The ideal

Will Blogging Be The Death Of You?

Within the last few months 2 prolific, high-profile bloggers have died from massive heart attacks, another suffered a major heat attack but survived. While we can’t very well say that blogging killed them, it’s entirely possible that the stress caused by the demands of blogging contributed to their heart attacks.

Casual bloggers may find it difficult to equate their hobby with fatal stress levels, but those who blog for a living are only too familiar with the all-consuming need to constantly feed the online machine.

Many professional bloggers work from home, often round the clock, as they try to find news and submit content before any other blogger does . In their article, “In Web World of 24/7 Stress, Writers Blog Till They Drop”, refers to this phenomenon as the “digital-era sweatshop.”

Bloggers have long been complaining about the unreasonable amount of stress that they labour under, but the comments have been made mostly in jest. The sudden deaths of Russel Shaw and Marc Orchant have changed that, and resulted in bloggers analysing their blogging habits, and worrying if they too are working towards an untimely demise.

Michael Arrington, who founded the technology blog TechCrunch, says that he’s gained 30 pounds (13.6kg) and has developed a severe sleeping disorder as he works to maintain his site’s credibility and good reputation. He says that when your world consists of blogging, there is never any time that you’re not worried that you’re missing out on something. He also says that he’s certain that at some point he’ll have a nervous breakdown or that something else will happen to him as a result of the hours that he works.

If someone who is as established and successful as Arrington is bowed beneath the stresses of working online, you can imagine the weight on a newcomer’s shoulders. When you’re starting out as a blogger it’s unlikely that you’ll earn more than $10 a post. So you put in the hours and become prolific out of necessity, you then remain prolific to maintain your audience. Readers crave news and they’re fickle. They go where the news is, and if another blogger has beaten you to a topic, even by seconds, you’ll lose your audience, you’ll lose links and you’ll lose money.

That is why bloggers work all hours trying to keep their posts interesting and fresh. They eat badly and develop sleep disorders because they don’t believe they can afford to be away from their computers for even a nanosecond. Bloggers don’t even risk going on holiday in case their audience wanders over to someone else in their absence.

Blogs are known to attract large numbers of internet visitors; this is due to the very fluid nature of blogs. Blogs are dynamic and constantly changing with new information, they are more personable than a website because of the two-way interaction enabled by blog post comments, and often blogs are more truly reflective of the business because they are written and edited by the business owners themselves.

Blogs allow for so much flexibility. You can post the latest news broadcast for a business event, within minutes of a decision being made. Links, text, video and voice are easily added to your blog, without you needing any real background knowledge in web design or web codes or language. Yet if you do have a little in the way of basic skills with HTML or CSS, then you can enhance your blogs even further.

The authors of blogs become a part of a huge blogging community, connecting very easily with each other because of the blogging experiences that they share in common. Take a look at the bottom of any blogs at our home site, and you’ll see a few examples of the types of communities to which bloggers attach themselves.

All the links that you place at a blog are a link back to that site, and is very quickly picked up by the search engine spiders. Search engines such as Google and Yahoo love blogs because of their constantly changing, and very recently, published content. Personally, I like to use Blogger because Google owns it, however I am not very certain of whether you are given preference in the search engines for that reason. I often like to think so!

There are so many sites you could explore if you’re considering starting your own blog. A few of these you can see listed at a post dated in July, at our main blog. Most blog services are one hundred percent free, which is also very enticing for start up businesses particularly.

A great way to increase traffic at your blogs is by visiting other blogs and commenting at their posts. That too is a link back to your business site or blog. Your credibility in the blogging community is heightened if you have your own blog and if the comments left at other business blogs are genuine and informative, or provide constructive feedback.

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