don’t! But I know what brings results and that’s creating content.

    People tend to think of the “same old things” that they hear as just catch phrases for the spammers and wannabees, until they actually try ‘creating some content’ or fashioning some “backlinks”. “Oh, that’s just too much work.” Not as much work as jabbering in a blog about how your no longer in the phone-book. Come on man! Believe me I’m a hippie musician. I love green, but I hate money. It took me over five years to change the way I think. You’ve really gotta get outside of yourself. It’s tough, but the internet is not a sandbox. There is hope….YOU :)

  44. @Gina: as soon as aI saw all those hyphens in your web URL I *knew* you were going to have a SBI web site.

    Been there, tried it, got out before I got too burned (and I don’t care what Steve Pavlina says).

    By nature, blogs are web sites. I disagree that people can’t find information on a blog — it depends how it’s laid out and interlinked.

    It’s funny how SBI now includes a “blog” module, despite its great attempts to tear down the medium.

  45. Darren, every bloggers must have ever been got frustrated…

    my question is, what will you gonna to do when you are in such condition ???


  46. On one hand the feirce competition between individual bloggers and networks is resulting into some very high quality content appearing regularly on the web. But on the other hand It is also becoming difficult for individuals to compete with networks and companies.

    For example there are blogs that are actually full fledged websites. They have their own editorial staff for quality content and they outsource other tasks such as link building, SEO, article submissions, commenting, social bookmarking. It is difficult for some one new to blogsphere to beat such organized efforts.

    Apart from that, I strongly feel that the blogging itself has reached a point where blogs are evolving into giant portals and news sources. I think there is a need for new terms to be introduced for blogs that evolve into something too big to be recognized as a blog.

  47. The only thing that is wrong with it, is the fact that once whatever you write is out there, you can’t take it back. For instance, with personal blogs, a post that is an expression of one’s disdain for a particular, person, place or thing….the person writes as form of venting….they feel better, but wait they wish they can take it back………..but they can’t.

  48. Blogging to have a national or regional impact is simply too difficult for many to do right. Public writing and speaking are enormously difficult tasks for most people. Add website creation, hosting, SEO, swapping links, crashing sites, placement on other sites, the Google sandbox and endless other issues and it makes the process a slog.

    Blogging is the best thing since nickel beer. It’s liberating and empowering. There are a ton of people who “could” add their voice for the public good but don’t when told what they are up against.

    Successful bolgging is not necessary talent dependant; it’s a matter of who is willing to do everything necessary to make it a success. “Everything necessary” means an enormous amount of work. Crime in America.Net

  49. Thanks for posting this Darren. It is invaluable market research for those of us who are working on improving blogging technology!

    It is interesting that most commenters are taking the technology as an unchangeable foundation and talking mostly about problems at the business, creative and content levels.

    This is a good thing, though it does make it harder for people like me to analyze and get to those root causes that can be addressed by technical solutions, as opposed to those that require self-improvement efforts by bloggers or the community at large :)

    I am also curious to find out more about the views of the people who are NOT blogging. Are they shying away because of problems that the adopters are not seeing?


    (project manager of Trailmeme, a technology suite that includes the Trailmeme for WordPress plugin.)

  50. First, I give you the permission an eternal optimist. I see everything in a positive light.

    I love blogging. I find it is a great avenue of expression. I get better, reaction from people when I tell them I am a blogger, as opposed to one of my many other hats.

    I usually don’t drag someones mud through the streets. I would rather talk about what is good and positive. The Shopping Nazi is more, “here what you should know, before going out and buying this item”.

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