I have been a blogger for more than 10 years, and while my blog has never been big, it was big enough at times to merit doing sponsored posts. And it still brings in a tiny amount of ad revenue every month – even when I’m not publishing new content.
Blogger Inspiration: 5 Reasons to NOT Quit Blogging
And that’s often. This year I’ve published a whopping eight posts (though I have two more in draft; that counts for something, right?) in eight months, despite a goal stated only to myself that I would blog once a week this year. Let’s not even talk about my second blog, which I’ve updated once all year. And I just started it last summer so you’d think I’d have more enthusiasm for it.
Life gets busy, and monetization seems to get harder all the time. Companies want to work with influencers who produce authentic content and have a real, engaged audience, but they also want big numbers.
Let’s set aside sponsored content for a minute. Writing thoughtful, meaningful, informative posts and promoting them so as to bring in more readers who will stick around to increase your following, while keeping abreast of algorithm changes that seem to happen weekly, is exhausting. Never mind what you want to write about, because your readers might be there for posts that aren’t even on your favorite topics.
It’s enough to make a blogger want to quit. No one is making you be a blogger, and presumably you got into it for reasons other than money (although of course that’s valid and probably at least a part of most people’s thinking when they start a blog).
I would like to argue there are a lot of good reasons to keep it up, even when times are hard.
One of the most amazing and special things about blogging is the community of other bloggers you can meet.
In the old days we “met” by visiting and commenting on each other’s blogs. Now we have real and virtual communities where we can ask questions, share in each other’s successes and talk about the blogging life with people who really understand what we are going through.
Local groups and conferences allow you to take that community to the next level with in-person relationship building. People you meet online though blogging can become dear friends in real life.
Then there’s the community you build around your blog. I know it’s hard to remember that people are actually reading your posts when comments are so rare, but there are people out there who read your words and consider themselves a part of your community. That’s a powerful and cool thing.
It’s fair to say a lot of people get into blogging as a means of self-expression. At Sway our very mission is about giving voices to women, and that’s what blogging has done for many of us.
Even if you aren’t writing a craft, DIY or food blog where you are literally creating things to write about, writing and photography are creative acts that are meaningful and important. My blog is based on this idea, that creativity is a vital part of being human. And blogs give us a way to express our creativity and share it with the world.
It seems like blogging and building an audience in the right way get harder every day. In the long ago days of the Internet, before there was social media, (yes, there was such a time) all you could do was write and hope people found you through search.
Now we have to decide which social networks to focus on, how often to post, how best to reach our potential readers, and how to keep up with platform and legal changes. We also need to have beautiful photography, write great content that is long, but not too long, and with just enough keywords to be found in search. Our content needs to be promoted consistently on social media, and updated regularly as the rules and standards change…
It is a challenge, or maybe a lot of challenges piled together.
However, when you know you’ve done well, when you write a great post and people respond, when a post goes a little bit viral on Facebook (or a lot if you’re lucky enough to experience that) or you get a ton of likes on Instagram, that feels really good.
It’s not a good plan to live for that external validation, because there are a lot of days when those kinds of things don’t happen. Working with and through the challenges does make the rewards that much better, though.
As bloggers, we often write about what we know and what we experience, but what we write about can also be driven by our curiosity.
What do you want to know more about that your readers might also be interested in?
My background is in journalism, so I get geeky about research, figuring things out, and reporting the results.
Maybe you are curious about Instant Pot recipes or making the best possible pins for Pinterest. Being a blogger gives you permission (not that you needed it) to never stop learning, to explore your passions, try new things, write about it, and share it with others.
Having a blog is a great motivation to keep your life fresh so you have things to write about. It insists that you pay attention to your world, that you think about things, and that you find a way to express yourself.
Yes, there is still money out there for bloggers, even though it seems like it’s harder than ever to find. There are more bloggers – more influencers, on all different platforms – than ever, and companies are able to be more selective when they choose whom to work with.
Yet there are lots of ways to make money with a blog aside from sponsored content. Advertising, selling your own products, and affiliate marketing are the major ones, but there are bloggers out there making money in lots of different ways.
If you’re curious and can get creative about meeting the challenge of making some cash with your blog while still keeping your community happy, then you’ve hit what blogging is all about.
Are you a long-time or even a newer blogger wondering if you should keep it up? We’d love to know which of these reasons resonates with you, or why you stick with it through the hard times.
Want to read more blog tips? Here are the reasons why Personal Blogging Isn’t Dead.
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