blogging, Community

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

What happened to storytelling, to having 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 buzz word 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 style of 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? Less 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 kick-back, such as a free sample. I wonder how I can write impartially when I receive a kickback from the thing you are 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’s 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 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 melt water in a glacial stream at Springtime. Words come tumbling and running 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 conversation 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 limits. I ‘like’ that.

stpa logo

With much thanks to Snow for initiating this post.

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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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!

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      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?

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        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!

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  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

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    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

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