Friday Fun – Why do you blog (and is it worth the effort)?

Friday Fun is a group post from the writers of the NHWN blog. Each week, we’ll pose and answer a different, get-to-know-us question. We hope you’ll join in by providing your answer in the comments.

QUESTION: Earlier this week, Deborah posted about her blogging experience and whether she has found the effort to be worth the results. It’s an interesting question that often has very individual and personal answers, so we thought it would be a good one to pose to the group. So, writers, let’s talk about why we blog, what our expectations were when we started, what the reality is, and whether we think the whole thing is worth it. 

Lisa_2015Lisa J. Jackson: I blog here because I want to share my writing passion with others. I find the time I spend blogging here very worthwhile. It’s been my most consistent blogging experience and I grow from each new post – coming up with the topic, designing how I want the post to read, selecting or creating images for it (still lots of room for improvement there!), to hearing from readers on the post. It’s definitely worth the time and effort and I look forward to continuing it, and building my own blog in 2016.

wendy-shotWendy Thomas: I am a big on blogging. I even teach a college level course on starting and promoting a blog. Most of my writing is for my personal blog; Lessons Learned from the Flock where I talk about  flock issues (avian and human.)  On occasion I also blog for Mother Earth News, Grit, and Community Chickens. As a result I am part of a large community where ideas are shared and noticed. Writing in my personal blog makes me feel like I’m connecting with friends – it’s not a chore, it’s a joy.

My blog is where I created and promoted my platform (and yes, if you try to get a book published, they will ask you if you blog, what your platform is, and if you are active on Social Media.)

To agents, It’s not so much that a writer has a blog, it’s that that writer knows what to do with that material in order to grow their audience. Is the blog based on a good idea? Is it focused?  Is the writing tight? Do you have a voice? Are you providing value? Are you using Social Media to promote your blog? and Does it fully represent you and your work?

Let’s face it, a blog done right, gets you noticed. And as a writer, if you are noticed then you get work (and sometimes even a book deal.)

Diane MacKinnon, MD, Master Certified Life CoachDiane MacKinnon: I love my life coaching blog, Healing Choices. I write about things that interest me and I hope what I write is useful to others. I definitely don’t think of it as analytically as Wendy mentions above, but I started it as a way to promote my business and as a way to connect with others. Writing here on Write To Live has been an amazing experience. I enjoy writing, thinking about writing, and writing about writing, and I especially enjoy interacting with the readers here on the blog. I don’t respond to comments right away but my goal is always to respond to all the comments I receive–eventually. It’s like an ongoing conversation that you tune into when you can best appreciate it.

I don’t pay much attention to the statistics, because whatever they are, I feel I get more out of blogging than I put into it, so I’m going to keep doing it.

M. Shafer, Photo

M. Shafer, Photo

Deborah Lee Luskin: The replies I received to Tuesday’s post were so varied and informative, but mostly they helped realized how connected I am to a community here, and that matters – especially in this often lonely business of writing. Readers’ comments also helped me acknowledge how disciplined and productive I am as a result of posting on topic, to deadline. And one of the best things about this blog, in particular, is being part of this cohort of writers!

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.hennrikus-web2Julie Hennrikus/Julianne Holmes: My own blog is more of website for my books/writing life. I don’t blog there often. As Deborah mentioned, blog posts take time, and writing energy. I have little of both these days. I LOVE being part of this blog–the group posts are fun, and the demand on my time is limited. I also blog with the Wicked Cozy Authors. We are six friends who all got publishing contracts for cozy series around the same time. I was the last to get a contract, and the last published. Some of the Wickeds have two, and in one case three, series. We seem to be building up a following, which is great. And, again, sharing the blogging load makes life much easier.

39 thoughts on “Friday Fun – Why do you blog (and is it worth the effort)?

  1. I blog because I am a writer. It gets my creative juices flowing and the opportunity to put something in print. I started my blog with really no intention of people reading it. It was my way to document my recipes and travel in an electronic form. It’s still too early to say if it is worth it, but I am enjoying it!

  2. I have always had a passion for writing. Unfortunately, it seems the only time a good piece comes from me is when I’m not at my happiest. I have had many poems published on Poetry.com as well as in books. I have received Editor’s Choice Award for a couple of poems but one in particular received it for three consecutive years. I stopped writing after that specific poem. I thought I had everything I needed/wanted to make me happy. That was true for a long time until I learned I was living a lie. I started writing again and then started seeing a counselor. She suggested I start writing again but before she did that, I wrote a short story, one I believe is quite exquisite. Unfortunately, it’s not long enough to be published as a short story so, here I am. Hoping to entice readers while I pursue a life-long passion. One question I do have is how does one get noticed on a blog site and if anyone knows, where would I be able to publish a 5k+ word-short story? I look forward to growing a virtual friendship with my readers and I applaud all of you who continue to write and inspire people. XOXO Deb

    • I’m not sure if I’m able to type links, but I’ll just mention some sites that offer places to go.

