What the heck is a Blog and why do people do it?
Good question. I, myself, didn’t really know what a blog was until I was told I needed one. Immediately, I started trying to find Google articles and Pinterest posts about blogging. After downloading countless e-books on my Kindle and researching other people’s blogs, webinars, videos, articles, and more about blogging, I found the true meaning of the word BLOG. The answer was amazing to me and I’m here to give you the real blogging lowdown!
I quickly figured out that any time you Google a topic, purchase from an online sales platform, pin a Pinterest post, like a Facebook meme, etc. you are probably being directed to someone’s blog. Say it with me….a “blog” is a fancy way of saying “website”. Simple, right? So, what is the common definition of a Blog?
Basically, in a nutshell, a blog is a website that is updated on a regular basis.
Blogging is the term one uses when said person or company has a website that they post regularly on.
You probably visit countless blogs per day if you are online for any amount of time. You didn’t even know it, did you?
Most people or companies use their websites (or blogs) to generate income by putting their information at your fingertips with the click of a mouse. We, as a consumer, use the world-wide web as a source for gathering information, seeking entertainment, purchasing goods, etc.
Bloggers take their website a step further by personalizing their website with a Blog Page or Journal that is accessible with just a click of a link. Through thoughtful branding, careful strategizing of search engines such as Google, and relentless marketing, a blog slowly becomes recognized in the blogging community and popular within their niche of their intended audience. Whew, that was a mouthful!
The different techniques of marketing, or getting people to their website, are staggering. Bloggers can take advantage of the different marketing techniques to generate traffic and potential income to their websites.
I’m willing to bet that to get to this article, you either clicked on one of my Pinterest or Facebook posts that linked you right to this page. Welcome to the blogging world!
Here’s the lowdown on why I started a blog (and keep going):
My main goal was to be a published Author.
I wrote a book and was researching how to get published. I didn’t want to be just a writer…I wanted, as most writers do, to be a PUBLISHED author!
**Que the bright lights and harp music.
Most of my diligent pouring through books, articles, and publishing companies’ websites led me to the same conclusion…whether you go the Indie route and publish on your own or sign with an established, well-known publishing company, you are expected to have a major hand in your own marketing. One of an authors’ major tasks is to get your book in front of as many people as you can. Many publishers like for an author to already have their own website, Facebook account, Twitter, Instagram, and any other social media platform that you can think of that will help direct potential readers to their literary works.
After a year of blogging, I figured out what most publishing companies, editors, and agents really meant by “wanting me to have my own website”. Ding. Ding. Ding! They want me to have an Author Website. (You know, so that you can promote your own books, signings, give-aways, etc?)
Well, by the time I had my aha moment, I had already fallen in love with the blogging world. So my blog was born, and I had no wish to discontinue.
It turns out that the path to becoming a published author isn’t the only reason I love blogging. (And, since I continually have to keep introducing myself at parties, I guess it’s not the fame that’s keeping me going. Shocking, right?)
So, what are some of the other reasons I blog?
Good writing practice.
I like to sing to myself sometimes, “Just keep writing, just keep writing”, like Dory in Finding Nemo. “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming!”
Not only does my blog give me an excuse to keep writing daily, but it also gives me much-needed writing practice. Writing is a skill that is honed through diligent practice, practice, practice. I’m slowing getting better at getting my thoughts down on “paper” and finding my voice.
I, like many others, was trying to find a way to bring additional income into my family while being a stay-at-home mom.
Unless you sign up and are extremely successful in an elaborate, pyramid-planned-corporate-network-marketing gimmick, income options are pretty limited when you stay at home with your kiddos. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against being the modern Mary Kay/Avon lady. Sell those leggings, jewelry, bags, oils, and anything else that calls to you! I, myself, am a Younique Distributor and I love it. However, I was getting pretty tired of expecting my friends and family to support my stay-at-home business over and over again. Not only that, but I was starting to feel bad because I didn’t have the income to support all of my friends’ “businesses” in return.
I started brainstorming other ways I could gain some much-needed money and along with that I started thinking of things I needed for an in-home “job”.
(1) I was looking for a way to be able to work my own hours. This was a must-have on my list because I like to be able to attend all of my kids’ school events.
(2) I also needed to be able to use resources that I already had on-hand. I wanted to make sure that if I started an in-home business, I couldn’t have a lot of start-up costs into whatever I was going to do.
(3) I wanted to generate income from people “outside” of my immediate circle. Spread the wealth, right? lol
I quickly decided that I already had three things that I would need to start a blog at my fingertips:
- internet access
Mommy-blog to the rescue! What more could I need?
Well, those were the most important items on the list but I did need a name for my new website, a host, etc, etc, etc. (Check out my How to Start a Blog post if you are wanting to dive deeper into the blogging world. I’ll totally walk you through the main steps I took to setting my own blog up and running. I’ve listed all the information you really need to start your own Blog and give you some helpful tips and hints to get you going.)
But, I digress…back to the point~~
How does my blog generate income? I have advertisements in place throughout my website but those work hand in hand with how much traffic your blog generates. Every day, I learn a little more about good marketing techniques, link parties, blog hopping, sponsorships, etc.
Affiliations are one place income is available. Some great companies I have purchased products from and am affiliated with are Bluehost (where my website is “stored” and ran in the world-wide web), Studiopress (the framework builder that makes my website function how I want it to), and Restored316 (online web design company I use for how the feminine theme of my page looks to my readers). All three are great companies that have products I used to create my own website. I promise you I share them because I love them! Please don’t feel like you have to purchase anything from these companies but I would appreciate if you went through my link to get to their pages if you want to check them out…every little mouse click helps. 🙂 And if you do happen to purchase from them, then that’s a bonus for me since it’s my links that take you to their websites! Win-win-win!
I do know this….
there’s gold in them there hills for the taking!!!
Also related to passive income profits, and something I’m working on in the near future, is that most bloggers have something to offer their reader for a small price. I need something to sell!!! Back to the first point of being a published author. As soon as I have a book to offer for a download, I’ll be able to check this item off the list of income ideas. Cross your fingers and wish me luck on that one!
I’m a creative person by nature. I love to craft, paint, and write. I find myself dreaming about stuff that could happen if I did it a certain way. I like to play with things that I’ve already done on my website and try to make it better. It turns out that my blog has become my biggest creative outlet. (Sing out loud with me…) It’s my blog page and I’ll post what I want to! That’s right.
Who’s going to tell you that you can’t? 🙂
So, in conclusion, I started a blog because I was curious to see if I could. Start up was free and I had plenty of time on my hands. If it didn’t work, at least I had taught myself a new skill of web-design in the ever-changing, technology-driven world. And of course, the passive income is an added bonus that helps with the monthly family bills. But, most importantly to me, I created my own place to write, think, and create. Truly, my blog has become my happy place. Am I a published author yet? Well, I published this myself and you are reading it, so I would say that’s a YES!
If you are thinking you might want to try starting your own blog but something is holding you back, take the jump and push yourself out of your comfort zone. You won’t be sorry!