This is a tough subject to tackle for me, because I don’t want to come across as a prima donna, arrogant or all-knowing. I am none of these things.
But it’s time to talk about mediocrity in blogging.
My first exposure was back in April. I had just recently started my “mom blog” and I was super excited to participate in 5 Minutes for Moms’ Ultimate Blog Party. Here was a chance for me to read hundreds, or even thousands, of blogs. A chance to get inspired. A chance to see how high the bar was being set. A chance to connect with other bloggers who I admired.
I spent a week poring over hundreds of blogs. I couldn’t believe what I was finding. Boring. Mundane. Average. Messy. Prattling. I found maybe 4 or 5 that I felt had some level of quality.
I followed a lot of blogs that week, because that’s what I was supposed to do. I came away from it all feeling a bit dirty. I didn’t like most of the blogs. I came away feeling dejected.
Where was the excellence in blogging? Yes, I understood that the “big” bloggers don’t have to go to these sorts of blog parties, but where were the hidden gems, the undiscovered talent, the fabulous writers clawing their way to the top?
As I’ve progressed in my blog journey, I’ve found many great blogs. Funny blogs, dreamy blogs, beautifully written blogs, provocative blogs. The owners of these blogs have become friends and inspiration. But the only thing I’ve CONSISTENTLY found are mediocre blogs.
Am I the arbiter of All Things Mediocre In Bloggyland? No. Do I think my blog is fantabulous ?No. I am humbled and awed on a daily basis by the bloggers I follow regularly – their ability to massage a word into something so perfectly descriptive, their ways at both making me laugh and feel moved at the same time, their brilliance in turning a mundane or brief moment into something so palpably readable. There are so many who are good.
And more who are not. Some of these become hugely successful.
I’ve always told my friend Alexandra that there are two reasons blogs become successful:
1. The blog is cream, and cream rises to the top.
2. The blog is not cream, but people have been led to BELIEVE it is cream.
It’s like Starbucks. It’s probably not the BEST coffee you’ll ever have in your life, but it’s there, it’s available, it’s well marketed and there’s always buzz about it. It’s cool to like Starbucks.
So my questions to you, blogger friends, are these:
Do you believe that mediocre blogging is the rule, rather than the exception? If so, why do we tolerate it?
Is it because mediocrity is subjective? Is it because blogging is about MORE than just writing – it’s communicating AND connecting – we start to like the person, not just the writing? Is it that we’re afraid we’ll be deemed mediocre ourselves?
And how do we raise the bar?
I’m anxious to hear your thoughts.