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Warning: Watching This Video May Lead to Work! [But It'll Also Improve Your Blog]


What’s your blogging Vice?

Most bloggers that I know have at least one – whether it be compulsively checking blog stats, constantly tweaking template designs, obsessing over plugins and widgets, spending hour after hour ‘networking’ on Twitter, becoming preoccupied with SEO and… even allowing ourselves to become consumed by learning about blogging…. and not doing much of it.

The reality is that as bloggers there are many tasks that compete for our attention. Many of them are important and can bring a lot of life to our blogs but most of them can also become distractions and counter productive to our blogging if we allow them.

This video asks you ‘what is your blogging vice?’ and challenges us all (and I need to hear it) to focus upon one of the most important aspects of blogging – creating content.

Don’t get me wrong – the tasks mentioned above can all be important and as bloggers we need to approach our blogging in a holistic kind of way – but this week while looking at 50 blogs while judging a blogging competition it struck me how much most of them could be improved with more spent on the creation of quality content.

My challenge to us all today is to refocus our energies upon creating compelling and useful content.

If that means no more reading about how to blog here at ProBlogger for a bit while you go and DO IT – so be it. After all, it’s what it all boils down to if you’re looking to improve your blog.

Get the full sized video at Youtube.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Casey says:

    I loved the honesty in this blog. Stop reading “how-to” and DO!

    Well, I need to get back to writing, haha.

  2. Lam Nguyen says:

    its such a coincidence that u bring this up because i was just thinking to myself how much time i have wasted on the design of my blog (learning html etc) and learning SEO.

    also one day last week my blog traffic doubled and i was shocked and ever since then ive been spending time on the stats, wasting time again.

    this video post has confirmed and answered my question. i know what i need to do now which is stop wasting time on keyword analysers etc, just stick with what i got and BLOG

  3. Tinh says:

    Nice post, long time not listening to your voice :-)

  4. I’m all about delegation. Once I determine that a task can be done by my assistant, then I delegate it and just have a summary given to me. This way I can continue working on the things that bring in income and ways to grow my business.

    Of course it does take time to teach and train a person, but in the long run, I save time and money and get more accomplished in the process.

  5. Excellent advice here but that’s why it’s called a vice. I must view videos with compelling titles like “what your vice”. Anyway, thanks for the nudge….

  6. Helen Calder says:

    Oh Darren, you know us so well! As for me, those stats sure have a hypnotic effect. Well, back to blogging…

  7. Sometimes I think just blogging itself is an unhealthy vice:) Bloggers anon anyone?

  8. Ryan says:

    Focusing on content creation gives me peace of mind. Focusing on stats gives me stress. I’m more aware of the shift these days. When I feel anxious I move back toward creating.

  9. David Walker says:

    Guilty as charged. Stats, tweaking SEO, FB, Tweets..why does a day have only 24 hours? Does anyone suffer from this feeling of being overwhelmed? feeling like you’re not doing enough..more, more, more.? or is that my biggest vice?

  10. work at home says:

    I take idea of of blogging work of other experienced blogger and I work like that, I think blogging is one good platform for use our creativity.

  11. I have never believed in partnerships in business, but blogging is one place it could really work. The super creative writer wife who works on nothing but content. And the tech crazed husband that lives for ad placement and code.

    Being both is just tough!

  12. Srinu says:

    Nice Post ..! i thing i will improve my blog my own way..!

  13. I was about to write on the same issue.. The thing is i am myself addicted to checking stats. I guess this phase comes in each and every blogger’s time..esp in the beginning. The end result is wasting countless hours in doing nothing. My personal exp is very disheartening. LOL i spend 4-5 hours checking stats and hardly half n hour writing a post…

    Its an addiction which is very hard to get rid off..

  14. Thanks, Darren! I needed that ‘swift kick in the tush’!! I’m off to blog – right. this. minute.

    ;)

  15. Evelyn says:

    I’m spending way too much time on tweaking my template. Now that I have it the way I want it. I’ll focus on writing, writing and more writing. Thanks, Daren. You have given me the push that I needed.

    Evelyn @ http://www.naturalrawliving.com

  16. Delivering quality content consumes me! That makes it hard to reach into the other responsibilities as often as I’d like.

  17. Bob Andolina says:

    Thanks for your video. It is a great reminder.

    I just love connecting with others and blogging is just one of the three methods I enjoy using.

    I like to keep what I do to earn my income streams, as much as like a great investment that now pays me an income each month without me there to have to work it.

    The key that led to my success was using leverage that the Internet provides to all of us.

    Because I was exposed to the many methods of Internet Marketing, I was able to pick the top three and focus my time on them.

