“But you don’t understand! Blogging just isn’t for me!” I hear you object.
Now obviously, I love being a blogger! After all, I’m the one creating this blog, and urging you to create your own blog, too. Not to mention that I also have several other blogs on the go (you can find links to them here.) But I wasn’t always a blogger. My “pen and paper mama” moniker should tell you that. Before I blogged, I wrote, mainly with pen and paper. And on typewriter. And then on computer. I journaled. I wrote long letters to family and friends. I wrote newspaper columns. I wrote news items for radio. I wrote family history for my kids. I wrote poetry and plays. I wrote magazine articles. I wrote curriculum. I created a couple websites. I have even NaNoWriMo‘ed.
Then one of my daughters told me about this new thing called “blogging.” At first, I didn’t think it was for me, either. I had plenty of other writing projects under way, and I already had a presence on the internet with my websites. But when she pointed out that some of the blog platforms made creating websites so much simpler, I decided to take a look. My first experiments with blog platforms were really more like websites, but I started to see the possibilities of blogging. And here I am today, teaching others to blog.
Still, I have to admit that blogging isn’t necessarily for everyone. For example:
- Lack of internet access: You might live in a place where you don’t have reliable access to the internet. I know this is possible because I just spent a week out in the boonies with no internet, which explains my recent lack of posts 🙂 On the other hand, of course, you can write posts ahead of time, and then publish them when you get to a place that does have access. You can even date them to be published on particular future dates.
- Affordability: You might not be able to afford the equipment needed (computer, for example), though you could probably still use free facilities such as your local library, seniors center, or a friend’s computer.
- Technology: You don’t understand the technology required for blogging. No problem! That’s the reason for this blog. We’re here to help you.
- Other responsibilities: You might be extremely busy with other important responsibilities in your life. Still, I encourage you to be sure to keep blogging in mind for a time when you are less busy. Oh, and please consider whether those current busy responsibilities of yours are really priorities after all. Are they?
- Can’t make enough money: You might feel that “time is money” and that your chances of making money with a blog are extremely slim. After all, many of the multi-millions of blogs out there have a very small audience, and only a few generate a lot of cash, while they do take up time, and possibly money, depending on how you decide to go about blogging). On the other hand, is your goal actually to make money? If it is, with some strong effort, you can probably succeed. An amazing number of bloggers do so, in a big way! But if you just want to write for the joy of it, or to spread a message, money income is irrelevant anyway, right?
- Already a successful writer: You already are successful as a writer. Perhaps you have published books, or have written articles for magazines or columns for newspapers. You may have had stories published in anthologies, or may have freelanced for radio or TV. Perhaps you do copywriting for companies. So why would you need to move into on-line writing? Good question. Have you noticed how many newspapers are folding, how many bookstores are closing, how many publishers are accepting fewer manuscripts? The world’s a-changing. Are you keeping up?
- Fear: You are afraid. Oh, right! I already covered that in this series of posts. If I missed your particular fear, let me know, and we’ll help you overcome it, too.
- It’s just a fad: You figure that most people blog just because it is the currently cool thing to do, and that it won’t be long before some other fad comes along and blogging dies. Maybe. But more likely, blogging will continue to develop and grow and change, and with your personal creativity and passion you can be a part, even a leader, in this evolution of a new, exciting writing format.
- Most blogs soon die: You have noticed that quite a few blogs out there are “ghost blogs” with few or any followers, and you’ve also noticed that quite a number of bloggers start enthusiastically, but soon start to fizzle out. True enough. But that also shows that anyone can give blogging a try. And who knows – maybe you will end up being one of the big successes. It is really up to you. How hard are you willing to try?
- Nothing to blog about: You don’t know what to blog about. Okay, this is a serious objection, and an important one. If you don’t have a topic that you are reasonably passionate about, there’s a good chance your blog will eventually wither away, as you and your readers both lose interest. But think about this. Every person has something in life that they are particularly interested in. Everyone has something that they have a lot of experience with, and that is worth sharing. Even if your greatest passion is about something you do not yet know a lot about, a blog is a great way to motivate you to learn more about it and share it. It’s a big world out there, and it is almost certain that there are folks out there who share your interests.
- Don’t know any readers: You don’t know of anyone who would read your blog. Quite possible. But don’t let that stop you. In your mind, picture the sort of person who would be your ideal reader. On paper, draw a sketch. Make a list of that person’s interests, qualities, needs and wants, lifestyle. Then write for that person, your ideal reader. Imagine what kind of posts, what style of writing, what topics, what blog design would attract that reader. Look through other blogs that write about your topic. What draws readers to them? Comment on posts that interest you. Even offer to write guest posts. Other readers will see your name and blog address, and come to your blog to see what you are up to. Learn the basics of SEO. And of course, invite the people you do know already to take a look at your blog. You might be surprised at who will find it interesting!
- Not a good enough writer: You don’t think you are a good enough writer. Writers improve by writing. Blogs are a great place to do that. By all means, take courses, ask someone to edit your blog posts, join a writers group. But most of all, write. And read. Learn from others. You will improve. And so will your blog.
Question of the day: Are you one of those folks who think that blogging is not for you? Do you fit into any of the above categories? Or do you have other reasons not to blog?
Tip of the day: You’ll never know if you can blog until you give it a try.
Put it into action: Share your reasons for not blogging, in the comments below, and let’s chat about whether or not blogging really is for you.