Monthly Archives: April 2008

Sustainable blogging?

Is it possible to blog on indefinitely, sustainably? This question has bothered me for some time, because it is something I have had to face myself.

A fellow blogger who had started around the same time I started this blog has called it quits, at least in the non-profit form. He has decided to concentrate on freelance writing to which he has my full support. If one’s writing is good enough for it to be paid work – if there is a readership that can turned into a livelihood – then go for it.

How sustainable is blogging, especially the kind we do – topic-based blogging? There are four important qualities, I think, which is necessary for a (niche) blog to work.

Familiarity
Undoubtedly the most important quality. Without thorough knowledge of the topic it is near impossible to sustain the writing. But this is only true if you are writing as a pundit. If you are writing from the point of view that of a novice and your personal experience so far then it will work. Then this type of blog is more akin to a journal blog – a record of your journey towards the goal of this knowledge.

Time
Without time to blog then no blog will survive. As a father, a full-time postgraduate student, a teacher and a blogger twenty-four hours is simply not enough. Something has to give. And I don’t think it is fatherhood, research, or my vocation. If you placed blogging up at the top then seriously something must be very wrong with your relationships or priorities.

Spirit of charity
Blogging – especially niche blogging – is truly close to charity… that is unless you have signed up for Adsense. But by and large bloggers have more sense than adsense (except if you are that good then you can cut a living from blogging). Most of us are just satisfied to share with other what we know and make new friends.

Sense of fun and enjoyment
Blogging has to be fun. Otherwise it will feel like a chore.

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Of the four qualities I have three – familiarity, spirit of charity and a sense of enjoyment. Time is something which is hampering me here. While I do apologise to my readers sometimes for the lack of postings but I think they understand. But also these days my blog is generally supported by new readers rather than regulars. I think people all move on after a while.

Coming back to my friend and his blog I am not saying he lacks charity. His case is different because now he is choosing a professional path. And for that I cheer him on. To me, blogging is only sustainable if there are these qualities. Otherwise there is no inclination to write.