Friday, April 2, 2010
Why do you blog?
I read an interesting post titled “When should you quit a blog and move on” (via Nubbytwiglet) that really got me thinking. What I found most interesting about the article was that the author made "Lack of Traffic" number two and "Lack of Profit" the number three reason to quite your blog. So much of the article was focused on a traffic/money slant that it made me wonder why most people are actually blogging.
When I started Random Thoughts I did so mainly because I needed a place to vent my frustrations about politics and religious assholes. (I never expected that blogging would become such a fulfilling hobby to be honest.) Even though I can admit that in some dark hidden corner of my mind I hoped people would read what I wrote, I also decided that getting readers would not be my biggest priority. So maybe it’s because of that, but I don’t understand why people blog for the traffic or profit (actually I can understand the profit thing…everyone could use a little profit) or why they quit when said profit and traffic aren’t so easily acquired.
While I do agree that “lack of interest” (number one of the list) is a valid reason to quit blogging, it’s also important to realize the highs and lows that come with anything a person feels passionately about. As of now my blog is going through one of its natural low points and yet, at the end of the day, I still freggin love politics. It’s part of who I am as a person.
Now don’t get me wrong, blogging usually requires a lot of effort with little reward (at least in my experience) and some days I can’t help but get annoyed that my effort can sometimes feel ignored. I would be lying if I said I never thought about page hits and traffic. But ultimately, those things aren’t what really matters. What matters is I have my own little place on the interwebs where I can rant all I want. Blogging has helped keep me sane in a way I can’t easily explain and, for some reason I can’t fully fathom, some people actually are interested in what I have to say. I may not be earning any money or breaking any records, but that’s still something precious in my book (though I wouldn’t mind some free books. How the hell do I get some books?).
I don’t really know where I’m going with this post, but I hate the idea that people aren’t blogging for the simple joy of it (I’m such a corn ball). Here are some of the things blogging has taught me so far:
1. I’m a really crappy typer.
2. Link link link. If you ever mention an article/someone’s blog or state a fact then you should link.
3. Give credit where credit is due. It will not always be possible, but you need to credit other people’s photos whenever you can. If the source is unknown then say the source in unknown. This goes hand in hand with number two.
4. Don’t ever write anything you wouldn’t want your boss/teachers/friends/mother-in-law to read. You would be amazed how small the world can be and it’s better to be safe then sorry.
5. Try not to get to personally attached to your posts. If I’ve learned anything from the rape/privilege posts it’s that some people will fucking hate what you have to say. Turning into a screeching banshee will not change that (my bad).
6. There are some of the most amazing people you will ever “meet” online. Seriously, some bad ass people blog. (You guys rock!)
7. Don’t let that awesomeness get you down. There are always at least a hundred other people doing what you do but better and it’s easy to say “I’m such a shitty __.” I can get down on myself for not being a better writer, but in the end you just got to work with what ya got and not let it get you down.
8. Don’t let traffic or page hits take up space in your mind. Unless this is something you want to do as a career, just let it flow naturally.
Those are a few of the things I’ve learned in the last 18 months. And feel free to ignore everything I said (I feel pretentious for typing that anyways). That’s the beauty of blogging. You can do what ever the hell you want.
So why do you blog? Got anything you’ve learned while blogging? I'd love to hear it.