I saw a lot of conversation against blogging around the time I started mine. Podcasts and vlogs were beginning to overthrow the humble blog in terms of activity and general interest. Blogging was to be considered passé. Despite this resounding death knell, I got up my nerve, collected the smattering of harebrained plans, pipedreams, and vague inspiration from my notebooks, and signed up for a WordPress account without any real plan on how I’d use it.
Call me contrary, but I’ve found blogging to be hugely rewarding. Today, I thought I’d share some pros of venturing into the blogosphere, based on my experience.
Whether you’re new to the blog scene, looking to revitalize an old one, or simply need some inspiration to keep it up, I hope this post encourages your inner blogger.
Slow and Steady
A lot of people nix blogging because it’s a painfully slow way to build a platform, when I started out, I was NOT ready to step into the limelight, kick butt and take names, or claim any level of professionalism. With a brand new blog to play with and zero followers to impress, I didn’t need to entertain anyone but myself. And that was freeing.
Having fewer followers may sound like a big bummer if impressive stats and monetization are your main motives. But there are advantages to starting small and allowing things to unfold naturally. Time to test-run ideas, space to talk about what matters, never-ending opportunities to expand and evolve your blog as new inspiration takes hold. When it comes to blogging, it’s better to do your dreams than chase the money.
A personal blog can be a playground for ideas, a record of your milestones, a way to stay connected, a chance to speak your mind, or your virtual happy place. Compared to the fleeting nature of social media, a blog also provides an appealing sense of permanence. For a creative like me, it’s nice to know that my work and words are archived and easily revisted. Yes, a blog can be time-consuming—but if you enjoy the process, this is the sort of effort that’s good for the soul.
Having a Place
Perhaps maintaining a website sounds extraneous and clunky if social media is providing you with a similar platform. But for me, there’s a tangible difference that comes with ownership. While I repost lots of things between the blog and social media, I feel more grounded for having my own, official dot-com.
If social media is like chatting with someone in a public space, a blog is equivalent to inviting them to your home. They feel more autonomous and, therefore, more personal. You control almost everything, from the URL and site aesthetic to subject matter and post length. Staking out your own place in the vast internet can be an oddly empowering act. Your space, your rules.
I don’t believe you need to be internet famous or have a profound message to start a blog. It’s not presumptuous or silly to share your thoughts and showcase your work, even if you’re the definition of a total newb. Sometimes blogging is simply about creating a space where you’re free to be and become at your own pace.
Blogs are just another place to find likeminded people and make new friends. Community can be built upon anything—taste in movies, life experiences, favorite hobbies, sense of humor, or a mutual dislike of the color lilac. Even if what you blog about isn’t super personal, what you choose to share is bound to attract others who relate, appreciate, or want to understand.
If you’re concerned about shuffling friends and followers from one platform to the next, I think it’s important to remember that blogging and social media aren’t mutually exclusive. In fact, my social media experience has been enriched thanks to blogging. Each platform provides a unique way to engage with people. I often feel more connected to friends I’ve interacted with via their blog, and conversely, felt more inclined to comment on a blog if we’re friendly on Twitter or Instagram. Maybe your blog and social media stats will never match up, but that doesn’t mean your blog isn’t making an impact.
A Starting Point
If blogging is something you want to do, the best advice I can give is GO FOR It. You may take a few floundering first steps before you figure out what you truly want to do with your blog, and you may change your mind along the way. With time you will improve and refine. And maybe you’ll be ready to rebrand down the road. But I happen to think the chance to look back at those shaky beginnings is an exciting part of any journey. Don’t the unknown scare you off.
Since I began blogging, I’ve hosted my own reading challenges, became a lettering artist, got recruited as a conference volunteer, started a business, met online friends in person, was a guest on a podcast, and have mostly gotten over the awkward feeling that I’m a weird stranger jumping into someone else’s conversion on social media… and I know there’s so much more yet to come.
Opportunity isn’t as selective as you may think. Instead of worrying so much about being perfectly on-brand straight away, having amazing stats, or being punctual to a fault, why not enjoy the humble beginnings of your very own origin story? Fit in what you can when you’re able, try new things, make it your own, enjoy the plotting and planning, and don’t be fooled into thinking you’ve failed just because it’s slow going. Every venture you undertake is a starting point. Every step forward is progress. Every chance that comes your way is never the last, and can lead you in directions you never realized were possible.
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