Why We Blog
Anyone dealing with reader commentary has probably had second thoughts about the wisdom of allowing just anybody to have a moment on their stage. Flamers, haters, idiots, bigots, and crazies—we get them all. But reader commentary on my recent editorial about A-list bloggers hanging up their jerseys was so thoughtful and passionate, I thought they deserved a brighter spotlight.
The general consensus seems to be that no matter the reason one blogs (or writes, for that matter), it requires passion and dedication. Whether it’s for art, for money, for catharsis or for attracting business, without passion and dedication, a blog is doomed to fail.
Here’s the best of the best, many of them edited for length. For the complete commentary (so many comments not posted here are noteworthy) visit my earlier column.
My only means of communication
By Legless Fool (WPN reader) – Tue, 02/10/2009 – 20:35
As a legless amputee recluse in a foreign country, blogging is my only means of communication with anyone, and other than just talking to myself, it is my way of putting my views across and logging my life. I enjoy writing in my blog and I do not do it for money, and whether or not anyone finds it and reads it today, it will still be there for people to read as long as I am around.
Blogging ad infinitum
Not all about money…
By 6000 (WPN reader) – Tue, 02/10/2009 – 14:58
I’m in it for the infamy! ; @ )
Long Live The Blog!
By Angela Swanlund (WPN reader) – Tue, 02/10/2009 – 14:16
I’m an instant gratification junkie, and I’ve never conformed adequately to the confines of traditional print publication in order to attain gainful employment – for any significant length of time. Blogging offered me the chance to attain the height of my most eccentric and idealistic aspirations! No Editor, no Publicist – no censorship – just me and my readers. My form could be Gonzo, my form could be academic. I could say “the 7 words you can’t say”; I could write everything in first person singular. I could even post a picture of my dog! That ranks right up there with things that are as good as sex. Let the A-Listers drop off, that’s simply more white space and hungry readers for me. Long live the BLOG.
Angela followed up this comment on her blog. This paragraph, we thought, was choice.
Content whore. Paid advertising flunkie. Queen of the 3 paragraph 87% key word dense blog post. Princess of the unlimited pen name. I’ve been called all of the above – and worse. I’ve sold my rights for as little as $1.50 for 500 word articles, and been paid as much as $100 for 300 words. I’ve done reviews, I’ve done product descriptions, I’ve written SEO, I’ve written rhyming children’s content – I’ve even sold song lyrics and pictures of my dog. I have never placed the Google AdSense code on a single blog or website of mine. I’ve never joined an affiliate program. Yet, I have managed to turn as much as $2k a month off my keyboard and determination. So when I read disheartening things like the A-Listers giving up because they’re not making money… part of me is sad.
And another part thinks… heh! Less competition.
Blogging, Money, & Writing
By Blogging Teacher (WPN reader) – Tue, 02/10/2009 – 19:55
The best advice I ever got about writing was from a good writer and a writing teacher. She said:
"If you don’t have to write, then don’t."
That’s the first point. Blogging is primarily about self-expression and writing and communication. Secondly, it’s about community and money and fame. People who blog for the money and fame will find that for them, it’s hollow. You need to like what you do.
Blogging Is A Passion’s Game
By Aderemi Ojikutu (WPN reader) – Tue, 02/10/2009 – 18:36
Passion is the fuel of any career success. The blogging career or profession cannot be an exception. Blogging is first and foremost, an expression of passion.
Let em go!
By Aria’z Ink (WPN reader) – Tue, 02/10/2009 – 18:27
The bloggers that love to blog as opposed to desperate to use blogging to make a buck are some of the best reads available. They can be a fine cross of a novel and a diary and a magazine all rolled into one. I run tons of ads on mine, but it’s "just in case" So let the money-hungry bloggers go… it’ll leave room for the Post-Based bloggers to emerge ala the new short story writers of old with lengths conducive to the video age.
By Ron Mwangaguhunga (WPN reader) – Tue, 02/10/2009 – 16:27
If I never made any money or got any notoriety, I would still be blogging. I think blogging is — or will evolve — into a writerly art form, like poetry. Then the question of "Why People Blog" will sound as absurd as "Why People Paint."
By Guest (WPN reader) – Tue, 02/10/2009 – 13:01
As they say…everything in moderation…As for me, I have dropped my website and am turning my blog into a place to put my artwork and explain what I am doing. I think other artists are doing pretty much the same thing. Blogs are much easier to keep up and gives you the opportunity to meet customers and other artists.
By Patric (WPN reader) – Tue, 02/10/2009 – 15:51
There are countless reasons why Blogs Fail and succeed. Why Bloggers would give up or would continue. But based on my experience, I think Blogging is really hard. There’s a lot of process going on in Blogging, like research, coordination and daily creativity. Blogging is an everyday thing, so this is a challenge. It really demands a lot of time, patience, and commitment. My blogs are a result of 7 failed blogs. So basically my modeling sites came from rejected blogs. It took me months to finally come up with a concept and put it to work. It was not an easy task. But one thing that I learned is that, promotion is always in the heart of blogging, to be successful, you need to promote your blog…everyday. You need to find your field, you need to have a concept and be committed on your blog…everyday, as blogging is an everyday process. It is tough. There are days you would miss doing some post but that’s ok, you just have to catch up on that. And this I think is the reason why some blogs fail…. its an everyday thing and that’s really hard.
By Richard J. Krasney (WPN reader) – Tue, 02/10/2009 – 14:21
In many respects, blogging is no different from authoring a book. There are many reasons people author books even though very few make any money. Authors and bloggers should know this before they start. If you expect to make money writing a book, the odds are very long.
If you are intent on writing, whether it be a book or a blog, you should set realistic expectations on how much time you will be able to devote to writing, and what you expect to happen as a result of your efforts. In writing books, I see three primary motivations for authoring content:
1) Make money through sales (already covered)
2) Become perceived as an expert in your topic to drive qualified prospects to your main business
3) Build professional credibility (Like a Doctor who writes on a subject)
One’s expectations and strategy for success should be clearly through and will vary depending on which of the three motivations one has. Jim Stovall, who I know through my own work said some great things on a very similar topic that might be helpful.