Blogging Tip of the Day: Be A Great Failure

The best hitters in baseball fail about 70 percent of the time. The best three-point shooters in basketball miss more than half of their shots. Yet these players epitomize perfection in their fields.

So why is it so different in blogging?

It wasn’t so long ago when blogging was little more than novelty. Few PR and marketing pros knew about it, and those who did couldn’t lift their heads out of Bacon’s long enough to care. Of course some started blogging, and soon others followed. They blazed the early trail that the rest of the field is now stampeding.

This is a good thing overall. While you don’t need to have been a reporter to be a good PR person, you can’t be a good blog consultant if you don’t blog yourself. Blogging is experiential – you can’t learn about it only from conferences and other blogs. It’s not just about being credible when pitching a client, it’s about being able to deliver on your promises of what blogging and the greater social web world has to offer.

What’s not so good, however, is the belief that there is a “perfect” approach to blogging, that all posts should contain a certain standard criteria or that anything less than five posts a day is conduct unbecoming of the blogosphere. If “blogs are people,” as Jeff Jarvis says, then blogs should be just as varied, just as unpredictable, and just as imperfect.

Failure is as much a part of blogging as success – and just as difficult to quantify. Posts I thought would shake the world went virtually unnoticed, yet a passing joke I made about Matt Lauer being gay gets at least a few clicks every day. That’s either a sad comment on the human race or on my writing, but either way it’s not good.

Nevertheless, failure doesn’t stop me from blogging. In fact, I prefer the failure of a blog post to the failure of a newspaper column. Back when I was a columnist and reporter, I had to wait days to redeem myself from a crappy newspaper story, but with my blog I can atone in real time. Blogs are the most forgiving communications tools in history  — they are designed to absorb defeat and encourage endless second chances.

You know, if blogs are people, then maybe those people are moms. No matter how much you screw up or make a fool of yourself, your mom, just like your blog, will always be there to make you feel better.

Oh, and if you’ve made it this far, please forgive me – this was not my best post. But hey, there is always tomorrow.





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3 Responses to Blogging Tip of the Day: Be A Great Failure

  1. John Cass says:

    I disagree I think this was a good post. Something I learned early on in blogging is not to worry so much about making the perfect post. But concentrate on ideas, over time I can evolve an idea with many different posts about the same topic. Or even re-write a post, fourth time around it will be even better.

  2. quirkyalone says:

    Yes I completely agree – blog posts dont’ need to be perfect. I discovered your blog today, and there is much interesting to read. I even subscribed to your feed (which I rarely do!). Thanks, bye

  3. When it comes to blogging; nothing beats experience

    Below the Fold: While you don’t need to have been a reporter to be a good PR person, you can’t be a good blog consultant if you don’t blog yourself. Blogging is experiential – you can’t learn about it only from conferences and other blogs. It’s not jus…

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