The fact that you are asking the question “Is it worth starting a blog?” is saying to me that you think it IS worth starting a blog.
If you weren’t thinking that, I’m pretty sure that you wouldn’t have bothered to come this far.
So, you do think it’s worth starting a blog and you are now “doing the research” to make sure that you haven’t missed any obvious gotchas.
I did the research, and the answer I found, like the answers to many things is … it depends.
Starting a blog depends on many things but it mainly depends on you!
What is a Blog for?
Again … it depends.
You can blog for yourself, for whatever reasons, or you can blog for a corporate, in return for a wage.
I don’t think that’s where we are.
Corporate blogs are designed to establish and develop relationships with customers, to generate leads and to convert prospects into customers. Corporate blogs are a corporate marketing tool. Interesting, but we’re not here to talk about corporate blogging.
The growth in smartphone ownership and the remarkable rise in tablet ownership has improved access to the internet for just about everyone, and the access is portable. Being able to carry the internet in your pocket has meant that people are increasingly turning to the internet to find answers to their questions.
Stripped back to its basics, a blog is a mechanism for sharing information and for providing answers to questions. Ultimately, it’s a bit like a pipe, where information is generated at one end for consumption at the other.
Here, we are not talking about corporate blogging, we are here to talk about blogging for yourself.
- A blog is great if you have an interest in writing and if you have something to contribute.
- A blog can allow you to express yourself and to develop your creative abilities.
- A blog provides a channel to others, allowing you to help by providing insights, solutions and answers to their questions.
- A blog means that other people can read your work.
- A blog can get you up in the morning.
- A blog can make you some money.
Thinking about people reading your work, having a reaction to it and then maybe sharing it is enough to get a lot of us out of bed in the morning … ready and raring to go to write the next article.
Then there is the possibility of making money, and that is going to be on the minds of many. There are many ways that blogs can be monetised – so I have heard – but extracting cash from a blog can be something of a balancing act. I feel that the approach to monetisation should reflect the overall character of the blog.
You may benefit financially from blogging, but if you are not going to benefit mentally or spiritually, it will become a chore. Make sure that you are blogging because you want to blog.
Primarily, a blog is about developing you.
Why am I Blogging?
I thought I would have a go at blogging – I had some niche ideas – but during my initial research and analysis, I couldn’t find the beginner’s guide that I was looking for. It occurred to me that I couldn’t find what I was looking for because it doesn’t exist!
I have spent most of my working life (and education) doing analysis and writing about it. Most of the time, I enjoyed myself. I like looking for, and then finding answers and I like to write. Now I have the time to be doing it for myself.
I began to think that if I was unable to find what I was looking for, there must be others in similar positions, especially those without a technical background who just want to write. Blogging technology isn’t a huge barrier, but it is a barrier. There are ways of muddling through but whilst they might be a solution, they are not a satisfactory solution.
So, before I start to write my blog, I am going to learn how I should be doing it and then I am going to share how I’ve done it. I am actually going to be sharing whilst I am learning, blogging about blogging, on the fly, so to speak … so let’s see how that goes.
I shall be writing from the perspective of a beginner rather than from the perspective of an expert who used to be a beginner!
That’s what gets me out of bed in the morning. ?
There’s more about me and my beginner’s rationale on the About page.
I want to learn, and I would like to share.
What makes YOU want to start a Blog?
Maybe you just want to keep a record of events and activities to share with friends and family. Back in the dim and distant (actually 1994 for the first blog, but 1997 before it was called a blog – more about the human history of blogging here), a weblog was just another means of keeping stories and making them available in chronological order. So, in the early days, a blog was the technological equivalent of a diary.
Maybe you want to develop your writing skills. It almost goes without saying that doing some writing is probably a good way of developing your writing skills … but you need a purpose.
You have a lot to say, so much that you say that you could write a book on it. You can write it but if you do, you need to be able to share it. Blog it!