      Ralan is great for speculative literature and shorts (as in science fiction, fantasy, horror). There are some other genre places, but not really general literary and mainstream stuff. The (Submission) Grinder is another one that has more literary and mainstream short stories.

  3. I always wanted to write because this is one thing that gives a sense of relief . I basically write about each and everything going on …. whatever is happening in my life and my expectations . I am big on blogging and it just require a word , phrase or any incident for me write down a blog still there is room for perfection …I write because it enables me to share my views and see other people’s perception its a great way of communication for people arount the world ..and it has helped me a lot and it also give me happiness !!!!1

  4. I blog to exorcise some ghosts, to let the skeletons out the closet and occasionally let them dance naked. I blog to have an outlet for my thoughts, to stay sane, to vent. I blog because I don’t know any better.

    I don’t have expectations. I know that what I write is not everyone’s cup of tea. I was amazed (still is) when people came and stay. They support, encourage, and read my nonsensical ramblings. I’m grateful. It is worth all the effort and hard work I pour in my writings.

  5. I love writing my blog for the simple reason that I love writing about and talking about books. Although I do it for my own pleasure and I am clearly appalling at the marketing side of it, I wish somebody/anybody would post a comment!! I see from my stats that I do have followers, but no-one ever comments. I have even made this point on my blog to no avail. So clearly I am not doing enough to entice the reader. However I continue to persevere and I have no doubt that one day I will make a break through. “This hour is not my all of time; this place my all of earth.” William Ellery Leonard.

  6. I’m not an avid reader, in fact I hardly use to lay my eyes on books until I started writing myself. I feel for a 17 year old like me blogging is an excellent medium to convey my feelings and thoughts to a world beyond my immediate family. I love playing with words and I feel writing is one of the most non-violent ways of expressing what you feel and getting rid of all that daily muck one goes through. I’m very new to WordPress it’s just been a few months and I’m not a regular blogger yet. But when I write I get all the weight off my shoulders, and yes because I’m an amateur writer my style of writing is unstructured and many a times unrelated! But the important things is coming out there and writing your heart out which is one kind of a give and take as you are sharing your experiences and learning from the experiences of others. Earlier the idea of writing something which is visible to an audience of several people did excite me, especially getting their comments and feedbacks. I try to mainly write for myself so that it gives a sense of clarity regarding where my mind and emotions are headed, but I also hope that what I write is of any help to a person who’s in a similar situation and has no source of guidance and assistance. You all are extremely inspirational people and reading your posts are a breath of fresh air! Long story short I love expressing myself in places where I don’t have to be physically present like writing, also anonymously connecting with like-minded people and exchanging thoughts and opinions on certain topics…
    Loads of love
    The Girl in Vogue…

  7. I love writing but due to academic pressure i had never spent much time on it. I am neither a great writer or an experienced blogger but occasionally i would like to play with words and pour my heart out just to keep my head free and relaxed.

  8. Darn! I wish I could’ve taken a blog course in college! That would’ve been so helpful! I blog because I’m an aspiring writer, and what better way to get practice than to write! I’m loving it so far, but am feeling like such a rookie.

  9. I started blogging because I have dreams of writing for a living. At the same time, I realized that I needed to practice writing. I also wanted to connect with people who were doing hobbies so I could get some advice, much like I was getting on various hobby boards.
    I started writing a hobby blog and found that expressing myself was fun and interesting. Sadly, I wasn’t getting a lot response from the people who read it. Undaunted, I continued on because I was/am enjoying it.
    I then decided to write a blog to help my students improve English in different ways. This was a bit more successful when I went on Facebook and reminded them. I had a number of viewers, but very little feedback.
    I decided to try a blog on WP because it was often recommended to me. I decided to write about positive things because I felt like the negative world was weighing on me. I found it very therapeutic and I found the response to be much more enthusiastic. I gained followers at much higher pace than my previous blog (prompting me to import my hobby blog to WP). I also received more feedback and appreciated the Just pressed feature–The only thing I would change is to make this feedback box bigger so I could go back and edit this response a little easier.
    My goals for the future are to expand the reach of the blog and make more connections with the readers.
    Sorry to ramble about the past, but that’s how we get to where we are today.
    Is it worth it? The practice and the connections definitely make it worth it from a humanistic perspective. Would I like it to make money? Absolutely. However, if it never yields money or review merchandise, I will have no regrets.

