What does it mean to blog for yourself?

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BLOG FOR YOURSELF?

Marian Schembari’s blog is one of my all time favorite reads. And I was browsing through some of her older posts when I found this one titled, Why Do You Blog? Marian writes about how she blogs to support her business and that she can’t advice those who only write just for themselves. She doesn’t understand blogging and not caring if anyone reads your blog, which is what most people mean when they say that they blog just for themselves.

In some ways, I’ve always put myself in that category – the bloggers who blog for themselves. Marian’s article and recent conversations here about niche had me thinking about exactly what that means to me.

What “Blogging for Myself” Means to Me

I’ve mentioned this before, but I started blogging because I wanted more original content for my website. How was I to know that would fall in love with it?

Blogging allows me to share my thoughts on my life and all the random things I love. So that means that one day I might write about why I decided to get braces, the next I’m writing about why I love WordPress, and then the next day I might write about the TV shows I love.

Even though I am writing about the things that I love, and occasionally my life, that doesn’t mean I don’t take my readers into consideration. I want them to find what I’m blogging about interesting, and entertaining, and maybe even helpful. I hope to find readers who are interested in the same things that I am, so that we can connect, and talk about the things that we have in common. Or even if they disagree with what I’m saying, I want to hear that too.

This blog is mine and all the bills are paid by me. I’m not a professional blogger, so there are no paid posts. No paid advertisements. If I link to Amazon or some other retailer, you can click the links all you want, I receive nothing from it. I promote things because I like them and think that you might like them too. There is nothing wrong with having ads on your site or blogging professionally, but that’s not the path I chose.

I blog so that I can improve my writing skills and find my voice. I blog so that I can think things through and find answers to my questions. Most importantly, I blog because I love to write!

And this is what blogging for myself means to me. 🙂 So, why do you blog? For yourself? A specific audience? If you’re blogging for yourself what does that mean to you? And how much do you take your readers into consideration when writing? Let me know in the comments.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BLOG FOR YOURSELF?

This post originally ran on September 21, 2011. It has since been updated.

16 thoughts on “What does it mean to blog for yourself?

  1. Sweeney

    1. Marian is amazeballs.

    2. This post caught eye because I hate when people say, “I just blog for myself.” It is one of my blogging pet peeves. Admittedly, my list of motivations for blogging aren’t monetary and they are all fairy self-involved and probably amount to the same thing as what most people mean when they say that. The reason it bugs me is that most people use it as a cop-out for something. For example, disabling comments. Get a fucking journal, then. The phrase just irks me because it isn’t really an answer.

    That said, I liked this post because you DID answer the question. 🙂

    1. Paula

      Sweeney, thank you for your comments! I’ve noticed that people use that as a cop out too. Mostly when someone criticizes their bog – “It’s doesn’t matter what anyone thinks I’m writing for myself.” – that kind of thing.

      And yes, Marian is amazeballs! 🙂

  2. Dayle Fraschilla

    I agree with pretty much everything you said 🙂

    I call my blog, “my lil self-indulgent project of writing about anything and everything that means something to me,” and that’s exactly what it is.

    Sometimes I’m controversial – I’ve written about gay rights, abortion, religious freedoms . . . I’ve also written about silly things, like my favorite lessons from Dr. Seuss books or the recent meme I stole from you 🙂

    It’s about whatever suits my fancy at any given moment.

    That is not to say that I don’t care about my reader. I love my readers. I love my comments. I get uber excited if I wake up in the morning with a full inbox telling me I have “likes”, comments and new subscribers! I make a point of engaging my readers because there is one major difference to me between blogging and journaling. Journaling is personal and private. Blogging is about building a community . . . Not only have I met some awesome writers, I’ve made some incredible friends.

    So yes, I blog for myself . . . but I won’t for one second say, “I don’t care if anyone reads it.” That’s just silliness! I want interaction, dammit!

    Sorry for the super long comment . . . I actually almost blogged about a similar topic the other day, so I think everything that would have been in that post ended up here 🙂

    P.S. Love the new option to link a recent post . . . I need to figure out how to do that on WordPress 🙂 And thanks for the comment subscription options!! Woot!
    Dayle Fraschilla recently posted..Happy Mabon Eve!My Profile

    1. geeky_shopaholic

      I agree, blogging is about building a community. If I didn’t want people to read what I was writing, I would still be writing in my old cloth bound journal. 🙂 I’ve just recently really started getting comments and I love it! It makes my day!

      … actually almost blogged about a similar topic the other day, so I think everything that would have been in that post ended up here.

      LOL I guess great minds think a like! 🙂

      You’re welcome about the comments subscription! Thanks for suggesting it! The other option is a plugin called Comment Luv and it was really easy to install. I found the link to it here: http://www.lifewithoutpink.com/2010/05/14/my-favorite-plug-ins-for-wordpress/

      1. Dayle Fraschilla

        One of the things I used to love about blogging at GoodBlogs was the massive number of comments I’d receive. While my most commented blog here (and it was mostly a whole lot of debate me and 3 other people) had a total 28 comments. My most commented blog there had over 100 comments. I miss that! (But then again, money is often a motivator — and if you have no idea what I am talking about, I’m sorry :P)

        I am so going to add the Comment Luv plug in! Thanks 🙂
        Dayle Fraschilla recently posted..Celebrate BisexualityMy Profile

    1. Dayle Fraschilla

      GoodBlogs is a blogging site . . . you post and people vote on your blogs. Once upon a time (i.e. starting in January or February and ending about a month or so ago), they used to pay people $20 if their posts were voted to the home page (5 posts each day made the home page). Because of the set up, comments ran wild! They no longer pay and so hardly anyone posts and hardly anyone comments any more 😛
      Dayle Fraschilla recently posted..Banned Books Week: A Wrinkle in Time & The OutsidersMy Profile

  3. Samantha Bangayan

    Paula, wow! You are just reading my mind these days! =) This is a topic dear to my heart to. I started my blog mostly for me and to keep in contact with people back home, but when I came back to Peru last year… I don’t know what happened exactly. Let me think…Oh! A friend told me about freelance writing, so I started to Google what it was all about. Since freelance writing is often so closely interlinked with blogging, I learned a lot about effective blogging too.

    I get as excited as Dayle when I receive comments and interaction on my blog. Maybe it became an obsession. =P But I realized that if I wanted to engage my readers more, I had to provide value to them and write for them in addition to writing for me. My blog has always been my way to help me reflect on things I experience here in Peru and that remains the theme of my blog, but I try to also provide value by asking questions to have my readers reflect on their lives too. In that sense, I don’t think I would say that I *only* blog for me.

    Loved reflecting on this! Great post! =)
    Samantha Bangayan recently posted..Being a Kid Again with Children in PeruMy Profile

  4. Michelle @ Pink Polka Dot Books

    Reasons for blogging is kinda complicated. I like to say I blog for myself because– I ENJOY blogging and can’t imagine NOT doing it… so therefor, there’s no amount of stats or lack of comments or followers or whatever that is going to make me stop. I know a lot of people would be like– well, what’s the point?? and to that I would say– What’s the point if you aren’t making money from it?? The point is– I LIKE it. And I’ll just keep doing what I like and hoping other people will like it too 🙂
    Michelle @ Pink Polka Dot Books recently posted..New YA Releases for the Week of 6/5My Profile

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