Tag Archives: advertising

Why I Blog Less So I Can Write More

I have noticed that my blog postings are getting fewer and farther between – even the ‘easy’ ones where I repost already written fiction from my collaborative writing community. It’s pretty hard to maintain a good blog. Anyone that says “you need a blog” is making a suggestion that has merit, but also entails a whole butt load of work. There is the essential component of having a good idea that hasn’t been covered to death, then finding something to say abut that idea that hasn’t been said five billion other times in the exact same way, and then the craft of writing the piece. Once you’ve done that you have to do it all over again, maybe not immediately, but certainly within a timely fashion; say, once every couple of days.

For some people that process can take days right there. And if you’re an expert on something, or even just trying to be informative and give people value for their click, there is all the research that many topics entail. Oh – and you have to do all the links, the attributions, the editing, the keywords, and maybe even a nice little summary. Of course you’re trying to stand out too so you’ll grab hold of some images to pepper your writing with and catch the wandering eye and short attention span of your target audience. You need to promote your blog, post the link on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and perhaps Digg It, or Technorati it, and at the end of the day, after you’ve checked all your stats to see your traffic a whole fifteen people might have checked you out.

And if you’re like me and you’re hoping that your blog will alert people to the fun of your true love and get them curious and you find that you’re not driving any traffic there, you gotta start wondering: is it worth all this damn trouble? You have to start asking yourself “why do I blog?”. If the answer is “to advertise” than maybe it’s just not all that useful after all. The standard advice for writers and other professionals is that you have to self-promote, self-promote, self-promote, but is that incredible cacophony of sound that is the world-wide-web really doing anyone any good?

On Twitter, which I actually enjoy for more than it’s potential to advertise my wares, the majority of people that follow me are bots looking to advertise products. All the ‘in the know’ blogs by the ‘smart people’ tell you not to be a bot, but give value, but even those value-laden pundits can become overwhelming and tedious. Link after link is advertised sending you off to sites that tell you how to market, how to create great ads in Photoshop, how to sell, how to write, how to yell louder than anyone else, and it’s all just becoming noise, noise, noise. And we all know what happens next: we drown it out. We tune it out, we drop out, we find a secluded beach somewhere.

The only things that really give value in this life are the things you’re passionate about. I’m passionate about Pan Historia. I’m passionate about gardening, writing, reading good books, good games, good food, art, the people I love, and so if I don’t have the passion to tell you something interesting on this blog – I’m not going to waste my time and yours by making sure I post every few days to keep my blog on the top of the list.

Gullible Consumer Rant

You hear a lot about how we are a consumer society, a throw away society, and how we keep buy buy buying. But what I want to know is when we became so totally undiscriminating about it? Has Homo Sapiens Americanus lost the ability to question and reason? Ok so I’m watching cable TV these days (it came with the cave – I have ants and cable TV). I’m being exposed to mainstream advertising in a way I have not had to put up with for twenty years. Most of the ads are terrible. People are paid to write and perform this shit? It’s awe inspiring, really. And since the ads are so deplorable you ask yourself why do companies pay for them?

It is because, just like the “please let me send you a billion dollars, just send me your bank info” spam emails from Nigeria, they WORK. Now that is truly frightening. Ever asked yourself why you get so many telemarketing calls at dinner time? Because some people, instead of hanging up and eating their dinner and talking to their family, actually buy the crap the telemarketer is selling.

One of my current peeves as far as ads go is the one for some Oil of Olay skincare cream where they promise you if you buy this cream you can stop having dry skin and stop using so much cream. Well duh. If that actually happened Oil of Olay wouldn’t be able to sell any more product. I won’t even go into the pharmaceutical ads (except to say is possible DEATH and EXCESSIVE GAMBLING actually worth it to clear up your skin?).

Ok, so we get past the ads and we buy the product. Most of the stuff is utter and total crap. Remember the days you could buy a tea kettle and it would last long enough to leave to your kids? I’m not even talking high technology here, just a kettle. How difficult is it to make a kettle that holds water, looks nice, and whistles when the water boils so you don’t burn your house down (or at the very least don’t melt the kettle all over your stove top, been there done that). About six months ago I stupidly didn’t put the whistle on my kettleā€¦ you get the idea. I have bought three kettles since then. The first one was so cheap it didn’t whistle even though it was supposed to, the next was expensive but too small, and the third now reposes on my stove. It’s black, it has a whistle, it’s made by Kitchen Aid. It sucks. Really it does. The whistle is so faint it’s more like a slow leak and there is physically no way to pour boiling water out of it without sloshing scalding water all over the place.

Will I take it back? Probably not, it’s not worth the trouble, right? Right – and that’s why they can get away with making schlock.

Back to the cable TV for a minute: last night I watched a movie on one of the stations. The commercial breaks were so long that I had time to read five pages of my book without missing any of the movie.

Isn’t it time not only to question how much we buy, how much we spend, but stand up and demand that we get quality for what we spend? Remember cable TV isn’t free. I pay for the privilege of being sold to in my own home, interminably.