When You Blog For Yourself

When You Blog For Yourself | WrittenByJennifer

I have been a blogger for almost eight years. When the average life span of something on the internet is thirteen seconds, doing something for eight years seems like an impossibility. I’ve seen blogs rise and fall, some went by in a flash and others were established, beloved, successful bloggers who closed up shop for reasons ranging from burn out to life getting in the way. I’ve been witness to the changing tides of blogging. When I started my blog, most bloggers did it as a form of journaling, sharing their lives with internet strangers. Now blogging has turned into a business with metrics to be measured and networking to be made. Most bloggers now consider themselves entrepreneurs, they have online shops and services. But what if you’re the type of blogger that doesn’t want to get into the “business of blogging”? What if you blog for yourself?

When You Blog For Yourself | WrittenByJennifer

I belong to many blogger networking groups and read a lot of “industry” related articles because it’s part of my professional job and the one piece of advice I see time and time again is “blogging should solve a problem for the reader.” And it’s good advice if you’re the entrepreneur type of blogger. But what if you’re not looking to turn a profit from blogging? How do you fit into the equation of bloggers and readers? Let me ask you another question: What if you shouldn’t worry about it?

I blog for myself (mostly). I started this blog after taking a break from my previous one. I was burnt out and felt like I had written myself into a corner. I also felt like I needed to re-strategize, that I didn’t fit the mold of blogger anymore. I like to tell personal stories, share my life, work out things on paper but I was becoming a rarity. These are also the things I like to read about most. My favorite bloggers are the ones who share their lives, good and bad, not the ones who preach or give me nothing but step-by-step tutorials. It’s partly because I enjoy the idea of being a voyeur; it’s like reading someone’s diary.

Last summer I was experiencing extreme burn out. I looked at blogging as an obligation that I needed to check off. When I had that time away from writing a blog I noticed I missed the outlet it provided. I no longer thought about writing a post that would optimize the best rather I wanted to share what was going on in our lives, a move to a new state, a new life experience, and just how badly I missed cheesesteaks. ย I had started blogging for myself as a form of outlet and a way to practice a craft that I wanted to become better at, why did I think I need to change myself or my methods? When I wasn’t focused on numbers, growth, reach, engagement, and following I found that I was able to enjoy writing again.

Blogging for yourself provides you with a unique gift. I have the last eight years of my life and thoughts chronicled, saved forever. I have photos and details of my pregnancies, the minutiae of Sophia’s and Jack’s early days that I can barely remember.ย There are funny anecdotes between Tim and I that I would haven’t remembered if I hadn’t saved in print form on my blog. I know with certainty that I wouldn’t have as much detail of my life if it wasn’t for my blog. Handwritten journaling never stuck with me for some reason but blogging did. Maybe it was because I wasn’t writing it simply for record but because I was sharing. I was telling my story not just memorializing dates and people.

If you’re the story-telling type, I want to encourage you to stick with it. Let your voice be heard. Let someone find you relatable. Let someone find your story surprising and thought-provoking. Blog for yourself.

 

16 Comment

  1. Ali A says: Reply

    I love this so much, and as I’m sure you know — totally agree. I’ll never be the blogger who makes a business out of her work/words and I will NEVER get to a point where I’m selling products or services or posting reviews for cash. I get why bloggers do this, but that’s not why I started mine. My love has always been solely WRITING, and if that means I’ll have fewer readers and will never see a penny from it, that’s OK by me.

    GREAT post. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Jennifer says: Reply

      Yup! There are all sorts of bloggers and no one is better or worse because of the direction they choose. I think the smaller or non-monetized bloggers forget that message. Also, I selfishly want more true lifestyle bloggers.

  2. To be a big time blogger was never a goal of mine. It seems like so much work! Lighting photos correctly, angles, communicating with advertisers, ugghh plsknothx.
    I definitely agree about the fact that if I didn’t blog, moments would be lost forever. Silly stuff and serious stuff, I love reading back through my blog and seeing the ups and downs. Yay for #blogforyourself-ing ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Jennifer says: Reply

      I feel like the message being put out there in many networking groups is that you HAVE to be working towards something bigger and like you said some of us either don’t have the desire or the opportunities to put forth all the effort required. Keep writing! Thanks for stopping by.

