Traders and coaches are quick to mention the positives of blogging in relation to trading but few ever mention the negatives. Below are some issues I've encountered.
positives that can turn into negatives
- "Compiling" of Ideas = Endless bellyaching about tiny aspects of trading, resulting in the constant reinvention of the wheel. Just choose a method and leave it alone, once you've built some numbers up you can start faffing around with it.
- "Record" of progress = Can quickly turn into over-analysis. Yes, record your trade in your spreadsheet, take a screenshot and write a quick comment, even put it on your blog if you want to. But don't think "analysing" each trade for 45 minutes will reveal the holy grail of profitability. Trades should be viewed collectively not individually, your KPIs will tell you what you need to do, your profound thoughts and reasoning will not.
- "Communication" with other traders = Right, this never fucking happens. You may get the occasional comment from some knobhead in Alberta however, you have no idea whether they are genuine or qualified. Stop being cheap and get a coach.
- "Accountability"= More often than not turns into neurosis and can intensify unwanted behaviours you're blind to.
If you aspire to be a trader you will naturally have a high opinion of yourself; you have to think you are better than 90% of everyone else. Therefore keeping a blog...
- Plays to your already large ego: In trading, you need to learn to be wrong, your blog is a place you can always be right, that's an issue.
- Distracts from the main goal: Trading your plan, recording your trades, building your numbers up and learning your KPIs. You could write a blog about all this but you won't. You'll write a blog about how the markets make you feel and your bottom line doesn't give shit about this.
- Becomes an addictive hobby: Let's be honest, trading is boring, in some ways blogging is far more entertaining and rewarding (hits, shares, likes). But do you want to write a successful blog about unsuccessful trading, or do you want to be a successful trader?
- Distracts from rest: To trade well you need to be able to switch off. If in every waking minute you're not trading, you're agonising about it on your blog you're hardly going to have any perspective when you return to the charts.
- Ruins your trade plan: The need for continuous content requires time and too much thinking which often results in you overcooking your strategy (reinvention of the wheel syndrome).
- Distracts you from the truth: To trade successfully you really have to understand your personality traits. Keeping a blog about your own little world will not help you discover them (I'm talking from experience). You have to figure these out: Your happiness, not your trading must come first; as without the former, you cannot have the latter. You may not even be cut out for trading.
- Stops you from doing what should be done: Should you write another post about how you feel, or just do the fucking Tharp Trader Test you've been putting off for months? Should you write another post on how you want to "experiment" with your trade plan, or should you spend the time recording your numbers properly (MFEs and MAEs included)?! Your blog is a tertiary addition to your trade routine, it doesn't replace any of it and it's the lowest on the list of priorities!
From following trading blogs for eight years what I've noticed is those that "make it" post far less often, or give it up entirely. While those that aren't making any money generally post prolifically. Personally, I've found the less I post the more successful my trading is, which makes sense. I focus on my trading when I'm trading and my life when I'm not.