What are the essential elements of a good blog?
Having thought about that particular question for a while, I would say that good blogging requires—at the very least—time, creativity, and substance. I want to briefly examine each of those elements, beginning with substance and working backwards. I will also briefly critique myself on each point.
I see no reason for any of us to blog unless we have something substantial to say. That doesn’t mean every post has to deal with profound issues. I don’t even think it means that’s it wrong to be trivial or silly at times. However, I don’t want to waste my time (and I hope you don’t want to waste yours) on producing or digesting a steady diet of useless drivel. In many instances, the topic of discussion isn’t as important as having something substantial to say about it. I believe I can be moderately successful on this point.
For maximum impact, substantial content should be thoughtfully and creatively presented. If I have something substantial to say, but say it poorly, unimaginatively, or without passion, it will probably fall on deaf ears. I’m a relatively creative person with a fairly fertile mind, so on this point, too, I think I can be moderately successful.
Ay, there’s the rub! I want to spend most of my time (pun intended) on this point. Good blogging requires time. I’m tempted to say I don’t have enough time to blog, but I have no less time in a day than anyone else. Good blogging, then, requires not just time but good time management.
Being an efficient writer is helpful, too, but that’s not one of my strengths. Rarely can I sit down and hammer out a good post on my first attempt. Usually I type up my post, mull it over for a while, decide there were several things I could have said better, tinker with those things, mull them over some more, tinker some more, rinse, repeat, and eventually publish it. How inefficient is that?
Another factor is the total number of time-consuming responsibilities a person has. I have numerous important responsibilities competing for my time and attention, but I won’t go into detail here. Suffice it to say that I know it’s wrong for me to short-change more important responsibilities in order to satisfy my desire to write, however legitimate that desire may be in and of itself. I probably need to blog even less than I do now.
All things considered, I fail on this point.
Due to some fairly intense travel plans with limited internet access, and a few other pressing responsibilities, blog posts will be scarce for the rest of this month. If possible, I’ll give some brief updates during our trip. We’ll be traveling through some beautiful country. ALSO…
One of the steps I’ve taken to address my own time constraints is to expand my blog team. I believe that additional posts by new team members Isaac Johnson and Derek Ashton will add both depth and breadth to the blog. In fact, Isaac is contemplating a series beginning this fall that many of you should find very interesting, so stay tuned.
I may never be able to blog frequently enough for this to be considered—based on my own criteria—a consistently good blog. I do hope it is occasionally good and therefore beneficial and edifying.