  3. YES, I totally agree with this!! I have blogged for 15 years now, since before my oldest was born. I’ve had several different blogs over the years, before I rebranded to We Heart Puffy Cheetos. When I first bought the We Heart Puffy Cheetos domain, I had a lot of pressure from friends in the blogging community to write blogs for others. But honestly, I have never blogged for anyone else; writing is therapeutic for me, so that’s why I do it. I am so happy to find other bloggers who feel the same way! โ™ฅ

    1. Jennifer says: Reply

      Every time I see your banner I crave cheetos. 15 years of blogging is impressive. I don’t think anyone could have predicted what blogging what look like today. Getting paid for blogging? Get out of here! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Lisa @ Adventures of a Dream Catcher says: Reply

    Blogging for eight years is impressive! While I do love a good travel blog, my favorite blogs are usually the smaller lifestyle ones. For me, those types of bloggers are easier to relate to.

  5. Casey says: Reply

    LOVE this more than you could know. I have done 3 blogs; one, we outgrew, one was a project, and my current. I enjoy writing but when I start thinking about it as a business I start getting more nervous about it. What if inspiration doesn’t come? I don’t want to view it like a school assignment.

    1. Jennifer says: Reply

      I definitely saw an uptick in anxiety over what I wrote and shared when I was trying to monetize.

  6. First time reading your blog and I like it already. I’ve been blogging for 10 years, for myself and also working with companies over the years. The best part is when I blog for my family and share our stories, recipes, trips. At the end of the day I’m the owner of my blog and I want to share what I want. Even when I work with companies, I stay true to myself. I will only make recipes with products that we like and I do develop my own recipes with the products. In 10 years I haven’t falled into the wagon of making money with things with don’t use in my home. It would not make sense to my readers. I feel that I’m doing a favor to people to share products we like. It’s the same when I see my friends in family in real life and they share products that they like with me. I know that because I stay honest to my readers that I will never make a ton of money with my blog because I will never sign contracts just to make money. And at the end of day it’s more important to wake up in the morning and be able to look at myself in the mirror and be proud of myself. I will come back to read more!

    1. Jennifer says: Reply

      You’re absolutely right, Helene, the trust your readers have in you is more valuable than anything you could possibly sell to them. Without their trust, you don’t have many readers.

  7. Liv says: Reply

    Blogging does indeed provide a unique opportunity to let yourself be heard. Congratulations on eight years – I’m almost 2 1/2 now and I’m loving it more every day.

    1. Jennifer says: Reply

      Even if you’re talking to a handful of readers, it’s nice to be heard. I hope you enjoy writing for years to come!

  8. Agreed. I monetize, but I only write what I want – otherwise, I turn it down. I share as much of my life as is appropriate for the stage it’s in. For some people, it’s their cup of tea and for others it isn’t. That’s cool by me. There’s space for us all.

    1. Jennifer says: Reply

      Yes, the blogging community needs to remember there’s space for everyone.

  9. Annie says: Reply

    Good day!
    Thank you very much for this post. I’ve been thinking about my own blog for a year. But when this idea first came into my mind, I was a bit afraid of it because I had thought blog is actually must be about something specific, to be useful for readers, to be devoted to some particular topic, kind of manual, etc. I still can’t call myself a great professional in any area, I keep growing and learning. So I just brushed off the idea of blogging. However, it put down roots somewhere deep in my brain. ๐Ÿ™‚
    A year later I changed my perspective. Now I think that I’m not obligatory to write a blog the way so many bloggers now impose – to run it like a business. I’m free to do it for myself, the way I want. I can write just about my interests, about some abstract issues that worry me and I would like to share my views about. That would be more sincere and beautiful and would bring pure pleasure.
    And your article just proves that there are still bloggers who also write for themselves. That makes me more confident, thank you. In my country blogging just for your soul is not that wide-spread, that’s why I had doubts. But finding such blogs in other languages gives inspiration and motivation. Thanks again!
    Best wishes!
    P.S. English is not my native, so sorry for mistakes if any. =]

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