The Blogging Journey

I see blogging as a journey, the path a plant makes as it grows, branching here and there, intersecting, dissecting, each part of the journey a part of the whole.

The first day of blogging is a day filled with confusion and eagerness. Determination to get on with it, and frustration because there are buttons to push, questions requiring answers, and hope in the achievement of a goal: The published post.

The first week, the blog clamors for your attention, challenging you to perform. It needs header art. What should it look like? The blog demands color. Where should the color be? In the header, title, background, menu navigation, links, post titles? Pictures are required. Photographs of self, activities, products, services, crafts, artwork, all on display, but where?

Little attention is paid to the content, the posts, as the other web pages must be filled it. Time is spent writing the About page bio, Contact, policies, all the bits and pieces of information and imagery to support the mission of the site.

A week has passed, every free moment spent with the blog, making it pretty, making it look like what you wish, a little emulation of others, a little representation of self.

Content? It’s time for another post? Another article is required, an expression of knowledge, ability, skill, and information.

In a month, you decided you need readers, a bigger audience. You branch out into the world of social media, stomping your feet to be noticed in the crowd. It takes a while, but soon you get how Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and the rest of the social sandboxes work, and one or more of them becomes your new playground. It’s now about the social and not about the blog, and your energies travel along that branch.

In time, your blog calls you back. It has to. It needs you. You need it. What you publish on social media channels is often no longer your original content. It is owned by the rights of the network to do with it what they please. You start to learn about copyrights and publishing rights, and become more protective of your precious voice and style.

You begin to bring the conversation back to your blog, make it your new headquarters for all things you.

Since you’ve put so much time and effort into this bloggy thing, isn’t it time it started making you money?

You start experimenting with advertising on your site, affiliate ads, even paid blogging. You start guest blogging elsewhere to expand your reach, and bring more people to your site, and to help you make more money.

A few months later, you realize that you are spending 20-60 hours a week trying to make money with your blog, and the checks coming in total under twenty dollars each. You do the math. It’s twenty-five cents an hour. It isn’t worth it, or you aren’t doing it right.

So you change your game plan. You start reading all the right monetization blogs, learning about how to make six figures blogging. If they are making money, you should be making money. Learn from them, and you will make money. You start paying for online courses, attending workshops, conferences, paying money to make money.

Then you realize that this is how the sic figure bloggers make money. They make it from you.

Nothing wrong with learning from the experts, but you realize that they took years to get to their six figures. You don’t have that much time nor patience.

You start to lose interest. You poke the social media bear from time to time, do a sloppy post or two, and hope that something sinks in and the money buckets start pouring over your head and filling your bathtub.

Months go by and you blog less and less. It’s just not fun any more. If it weren’t for removing comment spam…

Then you stop.

Time passes.

A friend asks you to help her start blogging. After all, you are an experienced blogger. You understand how it works.

You help, groaning inside, knowing this is a dead end, but her enthusiasm is contagious.

You look at her smiling face and cheer with her when she figures out how to change the header art on the blog. You fill the joy when she gets what a Widget is, and discovers the power of the Text Widget. You race to her sparkling new site and leave a comment, and rejoice with her at getting that first connection with the outside world.

Her energy triggers your memories. For her, this is fun. For you, this used to be fun. What was fun about it?

Ah, the creation. The creativity. That was the fun part.

Having your say. Telling the world what you thought about this and that, your opinion, expertise, sharing your wisdom with the crowd.

That was fun.

It was fun to work on an article, find the information to back up what you said, and links to recommendations. To find the fun images to accompany your words, then hit publish and watch the world turn up at your virtual doorstep.

That was fun.

So you begin your journey again. You are wiser now, and you understand that the mastery of blogging is a mastery of self, the creative self.

This time, you will blog for you, not others, not money.

This blog’s for me.

3 comments on “The Blogging Journey”

  1. Fantastic and so true, I blog for my future children and grandchildren!!

  2. […] The Blogging Journey – Blog Your Passion […]

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