Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Why Do You Blog?

     Late last night I read a blog post written by someone I consider a friend. She spoke of her recent struggle with the good, bad and the ugly of blogging. After seriously considering her words and sending her off a quick email, I went to bed thinking about the topic of blogging.

     The most common question I get when I tell people that I have a blog is, “do you make money doing it”? I find myself trying to explain that while I might make a little (very little) money, that I am much more likely to be given something free from a sponsor. I am most likely to be working lots of hours for free! I try to explain that it is possible eventually to make “real money” but that it takes time and lots of work. “Well, then why do you do it?” is often the next question. I have no doubt that some people would like to tell me to get a real job and quit wasting my education. However, is the only reason we blog to make money? Obviously not.

     Recently my local newspaper advertised for a freelance writer. What should have been my dream job, I ignored. You see my local newspaper has a definite political agenda that goes against everything I believe. I just couldn’t write for an organization like that. So for me, blogging for peanuts is better than writing for a paycheck if I can't write what I want to write.

     When I started my blog 2 years ago this month, I had no idea what I was doing or what direction I would take it. My original goal was to offer some advice and hints that I had learned from over 30 years of marriage and from raising 2 kids. I love to cook, I have a few skills with flowers and entertaining and I like really nice things for a good price. So, my target audience was actually the 20-30 set. However, after 2 years of reading, writing and bonding over blogs…I now have readers of all ages and all skill levels. Some may learn from me, but I also learn from so many others.

     Once I saw that a few people were actually going to read what I had to say, I decided I wanted to work very hard to make it grow. I wanted to be the next Pioneer Woman (she is getting a television show, how exciting). It didn’t take me long to realize that I was no Ree Drummond. I didn’t have the interesting lifestyle, the skill or the time to be the success that she is. Every time my stats started to grow quickly, we had a family emergency and I had to step back for a while. I knew that I would never be able to put the blog first and I also learned that when my life is stressful, creativity goes right out the window.

     So, why do I blog? I blog because I love to write. I also love to share places, foods and creative ideas when I find something that I love. I blog because of the wonderful community of people who support me, inspire me and make me laugh. I haven’t looked at my numbers in several months. I didn’t want to know how bad it got when I stepped back to get through the last of our family losses. I haven’t written as often and I haven’t stuck with the “party of the day” as of late. I’ve just written what I want, when I want and tried to find time to visit blog friends when I can. Guess what? I’m still here and so is my blog. So, thank you for sticking with me. It means more than you will ever know.
Why do you blog?


Unknown said...

Well I am glad you have stuck around. You got to blog for you first and for most, and no one or for nothing else. I also think you have to LOVE blogging otherwise it will show in your post. Thanks for sharing your insight. winks-jen

Barbara F. said...

For me, it started as a lark, a friend kept encouraging me, and to this day, I don't know why. I treat it as a hobby, I treat it as a learning experience, I get inspired in both big and small ways. I have met fellow bloggers whom I probably will never meet face to face, but if an opportunity came my way that I could, there are more than a few that I could break bread with, and talk and laugh an evening away as if we were old buds. I worry about burn-out, I worry about filling my tiny house to overflowing to keep up with tablescapes, nope, not going down that road, keeping myself in check. I really enjoy reading others' posts, too. xo,

Glenda/MidSouth said...

I enjoy your posts - they are "real". I don't know how you have posted as much as you have with the loss of loved ones and as much as you have had to deal with the last couple of years. I started blogging for several reasons - mainly because of my 2 main hobbies, repurposing vintage jewelry and my miniatures/doll houses and small redos around the house and have really steered away from the original reasons. Also, a couple of other reasons, but it would look like I am writing a book. :-D
Enjoy your evening.

Patrice said...

Eventually, I would like to turn it into a business, but right now it's a way to connect with other like-minded people.

Blondie's Journal said...

