The Top 9 Definitive Reasons Why You Blog

Hi guys and gals, I have completed my research and come up with the 9 reasons why we blog.  I challenge you to come up with a reason that can’t be reduced to any one of these! I think it’s important to remind ourselves why we started in the first place so that we continue on. And if we’re not sure why we started, being able to bring that reason to our conscious level of thinking, can be really self-affirming.

We can distil these reasons even further by saying that they are based upon the human desire of fulfilment. It is all to some extent, a search for meaning; what is it we bring to this world.

So here it is, my top 9 (no, there’s not 10!) reasons why we blog.

9. A way to express ourselves

We all express ourselves in our own way!

Every person is unique, and we express this in equally unique ways. Blogging is obviously a means to express our uniqueness, and hence why the blogosphere is filled with such variety. From popular topics like social psychologymen’s lifestyle or women’s fashion to slightly niche topics like baby animals, brand packagingGarfield humour and Lego creations; they all declare in some way, “this is who I am.” Expressing ourselves is also expressing our passions, which links into my next reason…

8. To share our experiences 

We are social creatures and so we innately want to share our experiences, and often helping people is a primary driver of this. Many blogs are based upon helping people through traumatic experiences that the blogger has suffered themselves. This blog for those dealing with ADHD and depression, is a prime example of that.

7. To express our creativity

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Who’s gonna clean this up now?

I think it’s very much part of human nature to have a desire to create. The right side of the brain wants to express it’s colourful, whacky and random way of thinking. Even in areas where you might not normally associate creativity, successful blogs exist on coding, financial advice and neuroscience which show creative solutions are needed for even the most left brain of topics.

Creativity is also tied to just simply having fun, trying new things, experimenting,  and that’s what blogging can be.

6. It’s a form of catharsis

I wrote a few posts on the topic of musings, and I for one can declare that blogging and writing in general can have a cathartic, an almost therapeutic effect. Being able to process your thoughts and externalise your emotions, affords you a clarity of thought. It also allows you to achieve a more objective view of yourself, which can stop you from being trapped in a world of negative thoughts. Something I’ve talked about here.

5. Influence and persuade on specific topics

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Yes, this is how some people try and persuade.

As part of being passionate about a certain topic, people will inevitably want to convince you of their views or opinions. I think that generally comes from a good place, where people are compelled to share their view because of their experience, or their beliefs in what is good or right.

Part of this is a human desire to contribute to something beyond one’s self. The feeling of significance can be a great motivator in wanting to make a difference to either loved ones, or to the greater community.

4. Promotion, branding or marketing

Blogs are a great marketing tool to show that you are an authority on a topic. It legitimises your expertise by simply demonstrating your knowledge on a topic, and it therefore builds credibility in the eyes of the reader.

Blogging also creates brand perception in the target audience. You choose what content to  publish and how that is presented, therefore curating an image of who you are and what you’re about. Take this lifestyle blog, the colour palate, the personality in the writing, the photography, even the font, is all cohesive, and appealing to the target market: young, hip 20-something females either living or wanting to live in a city.

 

Promotion and branding is also about spreading awareness on topics for either non-profit or commercial purposes, which is a great lil segue (if I do say so myself), to the next reason.

 

3. Making money

Make sure your Benjamins don’t look like this

Blogs can be a real money spinner. Through advertising, book deals, online products or services, or even affiliate marketing, riches can be made. Sites that started off as blogs like SlashGear, Lifehacker, Mashable are earning upwards of $60k a month!

2. Connecting to other people

I don’t recommend this as a way to ‘connect’ to people.

Another innate human desire is connection. Socialising, communicating, sharing common interests, are things we do in day-to-day life with work colleagues, family and friends, but doing it online has added benefits. There’s so much greater reach in who you can talk to, and so you can connect to like minded people to share your quirky likes for sausage dog photos, or have a rant over political views; these things you might not be able to do so easily with immediate social connections.
And so, that brings us to THE number 1 reason why we blog….ok, it might be MY number 1 reason but it’s…

1. Fulfil our human desire to grow and learn

C’mon girl, they have pots for that (they’re girl hands right?)

