Why Do You Blog?

Photo: laughingsquid.com

Photo: laughingsquid.com

If you have a blog – why? What made you start it? And why do you continue?

I’ve mentioned previously that I used to write a music blog, but the site eventually shut down. I thought I would miss keeping up on the latest music. But what I I really missed was being part of a blog community. We were such good friends on there! So good that I married one of my fellow bloggers from the site, LOL!

I didn’t want to blog about my work in libraries, but I didn’t think I had the expertise to write about anything else.

I started thinking about all the things in my life that I listed and tracked, whether it was a grocery list or the calories I consumed that day or my budget outlook 12 months from now. I wondered whether I could blog interesting statistics every day, but they already did such a good job of that on the front page of The Globe and Mail! What made me decide to blog my own statistics was a visit to a lovely little site called Book of Lists. I was probably also influenced by web sites like Post Secret and I Am Neurotic. I’ll let you decide if my blog is too confessional!

I hoped I would meet new blog friends who understood about making lists and analyzing everyday life as if it were a research project. And there you all are!  I’m so happy we’ve found each other. Not many people I know in real life read this, so I’m grateful to the web for being here to provide me with like-minded souls.

If anyone asks me what my blog is about, I say “domestic life” and that stops the conversation 🙂 It’s true, though!

I’ve seen that bloggers write for so many reasons. Among the biggest:

  • To make money – either hoping to strike it rich, or to bring in a little cash on the side
  • To develop an online reputation that could be advantageous later
  • As part of a social media campaign to promote something, such as an Etsy store
  • To turn into a book
  • To share creative works such as poetry or photos
  • To keep a personal diary, whether it’s read by others or not
  • To offer advice to others about something they’re good at, such as personal finance or cooking
  • To offer encouragement, such as sharing experiences of sobriety or transgender transition
  • Or, if you are me, just making friends!

Along the way I’ve realized that people can blog for any and all of these reasons and still be genuine.

I do have one pet peeve. Some blogs grow in readership to the point that the author can’t keep up with commenting or visiting other blogs. The more business-minded of them hire staff for this, which is fine. But there are some not-famous bloggers who enjoy posting, but don’t reply to comments or visit other blogs. I don’t quite get this? I can understand being busy, but not acknowledging your readers seems self-defeating. To me it feels like blogging is all about community, but that mustn’t be true for everyone. Any ideas?

I would just like to say that I really enjoy your company every day and that is why I’m here!

my home-sweet-home

my home-sweet-home

51 comments

  1. Why do I blog?

    1. To inspire and influence people (sharing my message and story)
    2. Provide greater value to someones life (using what I blog about)
    3. To make money from the blog (very easy to do)

    Those are basically my main reasons for blogging

    -Isaiah Jackson

  2. Oh I totally blog as a confessional/domestic life spilling… And sharing lists (BTW didn’t know about that book of lists, and now I’m addicted…). And I love the community it’s resulted in too. Your doesn’t seem that confessional, in the sense that I think you share enough without crossing some border. I enjoy it all.

    The BF is more about making money, which I’ll do, but not to the extent it compromises the community feel or the ability to write about what I want. I also have a pet peeve with people who seem to NEVER reply to comments – like, are you blogging to no one, do you not get notified that someone’s commented (and doesn’t that interest and excite you?). I don’t need every and all comments replied to, but some would be nice. People who slip off reply commenting start to make me question why I keep reading.

    To me, blogging is a conversation most of the time (and sometimes a tool to keep me on track with my goals). It also seems to be a place I can overuse parentheses! I can’t imagine the content being sufficient or coherent enough to warrant a book.

  3. My first post ever was about this very subject . .
    http://thegiraffelife.blogspot.com/2012/12/should-i-start-blog.html

    I have been reading blogs since 2007, when I found Colin’s blog, No Impact Man. Then I clicked over to others from his blogroll and I’ve been hooked ever since! Because I’m so very nosy, blogs are excellent reading material for me. I started mine as a way to add something back to that mix because I’ve been taking for such a long time 😉

    It seems selfish to say it, but I also prefer to comment on blogs where I know I’ll get a response. 🙂

    • Ah, you were a blog reader in the early days! I limited my topics to music in 2007. I do like getting a response to a comment, but I feel especially bad if no one gets a reply!

  4. I started my blog when my son told me I could make some money from it and should look into it. I did everything wrong! No way to make money from the free WordPress platform. I don’t think I would have ever gone through with starting one except for the fact that I felt like a stranger in my town. I was getting some serious negativity over my decision to move to a very small apartment, everyone around me were into their bigger homes and felt I was challenging them by doing something so different.

