Top five rules for blogging: #4 Be prepared to write stupid posts

This is, as the heading indicates, the  number four in a series of five posts. Here are all five tips, and here’s my post on the first one, here’s the second one, and here’s the third.

As we discussed in tip number one – nothing kills a blog like a loss of momentum. I think this tip is particularly important in the early stages of a blog.

Blogs aren’t a great medium for people wanting to publish polished essays every time. Some posts are going to be not as good as other posts.

More often than not it’s the posts I think are a bit rubbish that get a spike in traffic or see increased comments.

The best solution I’ve come up with in order to keep my blogging juices flowing is to just post. As often as possible. This means I’ve written some absolute rubbish in my time, which on the whole has contributed to the quality of this blog in a negative manner. But, I’ve also managed to stick at blogging for almost 4 years and almost 2,600 posts.

My post rate, and my traffic, have picked up since I decided to take the “just post any old thing” approach…

I have one or two rules that I use when deciding whether or not to post something. There is a limit to how stupid my posts can be without cheapening the experience of visiting this site.

There’s an important overarching precept guiding my posts – I am a Christian before I am a blogger, and this creates a tension… I want to glorify God with this blog – and I use it as a vehicle for articulating my thoughts on what I’m learning or thinking about Christianity. But I also like posting really silly things. Things that are probably at the pinnacle of human stupidity. And toilet humour. Having two columns has helped me come to grips with this tension – it probably doesn’t help feed readers.

I am, in this post, dealing with my tip to be prepared to post stupid stuff, I’m not sure that I see this stupid stuff as a way to do anything but keep momentum going and perhaps entice people here to be amused – I suspect more people come for the stupid stuff than for the thought out stuff.

Here is, for want of a better label, my checklist for posting a stupid post.

  1. Did it amuse me? – If the answer is yes I’ll probably post it. If the answer is no, I’ll consider whether it may impress, amuse, or inform, anybody else who I know reads my blog.
  2. Will it amuse other people – this one’s not a deal breaker and comes down to the blogging for comments principle. I like having readers, but I’d probably approach blogging the same way even if I didn’t.
  3. Is it likely to offend people I care about. I probably won’t post these – or I’ll check first.
  4. Has it been posted everywhere/watched by millions? It has to be really worthwhile to post if everybody has already seen it – you won’t find any dancing wedding entrances here…
  5. Am I breaking any laws? This one is pretty important. Don’t post anything illegal.


Ben McLaughlin says:

good series, bro