blogging, Community

Why Write a Blog? Is a Blog a Waste of Time?

What happened to storytelling, to writing a narrative? One Blogger asked this question in a recent post about the direction of blogging. She’d come across a blogger recommending other bloggers attract more readers by offering their readers useful advice:

…figure out what our unique niche is and paint ourselves as an authority, offering them something every time you ask for something back.

thesnowmeltssomewhere
Photo by Sunsetoned on Pexels.com

List Format Blog Posts and Finding Your Blogging Tribe

Do you write advice posts or entertaining ones? Is the goal, for the reader, to find info that makes life a little easier for them? After all, home hints and time-saving tips are generous, giving and sought after by many. And yet, Snow suggests list-style formats are not so dissimilar from TV reality show: repetitive, unoriginal and uninspiring, proposing there just might be, “too many self-proclaimed experts out there.” She’d prefer a blog that is just for entertainment, or storytelling.

Thinking about this, I wondered whether a story is more valuable than a post dispensing advice? I think that might depend on what kind of person the reader is. Perhaps we need both kinds of posts? Sometimes one and sometimes the other. Diversity is a good buzzword for that, isn’t it?

When I want information – the list format of writing a post helps me find salient information faster. However, posts titled, ‘The Top Ten Places to See in Europe,’ is a style of post I’d read once, but hardly another in the same vein. It is becoming a trite and hackneyed format, short on meatier content, and meatier content is what I personally seek, as a reader.

Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich on Pexels.com

It seems that if we want, (or for monetizing bloggers, – need), people to read our blogs, we might write in this way early on in our blogging life, to filter and find our blog tribe; our community; those few like-minded souls who follow us and begin to comment regularly so that a fulsome discussion or blogging friendship might develop. Without a few of those list posts to begin with, how can we build that community so many of us enjoy? Would we still find a tribe of like-minded blog readers another way?

Don’t we want any or all varieties of readers?

Diversity dictates that we need differing opinions and readers from all walks of life.

Blogging Stats and SEO

Whilst I don’t read list posts anymore, I do try to use headings when writing a blog post, supposedly it is good SEO. I don’t understand a whole lot about SEO and SEO tips seems to change rapidly. Once upon a time we were told to use 10 tags, for good SEO, now it is not more than 5. It is hard to keep up with so fickle a technological beast.

Are we all getting sucked into looking at stats and levels of engagement? I remember a blogger who posted about getting back to the real reason why she blogged and not looking at stats, or checking for new followers. Great, I thought. To my surprise, she stopped blogging shortly after! I never found out why.

Likes and Comments

I dislike the thought that someone would write to receive likes alone. Fixating on that, to the detriment of our mental health, could render our blogging platform meaningless. You’d do better to mutter a few grudge sentences on Facebook – that will give you ‘likes,’ and save yourself some time.

What would change if I disabled the like button on my posts?

Nothing? Would there be fewer signs of engagement?

This begs the question: would I still be blogging if I had not received any comments? Perhaps. I hazard a guess I would still write, but not be posting as frequently.

The Blogging Audience

Diarist bloggers who inform about the week that was, without crafting a story, are perhaps still learning to make writing interesting. That level of self-expression, in Marie Kondo style, must bring them joy and could be all they need from writing? We’re all different and we all seek out and write different sorts of posts.

One Blogger [Manja], said she seeks friends in blogging, not an audience. Another thought all bloggers are looking for an audience for without it, they reach no one. This highlights a divide between the intentions of bloggers.

Some bloggers are out to make money and need that audience to do that. That is not always art. Others – those who have an urge to write or tell stories, through photos or words, enjoy their art, interact with their audience and along the way, make friends.

Monetizing a Blog

Am I interested in making money off my blog?

No, not really. If a few dollars come my way, I’d be silly to knock it back, but I also won’t put my focus in this direction and spend time and effort chasing it. Already I am slightly embarrassed about reviewing places for some small kickback, such as a free sample.

I wonder how I can write impartially when I receive a kickback from the thing I am writing about? However, I am told of certain readers that do value and appreciate reading product reviews, so I relent a little and try to tap my inner Buddha and again seek the middle path.