    Along the way I found a community and gave up on the idea of making money from the blog. The blog has changed in some ways, especially in the fact that in the beginning it was more about the journey to downsize.

    As for people who don’t answer comments, I don’t get that and if I comment and find that the blog author never responds I quit reading the blog. Another newer trend is to not allow comments. Why blog then? I believe blogging is a conversation one where we can learn from each other.

    • I was hoping to get at least one comment from someone who doesn’t answer the comments on their blog, to understand why, but of course they wouldn’t comment on someone else’s post either, LOL! It’s been a theme in these comments that a lot of bloggers have interests and lifestyles that aren’t shared by their near and dear ones.

  5. I love to write so blogging was a natural for me. I would like to make money from it–you hear about all of the popular, big income producing blogs–but alas, I have made very little from my blogging efforts but I enjoy it nonetheless.

    • I suppose if we could all monetize our hobbies, we’d all be happier, but then there would be no one left for all the non-hobby jobs like garbage collection or mortuary services, ha ha! I think you are on the right track with multiple income streams.

  6. I didn’t know that people made money from blogging!!
    I did know that they promoted their own items, and their etsy stores, but money… on a constant basis, I was unaware.
    I enjoyed reading this and I have to agree with you, if you don’t take the time to answer your readers then what’s the point? I feel like sometimes bloggers get a little self centered about it all. I know we all get busy… but… I’ve wanted to blog about this before but I’m not at the point that I know how I want to put this into words.
    I enjoy your blog very much, I agree with the other comment that you give away enough, but not too much.
    One thing about blogs, I’ve always said is it’s my happy place, but sometimes, blogs can be so superficial and unreal and I’m very down to earth. I often want to hear about people going through different life issues so that I can learn or help… we are all people that need each other… a community as you said.
    I started blogging because I planned on moving to England and wanted to share my life with others back home… Then my son went in the Air Force and I wanted to share with him while he’s away… and well now… it’s my scrapbook, I don’t have time to craft as I want to, so it’s my scrapbook… my diary… my happy place of sorts… not so happy other times. It’s my Journey.
    I’ve heard of Post Secret and bought one of the books, but mostly it was dreadfully sad, and very disturbing at times. I never heard of the list site though and I visited with a smile… I’m a list person, I might have to share some of my crazy lists!
    You Rock!
    Thank you,
    Tammy

    • Thanks, Tammy! I agree that Post Secret is sad. I went to a live show featuring its creator, though, and I like it for two reasons – because the people who send things in feel unburdened, and because it is an amazing collaborative art project. I have to read it in small doses, though!

      I like reading blogs that are fairly personal and don’t take the tone, “I am the author and I’m giving you advice.” Not that I can’t use advice; it’s all about the attitude!

  7. Fiona

    That’s a lovely post! I’m with you, I blog because I like the social interaction and I greatly respect the knowledge and insights of the writers of the blogs I follow closely.

    I’ve learned so much from other blogs: got my finances in order and had my views challenged on things. I think it’s all a very valuable way to spend time!

    I think you have a great balance of being personable and ‘real’ but without crossing boundaries of other peoples’ privacy.

    I still have my blog set to ‘non-indexed’ by search engines. I turn off heavily monetised blogs quite quickly!

    • Thanks, Fiona. Mine is indexed but ad-free (I hope). I find blogs very inspiring and they give me lots of ideas on how to live my life in terms of budgeting, home organizing, menu planning and so on.

  8. I started my blog because I enjoyed reading other people’s blogs and my boyfriend at the time convinced me that most people didn’t think this much about food and how to save money, and maybe I could share my tips and recipes with more people instead of just him.

    I also liked the idea of making a bit of money doing something I enjoy. I’ve had ads on my blog from the beginning (hopefully they are not too intrusive) and have just got over the payment threshold for Adsense, so should be receiving a payment next month. It’s not a full-time income, but every little bit helps 🙂

    What i didn’t expect from blogging was the sense of community, support and friendship I would get from readers and from reading and commenting on their blogs.

  9. I once started blogging, because I love the idea of a blog, and having my own little place online. Then I started at WP because someone mentioned that it was better to start on WP to make money, only I started at the free one. Never mind, I like blogging a lot, and that is what is most important still 😉

  10. laura / mtp

    I started to blog after randomly finding a site (Give Me Back My Five Bucks) about paying off debt – I didn’t talk to anyone about my money troubles in real life. but being able to get all my feelings out (be it online) seemed like a good thing……and once you’ve had one supportive comment there’s no turning back.
    Support from your blogging friends (and the general blogging community) is amazing. I wouldn’t be where I am now without it. I’ve ‘met’ some great like minded people online (I sure wish we lived closer to each other!), which is the reason I’m still doing it today….my in life friends think being frugal and living simply is weird lol 🙂

    • I read that one, too! It’s funny, everyone likes to talk about how much they save on groceries or the great deal they got on clothes, but not so much about paying down a mortgage – or NOT spending money (a la “No Spend Days.”)

