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What Does It Really Mean to Blog?

What Does It Really Mean to Blog?

Students internet computer addiction sitting bench

Andrew Sullivan, blogging pioneer and Blogger-in-Chief at The Daily Dish, retired from blogging in the ‘near future’.

One of blogging’s most unique voices, Sullivan has been sharing his conservative political views since 2000.

He has written newsworthy posts throughout his 15 years as a blogger. He admitted to being wrong about the Iraq war and shared his thoughts about marriage equality, live-blogging about the Green Revolution for a month in 2009, and wrote a lot about Barack Obama.

He also formed a bond with his readers that he was able to share the politics of his own life – getting married to his husband, getting his green card, and getting his heart broken when Dusty passed away.

It is this kind of relationship forged with readers that makes Sullivan a legend in his own right.

A lot of people may not be familiar with Sullivan, but people who matter in his field do. Ta-Nehisi Coates, Noah Smith, and other luminaries in the political blogging world have acknowledged and paid respects to Sullivan’s departure.

As a guy who has never heard of Sullivan prior to writing this interview, I do not want to undersell his accomplishments of inspiring a wave of socially and politically conscious bloggers and entertaining the intellectual readers. That said, I would like to refer you to this wonderful piece by Tyler Cowen who provides a succinct but effective retrospective of Sullivan’s blogging career.

What does blogging really mean?

To those who aren’t familiar with Sullivan’s work (myself included), you are probably more familiar with bloggers within your fields of interests.

As a blog oriented towards marketing, BlogHerald has featured lots of tips on how to make money through blogging and the best practices to achieve this goal.

We have featured posts from Neil Patel, Brian Dean, Darren Rowse and other successful marketing bloggers to help you become even better bloggers. You may have been familiar with these guys even before learning about BlogHerald.

But it took Sullivan’s departure from blogging for me to gain a deeper understanding as to what blogging truly means in the simplest sense.

Blogging is about the sharing of ideas.

It is about reaching out to an audience that looks to read.

It is about building a beautiful relationship with online readers that you can treat as your family.

More importantly, blogging will supplant your real life as you tirelessly to write posts and engage with your audience.

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The last point is really telling of what blogging is all about. Sullivan is stepping away from blogging for the same reason – he wants to spend more time with his family instead of his laptop.

Success comes at a price. As with Sullivan, he was able to become one of the most influential political bloggers. However, he may have had put his family and husband aside just to get a couple of posts done.

When driven to succeed, you will find yourself burying your nose on your laptop, finding ways on how to enrich your engagement with readers with the type of content your write. This is the easy part.

The difficult part begs to be asked: are you willing to make blogging your first priority?

Striking that balance between real life and your blog is possible. Some would even make the argument that it’s just the matter of being strong and having the will to carry the load. But I’m sure you know that you can do more with your blog if you can spend more time with it.

There’s a chance Sullivan will blog his way back to relevance. But this is what happens when you take blogging all too seriously. It consumes you. You’ll probably have to quit to get back the life you left before you blogged.

Question now is, when will that day come?

More on blogging:

An Artist’s Guide to Blogging

4 Ways to Ensure Readers Trust Your Business Blog

View Comment (1)
  • What resonates most with me is the message that blogging consumes you – and the idea that sometimes you have to take a step back so that you can live your life in the world, rather than on the laptop. It’s funny how we crave attention, engagement, and interaction – the literal foundation of blogging and social media in general – and then end up turning off our push notifications about a week after they become exciting.

    Don’t get me wrong: I love a full inbox, a the rhythmic vibration of Twitter, and always having someone to respond to. But sometimes you have a particularly successful piece of content and spend your whole day responding, when all you want to do is celebrate over a glass of wine and watch some Netflix.

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