We all do want to grow and learn; some people may consciously know this, some may not!  Blogging helps us to improve our writing, it makes us more confident in expressing our opinions and views, and it creates discipline by creating a habit of writing. The process of blogging helps us grow because we learn about our capacity to learn, we can acquire a deeper appreciation of how we think and what we feel, and we learn to connect to our audience by appealing to what they want to read.

Well there’s the top reasons as to why we blog.

Do you agree with these reasons? Have I missed some out? Do you think there should be a different number 1? Go on, comment below!

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Starting from Somewhere

Hey there peeps,  I’ve talked about striving to enjoy the process before, so that we can maintain our motivation. And of course, every journey of a 1000 miles starts with a single step….clue’s in the website name! The below video is the business startup version of that premise. The guy in the video is Ramit Sethi, a successful online entrepreneur, a best selling author, and he helps other aspiring entrepreneurs to reach their goals.  It’s affirming when he says things like ‘optimise for learning’ and ‘show up everyday’. With what he’s done for his own businesses, he is a good example of just showing up.

Click here to watch the video.

ramit sethi video

Claw Yourself Out from the Comparison Cave

Don’t be dragged down by thoughts of comparison! Comparison in the sense of seeing the results of others and judging myself, often negatively. I suppose its a fairly common thing to deal with but with most things like this, its a personal battle. Sometimes I share the battle with friends and loved ones, but mostly it’s me versus those negative thoughts.

I’m usually pretty good in realising when these thoughts start to arise and I can objectively put them aside, realise the folly in them and move on. However, sometimes I lack the sensitivity to see them gathering steam, or maybe the will to battle them isn’t in the tank. And so it can become a spiral, an unpleasant downward spiral where I feel the only way to get out of the funk is to sleep on it and awake with hopefully a fresh mind.

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Be like a pilot and pull up

There are better ways to deal with this. I imagine that the best way to handle this is to create a habit in not letting the mind ‘indulge’. Intellectually, I know all the reasons against comparing myself to others and there’s a million memes and quotes to help me see the logic. But emotionally, there’s still some work to truly align my values so that the concept is barely a blip on my radar.

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards.” – Steve Jobs

Everyone is on their own journey, and much like each child progresses with basic things like walking, talking and reading at their own rate, adults too advance in their own unique way. What seems difficult now, will inevitably seem easy or straightforward in hindsight. However, to be in a position to have that view, we have to continue and push on, and have faith that the struggle will make sense. As Steve Jobs once said, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards”. The struggles of today will make sense tomorrow, so just bash on.

Letting your mind wander into such thoughts of “Why haven’t I achieved this when this other person has” is very much a reminder and lesson I spoke of here. Keep your mind focussed on what it needs to do now.

Comparing yourself to others is just your mind wandering to negative thoughts to protect yourself from failure and disappointment.  Objectively see the foolishness of it, appreciate that you have your own journey to follow, and just bash on!

How have you battled these thoughts before?

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The Road Trip to our Goals


Do you set goals? If you fall short of them, how do you react? We should think of them not as ends to themselves, but more like lights on an airplane landing strip.  In this post, I want to encourage you to reflect on how you review whether you achieved those goals or not.

The way I see it, there are three main parts to goal setting. How we set them, how we strive towards them and how we review them. I think we’re quite familiar with the first two and there are plenty of strategies on the Internet that focus on them. However, what is missing from many of these articles is the thinking process we should have when we achieve them or not. It can be very easy to feel disappointed if we don’t reach our target, and setting goals that are S.M.A.R.T (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time-based) certainly help. However, it’s inevitable that we’ll fall short of our goals, even if we invest time in accurately setting them. If we miss our target, we shouldn’t be disheartened or feel like a failure. We should critically and unemotionally, analyse why we didn’t achieve that goal and take corrective action.  We need to understand that setting goals and striving toward them is an iterative process and whether we achieve them or not, we are still on our way to where we want to be and we can learn even from the lack of success. If we have achieved the goal, then definitely give yourself a pat on the back but your focus should swiftly move on to the next goal, the next landing strip light. 

