You can read a lot of pieces about why you should blog. This isn’t one of them.
About a year ago, I met a guy at a pub for lunch to talk about recruiting, human resources, social media and Portland beers. The guy was really intelligent, funny and knew his stuff about the world I live in. At the end of the conversation, he handed me a business card and also told me the address of his blog. I wrote it down and put it in my pocket.
A couple of days later, I found the card while cleaning out my shirts in preparation for laundry. I grabbed it and headed over to my computer to take a look at his blog. My eyes slowly glazed over as I read post after post of… well, stuff that would even put me to sleep. It was stiff as a six inch thick board. At first, I had hoped that it was just a post or two but pages into it, I realized it was this way all the way through.
When I called him about an unrelated matter, I also briefly talked to him about his blog:
“So I read your blog…”
“I don’t think it captures you well at all. I would’ve never guessed this is the person I was talking to the other day if you hadn’t handed me this card.”
His marketing team said he should blog. The reason: we have to blog. The other reason: other people are blogging. And so they threw him out there with a WordPress blog, no instruction and a vague directive. With so little guidance, it is amazing he made it that far. He said nobody reads it he probably would stop if his marketing people would allow him to do so.
You might think this post is about getting my new friend educated on how to reach an audience, how to add personality or how to really get the best from it. It’s not. I told him he should do all he can to abandon it. And I told him I would have been more reluctant to meet with him if I had read his blog first. Again, he’s a smart guy and his blog reflected poorly on him (I thought, and he at least agreed with me a bit). He had no desire to work on it, it was a distraction from other business and he could have used that energy elsewhere.
My advice wasn’t taken right away but I noticed they had another writer the last time I checked. I don’t know if the blog is much better but at least his time isn’t being spent on it anymore.
The point being is that you don’t have to blog, especially if your talents are elsewhere. Would Jerry Seinfeld be a great blogger? If his book is any indication, probably not. That doesn’t take away from his brilliant performances though. And if someone has talent in other areas that is better utilized for the company, why try to force the round peg through a square hole?
When someone comes up to me and says “I don’t like blogging or even writing so why should I blog?” I say, “Don’t do it.” It’s pretty simple. Just because someone at a conference says you should blog doesn’t make it right for you. If you don’t like writing but still want to get involved in social media, there are plenty of ways to do it now. No matter what anyone tells you, you don’t have to blog. Period. Full stop.
P.S. Unless that person is your boss of course. You still may be able to reason with them though.