    • That’s a huge reason to blog for me too – the awesome people who mentally support each other

  11. Juhli

    I started as a forum for thinking out loud about how to move forward in an unplanned early retirement. Who knew I’d become a “housewife” for the first time in my 60’s LOL. The lovely people I’ve met online keep me going. There is a true sense of community and virtual friendship with people online – I hope to meet some of you all in person one day. I think many of us want to talk about things that no one in our lives are interested in talking about. I’m glad I found your blog.

  12. Lisa

    I do not have a blog. I can say I do enjoy the blogs more where the blogger responds to comments (like yours). It is just more interactive and it is nice to feel acknowledged by a like-minded person. It especially irks me when I see some one comment with a question for the author and there is never a response.

    • Lisa, there is always room in the blogging world for one more 🙂 I agree about the unanswered questions, although sometimes they are addressed in a later post rather than in the comments.

  13. I initially started blogging as a way to keep track of my mindset when I first started trying to pay off my debt. I had absolutely no idea that the blogging community is as massive as it actually is. Blogging became overwhelming for me when my last blog started taking off and I was writing 5 posts a week and interacting with people, so I actually shut it down and walked away from it. Less than a month later I was back with a different blog, because I missed the interaction with other bloggers and the creative outlet that it affords me. Keeping up with responding to comments daily is still a bit of a struggle though, so I tend to reply to everything in chunks. I do try to respond to every comment I receive though.

    • Woah, five posts a week is way beyond me! It makes sense to me that when bloggers are posting that often (some post daily or even more!) that it would be impossible to keep up with comments. I’ve noticed what some do is to pick out trends or themes in the comments and then dedicate a new post to them.

      • Cough cough, I try to do 5 a week, and the reply commenting WAS easier before I moved from wordpress.org to .com cause before I could reply via email. INtense debate tells me I can reply via email, but it’s yet to work – maybe some weekend tweaking?

        Actually, when I say 5, I know I mean I do 2-3 that are conversational, but the waste posts aren’t a huge commenting burden (or very popular to the wide world), but I’m ok with some ‘easy’/’slow’ days. Same with the photo rich posts/essays, easier to keep up with – as much for reader as a blogger.

      • As you know, I do 2-3 posts a week on a random schedule. I thought I would be less likely to burn out and quit blogging that way. I do think every day or 5 a week is a lot, so kudos to you!

  14. I started blogging as a way to record some of the things I do to simplify, and it turned more into a record of our family life. I go in fits and stars lately though – I think it possible to get caught up in outside interests for a while and come back to it after a bit. I try to keep up with other people’s posts, otherwise the supportive people that I enjoy conversing with might stop coming over to visit me, too. It has been a great way to meet and talk to people from all over.

  15. Just because I like to.

  16. I had to laugh at your cartoon as I am currently in my pajamas!

  17. One of the main reasons I blog is because of people like you!

  18. To make myself clearer, I blog because I love interacting with people like you. 🙂

  19. I began blogging partly as a technical challenge to myself, partly to see if I could write stuff, partly to reduce food waste (inspired by Frugal Girl), partly to document trying to be green/simplifying on limited means; I didn’t really appreciate the whole blogging community/friends/networking thing so that’s been a real bonus. As time has gone on I do find it really hard to keep up with reading all the blogs I like (there are so many out there) and although I always try to respond to comments, I’m guilty of responding a little tardily sometimes. I try not to be on the blog all the time!

    • Yeah, the blogosphere is so vast that it’s impossible to keep up. I am guilty of being on it way too much of the time (not an ideal real life/blog balance) so that is something I struggle with too.

  20. Blogging has got me into the habit of writing on a regular basis. My blog is an eclectic mix of whatever takes my fancy. It will never make any money as its not specialist enough but blog number 2 might!

  21. ” I can understand being busy, but not acknowledging your readers seems self-defeating. ”

    If you’re simply writing/blogging to get stuff out of your head, I think that’s understandable. It’s about a need to express yourself, without necessarily wanting to connect with others.

    • That`s true. I struggle to remember that some people write only for themselves – they just happen to publish to the world! I think if I were going to do that, I’d just use a Word document, but if using a blog platform appeals to someone, then why not?

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