Why get into blogging?
I'm reading through a book named ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income and found the first chapter to be an interesting exploration in the question: WHY? It's not enough to want to do something, it's also necessary to know why. Of course sometimes the real why isn't apparent until after you've done the thing you set out to do, still I think it's useful to ponder a bit.
Since this book is about professional blogging a reason to ponder why is this other question: Is Pro Blogging Right For You? Not every blogger is suited to blogging for money. The pursuit of money can cloud your vision from the core purpose you have for becoming a blogger. And knowing why you have set out to become a blogger can sustain you through the tough road towards having blogging as a full-time career.
Problogger suggests these possible reasons
- "I blog to help me promote my business"
- "I blog because I want to promote my writing"
- "I blog because I want to make myself known"
- "I blog for recreational purposes, about my interests and hobbies"
- "I blog to make money in my spare time"
- "I blog about products and write reviews"
I took this as a serious question for myself to ponder. The first thing I noticed is these suggested reasons were incomplete while at the same time their generality did cover a lot of ground. There are a lot of bloggers who aren't in it for anything more than writing and sharing, perhaps with a few friends. Kind of like a public diary.
In my case one large purpose I have for blogging is the opportunity to influence the people around me towards a different, better, way of living. This purpose is somewhat covered by their suggestions, especially the part of wanting to make myself known. Principally by publishing some ideas I have, perhaps that can affect others, can help others question their life choices, and influence them towards life choices that result in a cleaner environment or overall better mode of living. It may require making myself widely known in order to affect the kind of change I want to see in the world.
An idea which came to mind is this phrase: "extraneous goals"
The primary goal of blogging is the writing. Any other goal is extraneous to the writing, such as influencing others, popularizing a business, or earning an income. Again there are many bloggers who have no other goal than the writing and sharing it with a few friends. However the whole context of ProBlogger is, well, to be a professional blogger, so of course someone buying this book has several extraneous goals, one of which is to earn a living through blogging.
As they say in this book there is nothing wrong with having multiple reasons for blogging. In fact I suggest that's a requirement as I believe "make money" cannot be the sole reason. At least, "make money" would not be the sole reason for a legitimate blogger, the sploggers (spam bloggers) of the world are spewing their useless blogs onto the internet seemingly in a pure pursuit of money.
The pursuit of money can skew even the best of people. The pursuit of money presents tempting challenges to ones resolve to address some given purposes. When your livelihood depends on blog income, and the blog income is coming in weak, it can be very tempting to stray away from your mission into other pursuits.
Remembering why you become a blogger can help you remain true to your mission through the various temptations along the way.
It may be helpful to keep your mission, your why, written on the wall where you will see it regularly.
It may be helpful to regularly revisit your mission, reassess why, reassess how you are doing with your mission, and refocus.
Monetary obsession or other decisions can kill your blog. A large part of blogging is to develop an audience who will follow your writings, comment on your postings, and perhaps use your blog to form a community discussing the ideas you present. As a community activity it is necessary to consider the needs and interests of the people who flock to your blog. There are many kinds of decisions such as monetary obsessions which can kill your community.