This was my initial reaction to her question, “What is blogging, actually?”
After 14 months of sweating over WordPress, pouring my heart out to the global blogosphere my mum asks me now?! I of course went into detail with full throttle passion (I can’t help it, I am super proud of being a lifestyle blogger) but then thought mmm actually maybe she has a point here. Time to time I have come across people who are kind enough to support, follow and share my posts but deep down aren’t sure exactly what it all means or I occasionally see a glazed look when I proudly tell people I am a blogger.
So here we are. For anyone who maybe isn’t sure or even for those who may have found themselves in a blogging rut, starting to question why they are even doing it (and it does happen because being inspired and obtaining that supportive audience isn’t always easy!), then I pray you find this useful.
Let’s start with the basics:
Oxford dictionary definitions:
Blog (n): a regularly updated website or web page, typically run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style.
Blogging (v): to write about an event, situation, topic etc in a blog.
So I am what is called, a blogger. Which means I write and publish lifestyle content for my blog, niccimcshane.com. Online websites such as this are really growing in popularity, on a massive scale. You see the internet has given a route for the average person like me to connect with the world and to have my very own global audience.
Bloggers are also now seen as influencers which in my opinion is awesome. When we want to buy an item, instead of looking for reviews on the brand’s website (which are obviously going to be amazing), we turn to reviews from people who have tested and/or bought the product for a real review, and most of these you will find are blogs. Even the fashion industry invites fashion bloggers to their shows as they realise their huge followers respect and trust their reviews.
So why blog?
Why not? A blog has a place on the internet, you know that gigantic global system. Therefore what better place to express yourself to the world, people you would never usually speak with. I have readers in countries I have never even been to and it’s the most amazing, lifting feeling. A blog is a place to share passions, advice, tips, thoughts and reviews from say restaurants and cameras to skincare and recipes. The topics really are not exhaustive. Realistically, every human has a voice and they want it to be heard. Some people blog to just share information about their lives, their typical day, it is their way of being connected to the world and there are some who provide tips on technical information, share news, cooking, health, gardening and even blogging itself. There really is no limit on what people want to share their views on and I think it’s incredible.
Some of my fellow bloggers gave their reasons as to why they blog:
To express myself
I want to make money (this is possible through affiliate marketing, sponsorships, advertising etc)
I want to network with like-minded people
I want to share my travel tips
What stands out to me is that every one of us wants to have an impact on the world and make a difference. I regularly check out the website, Worldometers to see how many blogs have been created on the web at that very moment and to give you an idea of just how big the blogosphere is, at the time of press it was 4,255,089 and was rapidly climbing! Pretty phenomenal stats right?
What does blogging involve?
Firstly knowing what you want to talk about as content is important. It needs to be something that will connect with the audience you are seeking. What is it you would want to read? What inspires you?
It also involves serious commitment and dedication. Blogs need to be maintained both technically and by regular up to date content. There is nothing more annoying than finding a website you like and seeing that it’s out of date. It’s also important for me to show respect and commitment to my readers, new and existing. The support and encouragement I receive means I want to give that back with fresh and inspiring content.
Can anyone do it?
Hell yes! Setting up the website and knowing what you want to talk about is where it all begins. There are many blogging platforms such as WordPress, Blogger and Squarespace which are great to help get you started. You can of course pay someone to design your site or you can roll up the sleeves and learn as you go along.
Then knowing what you want to talk about is what gets you noticed, my advice is just be yourself and speak as if you were speaking to a friend. When I first launched my blog I was nervous about the reaction from friends and family, would anyone care about what I write and would they think I was stupid? Those thoughts were prominent but please remember, it is your voice, trust it.
Just this week I have been contacted by two people who have launched their blog and are experiencing the exact same nervousness. but fortunately and this means a lot to me, my post ‘Why You Shouldn’t Be Embarrassed About Your Blog’ was something which helped them.
What’s also wonderful about blogging is that you can do it anywhere! Bonus. I seem to be inspired wherever I can smell coffee! But people become digital nomads, travelling and finding any space, all you need is your mind and your phone, tablet or laptop and you are good to go.
Rewinding to May 2016, one month after launching my blog, I published 6 Reasons Why I Love Blogging. I was curious to see if my reasons may have changed and was also slightly nervous about checking them but I am proud to say over a year later that I am still rocking the same beliefs:
It builds my confidence
It makes me appreciate everything
It disciplines me
It allows me to help others
It’s a way to document my life
It makes me happy
Every one of us has an opinion, an experience, a thought, a vision, a memory. Every person you meet every day has a story to tell and will always know something you don’t. Everything you see or read every day is special and has a purpose. There is something we can learn from everyone and I say embrace it!
I hope this has helped clear up any blogging bewilderment. Please do let me know your thoughts or if there is anything else to add!
So hey you, yes you..I want to thank you for reading my post. Whether you’ve stuck around since the beginning of my journey or whether you’re new to my blog, thank you for reading and supporting. I genuinely appreciate it.