This morning, as I got out of bed and shuffled over to the coffeepot, I realized that I had no post topic in mind for today. Despite the after-effects of a long night out, I set the gears turning and waited for an epiphany. I soon got one. Well, not an epiphany, but a pretty okay idea.
“Why do I think I can do this blog thing?”
Now, let me be clear. When this thought passed through my mind, it had nothing to do with writing ability, knowledge of the Web or blog platforms, or any other real “capability” factors. What I meant was, what makes me think that my voice is important enough to be featured on the Internet for an audience of readers?
I’m sure it’s something lots of bloggers think. Or maybe not. According to Jean Twenge’s book “Generation Me,” Millennials are just s naturally self-absorbed that they never think things like this. (It’s not that we’re spoiled, she says, we just can’t help it!) Don’t worry. I’ll be reviewing her book next week.
Until then, I thought I would give in to my love to Thought Catalog’s classic formatting style and make a list of all the reasons why it’s totally okay to run your own blog. Seven, in fact.
1. It’s really not that egotistical.
I’ve gotten some pushback from friends since I started this blog, mostly in the form of people making offhand comments about how anything can be made into a blog nowadays or how people are blogging for attention, etc. However, according to content-creating company Hat Trick Associates, the estimate for active English-language blogs on the web right now is 450 million. So what I’m saying is – good luck getting attention from running your measly blog (no offense.) Every blogger is just one of nearly 500 million other voices.
2. No one has to read it.
Following the reason above, people need to stop getting their underwear in a knot over bloggers publicizing themselves. (Maybe I just have a weird friend group that’s SO over blogs? I don’t know. Maybe they’re just over me.) When I post links to my content on Facebook or Twitter, is it because I’d like people to read it? Yes. Does the idea of thousands of people reading my content when I, one day, become an Internet superstar motivate me on days when I want to do anything but blog? Yes. But, honestly, as long as I get a single page view a day and make someone smile or think as a result of the ideas I post, then I’m good. If you really don’t want to read my blog, then scroll past my links. You do it for those annoying “Share this!” posts anyway. Consider this my permission to do so.
3. No one writes in a diary anymore.
I have had the most on-again, off-again relationship with diaries and journals. Like most other people, I want to have some kind of document that I can go to in a few years to look back on the old me. Remember when you were in fifth grade and you had to write/draw/make something for the school time capsule? Well, this is my time capsule. And it’s not an idea unique to me. One of my favorite tweeters, Hugh Guiney, said this yesterday: “Re-read my Xanga. I was 16-18. Anger, restlessness amidst absurdist, sarcastic life accounts. Learned much since, but past-me still teaches.” (I love his tweets, check him out @LordPancreas!)
4. Writing keeps you creative.
The only way to write is to write. Did that sound redundant? That’s because it is. It’s a simple idea that most writers have lots of trouble with. I’ve read countless books and posts on beating writer’s block, and they all say that the only way to do so is to force yourself to write. Scribbling on napkins, making grocery lists, creating blog posts – all of these things can get your juices flowing to tackle the really big writing projects of your dreams. Want to write a novel? Start a blog. Eventually, you’ll be swimming with ideas and have a well of creativity.
5. It’s great for your résumé.
Are you a recent college grad, current grad student, young professional, or soon-to-be-college grad who’s looking for a writing job of some kind? Are you stuck in the job search? Do you need a way to beef up your résumé or portfolio? Start a blog! One of my professors from college, in one of the only communications/business courses I ever took, told us that today’s job market basically requires that you have a blog if you ever want to work in the writing sector. (But don’t let the fact that it’s for a job make you anxious – most employers are just looking for great content and knowledge of blogging platforms. Your high follower/reader content will be a plus if you have one, but it’s not mandatory.)
6. You can make friends.
If you create a blog based on one of your many interests, you will inevitably find other bloggers writing about the same thing. The cool thing about blogging is that it’s one of the only fields wherein your competition will be your biggest supporter. By guest posting, cross-promoting, commenting and more, bloggers help each other find and solidify their voices across the interwebs. I’ve only been doing this since May, and I can’t tell you how many great people I’ve talked to and worked with as a result of it.
7. You can inspire someone else.
Maybe, somewhere out there in the big pool of people you know, there’s a budding blogger just waiting to bust out. You can help them. Be the Obi-Wan Kenobi to their Luke Skywalker. Teach them the ways of the Force… um, I mean, blogging… and you’ll have assisted in adding yet another unique voice to this amazing network of people across the world. We all have a story to tell, but sometimes we need a little push. Your measly little blog, just one of 450 million voices, can be the gentle nudge that sends someone else hurtling out into the cosmos of blogging, determined to go where no blogger has gone before.
Related articles (These bloggers know where it’s at – check them out!)
- Blogging (should not be a)”competition” (runservecook.wordpress.com)
- I Love Hate Blogging (grownandflown.com)
- For Whom Do We Write and Why and How? (asolitaryramble.wordpress.com)