Lately it seems like just about everyone I know blogs. Of course that’s not the case since I also know quite a few people who have never blogged in their lives (Hi Mom!).
I don’t think the high number of bloggers in my social circle is a result of working in social media or communications — I think that it is the result of many more kinds of people blogging.
When I started blogging, it was still considered kind of a weird thing to do. I hesitated to tell people about my blog and remember clearly going to my first blogger gathering and thinking, “these are my people; this is where I belong.”
While many have tried their hand at blogging, there are a few who have kept at it — who have gone the distance. Last year, the New York Times estimated that 95 percent of all blogs are abandoned. Many of the bloggers I’ve been reading for years are survivors in my book.
I believe it — blogging is hard work and some people have it in them to keep at it, and some people don’t. After all these years I still find that I have plenty to say (a symptom, I think, of being a voracious consumer of information). Blogging has served me well, contributing to a career that continues to grow and supporting an upward trajectory of confidence in my writing, teaching and speaking abilities.
Someone I consider a mentor once said she thought of blogging as narcissistic and therefore couldn’t really bring herself to do it. “Am I a narcissist?” I thought . . . maybe a little, but what writer isn’t, a little (in the, “well why wouldn’t people want to read my words?” way.)
Klout, the self-described “standard for online and internet influence” says I’m a “thought leader.” This is good because this is what I’ve set out to become.
Are you a blogger? If so, how do you define yourself as a blogger?
If you’re not a blogger, what do you think when someone shares that they blog?
I kind of agree that blogging is a bit narcissistic…and you’re right, what writer isn’t? It’s also sad to me that 95 percent of bloggers abandon what they’re doing. But let’s be real. It’s not easy work. It’s really hard word. It’s hard work to write something consistently. It’s hard work to write something interesting. It’s hard work to move people to want to comment. And it’s really hard work to keep people engaged. But, if you do it right, you become a thought leader and a survivor…because it soon becomes about your audience and you don’t want to disappoint them.
It’s funny, when I started my first blog in 2006, it was to share things I was personally passionate about. I never blogged about marketing. Then in 2008, I decided that I needed a mechanism to get “things off my chest” in response to things I was seeing in the industry (i.e. the backward nature of the marketing/PR industries). It never occurred to me that people might actually read what I wrote. In fact, I was kind of hoping they wouldn’t because I don’t consider myself a professional writer.
When my blog started getting popular, I started hating blogging. I took time off from it to concentrate elsewhere and I still haven’t found my groove or passion to blog again. All that hard work Gini mentions makes me not want to blog. I wanted it to be something fun not full of pressure and stress. I am working hard to find my love of writing/blogging again and to be a better writer, but it’s for me…not others. I guess that could be narcissistic and selfish. 😉
That is exactly how I feel about it — I’m not blogging for ME (well, sometimes I do have to get something off my mind) — I am blogging to help others. I don’t think I have ever hated blogging but when it becomes a chore, that’s when it’s time to take a break or refocus.
I’ve been blogging consistently for almost four years and I agree that it can be a lot of work. There are some days that I don’t necessarily have anything to say, yet I feel a bit of pressure to produce.
As for whether or not it’s narcissistic, I’ve certainly been accused of that, but I wouldn’t say that it’s necessarily true of all bloggers. There are definitely those who produce blogs that are a service to readers and I for one am grateful for them.