Ok I’ve moaned about this enough on Twitter, I’m writing this short post on the matter then I’ll drop it. This is something that hasn’t sat well with me since I started this blog – fraud, misdirection, fakery and success in the face of complete and utter incompetence.
Do you need writing skills to be a successful blogger?
Humour me – allow me a metaphor
Imagine, if you will, any industry other than blogging. Brain surgery for example, that’ll help my point here. Ok so there’s a brain surgeon, let’s call her Nigella. Nigella does not have any medical qualification, nor does she even attempt to learn the basics of her profession. She goes to theatre, perhaps even twice a day, and performs brain surgery.
Nigella fucks the process up every single time without fail. Her peers spot it – they may even roll their eyes mid-operation. Largely though, people see the results of the op and they’re absolutely baffled at how Nigella has won all kinds of awards from medical bodies. Recently Nigella attempted to autograph the brain of a patient with a Bic biro because her ego was so inflated with false praise. She didn’t even spell her name right. The patient died. Nigella won an award for that operation.
Now imagine the only way Nigella’s success was propagated was through a select handful of her peers constantly and shamelessly shouting about how great Nigella was in the operating theatre. Other hospitals would get wind of this praise and offer Nigella higher paid positions. Nigella would get so used to living the lie that she actually started to believe she was talented.
This might all sound very harsh, but trust me, Nigella is no stranger to writing similar things about other surgeons, can you believe that?!
Enough of the metaphor. Do you need writing skills to be a successful blogger?
No. No you do not. Some of the top bloggers (by any measurement) write like someone’s sprayed dog pheromones on a keyboard and let Fido go to town on it with his little lipstick. Throw in a few “inspirational, empowering, lush, life-affirming” buzz words and you have a really erm, honest, type of post.
Painful. I’ve touched on some of this before with my Problem with Blogging post.Some of the top bloggers (by any measurement) write like someone's sprayed dog pheromones on a keyboard and let Fido go to town on it with his little lipstick. Click To Tweet
If you want to make a living from blogging but you’re hampered by a lack of skill (or even ability) then you’re going to have to sell your soul to group DM chats where you promise future favours for current retweets. It’ll always feel hollow, you’ll always be annoying people who are obliged to share the badly written posts. I’ve often seen a blog post retweeted multiple times and I’d rather taste the sweat off a dead cat’s balls than read it, but 20 retweets? It’s clear they’ve been on the beg, or in a pod. Maybe it’s a post about Iceland’s frozen foods from a feminist dad blogger, or a parenting blog advertising funeral services. You’ll spot them, everyone does, but they pretend not to.If you write good posts then people will retweet it, share it, like it. If you write shit and lower yourself to personally beg for the likes and shares just so you look good, then it's blindingly obvious what you're doing. Click To Tweet
Why do you even care, Mark?
Great question – why do I care? Well, partly it’s the injustice of it all. There are genuine people who want to make a go of blogging for a living (not me, this isn’t about me), and they don’t get a chance because of these big bloggers spewing their half-thought-out and ill-transcribed thoughts.
I’m not talking about all big bloggers, clearly. You’ll have your own thoughts on who it is but generally, yes – your instinct is right.
Also – if you’re a blogger reading this, have a think about how you really want bloggers to be looked at. Currently they’re seen as “wannabe writers” or “pretend journalists” from people outside of the blogging world. Tony Stark himself said it in Spiderman Homecoming: “there are journalists behind that door, proper journalist…not bloggers”.
Anyway screw it. At the end of the day I’m not directly affected – I just hate that some of my friends are. Seeing bloggers rally round people like Nigella and offer their retweets really reminds me of how people suck up to Trump just because he’s in a position of power. It’s weak.
Is a retweet really worth that much if all the person does is retweet shit, every day, ALL DAY? No it isn’t – most have them on mute anyway.