Blogging

What Keeps You Blogging?

“I’m going to quit my job and become a blogger”. That is what I heard after explaining what being a pro blogger was, again, after first explaining what a blog was of course.

There is no doubt being a professional blogger is a great gig.

  • Cheap to start and maintain
  • Required skills are easy to learn
  • Most people have access to the required equipment
  • Can be done from anywhere there is a net connection
  • Not tied to certain times of day
  • Possible to earn a decent income
  • .. I could go on

So, what could I possibly see wrong with this picture? Blogging is great! Isn’t it?

Well, yes, blogging is indeed great. I worry though the amount of people who approach blogging like this

  1. Start a Blog
  2. ???
  3. Profit!

I have no doubt there are many people out there who have the ability to be a success at blogging just because they have sufficient drive and determination that they will try everything possible to make it happen. Got to admire you if you are one of those people. For me though it’s hard some days to blog even though I love it, how difficult is it going to be for someone who’s only motivation is money, especially when for most of us the rewards come down the line after a good few months of hard slog?

In no way am I saying it is wrong to have money as a motivation, I am simply saying that if it is your only motivation you might be in the wrong game. It seems to me to do well in blogging, unless you are churning out endless splogs, you have to love blogging regardless of financial rewards. If you can bring yourself to put out top quality content every day, even without expectation of profit, then I think you are on the right track.

Bloggers have many motivations and incentives to begin I am guessing. Probably as many reasons as there are bloggers. I first started writing initially because I had developed a personal website as a programming task and needed something to put on it (mid 90’s). After starting I found I would get interesting contacts through the site and it was a good way of keeping family and friends updated. Enjoyment of writing was the main thing that kept me going though. There was no way I was going to earn big from my sites, not enough traffic to show banners from the big networks and adsense didn’t exist. Monetization came much later. Funnily enough once I felt I had figured out the money side I returned to blogging for the joy of it.

The moment I realised that blogs were something very useful outside of personal soapbox purposes was when I started blogging about asp.net programming. I think that blog had more of an impact on my career than all my time spent at college.

My most recent, my digital photography blog, was started because I thought it would be a good way of helping me learn the subject. It has turned out brilliant in that regard, as I learn something new I post it up and in doing so it helps clarify the topic in my own mind. The contacts I have made through the blog have been great too.  Lately I have actually reduced the space devoted to ads.

What was your initial reason for getting into blogging? What keeps you going? What do you get out of blogging outside of financial rewards? Please do let me know, I am interested to find out your motivations …

 

Author: Chris Garrett

Chris Garrett is a content marketing and blogging coach and co-author of the Problogger Book with Darren Rowse.

14 thoughts on “What Keeps You Blogging?

  1. You mentioned that for many it went like this?

    1. Start a Blog
    2. ???
    3. Profit!

    For me it is more like this.

    1. I like to write
    2. I am a geek
    3. Add #1 and 2 == must start a blog
    4. realization –> there is SOOOO much to write about
    5. Wait! I can make money at this? What do I focus on? Hmm..

    For me the motivation is when people leave comments, send me e-mails and, all things said, complement me. When I started it, I did so because of my third point.

    Nickles and dimes are now starting to trickle in but, if I am going to be pro, I am going to have to really focus on a more specific topic. I started more because I like to read about stuff and then draft, revise and write on it.

    Money would be nice, but when I have a published author tell me “well said” or a person with a Phd in KM says “good point”, or some one writes me an e-mail thanking me for some new freeware program they found… That is rather hard to put a price on.

  2. I forgot to mention, seeing my monthly stats regularly go up also helps to keep me blogging!

  3. Hmmm … ok, perhaps “appears easy to learn”, it looks easy but might not be as easy as it looks from the outside?

  4. Required skills are easy to learn

    I gotta disagree with that one. I don’t think it would be easy to take someone of average intelligence and teach them to be a successful blogger. In fact, i’ve tried to show a few geniuses how to blog, but they don’t quite grok it.

    I think blooging is a good idea from a profit perspective only when you can use it as an extension of your business. For example, if you sell some kind of consulting or other service or want to network. Otherwise, there are tons of better ways to make money on the Net.

