This prompt appeared on 3rd September and it did appeal immediately. After all, what blogger would not want to share their thoughts on blogging. I’m not sure why the post was never shared … but better late than never, right? The answer to the prompt should form some of the basic pages for bloggers, explaining who they are and why they blog. So it should be straightforward, right?
Once I started thinking about the question, I realised like Shrek describing how he’s like the layers in an onion, this answer was almost more complex. Unravelling layers as I answered.
Why do I blog?
I blog because I like to write. However, if that’s the case then does it matter what form the writing takes? If I’m writing because I like to write, I don’t necessarily need to blog to satisfy that desire. That took me back to the prompt question – why do I blog?
Blogging is more than just writing
The majority of bloggers will tell you that writing and posting on a blog is only part of what a blogger does. Its about reading the work of other bloggers, of engaging with them through the comments – both theirs and ours. So is that why I blog? For the social interaction that comes with the community?
There are two things I can think of to say here:
- not all blog sites provide a community such as Word Press where we can get to know each other through the reader. I’m not sure about many other sites, but having published a little on Medium, there does not appear to be the same community spirit via the comments. So if you blog on WP, then the community could be a factor, but its not universal across all platforms/providers.
- While I enjoy engaging with the community, we can post and engage with other bloggers through their sites. I would venture that it could be possible to be part of the community and engage with everyone without actually blogging myself.
Excitement and Adreneline
OK, so its not simply because I like writing or because I like engaging with the community. What about the buzz from hitting publish, and watching the views, likes and comments arriving? That sounds great – you’ve done the work so it should be great. Everyone likes your post and leaves you valued comments.
The reality is people will like your work without even reading it. My last post had 2 likes within seconds of posting. There is no way they could have read the post. Anyone who has been blogging for any length of time knows that the statistics are not always totally reliable, so while it might be useful to look at trends, I don’t get too excited about individual post statistics.
I do appreciate the comments however. People take time to read my work and then spend time thinking about what to write when leaving a comment. That’s the opportunity to engage with the community. Find out what they like and dislike.
Alongside the excitement of hitting “publish” I find sometimes there is also a bit of apprehension. What if my readers and the wider community do not like my work. What if they disagree with me and my opinions? Fortunately that’s not happened so far, but sometimes you need to accept this could be a possibility, depending on the focus of your posts.
I would have to say that any blogger who blogs for the buzz of publishing and positive statistics will probably be unlikely to maintain their passion for blogging long term as they can be unpredictable and will vary.
Carrying out research
As I dig more into why I blog, I realise its a mix of different factors. Yes, the buzz of publishing – sending my baby out into the world is a good feeling. I do enjoy writing and chatting with the community. But again, its more than that. Until I started blogging I had forgotten how much I enjoyed carrying out research to find facts for my work. Once I started hitting the books, I realised how much I’d missed it. As a lecturer in a college rather than a university, we don’t have the same opportunities for research; blogging gives me that. Again, on its own, this is not a reason for blogging. However, blogging does allow me to share my work with a larger audience.
Sharing my blogging ideas
While I write because I like to, and rediscovering my enjoyment of books and research has been a happy bonus, I blog because I can then share my work with a wide audience. Had I not started blogging, I may never have started writing again, but even if I had, I don’t think my work would have been shared with such a varied and extensive readership. One of my reasons for blogging is that I’m able to share all my work with others. I don’t think I’m looking for fame or anything like that. I am happy knowing that my work is of interest to others and the study skills I produce may help people. It surprises me, the diversity of people who find it interesting and helpful, not just students.
The final reason I think some people blog is to get feedback from other bloggers on their work. To get reactions so we can improve our techniques. That could be blogging, or writing more generally. I hadn’t thought too much about this element, however as I move to more creative writing in the future, I may seek out the advice of trusted friends in the blogging community to help me on that path.
My reasons for blogging aren’t simply because I like to write. As indicated, I don’t have to blog to be a writer. therefore blogging must be associated with a wider range of factors – a passion for writing. An interest in conversing with the community, sharing my work with them and seeking their feedback.
I’ve also not looked at all at the focus of my blog and to what extent that shapes why I blog. That used to be relevant. I’m not so sure any more … see what you think for yourself
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