Why I Blog…

So after the past few weeks it seems like blogging has become a bit of a dirty business and a world of in-fighting. That has led to a few giving up and an even greater number thinking about jacking it in, myself included. So I thought before any decision is made I would explain why I blog and my stance on a few key issues.

I have never came into this field looking for any paid writing work, I have been approached by various outlets and blogs to write up certain things. I chose the ones that I wanted to do and the ones I didn’t want to do, I have actually turned down two betting sites who offered money because I do not do match reports or I didn’t like their site.

I started TheFootyBlog because I love football and thought this was an ideal way of getting certain points across and for me it does that. I also started it with a plan of getting into sports production and documentary making in mind, so the videos on here will one day be part of a showreel. That is it… No ulterior motive, I am not here to steal jobs or getting my name in the papers or voice on the radio, although should that opportunity ever arise I will consider it (not the stealing jobs part).

Certain journos out there seem threatened by our existence, one going on twitter asking what my contacts are like compared to his?

Well they wont be as big but my contact list is pretty healthy as I do work in production already and I have no problem in picking up a phone. Point I made to him was that unlike him I wasn’t offering interviews or transfer stories everyday and to be honest I didn’t want to be doing that either. I look at footballing stories and events that interest me and I give my own spin on things.

Journalists have also in the past had a go at bloggers for being ‘Copy and Paste Merchants’ well this is true of a few bloggers out there and its a practice that I totally disagree with. But as a profession don’t take the moral high ground when you do the exact same thing to a blogger. What SKY and their syndication buddies did to Les Rosbif (They basically stole Gav’s work in my opinion and did not give him a proper link) was just as bad as any blogger copying and pasting. They brushed it under the carpet with excuses such as ‘Its been done that way in the trade for years’. Yeah as was phone-hacking it seems, so it doesn’t make it right. Then there was the ‘We were first football website so we set the standards’ Eh no you don’t, thats not how life works. The Star has been here for a longer time than my blog but it doesn’t set my standards on what I should write about. They claimed by just saying the sites name ‘Les Rosbif’ that was enough of a credit but that doesn’t explain who or what Les Rosbif is!

The fact is in an ideal world they would have emailed Gav and asked if they could use some quotes and I am sure he would have happily agreed as long as he got a link back to his site. For me it was just a matter of manners and respect, plus surely they would like to check the story was above board with the author anyway. Be in no doubt I fully stand behind Gav for the stance he took on this subject.

Now we get to bloggers who work for media organisations for free. Now I personally wouldn’t do a weekly column for a newspaper or big website for free every week but here is something I believe in since I was a child… Everyone deserves the option to make their own decisions. If someone gets offered such a chance and they believe that it could be good for them and their websites then good luck to them. They certainly don’t need to be bullied on things like twitter. Newsflash for all those saying it will put journos out of jobs… Young inexperienced journalists write to editors all the time offering their services for free! They may get their expenses paid for but thats about it, they just want to get noticed and their feet in the door. Also look at those bloggers that get used in such schemes, they have niches. The newspapers in question want to fill up space online but would never pay for Brazilian, French or Italian content every week. It provides the writer with a good name on the CV and a link to their website which should increase hits and make the blogger’s websites more attractive to advertisers.

For those that say they should say no as it takes jobs away from us… If they say no, can you guarantee they will get a better chance of paid work down the line or will they be seen as trouble makers? The media industry is a cut throat business and full of long memories.

Now should I carry on…. The videos are a success and they were a reason I started doing this. The podcast is popular, Brent and myself enjoy doing it and we learn so much every week. My writing isn’t the best but its honest and gives a view that others don’t, so I am happy with that. Twitter can be a funny wee world but then I see the great things people, like Tom Hall and his Blogathon succeeding for charity. So there are positives.

But then I look at the in-fighting, the ones who say they are standing for a ’cause’ (No you are not, you are standing up for yourselves and looking for attention since you are not open for debate) and the cliques that are growing and growing in our footballing community and I start to think whats the point?

108 Responses to “Why I Blog…”

  1. My thoughts on the matter…


    All thoughts are very much welcomed.


  2. Free labour is only inherently wrong if those who are working unpaid are doing so unwillingly… That’s just my opinion.

  3. The chaps from SF don’t particularly like me, nor will they like the fact that I do some work for free.

    I also get paid by a few big companies for my writing, fortunately enough that I can afford to move back to Argentina to freelance, something I’m planning for September.

    I would not have got my paid gigs were it not for the free stuff, this is for sure. Similarly, being at uni, I know that to have on my CV the names of several large media outlets by the time I finish will be hugely beneficial if I were to apply for jobs in journalism. Having my appearance on BBC five live on there (yes I know it’s paid but that’s not pertinent to this point) wouldn’t have come about were it not for my other work.

    My friends studying law (as well as other things) or similar have done free internships in a hope of enhancing their post-uni prospects come June: Whether my efforts have been fruitless – and my free work a waste of my time – it is too soon to tell, but I see writing a fortnightly article for the Mirror (who’d otherwise not have any South American content) as a risk worth taking and one of the journalistic equivalents of the aforementioned internships is occasionally contributing for free.

    That’s my two cents. I think Callum is right to an extent, but whereas people tend to classify them as journalists or bloggers; I am a blogger who gets paid for his writing and would like to be a journalist. Where does the grey area end? I’m accredited to cover Man Utd vs Benfica on Tuesday, you can’t do that simply by being a blogger, yet I’m not a full-time journo.

  4. Very well put Ed & good luck with everything.

  5. http://www.surrealfootball.com/2011/11/21/a-history-of-violence-part-cix-a-message-to-the-blogging-community/

  6. As genuinely fascinating as this whole debate is – I can’t see either side budging from their stances so the constant personal abuse is very unnecessary.

    When this was heating up the other week I said to Scott via Twitter that the idea of being paid for my writing seemed so alien to me. 

    I never started blogging with the idea of making money – it just so happens though that my writing has finally given me some direction, for the first time in years I know what I want to be doing for a living. Now I write for the enjoyment, for the debate that comes with it – with a constant look out of the corner of my eye for any opportunity that may come along that offers me a job.

    I told Scott I was happy with my current arrangement. Through my blog I’ve had incredible exposure. ITV.com, The Guardian, World Soccer, and currently a fairly regular piece in the Nottingham Evening Post.

    Certainly, these are companies who could afford to throw a few quid my way. But ignoring the fact that I don’t have enough confidence in my writing to even consider asking for payment – i know that if I turned down work over money, I’m not sure I could deal with the regret if I then had to see someone else’s name on a piece where my name should’ve been. I’m immensely proud of the opportunities I’ve forged for myself.

    I don’t particularly think anything I’ve been asked to produce has taken food off anyone’s plate because I’m essentially only asked for a fan’s point of view. Last I checked – that sort of thing didn’t require qualifications. 

    I think a lot of people find themselves in a similar position to myself, with the same stance towards their own writing. And whilst some might not openly admit it – i’m happy to say this whole situation has given me a lot to think about. I won’t suddenly become a mercenary whoring my work out to the highest bidder (not for a second that I believe this could EVER happen) – but I will watch from the sidelines and see how things develope. Does anyone consider themselves a suitable applicant to stand up for the small time bloggers?

    In an ideal world things would obviously be different. As things are, I don’t see things changing any time soon.

  7. Thanks for all the kind comments.

  8. […] in 2011, I wrote a piece about why I blogged. It was titled ‘Why I Blog‘. That particular article got the biggest ever response, in terms of […]

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