Bloggers, Stop Feeding at the Trough!

A new, and welcome addition to my feed reader recently has been Jack of all Blogs, a kind of snarky, foulmouthed cynical rantfest that takes aim squarely at the often pretentious, trend jumping “digirati” personalities in the blogosphere. It’s just the kind of thing I like, and i’d highly recommend a subscription. Im not here to talk about that though, JOAB just kindly provided me with some inspiration for a discussion here, in the post 7 Secrets of the 80/20 Blogger. Namely, that bloggers need to quit feeding at the trough!

7. Quit feeding at the trough.
Spend more time blogging and less time reading RSS feeds, feeds, and all those other feeds. It’s a fucking waste of time. Quit feeding at the trough and get out there and do some creative writing of your own. That’s what people feast on. That’s where the money is.

I’ve been more guilty than most in over reading, untill only recently I had over 400 subscriptions, and trying to keep track of that many, and still find time to write is no joke!

The Commodity of News

Running a news blog is tough, and there’s often a lot of competion in your niche. Im not saying don’t do it, but do bear in mind that if the niche is already crowded, you’ll need to position yourself well in order to stand out.

The problem is, from a readers perspective that most often, one blog is much the same as another, and if you subcribe to many in a niche, as you would do if you were writing in that sector, then you’ll note that you read the same damn headline over and over again. It’s a bit shit really, and it makes the job of standing out, of gaining subscriptions, and of ranking even more harder unless you really add something of value with your news reporting.

The Satisfaction of Writing Original Content

I’ve rediscovered a great passion of mine in writing for Performancing, writing original content. I’ve written ever since i first started messing with websites some 5/6yrs ago, and get more satisfaction out of writing original content, be it 100% new, inspired like this one, or just a view on a popular news item rather than simply reporting and linking to someone elses story.

And there are a few obvious benefits to reading less, writing more:

  • More links. Trust me on this, if your content is original, other bloggers dont have 10 other blogs reporting the same thing to choose from do they?
  • Better targeting. As opposed to an industry blog, or product blog reporting news, you have a lot more opportunity to target the kind of reader you want on your site.
  • Increased reputation. If you’re doing it right, your reputation, and influence within your niche should increase.
  • Increased satisfaction. We work on the web because we don’t want to be doing a 9-5 right? Don’t turn blogging into a 9-5!
  • More time. By reading less, writing more, you can get to where you want to be quicker i beleive. Freeing up some time for those offline things that matter (im sure there must be some… er.. oh yeah! Family, beer…)

The obvious problem is finding inspiration!


Well, here come a couple of backpeddles on what I’ve said above:

  1. You need to read for inspiration. At least I do.
  2. Nothing is 100% unique. I don’t beleive there is any such thing in fact. Every thought we have is derivative in some fashion, the question is, how derivative?

For me personally, inspiration comes mostly from reading. Such as in this post. But also just from living life. I keep a free tada list account and constantly have it opened in a firefox tab at the list marked “article ideas” — if I don’t write them down the minute i think of them, they’re gone!

What i’d like to know is, what inspires you, and how do you find inspiration for writing your blogs?