Becoming a Writer

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

Many bloggers have the goal to publish a book, but that’s not on my to-do list either. I do have a book idea, or two, rather lofty ones, but writing my blog posts with that intention does not form part of the reason I am here.

Writing a blog post feels innate, it’s in my blood. For around four centuries that I know of, there have been writers in my family, not famous, nor polished, but writers nonetheless. I could say it’s tradition, but my writing doesn’t come from any sense of historical obligation.

For me, writing just happens when the mood hits or I should do so. It might come out as rubbish, but it is my rubbish and not contrived just to receive ‘likes.’ I once tried to write ‘like’ that (to suit an audience), and the result was bland and boring.

Writing comes from both my heart and my head. I write when I feel inclined to do so, but more often than not, as I sit at the keyboard, words erupt like the meltwater in a glacial stream at Springtime.

The words tumble and run out, splashing around obstacles in their path, anxious to appear on the computer screen lest they be washed downstream and away, (ie. before I forget what I was intending to say).

Poppy, Hellesylt, Norway

Finding More Readers for a Blog.

But aren’t we skirting around the crux of this issue? If we only write for ourselves and from our hearts and heads, why do we want more exposure and more readers? Only to find more like-minds and interesting conversations via comments? Surely there is more to it, than that?

For me, the reward of blogging is the joy that comes from robust self-expression.

Any friendship that arises, from that, is a bonus and the result of two people connecting. The internet is not constraining of geographic boundaries – connection is what blogging gives back to us.

Fundamentally, I am here to learn, and to express, with a little bit of entertainment thrown in. I might find an interesting blogger to read or follow and if I wasn’t here, I’d miss that opportunity to further my knowledge and discuss topics via the readers’ comments.

Blogging is not wasting anyone’s time, it is the best classroom in the world, and the sky is the limit.

I ‘like’ that.

stpa logo

With much thanks to Snow for inspiring this post.

397 thoughts on “Why Write a Blog? Is a Blog a Waste of Time?”

  1. Writing a blog for me is very helpful, it helps me to spread my message of health and fitness. Build connections and develop an online presence.

    And best of all, it’s a nice relief from my usual hours spent studying for school

    Like

    1. So you are still at school and you have started a blog. Good on you. Keep writing. Many teens start a blog and then give up. You must persevere for at least a year to get going with a blogging community. It is not like facebook with instant likes.

      Like

      1. Thank you so much for your encouragement, yes I will stay motivated and keep writing. I read the book “the compound effect” and I realise that things don’t grow linearly, all the popular blogs today got only one or two page views in their early days🔥 so I just plan to keep putting out content for atleast 2 years while paying low attention to the views.
        And thank you, getting advise from an experienced blogger encourages me alot

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Blogging is a way to share what you’ve leaned with others. Like human we have such tendency to share our passion and anything we love with the world around us.
    I will appreciate any support from us to our new blog at : computergecko.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for writing a comment and not just adding your ping. I delete pings that don’t bother to comment! I think blogging is definitely about sharing. Humans do like to share information to others. How long have you been blogging?

      Like

  3. I have to emphasize that blogging provides another avenue for people to express their opinions about any particular subject. We writers and bloggers are true adherents and supporters of the right of free speech and freedom of expression; thus, we value any means to allow that. Humanity has always moved forward when people can express themselves honestly and without fear of reprisal.

    With a personal journal – which I’ve maintained since 1983 – anyone can feel free and safe. But blogging permits many of those same thoughts to be shared with everyone. True freedom, indeed, sails through the universe on the promise of spoken and written words!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Blogging connects our thoughts and help us to express in front of world😊
    But the problem is in schools students think writing is boring thats why we are experincing lack of writers but i hope still all is good.
    Bye the way your blogs are great😊😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Learning simultaneously. Yes indeed, aemrat. Language translators do benefit us in many ways so we can access words and knowledge previously locked away from us.

