Why Do You Want to Blog? and Other Insightful Questions

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Over the years, I've met a fair share of people – mostly college students who attend talks I give, but in all both young and old – who want to know the ins and outs of why and how I became a blogger. I wish I had a fancy story to tell them, complete with a linear string of events that led from my own college days throughout my career to my current life. Who really ever does? Fairy tales are fun, but the crazy path that led me to blogging has been a lot more interesting and thus, much harder to boil down succinctly.

My road to bloggerdom story has taken some sort of shape over time, largely in response to a set of questions that's similar no matter who I'm talking to and in what situation. College students (or anyone) who's approached me wanting to pick my brain about starting a blog often want to know the why; while most who are looking to find their niche and audience are asking me how. In either case, this very set of questions is a great place to start if you're thinking of starting a blog, or need a good refresh of what you're doing it for. I like to ask myself these questions whenever I lose sight of my passion for blogging. Snaps me right back into place!

Why do you want to blog?

Remembering why you want to blog is essential to making sure you've got the right intentions in mind. Is it for your love of putting trendy outfits together, or for your undying passion for vintage pieces? I started my own blog when I was the events director at our local chamber of commerce. I researched other events and fun things in the city for my job, and wanted a platform to share all of those interesting happenings with an audience bigger than my Facebook friend count. When I remember that, I am always reminded that Seattle-based businesses, boutiques, and designers are the anchor to my blog. I might talk about other things, but those are still some of the most important posts to both my readership and to me personally. Oh, and if you're looking to start a blog simply to make money off of it – I wouldn't recommend it. Readers can always sense your true intentions!

What are you going to talk about?

This stumps a lot of people I meet who want to start a blog. If answering this question is a stretch for you, maybe it's best to stick to sharing solely on social media. I started Fresh Jess because I knew there were events and bits of information I wanted to share with others. To this day, I do everything I can to make sure the well of ideas which I draw blog post inspiration from is full. I'm a voracious reader of a diversity of blogs and sites, and I'm always listening and tuning into what's going on in my life that others can learn from.

How do you get better at blogging/writing?

The answer to this question is so simple, it's almost always too easy for people to accept. To be a better blogger, BLOG AND KEEP BLOGGING. To be a better writer, WRITE EVERY DAY. Though I don't necessarily post a new blog post every day, I keep my writing style, voice and tone sharp by writing in a journal. I aim for one page, which typically takes no more than 10 minutes. In terms of sharpening blogger skills, it's not just writing – but social media, marketing, networking, photography & photo editing, web development, graphic design, etc. If you can find ten minutes a day for a quick break, you have plenty of time to write, read up on the aforementioned topics, or plan ahead.

How do you build your network as a blogger?

I won't go into too much detail here, but social media can help your networking greatly if you let it. Some people just aren't into social media and I respect that. Twitter and Instagram especially have helped me make connections with brands, other bloggers, potential clients and my readers alike. Twitter gives them real-time insight into my life, and Instagram helps build a fuller story of the person behind Fresh Jess.

How did you decide you wanted to make money blogging?

At first glance, this is a difficult and maybe sensitive question to ask. I never went into blogging thinking I was going to make money from it one day. But just like any professional blogger, I'd reached a point where I felt my network, readership and resources were strong enough for me to branch out on my own. It helped to know there were bloggers out there who successfully left their day jobs to pursue blogging full-time. Shout out to my fellow IFB contributors and Yuli Ziv's Blogging Your Way to the Front Row for providing that inspiration to me.

 

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13 Responses

  1. Jeanine Marie

    Why do I blog? Because I love the share the things I love. I love discovering new products, designers and personalities.

    The decision to make money was a hard one for me. I have already worked online so working on the blog didn’t interrupt my work day. It just makes it longer. I was worried that using affiliate links would make me look greedy, but I really do need a second income and so far I have been pleased. You take on a third job as a personal shopper and I love that part.

    Using social media is something I need to improve. Before I didn’t care about how many followers I have but lately I have stepped out of my comfort zone and made some new friends, followers and potential sales.

    Sometimes I think about having a second blog just for non-fashion related topics, but at this moment, there is no time.