I could have written this post, Sue. I agree with you on everything. I love to write {and to read}, and I started out thinking I had something to say. I don't really know how to read the stats...I wish someone would do a post on that. But I keep doing it because I have the time and the interest in it. Make money doing it? Not interested. The giveaways are fun enough! ;-D


La said...

Well said, Sue. I blog as an outlet for my more creative side. My job entails working with numbers most of the time. Not much roon for creativity. I enjoy all the friendships I've made with people I would never be able to meet any other way.

Mosaic Magpie said...

I blog for.....that is a tough question. At times I blog to share something I have created. Sometimes to vent over something that has upset me. I have blogged about things that have touched my heart. Mostly, I blog because I have something to say and I love to read the comments!

Leigh Powell Hines said...

This is such a great post, and I'm finding that these types of post come when you need them the most. I originally started doing it because I kind of wanted to get back in my old craft of communications. I'm not sure I have time for it really, but I keep doing it. Thanks for sharing.

Pondside said...

I blog for a creative outlet. I work in a very stressful environment, full of rules and regulations, people in pain and with not much room for individuality. When I put a post together and it touches someone, who then lets me know, I get a lovely rush of contentment.

Red Couch Recipes said...

Well said Sue, I blog because it is fun and I can be the boss. Sometimes I post a lot and sometimes I don't when life gets hectic. I also enjoy the interaction with other people, such as yourself, who are sooo interesting. Joni

xinex said...

I enjoy reading your blog, Sue. You are very talented. I blog because I enjoy it. It's like a diary and I am able to archive my pictures....Christine

Maria said...

Hi Sue!
Super post!
Well, my blog started out as a book club with family. We were going to blog about a book we were reading on living in the present moment...{hence the name Calm Energy} I'm the only one who posted and as time when on, I discovered that I enjoyed sharing. The world became a sweeter place as I found such nice people blogging. Through Sky Watch Friday and other memes like Foodie Friday and Pink Saturday, nature, cooking, baking and discovering simple joys have brightened my days!
Thank YOU, Sue for being one of the first people I "met" out here!
Bless you always,

Duta said...

Writing a blog is not easy, mainly because it requires Time. The day is short, life is short, and sometimes blogging is done at the expense of other things.

Nevertheless, I try to stick to it because I like to write, to take photos, to learn about people in other places on the planet, and last but not least , it improves my English (english is my third language after the native romanian and the acquired hebrew).

LindyLouMac said...

My blog started off as a Newsletter to keep family and friends informed of our great adventure. I started to store it online then gradually it evolved, moved to blogspot and eventually became News From Italy that I enjoy sharing today.

Linda said...

Very well said! Why do I blog...sometimes I have no idea...I started because my sister encouraged me to show my creative side to the world...meet new friends, reconnect with old ones...stay in touch with our spread out family...I think I stayed because I enjoyed writing and sharing myself with others. I am an empty nester who loves to garden and sew and do just about anything creative. It seems as though I have found more in common with people far away from me than in my own area...they understand me...so my blog has changed and I look forward to hearing from gals like you and others I have talked to through our blogs. I have actually met a couple of gals too! Thanks to gals like you...I have become even more creative and have even come out of my shell a little bit!!

Marigene said...

Thanks for keeping your blog alive, Sue!
My friend Kathleen is the one that talked me into blogging...I do it to share tablescapes and thrifty finds. I have found that 99.99% of bloggers are the most wonderful people around.

Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

We blog for the same reasons Sue.

I didn't start the blog to make money. I started after being encouraged by Rhoda (Southern Hospitality) and Kim (Daisy Cottage). Had no idea what I was doing back in March of '07. I just write and take pictures because it is a great little hobby for a senior and I love doing it. I feel it keeps my mind active. I don't know how long I will continue. Just as I started on a whim, I may stop on a whim. Or I might just keep on keeping on:-)

I hope you keep on keeping on too!

Gypsy Heart said...

I have no real idea why I started blogging! It just seemed like a good way to interact with other people, to find out about their lives and culture. Cooking is something I love to do and seeing what others create is fascinating for me. Home decor and craft items are all plentiful too. I am retired and miss the daily social interactions ~ this is another way for me to do that.

