Other people will share the same wave, and that’s okay. There’s plenty of room for people to share the same topics.
Watch what other surfers are doing, but don’t be ruled by that. You want to learn from what they do right, but develop your own style.
Know when to stay out of the water. No matter how skilled of a blogger you think you are, some topics are going to hurt you.
You’re going to fall down. Repeatedly. In public. On camera. Don’t delete your bad blog posts, just explain your logic later and keep moving forward.
Tie your board to you. Own your blog – use your own name as your domain name, use an open source blog platform like WordPress, and host it yourself on a site like WP Engine.
Good bloggers make it look easy. Bad bloggers make it look hard.
Some beaches are better than others, and make it easier to ply your craft.
Live near the beach but keep your expenses low.
Have a day job to pay the bills. While you might be able to do this full time someday, it’s not going to happen for years. Don’t do it for the money.
Good equipment is important, but you can’t buy your way to success. If you can’t bang out interesting content in a text editor, a beautiful WordPress theme isn’t going to win people over.
Nobody makes their own boards and wetsuits. Don’t focus on building boards and blogging tools unless you’re going to make a living doing that. Spend the bare minimum of time possible on the tools, and focus on your technique instead.
You have to paddle out. It’s going to take work.
There’s a lot of other people doing it, but it’s a solitary sport. You can talk about it with your friends before and after, but while you’re in the thick of it, you’re working alone.
There’s no winners. Yes, there’s competitions, but those aren’t why you surf. Those are something else.
If you enjoy it, it’s relaxing. If you hate it, it’s going to drive you up the wall – and you’re never going to be great at it. Don’t bother. Find something else you truly enjoy.
And when you stop blogging for a month to recharge, don’t apologize. You’ll be just as good when you get back into the water.
Every single one of these points.
Tangentially related is “Everybody wants to be a bodybuilder, but nobody wants to lift no heavy-ass weights.” to switch metaphors.
Thanks you’ve given me a web page I can link to whenever anyone asks me for general blogging advice.
Post came at just the right time. I printed this out and have it next to my monitors. As always appreciate your hard work and efforts in the community.
Awww, thanks guys!
“And when you stop blogging for a month to recharge” Hope you recharged well. Looking forward to more great stuff like this. Glad to read a new post. Gonna start by trying to help my internal team with more documentation.
Indeed I did! The funny thing is that I wrote this one over a year ago on a vacation in California, and I just forgot to go live with it. Wrote it while watching a bunch of surfers in the morning on Huntington Beach.
I remember you gave me similar advice a few years ago – it’s worked out for me pretty good 🙂 Keep preaching the good word, brother!
[…] Blogging is like Surfing – Brent Ozar […]
Interesting that you say to use your own name.I didn’t even think of that. Might be a lot of work for me to switch over to that, but maybe I’ll consider it. SQLBarbarian … well i figured it fit better than TheUltimateSQLPro… i’m a little rough around the edges but learning 🙂
I started blogging this last year and consider it mostly a personal venture to help me improve my communication on technical issues by having to explain it. I don’t expect a lot of traffic, but figure it’s a worthwhile investment into my career, even if purely because I’m sort of creating an online portfolio of knowledge snippets.
I always read your posts, and find great perspective. Thanks again for contributing back to the community so much.
You’re welcome, glad I could help!