    Reply
  2. Filipa

    When I started blogging I wanted a place to share my photos and opinion about various things. I’m very shy, and sharing these things with people I know in real life didn’t seem like a great idea. Even now when I have blog, I don’t want my old high school friends to know about it. The idea to share my stories with people on the internet seemed way much better to me. I also like taking random photos of little things that catch my eye, and a blog is a perfect place to do that. Over the time, it just got bigger and better (I hope).

    I never imagined I’d be able to get any gifts or money from blogging. I guess that’s the good part, that you can do what you like and get paid for it. Plus, that’s a great way to earn extra money, especially when your financial situation isn’t that good.

    xx
    Filipa from http://ohmyfilipa.blogspot.com

    Reply
  3. CynthiaCM

    Like Jeanie, I blog because I want to share. I also want to give what might be a different perspective on things, whether it be body image, clothing, food or whatnot (not always the case, though – ha). For me, I feel that I need to be better at networking and speaking with brands that I’d like to work with. I have already sent emails/FB messages to a couple and I hope to hear back from them soon. I also need to stop worrying about other bloggers who seem to get more press than me – even though I’ve been around much longer. I think they’re just much better at marketing themselves. I’m super-shy! I have seen bloggers who are way less attractive than me who get much better opportunities (I’m not super pretty, but I don’t think I’m ugly, either). Does anyone have tips?

    – Cynthia
    http://www.delectablychic.com

    Reply
  4. Monika Faulkner

    Of course I would love to be able to make a living with my blog – I imagine that’s the same for most of us! – but it’s the fun of creating new looks, and sharing them with a like-minded community, that’s keeping me going right now!! I am enjoying the adventure…and open-minded about where it may take me!!

    http://www.StyleIsMyPudding.com

    Reply
  5. Roxanne D'souza

    Great questions. I’ve had readers message me asking where they can ‘sign up as fashion bloggers’ These are the people who follow my Facebook and Instagram feed and think it’s all about events, parties and freebies, because everybody likes that, don’t they? They really don’t realize the things that actually go into putting up a single post, from deciding what to write about, what to wear, what to share, also the PR conflicts (we all have those) and so many other things. Also the big question should be ‘What do I have to offer’ because sometimes blogs can get repetitive and you have to challenge yourself to break through those barriers.
    http://www.head2heels.co

    Reply
  6. Toni Styles

    I blog because I enjoy doing so – it’s also a bit of a healing process. I’ve had a few rough patches over recent years so my blog acts as a joy capsule. I store things that make me happy and that I can come back to. Whatever they may be.
    http://rhythmandruffle.com <3

    Reply
  7. Leila

    I blog because I absolutely love the deliciousness of sharing my perspective and ideas with the world. It makes me feel big, expansive and joyful. I deeply enjoy inspiring people to be more, experience more and live an extraordinary life. Those are my motion forward reasons :).

    http://www.leilahoffmann.com/blog

    Reply
  8. Liezel Wakens

    Why do I blog?

    Blogging for me just happened really, I have been baking for awhile before september 2013, after doing some “training” with a multimedia company and getting in touch with a whole bunch of bloggers, I thought I’d share all my kitchen mishaps, its only been 5 months and my blog is still relatively new but I enjoy sharing what I get up to in the kitchen.

    Liezel

    http://bakedinthecape.wordpress.com

    Reply
  9. Juliana

    It’s so easy to wander off on a different path when blogging and losing sight of what your initial goal was, or at least that’s how it is for me. Even though the question is pretty blunt, it’s a good one to ask myself every once in a while to make sure I’m not wandering too much.

    Reply
  10. SnowRii

    I started blogging after looking at the asian bloggers that were doing all these cool collabs and sponsorships and businesses, but now I think it’s a great way for me to keep track of what I’ve done. It helps me pick out the happy things in life, and remember them. When I’m really old and senile, I want to be able to look back and read my blog and laugh at my amateur writing, and remember all the great times I had ^^

    Reply
  11. Leslie Anne

    I started blogging from an entertainment perspective first, but when I started my fashion blog in 2012, it was based on a love of clothes, personal style, uniqueness, and all of that. There aren’t a lot of influential black bloggers, so I thought it was important to share my perspective and have a voice.

    Leslie Anne
    http://www.theprettymustache.com/

    Reply