As part of a recent talk I gave recently about blogging, I reflected on the reasons we blog, and why we stick with it. I felt this element deserved some more focused attention, so thought I'd share it here!
Why do we blog?
1. Self expression - Some of us have a natural desire or need to express our internal reflections. I have a box of diaries I wrote from age 10-25, that documents my own experience of needing to express myself (even if no one reads it). Others may paint, dance or sing. Bloggers write.
2. To create - I took many years to realise I was a creative person. I used to box myself in as a logical person. Someone who was analytical and scientific. However, I've come to understand that creativity comes in many guises, and my blog is a creative outlet for me.
3. To be heard - Publishing your thoughts and experiences online give a value to your voice, and being heard makes us feel worthy. The experience of someone telling you that they read your ramblings offers a unique validation of self.
4. To connect to others - blogging can build bridges to corners of the world in ways you'd never imagined. We can discover that we are not isolated, alone and that there are others like us. Blogging can bring you a special social circle, whether you end up meeting in real life or not.
5. To create a personal log or record - having the ability to look back on your life, or access your past from any device that connects to the internet is a modern phenomena that is pretty astounding.
1. To market something - you may be marketing yourself as a brand/blogger, or a business you run. Blogs are great platforms for self promotion. Google loves us.
2. To help others and make a difference- you may have a message or campaign that you'd like to spread. You may want to help others struggling with something you have overcome, or share political ideas.
3. Establish expert status - Similar but slightly different to marketing something, you may want to establish yourself as the go-to expert in a topic.
4. To make money - There is no shame in blogging to make money - there is money to be made. The majority of bloggers (over 80%) never make over $100, but many blogs are not monetised at all. Most books never make money either, but it doesn't stop authors publishing. The cream rises to the top and all that.
There are definitely worse ways to spend your free time; blogging is cheap and generally offers something of value in return for investment of time. However, unless your blog pays yours bills, ease up on yourself. The world won't stop if you don't blog to schedule, or your photos aren't up to par. Relax, and remember why you blog in the first place.