      Like

  5. Needed this blog of yours. It’s just some months since I started blogging. And just before a year is over I had already started asking myself what am I doing this for apart from loving it. Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Blogging is such an amazing corner of the internet, especially for the one of us who grew up without internet and witness it explode. But I’m always struggling with blogging for the fun of it and blogging for the stats. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I loved your article! I thought I started blogging to make money but as I got into it a little more I realized that being able to express myself and help lighten someone’s mood became more important. You can feel the difference between a blog intent on building an email base and generating income and one that’s being written for the love of the craft. I would like to understand how to get more comments because I really like connecting with people.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Marcie, How long have you been blogging? If it is only a short while, you have to give yourself a little more time to build your community. It will happen, though. If you want to speed up the process, visit as many blogs as you can in your genre of interest, using the reader and tags, comment on their blogs and get to know them. They will more than likely visit your blog to find out what kind of blogger you are and if your blog is interesting for them.
      Another tip is to participate in challenges, be that photo/poem/story/recipe/coffee shares about your weekly happenings, or whatever challenge you might be interested in. Search in the reader using the tag challenge. I hope that helps!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for the encouragement. It means a lot. I’ve been doing this particular blog since May, but I had a previous blog several years ago that taught me a lot, through hindsight, about how to interact with my readers. I like the idea of participating in challenges. Thanks!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Nice to read such beautiful thoughts. My name is Caetano I’m 27, and this post-answer is my first experience with blog. I think my purpose of start blogging is to share my personal view about what I’m experiencing on life. I plan to share different aspects, as I learn how to better express my toughts and I love that this post is the first I read, because it’s really inspiring. So, my sincerely gratitude, from Brazil.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Caetano, pleased to meet you. I don’t think I have had too many visitors from Brazil, here at StPA. So welcome! Funny that this is the first post you have read, but I am glad if I have inspired you to write some more. Keep going for at least 12 months. You will be surprised what you learn and by then, you will have a following and a good community around you.

      Like

    1. Pratik – if you notice the first thing you think is negative, try countering that with thinking something positive. In that way, your brain will over time begin to strengthen the neural pathway of positive thoughts. It will work if you believe it strongly enough.

      Like

  9. Great points and insights. I think all of us, bloggers, have struggled with the why we do it, the “waste of time” thought, and the contemplation of quitting or turning things around.

    The best thing about our blog is that it is ours and we can do with it whatever we want. I enjoy sharing my experiences, making new connections, and maintaining (virtual) friendships with Roaming About. One day, I’ll do a bit more effort to mold it into more informative and entertaining material but for now, it’s a mirror of my alternative lifestyle and busy mind. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Hi ! Yeah ! I also think that doing blogging is a very good passion and allow us to connect with people of different thoughts. I HV join this platform two weeks later and I am really very enjoying doing all these stuffs . EvenThough I hardly get some likes and views.😜😜🤭

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I found this and several other posts by you very enjoyable. I am new to blogging myself and it’s good to hear your point of view about the topic. I have started my blog to complete a Toastmaster’s project, and it would be great also if it yielded exposure to like-minded people, as I believe it has done here.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Nice to meet you, Tessandra! Part of the Toastmasters recommendation is to begin a blog. Is that right?
      I can see the similarities between speech writing and blog posts, so you should find it useful. But be warned, it is addictive. In a good way!

      Like

      1. The Toastmaster’s elective project is to post 8 blog posts in a month and then give a speech about the experience. I have thought about blogging before and this project has given my the freedom to just try it out. I have a tendency make things WAY to serious, and then get scared off. So far I am having fun and I hope after a month I am addicted. Thank you for responding to my comment!
        What is your favorite thing about blogging? What got you into it in the beginning?

        Like

        1. The reason I got into blogging was as a creative way to share information and, as a bonus I got to meet many like-minded people. My favourite thing about blogging is the freedom to express yourself through writing, usually without the cutting judgement that one finds in social media. There is a lot of altruistic generosity in the blogosphere and thus I commend to you, as a new blogger, to visit and comment on many other blogs, even become involved in blog challenges if you so wish and you will find the reward returns tenfold!
          I how to share your final speech in a post as I would be interested to read it. Happy journeying!