    Not every Blogger wants to earn money. But for those who want to, it would be wise to investigate all your options on how to get your words out to the masses for any reason.

    And for those of you who just enjoy blogging, I think you would like to attract the most readers to you blogs as possible right??

    Just my thoughts,
    Bob Andolina

  18. Ships says:

    it is good, I got good tips from here, but actually this is not everything. I know and I believe that it is quite important to have long and very complicated process for making your blog popular. The most important is content. Also important is SEO and on the final position in revenue.

  19. lea selley says:

    Thank you!!!
    You’ve totally sumeraized the root of my procrastination!
    keep up the great work & content!

  20. Just like everyone else, I find distractions all over the place. Twitter, blogs, commenting on blogs, my blog stats, tweeking, etc. Not to mention family commitments, day job, etc.

    My personal blog lags because of all this. Probably my biggest vice is getting the balls to just do it. I just need to let go of fear and just start writing.

    The more I write, the better my writing will be. My content may not be compelling now. If I keep at it I know it will be compelling in the future.

  21. Wow, loaded question! Not really sure what my vice is. I think it’s possibly that I worry too much about what people will think of my articles instead of just posting them regardless. I’m too sensitive I think and don’t take criticism well. Perhaps I just need to develop a thicker skin.

    Also recently I’ve been so busy that I haven’t had the time to devote to my blog’s aesthetics and design. I really want to get it looking a bit more professional.

  22. Suzanne Vara says:

    I spend way too much time looking to see if there is too much written on what I am going to write about. I should look into it but not read every article and then similar articles and then similar articles to that. There are times the blog does not even get started until 12am. I need to trim the fat and just get writing!

  23. Alpesh says:

    Ok, thanks.

    Am not even watching the video.

    Go! create quality content. It’s really long, it has been created.

  24. Andrea Weeks says:

    This really motivated me to stop worrying so much about the appearances and the exact right approach of my blog. Great content will literally sell itself (well maybe with the help of a little SEO too).

    Also teaches us to get back to the foundation of blogging. While you could provide links or showcase work, the blog is not about designing or formatting, its about portraying your thoughts, ideas, and advice. Let’s go retro! Get back to the root of it all and speak our minds! Get out there and blog already!

  25. The promotion of a blog does require a holistic appraoch. The content plays the major role in the success of a blog. Being able to write great content is an asset.

  26. Great post and some really useful and practical points as always!

    Now we all have vices, I tend to spend way too much time on social media sites in between making cups of tea and nibbling on what-is-in-the-cupboards…

    Anywho, I wrote a post yesterday about enjoying work which I think is relevant.

    http://www.theundercoverrecruiter.com/content/6-simple-steps-be-happier-work

    My blog is all about careers and how to make the most out of your job, just like any professional blogger should do in any case!

  27. apol says:

    You”re right Darren, i have been obsessed by optimizing the SEO of my blog and the themes as well. I’m a new blogger and still learning all the things about blogging. Whenever i read articles from other blog on “how to” and “steps on” things like that, i will apply it as soon as i can, consuming all my time on these things.

    Thanks for redirecting my mind Darren, maybe now i’ll just focus my self first on creating contents for my blog whenever i have time since it was just launched 3 months ago, and do the other things like SEO when the content is enough already. MARAMING SALAMAT PO!!

  28. Kimberley says:

    Brilliant – though still hard to tear my eyes away from all the rich content here. Was just introduced by a friend – but this video definitely speaks to me. Always thinking, how can I improve? What would be better? Tags? SEO? Ads? But then – hiding in plain site – not enough content. Not enough regular content. No time set aside for writing.

    Thanks so much for this :)

  29. Brett says:

    Work. Of the paid variety. Despite getting up in time to see people awake in other timezones, and going to bed before my kids do some nights, I still have to work.

    The candle is burning at both ends, oh but my, what a pretty light!

  30. Jim says:

    The word obsession is probably the key thing to get over for me. Obsession over what email we got relating to the blogs, obsession of stats, obsesison of “did my posting on other people’s blogs get a link back or create community”, and for me the obsession of wondering if everything I’m doing is the right thing.

    Recently I’ve been reading some outsourcing blogs and how they get other people to do their work for them. I’m far from outsourcing it all out, but between the concern to get everything done and writing posts, it gets real busy. I’ve recently hired writers to do my writing for a couple of my blogs which allows me to work on other things.

    Then I set goals to not check mail until noon, or don’t check Google stats until “tomorrow”. Maybe like a blogging calendar, having a “check stats” calendar would be helpful as well.

    Good post once again Darren!

    Jim

  31. Dude, it’s amazing to me what I learn after spending just a few minutes on your site. All I can say is wow. Oh, and THANKS.

  32. last 40 seconds of this KILLED me. (In a good way, of course.)

