Why do we blog?
A ‘OVER-THE-TOP’ BLOG DISCLAIMER
Honestly, why do we blog? It really seems like it has become the new norm in elevated writing. And it is all thanks to the internet I suppose. Where we first got our information from newspapers, magazines, published essays and the library’s DIY books, we now not only have the internet, but now ‘the people’ or any ‘average joe’ can share their experiences and results through self-published writings without the need for publishing companies. Ironically with a higher chance of actually being read then hoping people will buy the book or magazine which features your work. And then publishers didn’t always let every person become a writer/journalist, and if you found a publisher who wanted to sell your book, then it still wasn’t a reassurance. People still would have to want to buy your book. And so your message, experience or lesson would still go unnoticed.
Now I don’t say, if you write blogs, your audience will always read them the moment you click on publish. Of course that bull*. But the chance to reach your demographic audience has grown immensely. Next to just writing a blog, you also have to think about how you will reach your specific audience (also known as your niche) and how they can find you on the vast digital noisy web. Luckily, there are many bloggers who share their process and teach you how to do just that. The only advice I can give you on starting your own blog, is to search for those. Because they do a much better job of it than I ever would. But do filter through the bull* blog posts, because there is a lot of those. Read my blog on the importance of researching about blogging.
After having done the research myself, I feel that a lot of bloggers forget the essence of blogging. And if you think about it, it’s very simple. People teaching other people how to do certain/specific things. People giving other people a shared solution to a problem. People sharing opinions with other people who have the same opinions (Or the complete opposite). People wanting to help other people through shared experiences. People selling a service or product to other people that will hopefully enrich lives. Reviewing a service or product to help improve the business and promote said service or product. Or people trying to convince other people what they have been doing wrong and should be doing instead. And in all of this, the essence is simply to connect. A direct connection to reader and blogger and back again. To show and to be seen. It’s why we blog. From a person to another person we tell our side of the story. It’s why I love reading blogs… and why I started blogging.
A little history of self-publication (Blogging old school style)
The internet has opened up the possibilities to publish your writing with the push of a button. It’s literally a click and it’s out there. And although certain views can have consequences, those consequences are minimal compared to the past. The urge to publish your writing on either political subjects and philosophical subjects or cooking and knitting subjects have been actively pursued since the middle ages. In Europe, the lower classes became more literate in the 16th century and would have more opinions on the matters of monarchy, country, life, death and domestic advice. But only the upper class, or well-connected educated men had enough resources to invest in any kind of education and most importantly any kind of publication.
Just imagine. In those days, they had to connect with the local printer and create pamphlets or booklets to distribute on the square corner. Depending on what you wanted to publish, the printhouses could decline their services. Having certain opinions against monarchy or state could be considered damning for both publisher and printer, resulting in ending up in jail or on the gallows. Many publications would be distributed secretly and anonymously. Women had to use male aliases. And then you had the booklets or books that would only have a limited amount of copies. If sold within a certain timeframe, the publishers would print out more. But only more on the base of it selling out. Meaning a lot of information has been lost to time.
Where these sales and pamphlet messages were commercialised through word of mouth. We now have the internet and social media linked with taglines and hashtags to share our content with the desired audience. Our voices has never been louder and so freely given. Some of my readers may disagree with me. but at least my words are not will no longer result in me going to jail or on the gallows… by law.
Some just do it for the money…
The difference from self-publications online and publishing through agencies and publishers are that you get paid either very slowly or on the spot. I have no experience with publishers, so I won’t go much into it. Most bloggers starting out don’t get paid much or not at all. Although a lot of bloggers like to make you think otherwise, this is the truth of it. And I feel there is a difference between wanting to blog for profit or wanting to blog for growth.
Blogging benefits a business. It brings out a companies mission, creates trust between business and client and shares the vision for the business. Even stay-at-home moms blog about their experience in benefit to other stay-at-home moms. Blogging is a lot of work and very time consuming.It is only natural that you want it monetized. But to only blog for the money has it’s downfalls. It either won’t last or has no beneficial qualities to add to your business or your message.
However, if your reason to blog is to make money. Then I highly suggest you first think on what kind of writer you are. Write on what is helpful to others, and don’t create clickbait post that put no value on you or your business. Blog because you have a message or a service to promote. Not to leach out of the ads or affiliate links. Think on which company can sponsor your services to also benefit their services. In the future I will also look into the monetization of my blog, but for now this is not my priority.
Why I started a blog...
So why would I start a blog? Well at first it was because I wanted to share my research or findings. You see, I have this weird hobby where I make essays on art or movies. I haven’t finished most of my essays, but when I did I would post them on my blog. And yes, if you are not interested in such things, they are considered quite boring for the average joe. But it gave me joy and it passed the time. It also helped me to improve my writing skills (of which I am still struggling with. Dutch being my native language and all).
But then I had to become more serious with my time and my work. Few years back I became a freelance 2d artist, set up webshops and updated my portfolio site. My blog had to become more related to my work instead of just my interests. And that’s where my hobby turned into my work as well. I researched blogging and discovered my voice within the sea of endless good blogs. I found that I simply want to write about the things I know and thereby help fellow freelancers like me. But I am also quite aware my views on the subject are not the same as other freelancers in the business. I am also highly influenced by philosophers and classical writers, which in turn, also influences my writing on certain subjects. But through those influences i want to find my own voice and in turn become a better writer and entrepreneur in my field.
Finally, the disclaimer...
A good blog disclaimer is important. But the reason why I think this is so important is for very different reasons than why most bloggers use disclaimers. It’s more a legal procedure to protect their business. Which is important of course. But there is something else equally important. And that is having to also protect the reader. I feel that this is a high priority which will not only help others, but ensures my business can grow positively. Misleading posts which give dangerous suggestions or false information can be dire for many readers who are looking for help or advice. So this is my disclaimer, I want to have for not only my blog. But for many blogs.
“I don’t tell you what you should do. I advise you what you could do. The choice is always your own. By educating and informing yourself, that choice will be made easier.”
My words are not scripture,nor do I expect them to be. My like or dislike can be exclaimed loudly and direct. It’s how I speak and express myself. It is your every right to agree and disagree with my views and research. It could very well be, that what worked for me will absolutely not work for you. I highly appropriate feedback and I appropriate open discussions of the subject. However, I absolutely despise hollow criticism and pointless bullying. Those who not just disagree, but also want to hurt people for their own benefit.
Why you should never ever ever start a blog...
You will get criticized. No matter what I say on the subject on trollers, it is something that will definitely happen. Not everyone will agree with what you have to say and how you say it. And it will truly hurt and sting. And for some of you, it won’t be worth the hurt to blog on certain subjects, knowing that it will be thrown back into your face.
But don’t let it scare you off. Don’t let it stop you from blogging. You must never let anybody tell you you shouldn’t start blogging. Not even me. You should always try it. But be prepared for the unwanted harsh words.
Why you should start a blog...
First of all, why not? You have a voice. An opinion. An experience. And yes, sharing this on the internet can leave you vulnerable, but it is enlightening at the same time. Discovering why you want to blog is your journey. No one else's. The reasons why you have the urge to blog is usually the same as many other authors, writers, essayists and bloggers. The urge to express and/or inform. The only thing you need to focus on, is the subject.
Hi, My name is Suze Gil and I write to help women in the creative industry through reading, share my love for art and tell stories.