          Like

  12. I started blogging almost 4 years and I definitely don’t consider it to be a waste of time. I don’t blog everyday due to my busy schedule. But when I do, I feel so much better.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Just for half of my life🧚‍♀️ i started ny career in 1999 as a magazine journalist, so I have always been writing long indepth articles with beautiful layouts and pictures. Then digital happened in 2000s and i was lost for a long time. I started blogging in 2013 and then my own in 2014. Since then, it’s been quite a learning on the web. But I am used to long articles of 3000+ words and have done coffee table books, illustrated books for children and videos and photographs… it’s been a journey of learning a lot.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Even though a blog is something intangible and posts impermanent unless you dig into older posts, I don’t think a post that has not been read is entirely a waste of time. It may be cathartic for the person who wrote it. Therein there is value.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I used to write a lot more when I was a child with just pen and paper, writing fiction, often just fan fiction of books I’ve read. And then I started writing stories of my experiences and reflections. Later it evolved into blogs – writing is an expression of what I’m thinking of in my head and helps me with my thought process (sometimes). But looking at engagement and what kind of content I should write often results in a mental block for me. I used to love writing… Still do but I don’t blog very often now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is not such a good practice to focus on increasing stats. I think it does block the natural flow of thoughts, but if you see the increased followers as some kind of reward for posting regularly, then it may work in a positive way.

      Like

  14. My blog is for my personal growth and it is based on the foundation of learning from the past and to be thankful for the present. As I learn to enjoy and value each day with gratitude and kindness, writing is a way for me to pause and reflect; and act on areas where I can keep improving on. It is my hope that by my simple sharing of my life’s journey in my blog, I can bring some joy and inspiration to the hearts of my readers 🌻😊

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Thank you for this post! I needed to hear this. I’m currently working on my blog and made the mistake of watching about 4,200 “Make $10,000/week as an affiliate marketer”videos which took my focus off of writing blog posts that might reach people I could connect with and help. Instead I started researching affiliate programs,products to promote, and company’s to partner with. Basically forgetting the reason I started the blog. Surely I can figure out how to balance good content with promoting products that would help someone reading my posts.

    Like

    1. A potential source of revenue from our writing often sounds tempting, Justin but if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. I am glad you found the real reason for writing again. I imagine that would bring you more satisfaction?

      Like

          1. It’s actually on Blogger I’ve just downloaded WordPress so I’ve got to figure out how to transfer content stuff like or what to do but the my website is imnotqualified.net . It’s still in construction mode and I’m new to this whole building/SEO/HTML etc…please forgive me because it may not be optimized

            Liked by 1 person

  16. Thankyou for your article. I’ve had this dilemma too. SEO is soul destroying.
    Good writing comes from somewhere deeper, no rules, fun, playful laughter and burning tears; a free spirit.
    I try to please my reader in one piece, like a slave to the stove Then I abandon them in another, without a care in the world.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’ve always said blogging is revolutionary in that it allows those with a variety of life experiences to get their opinions and stories out into the world without an omnipotent editorial board deciding what is and what is not appropriate. It’s the best asset for free speech to come along since the general invention of the Internet.

      The down side is that every idiot with an opinion and a keyboard can get something into a public forum. But it is the sacrifice we have to allow for overall verbal and expressive freedom.

      Liked by 2 people

  17. I’ve just started writing a blog, and it’s encouraging to read yours. I was thinking about why I was writing (there’s a fire within), and if I would continue if there is little participation (I would probably taper off in time). I hope to find my tribe through blogging and reading other bloggers. Thanks for writing your blog!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Kathlyn, Welcome to the world of blogging. The hardest part of blogging is in the first few years when you are building a community. The best way to do that is to read and comment on other blogs and write interesting content (the latter is an obvious reasons). Most bloggers worth their salt will reciprocate with a comment back on your blog, if you visit their blog. If your blog aligns with their interests, you will gain a follower! This requires a fair bit of time. Entering challenges also helps you get to know others and builds your blogging community. On the other hand, if you just wish to write and are not interested in comments, you need not do this! I found the community responses were invaluable!

      Like

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