Setting and striving for goals is very much like going on a road trip. You’ll set yourself an end destination but you’ll want to stop off at various places along the way. If we happen to miss our turn off, all is not lost, we have still inched closer to the ultimate destination but we do need to get back on the right path.  Next time you fail to achieve a goal, think:

  • Why didn’t I achieve it 
  • What are the corrective steps

And don’t ruminate on any subjective feelings.

Let me know your thoughts or share if you liked it! 

Defining Ourselves

I was writing up my up e-book and I had a mini revelation about how our actions are very much how others perceive us. The interesting thing is that a whole bunch of other perceptions and beliefs about myself cloud that.

Perhaps a more accurate view of one’s self can be taken by purely perceiving what is physically done.

Musings on the Process

In order to achieve anything of great significance I believe we have to love or enjoy the day to day grind of it.  So rather than purely focussing on the goal, simply be aware of it and focus on he steps.  I’d like to give you a personal case study on it to hopefully allow you to reflect on your own experience. 

Fitness has been a huge part of my life. I’d never call myself an athlete and I don’t have a trophy cabinet. I did start off at 145lbs and now I’m at 165lbs which is pretty good I think. I wanted to have definition, tone and muscle bulk and I have some of that now but I’m definitely no ‘Men’s Health’ model.  I went through phases of getting big, trimming down, getting ‘fat’, doing no exercise at all and all the dieting or lack of it. 

Now my focus is just maintaining my fitness and becoming a better surfer which means I have a training schedule at the gym, I eat healthily and of course heading out in the surf and giving it a good go. So over 8 years it’s been trying different things or nothing at all.  The big question is whether I have enjoyed the actual process and in some areas I can say I have. Surfing is definitely one area where I actually like and look forward to. I have moments of course where I think it’s going to be miserable and cold or I think the session I just had was bloody average but generally the feeling is positive. When I go to the gym to do a bunch of exercise which are pretty boring, I do get a feeling of satisfaction and a sense of achievement in performing each exercise. And of course, there are plenty of times where I come away disappointed that I didn’t lift a certain weight or that I feel discouraged by how difficult a cardio session was but again the general feeling at the time is positive. 

I realise I don’t spend a huge amount of time thinking this is great or how terrible it will be. Once it becomes a habit, it doesn’t trigger as much thought and so I just get on with it. When I first start some new exercises then I’ll probably have a lil chat to myself about how difficult it is but if I have bad thoughts about it, I won’t get sad about it. For example, with my cardio which I do on the bike, there’s been numerous times where I have tried a new difficulty level and thought just kill me now because it’s too hard and gone back to an easier setting. I could be really disappointed by it, and tell myself what a failure I am but I try not to go down that path because I know it doesn’t help. 

There’s also the point that I’ve always had a curiosity to try something different and if the workout doesn’t quite fit with me then I change it. I think that doing this over time has evolved into a path of what really fits my personality as I don’t recall a time where I’ve really had to trudge through something really unenjoyable.

I don’t think I’ll ever enjoy fitness as much as say, going on a roller coaster or having a hot shower on a cold day (odd example but it is enjoyable!). But there’s enough positivity in what I do to keep on going. Surely for anything worth pursuing there’s going to be parts of it you don’t like but you gotta trust the bigger picture and be curious in finding what suits you. Whether you’re going for fitness, being rich or finding the girl / boy of your dreams, I reckon it’s a process of discovering your own likes/dislikes and working on it until you find that point where it feels easy and it’s emotionally and intellectually fulfilling. It’s a very personal process where we need to sense what our intuition is saying and where it’s directing us.

Do you use intuition to guide your pursuits?

If you reflect on something you’ve been doing for a while, can you see these elements in that journey?    

Motivation and Inspiration

I wanted to share this podcast link which helped me a lot in defining the difference between inspiration and creativity. That was important because inspiration is intrinsically linked to your values and values are for me, so important in guiding my behaviour.

http://apple.co/28IImiL(32mins)

There’s a fairly simple message in the podcast delivered in an equally simple way but that’s why I think it’s pretty good.

How have you defined the difference between those two things and can you recall the last time you felt inspired? Tell me in the comments!