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The Dormant Blog Dilemma

 


With the internet changing so rapidly, being stuck in time with an archaic blog and writing to the obscure winds of vacant space within its outdated theme seems to be an exercise in futility at times. Yes, I can syndicate the content to places like Medium, yet what is the point of pointing them back to my blog anyway, and won’t that ruin the chances of the Medium article being indexed if by chance the site thought it worthy?

All of these thoughts and more run through the mind of the old blogger. The crux of the issue has always been strategy and the lack thereof. Honestly, the majority of my writing efforts online have been committed to the strategy and technical aspects of blog design, building, and formatting. What a waste to spend the majority of my writing time trying to face the huge and ever-changing learning curve of building a blog and creating an online writing strategy.

The importance of having a strategy of some sort is vital, yet in the back of my blogging mind, there has always been this longing for simplicity. What if I were to forget all the big ideas of blogging grandeur and just wrote like a simpleton who seemingly hasn’t even thought of strategy. For instance, what if I simply found one place to write and went to work without any doubt?

The opposite is true for this old blogger. I faced the learning curve as a Luddite plebian waif, racking my blue-collar brains to build an online network that would take the online world by storm. Well, at least it would encompass it all around with the unpolished brand that was a contradiction. The vision was too grand for the limited time available, the effort too mighty for the substandard technical skills I possess and was ambitious enough to learn. The result is a jungle of unfinished business, a load of tasks that have nothing to do with writing.

Some people hire a strategist or take some online class with a template for success, such as “Affiliate Blogging 101”, get started the right way and have guaranteed success, etc. I was tempted in the early days to seek this type of guidance, yet the loner in me and the headache that it caused always left me seeking my own way, the blogging way. Blogging is independence at its best, the cowboy of the internet, the only way to be free of the shackles of censorship and editors with a different worldview.

While it may be true that blogging is freedom at its best for the online writer, what I didn’t know is it also is a very lonely place for those not willing to dedicate their lives (nearly) to make it a welcoming and warm place to subscribe to with all the frills and latest rage. To succeed at blogging in a very basic and general definition is to be an ever-changing tech guru that loves the back end of these words on the screen. The UX/UI, the HTML, and the robotic language of the online world, must be like a romantic language for the blogging adept.

With all this said, one wonders when a working stiff like myself may ever have the chance to actually formulate a thought besides How To, to perhaps write something poetical and creative, which happens to be what I earned my chops doing. In journals long lost through the winds of time, words upon words never even considering the heartache to come with thoughts of robotic programming, widgets, and canonical tags. No, just the heart matter scribbled with a pen on paper, depicting the growing pains of yesteryear.

Grateful I’m older and beyond such youthful misery, the nostalgia of the past isn’t appealing beyond the simplicity it offered. I had only one place to write, in the journal that was in my bag. Now, I’m ashamed to admit, the strategic dilemma created by ambition has boxed me into a treacherous writing chamber full of doubts and confusion. The radical choices that now present themselves are marred in their implications; what will happen to these works of art I’ve put my blood, sweat, and tears into?

Are my many blogs to simply rot in the internet graveyards while I move on to simpler strategies; am I not responsible for creating these monsters of effort with my over-ambitious and naive heart full of thoughts of grandeur? Will there ever be a way to revive them or should they be put out of their misery like old yeller? Old blogger, old yeller, is it that simple?

Many rhetorical questions bounce back and forth, this is a taste of the many days and nights leading up to the inevitable burnout that came. While I never described it in those terms in my blogging brain, the results are nevertheless the same. Almost like a dead end, the failure of the strategic mind, the struggling inertia to go on, knowing what is needed is beyond what I can ask myself to learn or delve into at this late stage of blogging madness.

What if I were to wake up, newly minted to the online experience, and start all over again? Would I simply write for HubPages and be content as a lark, writing exclusive pieces without worrying about the future when it will all shut down and cause catastrophic waste? I remember a writing site called Squidoo that shut down right after I wrote about five articles, maybe this was the start of my doubting mind.

How exactly it all happened isn’t important, the fact is I would do it all the same because considering such what-ifs just doesn’t work in the real world. Golf has taught me that no one wants to hear about the what if and if this would have happened blahs. Yes, I would do it the same way, yet what will I do now is the real question.

Can I bear to leave my blogs utterly in the wasteland of obscurity; some forlorn internet searcher falling upon an article noticing to their horror how it has been abandoned? Instead of finding a finely polished sales funnel, they find a scrambled blogger with a failed strategy — buy this eBook, go to this link, finding media items barely passing the test of ever-changing updates to upload with an error message.

Maybe it would be better to old yeller them, yet there is still that old blogger inside me saying I’ll get back up and get er done. What is the use though; geez, this new online world really asks us to move on with the changes.

Without being overly dramatic to the point of nauseating my precious readers, I will gather my courage and strength to look forward to the bright and simple future. This perhaps means I will write only exclusive articles, so I never have to even think of the word canonical again; this may include the leadership ability to delegate technical aspects to experts and sites like Medium, HubPages, and Vocal; this may mean spending my time writing and thinking about things other than How To; this may mean I’ll become that simpleton I always admired for their contentment with writing on one to two platforms when the whole writing online world was at their fingertips; this may mean there will be some carnage in the wayward areas of the internet.

The message here is to know your limitations, consider your motivations, and keep it simple. While I don’t regret making a solid run at blogging, in the end, the technical aspect nearly took my writing spirit away. If someone likes programming and website building then great, but know that it takes a lot of time and effort to do efficiently.

Writing on these established platforms is where I started around 10 years ago, and it seems after many years of blogging efforts it is where I’ve come back to again. The simplicity of focusing on my writing is the benefit that really made the difference. Perhaps, the streamlined writing strategy I’ve always longed for will materialize after all. With no expectations for the results, feeling confident about the effort is a welcomed relief.

As for my blogs (if interested to know), they will continue like a social site to share media items with a short reaction and as a place to write things that are too controversial for the large diverse audiences found here. Maybe a couple of them will get old yellered, so pray for this old blogger to have the strength.

Originally published at Medium Dec. 12, 2022

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