  10. I started blogging as a challenge. I’ve always enjoyed writing so I found he challenge to be rewarding. Didn’t really have a concise direction until my relationship ended and I began to blog about my healing process. I’ve enjoyed it. Still enjoy it.

  11. I have started to blog in order to give myself an outlet for the thoughts I have about stories or current events. I think blogging will allow be better ease of access since I am at a computer more then I am sitting at home with my journal.

  12. I am a novice in this world of blogging, but I love to write. I especially enjoy writing poetry and novels (though I haven’t finished a novel since I was a kid). I started a blog as a sort of digital diary, and have found the experience to be very therapeutic. I have no expectations, and don’t mind that I have many people attracted to my blog. I write for me. I write because if I don’t these words will build up in my soul and I will burst apart at the seams.

  13. I started blogging mainly to promote my new novel Desire of the Moth. Since it is located in India in the colonial period and grounded in local culture I decided to blog about the background story. I find it fun and I hope it enhances the readers’ experience of my novel.

  14. My daughter told me I needed a social media presence; ‘but I have nothing to say’ I replied. Turns out I was wrong. I’m a painter and writer using blogging as a diving board into the digital whirl-pool. By placing a regular deadline on myself, I discovered the joy of having something to work towards, and after joy comes hope. It spurs me on to paint and write more, and to treasure mine and others’ experiences – because this does take effort, but it doesn’t feel like work.

  15. Blogging is my other reality and if I can’t blog I write it out on paper and hide it in a secret place . Writing is my life and without it I would be a mess inside and have no one to tell my feelings to and its really hard talking about what really goes through my mind . I want to be a professional writer one day and help others who are in need of help and for those who have no one to relate to !

  16. I started blogging as a shameless attempt to promote my novel…which is yet to be finished. I have come to love blogging for other reasons. 1. I enjoy reading the shared thoughts of like-minded bloggers. 2. I find no small amount of inspiration and encouragement for my writing life. 3. I enjoy responding to bloggers as much as I do writing my own blogs. 4. Bloggers are wonderful people to know. and 5. Maybe someday my blog will help me sell my novel!

  17. I blog because it is a way to reach a large number of people that in times past was only dreamed of. I have to say I like reading blogs about as much as writing them. It’s a great way to see the same things I see through the eyes of others.

  18. Thank you for your information, it makes my motivation awake!

    I blog beacuse I was inspired from a book “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin. That book helps me to be happy every day and appreciate every day since I open my eyes in the morning. So I want to write blog like her did to share my day and to practice my English skills also. (I’m Thai.)

  19. I am very new to blogging. I write poetry and prose and wanted to become more visible with a following. I enjoy reading the posts when I do find the time in between my writing projects.I admit that I would like to commit to a more frequent blogging schedule, but I know that like a good recipe, writing takes time to bake.

  20. Pingback: Weekend Edition – Why I Blog, One Writer’s Convoluted Tale | Live to Write – Write to Live

  21. Pingback: Zakaj pišem blog? | whatishuddo

  22. I started blogging about a year ago and then didn’t have time to follow through. I am once again making an attempt at this interesting avenue of writing opportunity. I love to write, have written a lot through the years and until I self-published my first book didn’t really think I had much talent. I journal and FB and try to generally be an encouragement to others. I am still trying to find my “special niche” as right now I seem to cover a wide variety of articles. But, I enjoy it and want to keep at it. I am scheduled for a total knee replacement next week and I know that I will have much more time on my hands to blog – so here I go. I am also a “new” freelance writer with a bit of minor success in that area and I want to write, write, write! Thanks for the outlet and thanks for the chance to share why!

  23. I started blogging at the start of a round the world trip with my girlfriend. Initially, it was mainly just as a record for us – I wasn’t bothered by readership. But as time has gone on, I’ve been really surprised by the positive comments and feedback from both friends and family, and other bloggers. It’s interesting to share your experiences of places with the world. I have no idea if/what I’ll write when we get home though…..

  24. I love to talk, and man, do I have a lot to say. As a way to shut me up many of my friends (unwitting victims) suggested blogging. But I just didn’t see myself as a blogger. Maybe because most blogs I stumbled upon were frighteningly candid for a private person like myself to embrace. The ones I like were all mummy bloggers, and I just didn’t think having 1 kid and being mediocre at it was a USP anymore!
    When my husband, kid and I packed up from our cushy lives and decided to move countries, I found blogging. I’m still finding my voice and message, but as of now it’s mostly memories and musings that keep me moving forward and keep me typing. I’m enjoying the honesty and freedom of it after years of copywriting for brands. And oh yeah, I love reading other bloggers on WordPress. I feel like now I understand you better when I imagine you sitting there, between piles of unfolded laundry, typing frantically before the thought runs out. That’s everyone, right? RIGHT?

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