People think that bloggers simply sit in coffee shops, tap away on their laptops and wait for the ad revenue/promotional opportunities/book deals to come rolling in, but the reality is that blogging is much harder work than most people realise.
It takes strategy, planning and a lot of time to create and maintain a successful blog, and relatively few bloggers make a living from it – so why start a blog, if it’s such hard work and there’s no guarantee of success?
Reason #1: for the love of it
In the few months since I started Poetymology, I’ve met many other bloggers and the one thing they all have in common (even though they write about different subjects and have different goals) is passion.
The best blogs on any given subject will undoubtedly have been written by passionate people. Writing about something you love makes the job of blogging much easier and your enthusiasm will come across in your posts, which should hopefully lead to better engagement from your readers.
Reason #2: to boost your creativity
Blogging is a brilliant creative outlet because it encourages you to explore ideas and express yourself freely. Even if you don’t blog about a conventionally creative subject (e.g. art, music, poetry), you still have to think creatively to come up with great content – and the more content you create, the more creative you’ll have to become.
When I decided to start blogging about poetry, I thought it would be a great way to reignite my creative spark; this has certainly been the case so far! By committing to writing posts on a regular basis, I’m spending more time coming up with ideas for poems than I would have if I didn’t have a blog to motivate me, and I feel more creative than I have in years!
Reason #3: to share what you know
Knowledge is power, but it’s only truly powerful when it’s shared with others. Whether you’re an expert in a particular subject or you create original work, you have something to offer and it might just be the exact thing that someone is looking for.
The blogosphere is full of people sharing what they’re good at; that’s why it’s an invaluable source of information, ideas and inspiration on countless subjects. I’ve enjoyed reading many blogs over the years so I decided to start my own in the hope that others would enjoy my poetry (and that it might reach a wider audience than just my friends and family!).
Reason #4: for your wellbeing
Blogging is basically journalling, and studies have shown that journalling can improve mental wellbeing. According to PsychCentral, “The act of writing accesses your left brain, which is analytical and rational. While your left brain is occupied, your right brain is free to create, intuit and feel. In sum, writing removes mental blocks and allows you to use all of your brainpower to better understand yourself, others and the world around you.”
Although you could just keep a diary and enjoy the same benefits, blogging could be cathartic for you and beneficial for others who may relate to your content. As BT once said, “it’s good to talk” and in my experience, the blogosphere is a generally supportive space for you to share what’s on your mind.
Reason #5: to connect with like-minded people
Sharing your thoughts on the internet can help you to connect with people you might never have interacted with otherwise. Even if you blog about a niche subject (like I do), there will almost certainly be other people out there who share your passion and want to talk about it.
It’s really rewarding when someone likes a post or follows your blog, and even better when someone comments that they related to what you wrote. Although I’ve only been blogging for a couple of months, I’ve already made new connections and I hope that blogging will lead to new opportunities (for example I’d love to hear from any publishers who might like to include my poetry in an anthology!).
Do you have a blog, or are you thinking of starting one? Let me know what you think about blogging in the comments.