Why I blog

Someone please tell me I’m not the only one who registered for Blogging 201 and is already behind on assignments? Yeah, I know it’s all optional. But still. Here’s my “three goals” assignment from this Monday. Better late than never! 🙂

For those of you who aren’t doing WP’s Blogging 201 course, Monday’s prompt was this:

Consider what you want to accomplish with your blog. Write down three concrete goals.

The prompt immediately brought to mind this brilliant post from what is probably most definitely my favorite blog, Cultivating Time.

If I felt like taking the easy way out of the first Blogging 201 assignment, I’d just post that link and say, “yeah, what she said!” because it all rings true with me.

But since the point of an assignment is, well, to do it, here goes.

Golly gee. Three concrete goals, huh?

Ummm…. coming up with concrete goals is a lot harder than I thought it would be!

And that’s because I honestly don’t care for the example goals given in the prompt email, such as “gain 20% more followers by January 15th,” “increase average daily hits 30% by mid-2016,” or “spend one hour each week visiting my followers’ blogs, reading, and commenting from now until February 1st.”

Um, really?!

Firstly, I’m pretty sure that on most social media sites nowadays you can literally purchase follows from bot accounts, so follows are kinda hollow goals. And heck, even if they are real people, I view anyone who does “follow for follow” with suspicion, because you know they’re probably not actually reading your content. This reminds me of my recent post about misguided writing goals.

Secondly, I’d feel like an awful blogger if it was that much of a chore to force myself to read my followers’ blogs and comment on them. To me blogging is a relationship, and as with all relationships, by definition it has to go both ways to thrive. Also, did you notice how the prompt didn’t mention anything about leaving substantive comments on other blogs? Let’s be honest, we all know there are follower-mongers out there who literally copy and paste “Nice post!” on every blog in their feed. And don’t get me wrong, if someone really thinks I wrote a nice post and genuinely has nothing more to say, then awesome! But when I comment I try to make the time to give genuine, tailored comments, because I find those to be a zillion time more invaluable than stock comments.

*Someone please grab my hand as I step off this soapbox here. Thank you.*

I don’t mean to make it sound like I’m a blog-hermit who doesn’t care about having followers and wouldn’t want “success” (whatever that means). But my motivation is much more internal. If people happen to read this, if I ever publish my novel and it happens to catch on, then awesome!!! I view those things as icing on top of a cake I’d be eating anyway.

I started this blog first and foremost for my own happiness. I wanted a way to connect with like-minded (and perhaps not so like-minded) people around the world. I wanted to hold myself accountable to making progress on my novel. I wanted to document my eclectic hobbies and tastes to remind myself of all the things in life I have to love. I wanted to combat my depression and not feel so alone. I also  wanted to do much lighter, fluffier things like find new baking recipes and gush about my favorite nail polish colors. But really it was all those other things I said.

Plus, I know there are a lot of depressed people out there. There are a lot of people who may feel just as odd or lonely or weird or anxious as I sometimes have. And if anything I say here can help someone feel less alone in the world, then I’ve accomplished my goal.

Gosh, I’ve rambled for a while now, haven’t I?

Three concrete goals, right!

  1. To post monthly updates on the progress of my novel, to hold myself accountable.
  2. To make at least five posts a week.
  3. At least four out of five of those posts need to have header pictures with them, because everyone likes pictures and they’ll make my page look less naked.

I guess I better start the goals now, huh? Thanks for reading, and I look forward to reading other folks’ three goals!

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13 comments

  1. I think I have an answer to the question (but don’t really want to do the course, that’s too much like work and this is supposed to be fun). 3 goals would be 1.) post on a minimum 3 day schedule 2.) engage with readers more (part of the reason I have few followers after more than a year is lack of engagement) and 3.) keep my content focused.

    I’ve always viewed my blog as more of a website but I’m enjoying it a lot more since I have started approaching it like a blog.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Excellent goals, Craig! You also bring up a fascinating subject — blogs vs. websites. I tend to take a pretty strict definition of blog, but it is interesting to see many bloggers out there whose blogs are much more like commercial websites or Pinterest accounts.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I just love this post so much. It made me laugh, it made me smile and it made me like you even more – and not just because you referenced my post and my blog in just a lovely way! Thank you sooooooooo much. When you put “yeah what she said” I laughed.

    I totally agree with everything you said in this post. We very much have the same ideas for our blogs and I think we started them for similar reasons. Although I am not writing a novel.

    By the way have you already posted about your novel – have I missded those posts. I’m interested to know more.

    I’m interested also that you have chosen 5 posts a week. That feels like a lot for me. I’m thinking minimum of 1maximum of 3.

    By the way, I signed up for Blogging 101 and Writing 101 early on. All the emails are sitiing unopened. It coincided with a bit of a blog break and I’ve never gone back to them. My homework days are behind me for good!

    Let’s just eat cake and enjoy it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are so welcome! I should be thanking you for providing Blog Land such a wonderful, inspirational blog to read. So, thank you!

      As for the novel, I’ve haven’t blogged about it directly much, if at all. Certainly no posts yet dedicated to its progress. I chose the update post goal as monthly to keep it reasonable — I know myself and know how overwhelmed I’d get if I tried to do it more frequently.

      I also definitely like the idea of a target number of posts each week, whether it’s 1-3 or 5 or every day. I’ve noticed that the blogs and vlogs I love most are the ones that post on a pretty regular schedule, say every Monday-Wednesday-Friday. So I thought I should hold myself to similar standards, which might mean using the scheduling feature quite a bit!

      If you open the Blogging 101 and Writing 101 emails, I’ll be interested to hear what they entail! When I registered for Blogging 201, the only other option I saw was a 101 course about poetry, which isn’t my thing.

      Now, off to eat cake! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this post a lot. It also made me laugh in parts. Also, I made my blog for my own happiness as well.
    One of your goal says about to make 5 posts in a week. WOW! I didn’t even think about it. In fact, I usually do only 1 post in a week and most of them with no header images so, it looks quite naked.
    But I enjoy doing it! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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