You like making stuff and you like seeing it develop and come to fruition – a blog is something you can grow, and you can grow it at your own pace. You can write and you can help others solve their problems, you can answer their questions and you can express your thoughts at the same time.
I think there are three categories of writing. You can write for yourself, keeping informal notes and diaries, or you can write for others, fact or fiction. Most writing is about sharing information and thoughts. Diaries aside, I wonder if there is any point to writing if no one is going to read it?
Whatever writing you might want to do, you can do it with a blog.
What can a Blog do for you?
Like just about everything you might get involved in, what you get out of a blog is in many ways representative of what you put in. There is no quick return, so don’t be listening to the 12-year old millionaires getting excited about building websites in 10 minutes. Don’t forget, these are people who can’t tell the front of a baseball cap from the back.
You could use your blog to develop your writing skills, to learn new stuff through doing research and to broaden your horizons. You could do all of this and then share what you have learned. Share the experience … share it well and inspire others.
You could become famous … maybe you could become an influencer and earn money influencing people.
Cartoon by Dave Walker. Find more cartoons you can freely re-use on your blog at We Blog Cartoons.
You could also earn money from affiliate programs and advertising. [The above cartoon and link is not one of those.]
Blogging is fun. You can have fun. Have fun!
You could also become successful by writing about what you know best and what you love. That should make it easy …
Andrew MacGregor is a guy with a doctorate in epidemiology, so he is probably already capable of constructing a sentence. He originates from the US but found himself stationed in Belgium. He began to write a blog as a means of keeping in touch with family and friends. His blog developed and became a journal of experiences as he travelled across Europe.
Learn what a blog can do for you by reading his story at www.jagabond.com.
Worthy of note … there are links out to YouTube and there are links out to other sites, like Trip Advisor, and there are references to stores like IKEA, but there are no adverts of affiliate links that I can see. This site is well written and it’s non-commercial, unless I have missed something.
Andrew enjoys it, it has become a daily routine he can document likes, dislikes and advice for fellow travellers.
You might be dull. So, as an alternative, you can also check out the dullest blog in the world here. ?
Your blog is you, but it’s you out there.
Is it too late to start a blog?
Interesting question. Does it mean too late in years (like you’re too old) or does it mean too late because the opportunity for blogging has passed? I don’t believe the opportunity has passed, and blogging statistics seem to support this. I did a bit of digging and jotted down some of the more interesting numbers. You can read more about the statistics and make your own judgement here.
And … there must still be opportunity, or this wouldn’t make sense.
Between web hosting codes, theme deals, and courses, a blogger can easily make a few hundred dollars by convincing someone else to start their own website.Tom Blake: the online world
Tom is probably right, but it does not seem to me to be in the spirit of using one’s skill, judgement and experience for the benefit of others. It seems to me that these are the words of someone taking advantage rather than adding value. This is blogging with a baseball cap facing the wrong way and a Lamborghini in the garage.
Tom Blake is 23.
Is blogging a young person thing?
I am not 23.
I may be late to the blogging game, but I am technically literate with a background in Business and Systems Analysis and Project Management. I think I can level the playing field for those with life experience who would like to write but are not right down there with the kids when it comes to the tech.
People say it’s easy, but it’s only easy if you the sort of person who is frightened of smartphones. Don’t let a fear of the tech stop you sharing the huge bounty of your life, knowledge and experience.
There is a balance to be had here, and it’s never too late. Youth may seem to have the advantage over social media and their relationship with technology, but with age comes wisdom, and knowledge, and experience. Look beyond the technology barrier and you’re on your way.
I have to say that the same is true for all those people who just want to be able to do some writing, but who find getting past the tech to be a struggle.
Would you feel more comfortable blogging if you felt more comfortable with the technology?
Why is it not worth blogging?
It depends on who you listen to. It’s much easier to criticise than it is to create. Constructive criticism is always welcome, and I thank people for taking the time. But, sadly, criticism isn’t always constructive. I have been at the leading edge of many innovations in my field – I talk about them in the About pages – and I am well used to hearing people tell me why something cannot be done.
