I rarely have more than a general idea of what I’m going to write about whenever I sit down to blog. I’ve already talked about why I write this way and why I think blogging your first draft is advantageous but it’s not all good. Here’s some of the big disadvantages of not planning your blog posts out ahead of time that can happen.
- You just fizzle out. You may be really passionate about the topic at the start but, because you’ve never visualized your post as a whole, you may not be able to bring it all back around with a solid conclusion.
- You get off track. You’re writing about x and suddenly that passing mention of y takes over and you’ve got this whole section in the middle of your post that doesn’t really fit the original topic. I just take the irrelevant part out and make it it’s own post but then you’ve got to fill the hole in the original AND write a second post when you could have just written one good one on a single pass through if you’d planned it all out. Having a plan from the start focuses your writing.
- You change your mind. What’s a blog post, really, but a conversation? Sometimes it’s with the reader but, often, it’s something we’re talking out with ourselves. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve written an editorial about something only to change my own mind by the time I got to the end of the post. What do you do then? Go with the original post and then counterpoint yourself in a later one? That’s what I do, but I’m a crazy person. Your results may vary. (The irony should not be lost on you that this is literally what I am doing with this post.)
- You ramble. When you don’t have a focused topic for the post you can tend to ramble on and one and just repeat yourself endlessly saying what is basically the same thing over and over multiple times and… oh.
- You aren’t presenting yourself in your best possible light. I’m sort of a fancy writer-type person. I’ve published plays and stuff which makes me one of those people that write theatre with an “re” with no sense of irony. It could be said that I can write well by most standards. Is this blog post going to make the highlight reel of my greatest works someday? Definitely not. Typos slip through. The writing is never what I’d call tight when I bang it out off the cuff. I’m kind of informal and weird instead of professional and polished. Does it hurt me that this is how I present myself to potential book buyers and readers?
What do you think? Should a blog post be a polished piece of work or can it be more informal?