On the responsibility of blogging

Blogging carries more responsibility than I would have ever dreamed of. It’s only now that I’m truly realising it…

When I started to write this blog back in the spring, I had three primary motivations:

1) Establish an outlet for the thoughts, theories and speculations that until that point, had been confined between my ears
2) Connect with like-minded marketing types, get some discussion going and start moulding the future
3) Build my brand in the great wide world in order to advance my career to where I want it to be.

And those motivations still hold true. But, in between then and now, something different has happened.

I’ve learnt how much responsibility being a blogger brings.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t get anything like the views that other blogs get. I’m no Seth Godin or Ze Frank in terms of traffic. But I do get views – each of which is deeply important to me.

And, importantly, I have subscribers – subscribers to the blog and subscribers to individual posts. I think that I’ve even got a few RSS feed subscribers too, looking at my traffic sources.

So there are people who care what does on within this blog and want to be kept up to date. Hence the responsibility, and thus the reason I feel bad if I can’t get back to the blog more than once a week or can’t quite ‘hit it’ on a particular day.

There have been days when I’ve been aching for more traffic, and thought up a quick, throw-away post which would be vaguely on-brand but which might get me those extra views. Which, in other words, might just get my name in front of a few more people.

What stops me, however, are the people who have subscribed or are regular returners. I think about them and how they might feel about such an obvious attempt to get more views. About whether going down that path would spoil the gift of their attention. About how I’d feel if the same happened to me (and then remember that it has – the ‘Unsubscribe’ button can be so useful…).

Thanks to these people, I’ve been kept on track when otherwise I might have drifted off-brand for a moment. I’ve got customers now, real customers. Important customers. Subscribed customers. And I owe them.

In other words, their gift of attention and subscription is making me a better blogger. A little give, a little take. The beginnings of a relationship.

That’s deeply exciting. Who could have thought that such a weight of responsibility would buoy rather than drown?


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