Football. It’s a lot like blogging. It used to be the hobby of various undesirables who spent their weekends locked in running battles throughout the town centres, now it’s the preserve of reasonable professionals with Sky TV subscriptions.
Ok, maybe blogging never had the same hooligan problem as association football. But it is suffering from the same modern maladies as the beautiful game. There might be less diving, no referees to argue with and a lack of salmonella-ridden pies, but you’d better beware of the following footballing evils.
Tim Lovejoy. The archetypical modern football fan. Doesn’t understand the game, doesn’t go to matches, doesn’t have the foggiest idea what the words burbling out of his smug face actually mean. He represents the first of football’s evils. Falsely assuming a position of authority.
If you’ve set yourself up as the leading mind in your field, the go-to-gal in your niche or the mastermind of your very own specialist subject, you’d better be able to back it up. Otherwise you’ll be found out. You’ll claim that Johan Cruyff is your favourite ever player, then admit to never having seen him kick a ball. And you’ll look like a fool. And people will stop taking you seriously.
After that, you’ll end up lurking on some cookery forum, trying to rebuild your reputation.
The Hype Machine
Ever watched Sky Sports News? Every single development is EARTH SHATTERING. Whether it’s Wayne Rooney ruling himself out of international duty due to an ingrowing nose hair, or the latest from Stoke City 0-0 Birmingham City, they’ll pretend it’s the biggest event since a few Germans decided to have an impromptu sledgehammer and re-unification soiree.
Don’t fall into this trap yourself. Not every development is a game changer. If you stand on the rooftops hailing the next Yahoo Meme as a guaranteed Twitter killer, or proclaim to the masses that Google Wave has rendered email obsolete, you’ll look like a berk. Don’t get egg on your chin. Stay sane and sensible, and don’t install a news ticker on your blog.
History Began in 1992
Despite what Sky want you to think, history didn’t begin in 1992. Liverpool aren’t a small club because they’ve “Never Won The Premiership(tm)” – they won every other league title for two decades.
Likewise, you deciding that “blogging is all about talking to your audience” isn’t as groundbreaking as you think. That was true of magazines, books, Roman graffiti and prehistoric cave art. Just because the packaging has changed doesn’t mean the product is significantly different. Bear that in mind, or people with long memories will start to lose confidence in you.
Talk to any football fan, and sooner or later the conversation will turn to money. Wages, transfer fees, debts – these are now as prevalent in pub conversations as goals, tackles and why singing the national anthem REALLY LOUDLY is the key to international success. And it’s boring.
Likewise, when you spend every second paragraph hawking your wares, plugging your affiliates or telling us how much you charge per word, you’re going to bore people. So keep it to a reasonable level. Money ruined football – don’t let it ruin your blog too.
I admit, I’ve got nothing for this one. I just wanted to use the picture.
If it wasn’t clichéd, Andy would apologise for not posting in August, citing back to back illnesses and the start of the football season. But it is clichéd, so he’ll just suggest you follow him on Twitter.