    But can I leave a comment on THIS post before I go write one of my own?

    Me.. Spending a LOT of time on my photos — cropping, sizing, adding light, painting out “undesirable” bits. Hey, I’m artistic — what can I say?

  33. Eric says:

    After reading what you posted here I do agree that people should get started and not worry too much about taking so much time to add widgets and different things like that. Of course, whatever works for the individual is important and they should focus on continuing to do it, however, experimenting and all won’t do much unless good, solid content is there.

  34. jamie says:

    I agree with you totally, I am pretty new to blogging and find so many distractions. I have actually written a post along a similar theme to yours

    http://www.deliveryourpromise.com/time/stop-wasting-time-on-line/

    I am only half way through but the main point is what we’re potentially missing out on when we’re blogging. There’s much to learn and do with no guarantees…..

  35. WOW! How did you know Ive been spending too much time….changing templets, checking stats,adding widgets….. posting ‘new blogs’.Rather than focusing on content, and of course editing and posting our interviews!
    Bless you! Great wake up call. Thanks,
    Kris

  36. Julie says:

    Thanks Darren.

    I agree with Sandra, one vice is fear or maybe a perfection issue. I want to do it right. I constantly check for comments. Whether that is in forums, my blogs, or comments referencing my own comments. I worry (and fear) that my content isn’t good enough. I make comments, linked to other posts, and search for my own.

    When you are writing to others that is the best measure of seeing how you are doing. Just starting out, you have to keep pushing yourself to write and hope that someone will comment so you know you have readers.

  37. I always seem to find an excuse not to post… too tired, have to fix something first, not sure how to start, I should read Darren’s blog.

    Why is it that avoidance of doing what is most important seems to be built into our human nature?

  38. Amílcar says:

    This is one of the most important advices you ever gave. We are surrounded by distractions and have no ‘boss’. It is a recipe for disaster, unless we become very aware of the problem and take actions to solve it.

    Thanks a lot.

  39. Infogle.com says:

    These were the god’s word for me – Darren with just 4.49min you explained the whole lot of implications i have been struggling with – excellent stuff.

    You changed my view of thinking – I say it once again – these were the god’s word for me.

  40. Blog Tips says:

    I agree, creating quality content is the most important task for bloggers if they really want to succeed

  41. Muzon says:

    Thanks Darren. This information has appeared very useful!

  42. Oli says:

    Hi,

    in your post http://www.problogger.net/archives/2009/08/21/9-last-tips-on-making-money-from-the-amazon-affiliates-program/ you talk about the Amazon aStore, and how you are looking to improve it’s sales.

    I think a major factor throughout your site is it’s direction towards the US market. i think at this point geo-targetting is your friend, giving you access to buyers the world over. While this would probably too much work for your contextual links, why not try creating two identical aStores for the US and teh UK and then creating/buying a geolocation tool (There are free ones out there as well) which will automatically send users to the correct store. Hell, if thats too much work just create a UK store, a Canadian store, and so on, then put store links up for each country!

    The great thing about the internet is the global market, don’t miss out on it!

  43. Luc Gendrot says:

    Gosh I do all of these things! This video has truly opened my eyes to how much time I waste doing almost everything you mentioned, I write a book review blog and I could be spending all of this time actually reading the books that I should be reviewing!

    Thanks for the great tips, keep it up!

  44. Padtitude says:

    Darren,really enjoyed the video and the thought provoking question you pose. My vice is that when I blog, and come up with an idea or point of view, I check the web, to see if it really is new, or if it appears 100 other times somewhere else. By habit, I read these comments to see if anyone else has the same vice. Viscious circle I guess!

  45. medyum says:

    The promotion of a blog does require a holistic appraoch. The content plays the major role in the success of a blog. Being able to write great content is an asset

  46. seslialmanya says:

    I am only half way through but the main point is what we’re potentially missing out on when we’re blogging. There’s much to learn and do with no guarantees

  47. Barry Finlay says:

    Social Networking sites are my vice, Initially starting out on them to promote my site and latest content but then it is so easy to get sidetracked on them the next thing you know is you are watching the latest viral on youtube of some fat dude doing a funny dance instead of the site promotion you started.

  48. scheng1 says:

    haha, you sound like a teacher in charge of naughty students! Time to do homework!

  49. JoeDane says:

    Hi. My name is Joe and I’m an obsessive stat-checker. (Group: Hi, Joe!) Even when I haven’t posted anything new in a few days and I know I’ll cringe to see a drop in site visits, I’ll still check. It’s the curse of a new blogger – seeing tangible results from my site. Look! People found me!

  50. Yea i definitely check facebook and my email WAY too many times. Definitely gotta focus on writing some more words!