The post that asks: does the world really need so many blogs? What is the point of your blog?
Blogging can be a pretty desperate game. Until I started my own blog, I didn’t realise just how many voices there are out there, clamouring to be heard. It’s not just in the personal finance sphere, of course. In every area – food and travel being two major examples – the internet is saturated with blogs.
It is estimated that there are over 500 million blogs on the internet. No doubt an awful lot of them are inactive; their writers disheartened by lack of traction.
This leads me to explore my own motivations for this blog pretty much every time I go to write a post.
I frequently feel like a pretty pointless blip on the internet. What the hell do I have to add? How presumptuous of me to think that what have to say is remotely interesting or worthwhile.
So why write a blog…?
Doing it for the money?
Let’s get this one out of the way first. Is the point (or at least, one point) of your blog to make money?
The internet is awash with blog posts about how to make money blogging. It’s a veritable Ponzi scheme. And much like the saying that history is written by the victors, blog posts about making money blogging are written by those that have been successful making money blogging.
Personal finance Pinterest seems to 50% consist of pins along the lines of “How I made $X in just X months of blogging”.
It wouldn’t be fair to say that the boat for making money blogging has sailed. There are definitely some newer blogs that succeed in monetising. It seems to be a combination of having something fresh to say and being relatively “hungry” for it.
I meet neither of these criteria. Almost everything I’ve written could be read on countless other blogs. And while that is the case I’m too embarrassed to market myself to the level needed to drive traffic and successfully monetise. So any small hope I may have had about monetising in the future when I first started this blog has been put on an indefinite backburner.
Doing it to hold yourself accountable?
The other popular reason to maintain a blog is to hold oneself accountable. This is especially true in the personal finance world where a lot of us have financial goals we’re aiming for. If you share these with a readership you’ll probably be more likely to stick to them.
I used to think/say this was one of my reasons. But truth be told, I’m my own worst critic. I’d probably stick to my goals regardless. I can’t really say this is a big motivator for me.
Doing it to help others?
Lots of blogger just want to share their knowledge with others. This is all very well if you actually have some experience to impart. I don’t. A few of my posts are more “educational”, based on an experience I have gone through, such as paying voluntary National Insurance Contributions or buying a leasehold property. But I certainly don’t have enough wisdom within me to sustain an entire blog.
I sometimes get comments on my blog from people that say they have enjoyed a post or that they’ve found it useful and it’s a great feeling. It helps motivate me to continue.
But broadly speaking, the world does not need my blog. I accept this. It doesn’t add anything particularly unique.
Maybe in the future, my blog will become less about my personal musings and morph into something more instructional, but not for now.
Doing it for the community
Where I’ve landed is that I am keeping my blog going because I find it a good way to interact with others in the personal finance community. My other “real life” friends are generally not that bothered about discussing personal finance. This is how I get to do it.
Sure, I could still interact on Twitter or comment on others’ blogs without having my own, but maintaining this blog has proved to be an effective way to regurgitate my thoughts and get the input of others.
How do my fellow bloggers feel? What is the point of your blog? Do you ever feel disheartened by the sheer volume of other blogs?