It’s much easier to come up with reasons for not doing something than it is to commit and do it. It’s also much easier for others to come up with reasons why you should think again. Here’s
- Blogging is hard work, you could do better things with your time, like watching telly!
- You don’t have that much to offer.
- People are not interested in what you have to say.
- If it were such a good idea, everyone would be doing it.
- It’s already been done.
- There’s too much competition.
Responsible blogging gurus will tell you that you need around 30 articles to kick-off, that’s 30 articles presented on a website, supported by several static pages that provide form and function. Doing the maths, that’s 30 articles of between 1500 and 4000 words, which comes in at around 60,000 words. So, if you can write 2,000 words a day, and that’s a lot to start with, the basic website is going to take around 2-3 months to deliver, taking into account technical considerations and research.
Look at my take on what it takes (above), and then consider Google’s E-A-T policies. The real value of the blog is in the stuff you know. I know how to bring stuff together to make other stuff happen, and that’s what I am doing here.
There is stuff you know that can enrich the lives of others. There are 7 billion people on this Earth! You can’t tell me that no one is going to be interested in what you have to say.
Facebook has 2.6 billion active monthly users! Have a look at the statistics about the growth over the years since 2008. There are over 600 million blog sites globally out of 1.7 million websites, and people are searching “how to start a blog” around 4000 times a day. Check out the numbers here on Growthbadger and here, on my statistics page. It is a good idea and lots of people are doing it.
It may have already been done, but it hasn’t been done by you. Find your angle, break the technology barrier and add value.
Competition means just that, out of 600 million blogs, it stands to reason that some are covering the same subject as others. Competition means that there is an established audience out there, and there is a marketplace. Competition is not a negative.
The only thing stopping you blogging is your own lack of confidence in your abilities.
Blog for your Life
There is a great deal of competition in the blogging space and the internet is awash with sites that have been developed and then abandoned. I have been reading and apparently, the trick is to find a niche that you are interested in, write interesting and engaging articles and then market yourself on social media.
At the time I am writing, I am thinking that I would like to develop my writing skills, develop my technical skills in this area and build something that might return some cash.
I would like to be building something that adds value to the world – if that is not too much of a grandiose statement – and is going to help others.
Too many sites and videos are telling me – and you – how easy it is to set up a blog, and yet so many people don’t do it because they don’t believe it. Perhaps it’s something to do with the 12-year old millionaires with baseball caps pointing the wrong way.
I started this journey with a number of possible blog niches in mind, and then I realised that the blog niche I should be focussing on first was slowly revealing itself to me.
There is a lot of competition in the Blogging ’bout Blogging space. Some blogging commentators show it as No. 5 in popularity, behind things like fashion and make-up. Because of my background and experience, I think I can add value to this space, so here I am … I am going to have a go!
I am blogging for my life, and without a doubt, I am going to be learning on the way. That’s the point, writing a blog should be life-enhancing. I like to learn stuff, and this is the sort of stuff that I like to learn.
If it isn’t enhancing your life, you need to be thinking …
I am going to learn how to blog because I want to learn how to blog. I am going to try out what I learn and then I am going to share. I am going to be doing the learning from a position of experience, I am going to be doing the sharing whilst wearing beginner’s shoes.
Start it for yourself, finish it for others
Find your path and follow it.
What have we learned about the worth of blogging?
A blog is mechanical. It comes alive only when the spirit and essence of the bloggers and writers give it life.
A blog that has been given life will reflect the personalities of those who are feeding it.
Blogging is hard work, you do it because you enjoy doing it and because you want to do it.
Blogging allows you to grow intellectually and to express yourself, it allows you to develop ideas and to share them with others.
You can make money out of blogging, but you will be playing the long game. There are lots of opportunities but there is no quick return on your investment.
Blogging is probably not the best way to make quick cash.
You can waste a lot of time just thinking about whether starting a blog would be a waste of time.
The strategy you adopt is dependent on the goal you are trying to achieve.
Always – content first!