  5. It looks like most people are in it for fun, ego and money, a good combination I think!

  6. I’m blogging as a business. A fun business where I can write about stuff I like and make money off it. Setting it up as a business keeps me on track but seeing it as something fun to do keeps me going.

  7. At first it was for fun.. I was receiving about 20 hits per week, so money wasn’t really there for me. I didn’t even know about adsense back then.. (6 months ago ). I was writing tech. articles just for the fun of doing it, and hoping that some people would be reading them.

    Later, after getting hit by DIGG, Fark, and a few others, I became a traffic junky, and that traffic lighted up dollar signs in my eyes. I then worked some more on getting good articles published, and from this time, my soul was owned by the web devil .

    I still blog for fun, but the extra income that I earn from it is definitely welcomed. Professionally, blogging brought me credibility in my domain, and I even made a few professional contacts out of it.

  8. Chris.

    I found that creating a blog was a great place to store the many articles and resources that I was creating. I wasn’t planning on any money from those things. But I wanted a way to make them available to my clients 24/7 and to archive them for later use.

    Blogging helps me do just that. But I’ve found that a blog does help you make money. It has opened the door to networks of people and ideas that have turned into opportunities to bring home a little coin. So I keep writing, producing, and reaping the benefits of the accumulation of knowledge.

  9. I confess that I am compelled to write every day. Probably that’s partly because I’ve been doing it for so many years. The blog gives me a space and a regular reason for doing it. I hope to shape this blog of mine into something meaningful of which I can be proud. And, a second reason is to learn enough to potentially write a second blog that has some possibilities of yielding a return. If that’s revenue, that’s great. But, I’d be doing this anyway. A few years ago, I decided to write 365 days worth of short poetry and essays and wrote myself one day at a time into winning numerous writing awards through sheer volume of output. Everything I wrote wasn’t wonderful, but by continuous output, some gems popped out that had value. The discipline got me back on track writing regularly. So, I feel that the discipline of writing daily in a blog(or at least several times a week) is a practice that can turn into something meaningful with a tangible payback for the effort expended. And, besides, it’s a pleasure when someone reads the material and gives you input that says you connected with them. I feel that it is less important to have a huge volume of readers than to have readers that are interested in the subject at hand.

  10. I got into blogging for a few reasons:

    1) Ego.I’m an opinionated git who thinks what he’s got to say, needs to be heard.
    2) Money. I heard people were making good money out of this blogging thing
    3) Time. I was unemployed so had the time to commit. Not everyone needs so much time – some are significantly better time managers than me.

    I could elaborate on why I’m not yet successful, but that is fodder for a post. Especially as Darren is calling for folks to write about effective habits of blogging.

    In a few words though, I simply haven’t done the work required. Blogging ain’t a free lunch – you still gotta put the hard yards in.

    What keeps me blogging thiough is the knowledge that I won’t find anything else that fits who I am, any better than blogging. And I still need the dosh (although I don’t have the time at the moment as I’ve gone back to school)

  11. Really, I’m in it for the money. I’d rather sit on the beach than blog, but sitting on the beach doesn’t generate revenue.

  12. I really enjoy writing on my blog, and I really enjoy seeing people are reading what I’ve written. I shouldn’t be too surprised (my posts frequently get noted in other video game forums etc) so I enjoy my soapbox! Frankly I’d like to earn a little more from it, but right now I’m focussing on enjoying what I do – the writing. The SEO etc is definitely second to me.

  13. And like any business it requires some kind of business plan. A roadmap that helps you get from here to there. I see this in so many home-based businesses; they start working from home, but don’t consider themselves entrepeneurs, don’t consider themselves a business and then wonder why they fail.

  14. What was your initial reason for getting into blogging? What keeps you going? What do you get out of blogging outside of financial rewards? Please do let me know, I am interested to find out your motivations …

    Initial – money, fun and a chance to gather some fame
    Current – Power, Influence and as a backup – a chance to make some money later

    With the help of blogs I am slowly becoming a recognized authority in my company and also in the outer world. The important reason is that I really like my active blog areas and have what to say there.

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