I've thoroughly enjoyed learning more about you as well as many other bloggers. I don't have a huge house to decorate or a family to cook for daily but ideas are plentiful and that I like! I have no desire to do the "business" side...it's frustrating to go to some blogs and see tons of advertising. I want to see the meat of the person's interests and activities.

Thanks so much for sharing ~

bj said...

I've never had anyone ask if I "made money" at blogging. They always ask, "are you having fun?"

I never even thought of making money for my blogging. No adds, nothing but down-home account of my life and my family...and my home.
I love blogging. I try to incorporate a little family history into my posts for my kids and grands.
I blog for the PURE FUN OF IT ALL...

I love taking photos..never knew that until I started my blog. Flowers are ok..people aren't what I like to photograph..it's food..making food look really good in a picture is very rewarding to me. It is a lot harder to make the food look GOOD than most people realize. It's fun...:)

Nancy said...

My first blog was a travel blog on a trip to Australia, New Zealand and Okinawa. I really enjoyed sharing what we were doing and finding a way to make it entertaining to those who were reading it. And I loved when I got feedback.
Then a small group of us formed a quilting group. At our first meeting I said that I would blog about our meetings. Who knew that it would expand to an almost daily blog. I love being able to write about what I'm doing, thinking and feeling and I do love the feedback when I get it.
I have met so many really great people through my blog. Not in person but I still feel like I know them.
Enjoy your blogging whenever you get to it.

Angie said...

Great post, Sue! It caused me to realize that my little blog actually turned two this month, too :) It's been great reading your posts over the last two years. I think you bring a lot of insight and perspective into your posts, which are fun and creative, heartfelt and genuine.

When I try to answer your question about why I blog, no one true easy answer comes to mind. I started mostly to learn more about the blogosphere and expand my skill set professionally (though my blog rarely, if ever, creeps into my professional life). As I was thinking about what to write about when I first started, I realized my passion for Minneapolis-Saint Paul was enough to serve as the main focus, though I could certainly infuse my personality and cover other topics as well. I don't do it for the money (I've never so much as advertised), and I don't really do it for the readership (because there definitely aren't that many). At this point, I mostly do it because I know friends and family read the posts, and it's enjoyable to highlight my little life adventures :)

Monica h said...

I would sincerely hope that people don't get into blogging because they're in it for the money. That sounds a little crazy to me.

I originally started blogging because I needed to write down my thoughts and feelings and grieve the loss of my boys. I wrote and wrote and poured my heart out until it became overwhelming to me. I needed a distraction from that and decided to start a recipe/baking blog. In the beginning I didn't post much because I didn't have an audience, then I realized that it was more for me than for anyone else. I've been doing it for almost 4 years and I love it because I've met so many amazing people. Sure I make a little money off it, but not enough to make a living with :-)

Sophie said...

You know, I almost posted a rant about the same day that you posted this. It was a blogging rant, but not about my blogging, but about all the blogs out there that turned from something like yours into the same as every other blog. I mean, honestly, how many "money saving mom in (insert state, city, country here)" do we really need.

Its getting to the point where I open my reader every morning and the hundreds of once super interesting blogs I used to read all say the same thing, every morning, hundreds and hundreds of posts with the exact same deal, coupon or product being pushed.

Okay, yes, a lot of us get pitched some really cool stuff, I just posted the album review for Mat Kearneys album through the O2O network and I know a lot of bloggers have the same offer, but you can mix up the reviews a little, personalize them and then post other stuff too.

I love that you still post about you, your life, the stuffs that you like. I am really, really trying to do the same, which was why I started blogging in the first place anyway. THere is so much out there to share, discuss and ponder that there really is no excuse for posting the same thing as soon as you see it hit someone else's blog.

Ack, okay so I basically just comment ranted, lol. Sorry. I think a lot of us want to be blogging stars, but I am already the star of my offline life and I don't even like the limelight ;)