I remember how when I was in college, blogging used to be all the rage. All my technologically inclined friends had a blog. In turn, they were able to influence their not-too-techy friends into getting their own blog too.
Some of them managed to make a quick buck out of their blog through the power of Google AdSense. Some did not. And yet, they maintained a blog. Why? Probably just to vent, to rage, and to rant. After all, what quicker way to instantly broadcast your innermost feelings than to start a blog, right?
Seeing all this, I thought about how I started a blog ages ago just because I wanted to. If I remember right, it was something on Blogspot (remember the time when that website was the most happening thing on the internet? Yep, so very long ago).
For the first week or so, I posted a 500-word post every day. Without fail. Later, as I started learning more about it, I was tracking my blog’s ranking on Technorati and Alexa. I was optimizing it for SEO. I installed Google Analytics when it was rolled out. I was doing intuitively doing everything most manuals about blogging teach you to do. Things were looking good, I was feeling proud about my accomplishment.
And yet, by the end of the very first month, the frequency had gone down to a post a week. The quality of posts was deteriorating, and in turn, that was discouraging me from actually posting on my blog.
Within two months, my little blog, that very page which I once treated as my very own personal diary, had joined the hoards of dead blogs out there.
In the ensuing months, numerous attempts were made to resurrect that blog, but once a blog dies, it really does die. If it’s not life catching up, it is the quality of posts or the declining (stagnant) number of visitors/comments on your blog. Something or the other always does manage to make you give up on your blog. I’m sure you’ve also been through that phase. I have. Multiple times. It stings, but at least it has taught me one thing:
Blogging is a serious business, and it requires immense will and a sense of purpose.
Since this hit me and I realized how important consistency was to keep a community running, I started doing more. I went to the root of why I ever did start blogging. I didn’t start because it was the rage or because you could make money from it. No. I started because I wanted to have a place to put my thoughts out, a way to connect with people, and personal space in a public world.
When I started focusing on that, instead of making my blog a success like everyone else. It started feeling more satisfying, and less like work. It was never supposed to be work for me. Honestly, when you do things for the sake of it, people can quickly tell, and that can be a huge turn-off to a potential connection. It is important to stay true to yourself and your vision.
No matter what the rage is, and what people – who seem like they know what they are doing – tell you to do if it doesn’t make you happy, don’t do it. Blog because you want to, there is nothing wrong with it. Blog because you want to make money, and there is nothing wrong with this either. The bottom line is to do what makes you happy and aligns with your sense of purpose.