What’s the point? There comes a time when every blogger will ask herself this question.
Creating good content on a consistent basis is hard work and most of us aren’t pulling a paycheck from our posts. So why bother blogging in the first place?
Well, some folks do get lucky. Some bloggers build a massive following and grab the attention of big-name brands. Some bloggers generate enough revenue from ads, sponsored posts, and affiliate links to quit their day jobs.
But most of us do not. But here’s why you should keep blogging anyway.
Blogging can make you a better writer. Writing is a practice. Just as athletes must train to get better at their sport, writers must practice to get better at our craft. Blogs make for a great training field. Blogging has taught me how to be more concise in my writing and taught me how to write faster, even faster than I did as a reporter with the Associated Press! If you set a posting schedule for yourself, blogging can train you to meet deadlines, too.
Blogging can help your writing career. Blogging will only help you as a writer if you’re striving to post quality work. And it’s important that you don’t put out crap just to say you’ve updated your blog for the week. People are paying attention. Your blog could land you a book deal or at least opportunities to write for some of your favorite publications. Case in point, I have a journalism degree from UC Berkeley, but the editors I work with couldn’t care less. Nearly all of the regular freelance gigs I have right now I snagged because I blog. So while I don’t make money directly from my blog, I do get paid for my freelance work and so blogging like crazy is worth it.
Blogging can help you establish an online platform. And you can use this online platform to promote your book or business or to spread ideas.
Blogging can help you find community. Blogging can help you find like-minded people with whom you can wax poetic about your passions or just hang out with and have fun. You thought you were the only 35-year-old black woman in the South who loved comic books, graphic novels, and video games. But then you started a blog about this obsession of yours and now you have a gaggle of geeky gal pals to take with you to Dragon Con.
Blogging can help you position yourself as an expert. As I mentioned, most people don’t make much money directly from their blogs. But your blog is a great way for you to promote your expertise. So use your fitness blog to promote yourself as a personal trainer. Use your fashion blog to promote yourself as a stylist. Take for example, Megan LaRussa Chenoweth, who owns the style coaching service Southern Femme. Chenoweth a top-notch, in-demand image consultant and personal shopper and is also a stylist for several magazines and fashion shows. But Southern Femme actually began as a fashion blog. Chenoweth used SouthernFemme.com to show off her style expertise and soon she went from bloganista to businesswoman.
Why do you blog?
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Each day in November for #bloglikecrazy I’ll be publishing a blog post that answers your questions about blogging, social media, writing, wellness or women’s empowerment. Send your questions to email@example.com.
Back in April 2012 I was told that if I wanted to get tenure I had to stop blogging and using social media. I was astonished–to the point of disbelief at what I was hearing. I pointed out that it’s quite impossible in today’s world for anyone to work in the “mass media,” public relations or marketing without having a social media presence and a blog.
I proceeded to write about this bit of “advice” on one of my blogs. And decided that tenure is of no interest to me, if it means I have to live in a world that’s stuck in 1982.
That’s awful! But honestly, I’m not that surprised. I have a friend who works for a university who was also told she needed to stop blogging and I have a pal who teaches high school who was told the same thing. I am very fortunate to work for a school that fully supports my blogging and other creative endeavors.
I definitely blog for all of these reasons, and because I find it relieves stress! In some ways, it can be like a journal, and especially when others reach out to say they’re feeling the same way about something, it can make you breathe a little easier, knowing you’re not the only one out there.
I completely agree! Blogging is definitely a way to feel less alone (or less crazy). 🙂
The blog and BLC goal of an entry every day is giving me some much needed discipline. I avoided joining the blog-I-verse till now, mainly because of stage fright (Suppose I can’t do it? Suppose I can but I’m completely ignored?) and because of the constant obligation. Well, nothing ventured, nothing gained; I started the blog. I still have the stage fright (although a few people are reading it!) and I’ve learned that writing is an exercise I have to do every day. (If I take one day off, I get blocked.) But it has put me in touch with others and widened my universe. The blog makes me more than a blogger. It makes me a writer-in-training.
I’m so glad you’re getting something out of #bloglikecrazy. Keep up the good work!