Remember from my last post that “all meaning is context dependent.” So…
First, My Blogging Story
I’ve been blogging since 2009 when I first left cubicle life to start my entrepreneurial life. My first blog was called “The Entrepreneurial Journey.” It was actually pretty boring because the entrepreneurial life isn’t very glamorous or exciting, especially at the beginning. But the blog did serve an important feature. It kept my current friends and family engaged in what I was doing. I didn’t feel as lonely as I could have since I knew I had their support.
As our business got closer to opening, the blog transitioned into more updates about the process. One of my favorite things I did was post a photo each day for about 30 days leading up to the opening. I showed the behind the scenes of the construction process. I showed the equipment as it came in. It was really fun and helped build excitement and peak curiosity. (This is in the time before Instagram so that’s why I didn’t use that platform instead.)
After the business opened, the blog became more about sharing news of interest. Then I tried to do more persuasive posts to inspire people who want to live purposefully. During those first few years I wasn’t terribly consistent with my posting either. We transitioned our website to a new platform and I restarted the blog with the sole purpose of posting inspirational content. We did a weekly post each Wednesday and called it “World Change Wednesdays.” It never really caught on.
At the beginning of 2016, I decided one of my goals would be to blog much more consistently because I knew it would help me grow on a personal level. You see, I like to hoard information. One of the ways I can mature is to take that information and share it. It’s like a hoarder giving away all their possessions but with me that’s what I need to do with the information I have. The cool thing is that I don’t lose it when I share in. In fact, as people comment and respond, I learn new things! So I started really sharing my guts. Almost like going back to that original blog but with one key difference…
My Latest Blogging Aha Moment
This time as I share my stories I’m trying to be much more focused on my audience. Instead of just spewing information, I want to make sure it connects with the people reading it (hint: that’s you!). So, from the title, to the content, to responding to each and every comment, I’m thinking about you and how to best help you. That’s part of why this is now a video blog… most of you don’t like to read lots of text but you like videos so I’m going this extra step.
Now that you’ve got the context, here are the 5 reasons NOT to start a blog.
1. Because you want to make money.
There are so many blogs out there that are pure junk and it is clear they just want to make money. Some of the worse blogs are from businesses who start blogs just to increase their SEO. Even worse are blogs from individuals who start blogs just to make money from advertising. These blogs crowd search engine results and spew the same information over and over again.
Please don’t add to the trash out there that doesn’t provide unique perspective and value for an audience – even if that audience is just you.
2. Because you want to argue your position.
There are blogs out there that are simply rants about a particular topic – usually politics or religion. The writer doesn’t try to meet the reader where they are. Instead they just harp on their points without consideration for how their words come across. These are usually really long, dense posts. At their worst, they are hateful toward opposing perspectives.
There’s enough hate in the world. Please don’t add to it.
3. Because you’re bored.
Blogging is hard work and takes commitment. You have to write consistently. You can probably come up with a certain amount of topics but what about after that? If you’re bored, maybe start writing but don’t start a blog. If and when you get a good number of blog posts done (at least 10), then start to release them on a weekly basis. If you never get at least 10 posts done, blogging probably isn’t right for you. Keep what you wrote but you don’t need to post it online and add to the clutter. You can always come back to it later.
Please don’t start something that you’ll abandon soon thereafter.
4. Because there are haters in the world.
Let’s say you start blogging and you’re good at it. Let’s say people read it. It’s undeniable that people will be critical of what you write. Even if you manage to write the most loving content, haters are going to hate. You have to be ready for criticism and judgment and ridiculously mean comments. They will come sooner or later if anyone besides your mom reads your blog.
Please don’t start a blog if you’re not ready for some mean things to be written back at you.
5. Because this is the first time you’re thinking about it.
Like I said with #3, blogging is hard work and takes commitment. That’s worth repeating. Start a blog after lots of thought and planning. If you start on an impulse you’ll quit. I’ll repeat my advice here. Write at least 10 posts before you get a blog site. Only after you have at least 10 posts ready, get the site and start releasing then 1 per week. As you write those first 10 posts, I hope you’ll be thinking a lot more about blogging. I hope you’ll find your voice and figure out the audience you want to target. I hope you’ll do some research to learn more about blogging and content calendars and so forth. Get into a routine of writing consistently so you can always stay ahead of your posts.
Please take your time. Do the research. Make a plan. Write at least 10 posts in advance.
You now know really why I blog: to help me on a personal growth level. I have an intrinsic motivation. I’m okay if no one reads my blog. I’m also super grateful when people do read it and comment. I also really hope blogging helps my entrepreneurial endeavors and I know it has.
So, I shared 5 reasons NOT to start a blog. If you’re an entrepreneur thinking of starting a blog, vlog, or podcast, I hope you’ll think long and hard about getting started and take your time planning and creating content before you launch.
If you blog or if you decide to start a blog, I invite you to post in the comments reasons why you decided to do so. I shared the reasons why NOT to start. I’d love to see a whole bunch of reasons why to start. Comment away. I promise to read and respond to every comment.