There's More Than One Way to Write a Blog

vintage typewriter

After reading more posts written by professional bloggers than I can count, it would be tempting to think that there is one correct way to write a blog. But of course, there isn't. Some successful atheist bloggers write lengthy and detailed posts. Others might post a photo with no more than a sentence or two beneath it. Some write several posts a day, and others might be lucky to write one a month. Different methods work for different bloggers with different goals writing about different subjects and trying to reach different audiences. This is one of the things I like about blogging: it involves as much freedom and flexibility as the individual blogger wishes to exercise. And even though most of us could probably be more effective in doing at least some of what we do, it is okay if we aren't. For many of us, there is more to life than being the best blogger we can be.

When it comes to atheist blogging in particular, I can't say I've found much of the advice of the professional bloggers terribly helpful. This is not a criticism, and it should not be surprising. They are dealing with a very different niche aimed at a very different audience. As people trying to make a living from blogging, they have different goals than I do, and this explains why nearly all of them are trying to sell products and build mailing lists to sell more products. Much of what seems to work for them doesn't apply to me, but I do still manage to find some helpful ideas along the way. And every so often, I am jolted out of my routine by something I see another atheist blogger doing that conflicts with nearly everything the professional bloggers recommend. These jolts are both a needed reality-check but also a source of ideas to try.

I'll offer two brief examples of the sort of thing I'm talking about. First, one very successful blogger who writes about church-state issues never includes photos or graphics of any kind in his posts. The professional bloggers are nearly unanimous that every post should include at least one photo or graphic (and many recommend far more than one). I agree that there are some advantages to doing that, but this blogger has never done so and it hasn't hurt him at all. Second, another blogger who deals almost exclusively with atheism rarely writes posts longer than a few sentences. Each post typically includes a prominent photo or other graphic followed by no more than a few sentences. Some posts are so short they could be shared on Twitter. This runs counter to nearly all the length recommendations I have seen from the pros, but it seems to work quite well for this blogger.

And then there's me. This post is an example of me not following the common advice of staying on topic, orienting everything I write around the keywords on which I am trying to rank, etc. I am well aware that none of the posts I will ever write about blogging perform as well as those tightly focused on atheism, secularism, or religion. That's okay with me. I recognize that people aren't coming here for blogging tips and that most atheists aren't writing blogs. When I go off-topic, I am doing so for me (and because I often appreciate it when other atheist bloggers do so). I'm exercising that flexibility to keep myself interested, centered, engaged, or whatever else. So remember, there are many ways to write a blog and what matters most is that the blogger finds what works for them.