To do good writing, read good writing. Here’s the good writing I’ve been reading this week:
Have you noticed? Bloggers are getting burned out. They’ve been at it for a couple years or more, and for one reason or another aren’t happy with the results. So they’re questioning why they’re blogging and deciding to shake things up. Some are getting out of the racket of taking freebies in exchange for promoting a company’s brand. Others are taking a breather to re-evaluate their blogging commitment. Or they’re quitting altogether.
A few examples:
- In Brutal Honesty & a New Marketing Manifesto, One Woman Marketing blogger Kelly Kautz openly shares how she let the chase for search engine glory steer her away her original reasons for blogging and what she’s going to do differently going forward.
- In There’s an Evolution in the Blogosphere, on Engage:Moms, mommy blogger and author Maria Bailey calls out the bloggers who’re killing themselves to become brand ambassadors at the expense of their families, and without seeing enough monetary rewards.
- I Quit Blogging Yesterday (In Pursuit of Happiness) – In the end, self-help blogger Britt Reints reconsidered – being named one of the top 100 self-help blogs may have helped – and only quit for a day. But she says the episode convinced her to make changes to what she was doing (and got lots and lots of comments).
If you’re on the verge of burning out, read this: Dear WordCount: I’m bored with blogging, should I quit?
Here’s what else I’ve been reading this week:
I Was a Warehouse Wage Slave (Mother Jones) – This account of what it’s like to work inside those massive warehouses that online retailers use to house inventory and fill orders ran in the magazine’s March/April issue, but I only found it this week. Read this for an excellent example of how to mix first-person writing with background information on a subject. And read it because it’s damn good writing. So good, writer Mac McClelland won a feature storytelling award from the Society of Professional Journalists’ Northern California chapter.
Killing Your $1,000 Grocery Bill (Mr. Money Mustache) – I’m not sharing this because the writing is so great. It’s OK. I’m sharing as an example of a post that gets comments – A LOT of comments. MMM wrote this post on how to feed your family on $1 to $1.33 per serving per meal back in March and the comments are still coming in – more than 200 of them so far. And they’re not flame war comments – they’re thoughtful, information sharing, we’re-all-in-this-together-so-here’s-my-recipe-for-cheap-soup comments. We all should be so lucky.
A guide to (info)graphic Petraeus explainers (Poynter) – Some stories are best told visually. Case in point: the tangled web of spies and the women who loved them (or at least hung out with them) that is l’affaire Petraeus. BuzzFeed (see above) is one of many news outlets that used diagrams or other infographics to help explain who did what.
As Not Seen on TV (New York Times) – This restaurant review of Food Network star Guy Fieri’s new NYC eatery has launched heated debates over everything from what constitutes a good review and the merits of reviewing bad restaurants to how to tell if a reviewer has a grudge, and when it’s OK to write in second person.
SEC filings master class (BusinessJournalism.org) – Call me a stats geek, but there’s nothing quite like diving into a 10K or 10Q to see what a company’s really been up to. Financial journalist and Footnoted blogger Michelle Leder recently taught a master class on how to find stories in SEC filings, and in case you missed it, BusinessJournalism.org – the website of the National Center for Business Journalism at ASU – put the whole thing online.