First post for my London Bloggers 10 Day Blogging Challenge, and I thought to discuss an apt question. Why Blog?
“Why do you blog?” I’ve heard this question a few times. “Just stop it, don’t even start adding to the internet’s white noise.” I’ve read this one a few times, disappointingly, from other bigger bloggers. Sometimes, I cast a shadow of doubt over what I’m doing here myself. Two years ago, I started my personal blog, UpraisedLiving.com, to mark a new chapter in my life. I figured, hey – this is a pretty exciting time of my life! I’ve just discovered that I have a serious love for cooking. I left the fun dating world for a serious relationship. I was on a blossoming career path. Also, I was speeding on steadily into the coming of my thirties. Fast forward to this day, and I’m still not able to write as often as I hope to.
I think this ten-day blogging challenge, hosted by Elle from the London Bloggers group, is a good way to reconnect with my goals and purpose here, and to set the record straight. Is it just me, or do small time bloggers get a bit of a bad rep? At a gathering I went to recently, I had mentioned that I blog as a hobby, and I got an instantaneous and slightly condescending “Really?! Why?!“. More heartbreaking than that, I’ve read a couple of posts in the past from bigger bloggers saying “lifestyle bloggers don’t count” or “no one cares what you write“. I’m sure it wasn’t said to hurt my feelings but it kind of did. Is this the new “struggling artist” of our modern-day society? Like, if I’m not making it big, it doesn’t matter?
You know what, my blog does matter. If not to its handful of readers who amazingly find me by some miracle on google, then it matters to me. Why blog? Here are my top 3 reasons to blog, which may also be similar to many bloggers out there.
I blog to share knowledge
There are many things that I am currently learning myself that I would love to share, whether it is a recipe that I have (pun intended) cooked up, or the places in London that have stolen my heart as a new resident, or how I got my UK fiance visa. I started blogging because I didn’t want to forget recipes, places, and experiences. The amazing thing is that while I was doing this for myself, someone out there actually wanted to google the things I write about, looking for some insight. I am surprised to see the keywords that people find my blog for, and I realise that despite me not being an expert, I am able to share information as a more reachable and relatable source. It is all-around an awesome thing to be able to help others with or without meaning to.
Blogging is a source and outlet for creativity.
When you write more, you also read more. Since I’ve started writing in blogs, I have read more books and articles which have also helped me form what kind of writer I want to be. Creativity breeds creativity. By having a blog, I am also inspired to discover the UK, I find a reason to experiment on our weekly food menu, I get to know some cool and interesting people. It all comes full circle.
I blog to earn exposure.
Let’s be honest, bloggers blog to be read by an audience, no matter how small it is. It is nice to know that your words meant something to someone. Also, it doesn’t hurt to control the exposure you get online. When you apply for a new job, when you date a new person, when you meet an acquaintance – these people google you. It is a reality that has to be faced that your online identity matters. Bloggers are able to present themselves better through their blogs. It is one aspect of their online identity that they are able to control. You are able to share what you are passionate about and what your personality is through your blog. If by some strike of luck I am able to amass a huge following by simply demonstrating my personality and my husband’s dinner to the world, then wow. That would be cool. But whether that time comes or not, it all comes down to the truth that we all want to be heard and appreciated. There’s nothing wrong with giving and getting that.
Finding Good Blogs
I think that instead of generalising bloggers, people need to learn that the vastness of information out there will just have to be taken with a grain of salt. Working as a managing editor for a multi-author blog in the past, I have found that there are many blogs out there that just pull words out of their asses. You think all bloggers write honest reviews about products that they receive? You can’t be that naive. It is sad, but just as with anything in life, there are good eggs and bad eggs. The key is to be a smart reader. When surfing through the blogging world, I always have three tips on finding good blogs.
- Follow blogs for sincerity, not just for aesthetic or for popularity. Don’t just go with the tide and follow the influencer of the month. Find someone you can relate to, gives detailed advice, and doesn’t sound promotional. Authenticity trumps aesthetic.
- Think, reach out, ask questions. One of the best things about blogs is that it is interactive. Bloggers appreciate getting comment notifications and getting buzzed on social media. Ask away. If you see a blogger lacking interaction with his/ her followers, that’s a red flag.
- Show appreciation where it is due. This is one thing that I need to start doing myself to the blogs I read. Comment on the post, even if it’s a simple thanks. Share it on social. Subscribe to the blog. Finding a good blog that you can relate to and appreciate is a great thing, and by sharing it to others, you can help a good blog reach a bigger audience.
So this post may have come across as a 1000-word rant about blogging. Maybe it is. Ultimately, my message is this: I can’t let others’ default opinion of blogging ruin what I’m doing here. I like it and I shall keep doing it, and hopefully the people who find my blog find value in it too. It is also my way of saying to my fellow bloggers, write on. Expect that your audience will find you and with that comes being responsible for what you share. Find value in what you do and give it your heart. I hope we all find satisfaction in a post well written, a comment of approval, or a goal defined and met. To all the haters, if you don’t like a blog don’t read it… but don’t knock all bloggers. Stop sipping that haterade.
Why blog? Why not?