You can’t blame the NYT for its weekend piece entitled "In Web World of 24/7 Stress, Writers Blog Till They Drop." The article isolates a couple of unfortunate deaths in the blogging community, then selects a handful of juiced-up bloggers to prove it’s theory that blogging can lead to bad health, or even death.
Why can’t you blame the NYT? The newspaper is a mainstay of traditional media and everyday it "wakes-up" to find another hot new blog–with attention grabbing headlines–chipping away at its readership. It’s not that the Times wants to take pot shots at bloggers, it’s just that it thinks that, by writing controversial articles, it can get a pass to the bloggers’ lounge.
My response was probably not what he expected: "I can’t relate. I nor my bloggers, stress out over blogging. I don’t blog 12+ hours a day, although I do blog at night, if needed."
Of course, I want Marketing Pilgrim to be successful and considered the top internet marketing news site. But, at the expense of my or my writers’ health? No way!
Don’t get me wrong, I’ll "chase the scoop" if the little blighter jumps in front of me and sticks its tongue out. But will I camp out all night in the hopes that I’ll get a glimpse of a scoop? Not when there are 300 thread-count sheets with my name on them (not literally).
Instead, I try to keep my blogging in perspective and under control. OK, so last night I blogged about Yahoo’s AMP development, but that took my less than 20 minutes and I had the TV on in the background. This morning, I woke up around 9am, fixed coffee and breakfast (ok, Mrs Beal did the fixing) and then responded to email. When I finally got to my RSS feeds (and subsequent blog posts) I was relaxed and excited about my writing.
How will the rest of the day pan out? Who knows? I’ll certainly keep my eyes open for breaking news, but I’ll focus on bringing value to the conversation, rather than the desperation that comes from being first.
If you want to be an A-list blogger, you can certainly try the path of 20-hour days, juiced up on caffeine and Red Bull, but that’s not the only path. Instead, figure out how to integrate blogging so that it’s a fun activity in your day. Blog when you have energy and passion, not when embargos lift. And remember, being fast and furious, doesn’t mean you’ll win the race.