Are you going to blog about the Cubs game?
Recently I’ve been going through all of my old blog posts. Ones from 2006, 2007, 2008. The last time I switched hosting and themes I lost all of my featured images (🔝🔝🔝) so I’ve been replacing those. I’ve been updating broken links. I’ve been adding more photos since I used to only post one or two and then link to now-defunct gallery pages for more. I’ve been cleaning up typos, adding alt tags, cross linking, writing meta descriptions. And, wherever possible, I’ve been reworking them to align with my SEO strategy.
Of course, most of the posts are hopeless. They are a few sentences long. They’re so full of vague references and inside jokes that even I can’t figure out what I was talking about. They contain sentences like “OMG!” and “I can’t believe this!” linking to articles that no longer exist on the internet leaving me wondering what, in that moment, I was so excited about.
They’re fragments, stream of conscious thoughts. Filler.
When I started blogging in 2006, social media wasn’t really a thing. Twitter didn’t exist. Instagram and Pinterest were far from debuting. Facebook had barely launched and, in order to get an account at all, I had to set up an alumni email address with my college. There was, of course, MySpace, but I never got into that. So my blog was my place to post, well, everything.
Whereas now if I have photos from a random night at karaoke I will post them on Instagram, back then I would write blog post. Whereas now if I want to share a one-liner about my cats, I will post it on Twitter, back then I would write a blog post. Whereas now if I want to refer to an article about Spanish tapas I found particularly interesting I will save it on Pinterest, back then I would write a blog post. Whereas now if I want to tag a friend or wish them a Happy Birthday I will post it on their Facebook wall, back then I would write a blog post.
My blog was my Facebook, my Twitter, my Instagram, my Pinterest, and, well, my blog.
But then social media came about and, over the years, it grew and grew in popularity. Now I could tweet my stream of conscious thoughts and Instagram my Saturday night. I no longer needed to write a blog post every day. I no longer needed to post every photo to my blog, every thought to my blog, every interesting link to my blog, because I had other mediums that made more sense for those things.
And so, with that, my blog shifted.
Over the past few years I’ve taken to writing more long-form content. I went from writing one or two sentences and a maybe adding a photo or two per post to writing 2,000 plus words and sharing 50 photos at a time. I stopped writing about my every day life and saved blog posts for bigger events: like the Wisconsin State Fair, the Nathan’s hot dog eating contest, adopting cats. And I went from writing about whatever was on my mind to being more thoughtful and doing more and more keyword research to see if I could rank in Google for a particular topic before delving in.
So, usually, now, spending a Sunday afternoon at a street fair or going out to dinner with a friend, no longer makes the cut.
Last week I went to a Cubs game as a work sanctioned event. There were forty of us coworkers in the bleachers and, of those there, approximately 39* of them asked me if I was going to write a blog post about the day. (*OK so maybe it was more like two…)
My first thought was, “no.” No, I wasn’t going to write about going to a Cubs game.
I didn’t really have a story to tell about the day other than the fact that I only went to get the afternoon off of work. And I certainly know nothing about baseball so I’d be pretty useless writing about that. I mean, I didn’t even know who we were playing until I got there (it was the Cincinatti Reds) and had to search the grounds for a full minute before figuring out where on the field the game would actually be played.
I could have possibly written about the ballpark food but I’m pretty broke at the moment so I had to settle for just eating one Hot Doug’s sausage. Not to downplay that sausage, mind you, because it was an unctuous, spicy, cajun andouille topped with cajun mustard, caramelized onions, and Swiss cheese called The Don & Merrily and it was a Hot Doug’s sausage, which we all thought we’d never taste again when the flagship closed in 2014.
But I didn’t load up on hot dogs and pretzels and I didn’t try the Pork & Mindy’s offshoot or gorge on a Cubs Nacho Helmet. I ate a sausage. And one sausage does not a blog post make.
Plus any SEO keywords involving the Cubs or Wrigley Field have way too much competition and are probably dominated by the ESPNs and the official Cubs websites of the world, making them pointless to target.
Any blogger in any blogging Facebook group will tell you that it’s worthless to write about anything that won’t rank. It’s useless to write about anything that no one will see again after a week. It’s absurd to write about anything that isn’t optimized and targeted and marketed and affiliated.
That it’s a waste of time.
So why should I write about going to a “Cubs Game” and seeing the “Chicago Cubs” when the search terms have difficulty scores of 73 and 56 respectively (IE too high for my DA)? Why should I write about the fact that “Wrigley Field Beer Prices” are insane (I didn’t want to spend $10 on a beer nor $6 on a Pepsi so I somehow decided that spending $10.50 rum and Coke ahem Pepsi was a good compromise…) when that search term only has a search volume of 70, which is far too low to target?
Why should I write about the fact that it rained up until the moment the game started, stayed clear for ten innings, and then started up again the moment the game ended? Why should I write about the fact that our company’s name was put up on the Jumbotron among the other welcome and congratulatory messages and that we all cheered and celebrated? Or that I was shown on the Jumbotron (well, behind someone on the Jumbotron but I was in there) in a brief moment of glory? Why should I write about the fact that we all put our arms around each other to sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” in a seventh inning stretch or celebrated to “Go Cubs Go” at the end of it all? Why should I write about going to Sluggers (or favorite skee ball bar) afterwards and dancing to all of the songs?
Why should I write about any of those things when no one is searching for any of those things?
And why should I write about the fact that we were tied at the bottom of the ninth inning and then won with a home run at the bottom of the tenth when a Google search will tell you that in a featured snippet without you ever having to leave the results page?
So no, I’m not going to write a blog post about going to a Cubs game because it’s worthless and useless and absurd to write about something like that, something that I could reserve for a tweet and an Instagram story, something that won’t find a place on Google rankings, something that probably, after a week, no one will ever read again.
Because what’s the point to writing something like that?