James Mayes

Blog: When not to blog is just as important

In Blogging, Social Media, Social Recruiting on February 6, 2012 at 7:56 am

when to shut upI see regular posts on why blogging is good, how to get best results, why you should blog often and so on. Thought it might be fun to run through some opposing thoughts I have.

Consider it the art of knowing when to shut up (and yes, I know, I’m aware of the irony of such a post coming from me!).

If it’s PURELY self-promotion/sales

That’s not to say you can’t talk about what your firm does though. I follow a number of blogs from tech companies where the blog is a product-focussed update – what got fixed, what’s being worked on, what ideas they’re testing. I love that – but I don’t want to see “buy my stuff, it’s awesome because…”

If you can’t say it nicely…

Don’t say it at all. Sometimes criticism is valid. Sometimes a blog post is a great way to give feedback. Just remember that what you post will most likely stay out there forever, with your name attached. You want to work with that company or person in five years’ time? Chances are, they’ll have no problem with constructive, well-formed criticism, but may view a hatchet job somewhat differently.

If you don’t care, don’t blog

I hear many people talk about the need to blog regularly, to maintain a link with your readers, meet their expectations. Balls, in my humble opinion. I don’t want to read the stuff you felt you had to write in order to meet your own self-imposed production schedule. I want to read the stuff you care about. Something you believe in, something you think is game-changing, something you’re passionate about, a service you think is worth shouting about. I know you want the same too. I know this because the off-the-cuff posts about something that’s really got me riled or excited? They’re the ones that fly.

Take care when you’re under the influence!

I know many who blog later in the evening, lacking the time during the working day. I’ve been known to write whilst enjoying a quiet glass of wine or two. As with point two though, remember this stuff could stay out there and haunt you. Weigh up whether that post needs to go live right now… or whether it should wait till morning for a quick re-read.

Finally, a caveat and a question. First, I reserve the right to completely ignore my own advice at any time! Second, what did I miss?


  1. I spike a lot of potential posts of mine, after re-reading them the next day. They are either boring, uninformed, unjustifiably offensive , or just plain irrelevant.

    I’ve got several half-written ones sitting there right now.

    I don’t want anyone to read a post of mine, and say “So what?”

  2. 28 is a number of draft posts waiting to be finished and published. They all come as an instant response to the idea I got in my head. Most of them will never make it. Why? Well for the same reasons as Stephen suggests. Nothing beats a good sleep on it. It just doesn’t look that interesting any more. Well I am definitely one of these blog machines producing posts everyday. I would like to blog more often but indeed never for the sake of doing it. My time will come and I will share my stories….

    …..sorry great post James, as always 🙂

    • Sounds familiar Peter. I’ve got a pile of draft posts which I’d like to write up – but that’s not enough, is it? I know from past experience, those I save as draft and never quite get the energy to finish… well, they never really deserve to be published anyway!

  3. Amen James! I can spot a passionately written post vs.a “I have a blog quota to meet” post. There are very few blog posts I read for this very reason.

    I want to know what keeps you up at night, what new shiny object is all rage, what was found through research or personal interaction with someone or something. These is interesting to me and primarily why your blog is one of the few I read.

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