It was recently brought to my attention that a lot of non-bloggers don’t understand what blogging is. When I disclose my occupation as a blogger, I have to follow with an explanation. And since there are so many different types and niches, it’s even hard to give a single definition for this phenomenon.
Blogging has been around for quite awhile. I can remember writing on my “Xanga” in high school and looking back, that seemed to be one of the first ways to blog. Simply sharing your thoughts and reading those of others.
So before we get all technical about it, let’s say it started out as an online journal. But since then, it’s evolved into running ones own website on whatever topic they choose. It’s publicly sharing thoughts, hobbies, advice, whatever. Of course there are ways to make a blog private, but most people start their blog with the intention of other people reading it. Maybe they start their blog to document their everyday life for their families that live far away. Maybe they start a blog because they love putting outfits together and seeing other styles around the world. Maybe they start a blog because they want to review products and work with companies. Or maybe it’s a mixture of all of those things!
That’s the beauty of blogging. You’re your own boss. You choose the content to produce, how frequently to post, what social media channels to utilize, etc. You can put as little or as much into your blog as you want to. And unless you’re working on a sponsored post with guidelines, you can pretty much say whatever you want, whenever you want.
How do brands use blogs? For exposure and essentially advertising. Instead of solely relying on print or TV ads, companies are turning to bloggers for their opinions on products, services, and more. Bloggers are given products to weave into their daily life and then write about them. Why? Because bloggers are real people and personal opinion is much more valuable than seeing a product on TV. The blogging community and those who read blogs trust the opinion of real life people vs. just seeing it on TV or in a store.
How do bloggers get these opportunities? Sometimes it’s from a community of influencers they belong to. Where their page views, social media followers, etc is all taken into account to determine the reach they will have. Sometimes companies email bloggers directly by stumbling across their blog or seeing them on social media. It can be a variety of things but at the end of the day, they’re going to look at the influencer and how they reach their community. Not just based on numbers, but also the relationships they have with their readers/followers.
Most companies also have their own in house blog, which gives them a chance to connect more personally with their customers. Maybe they provide advice or DIY tips. Or whatever fits in with their niche. And other times, they find blogs that have followers who would be interested in what they have to offer.
So why do it? This is different for everyone. Writing has always been my thing. My escape, my creative haven, whatever you want to call it. I’m a writer, a gypsy soul, and a hopeless romantic. Writing always seems to bring out emotions and feelings that I didn’t even know I was feeling until I sit down and just let the words flow out of my head through my hands and onto the screen. So for me and I’m sure others, I blog for a few different reasons.
I blog for passion. I share things going on in my life, the ups and downs, and good the bad.
I blog for a sense of community. To meet other women around the world who share the same passions, lifestyle, whatever. I have met so many amazing women through blogging and it’s given me a sense that I belong to something.
For profit. I didn’t know blogging could yield any sort of profit. But for now, it’s like having a part time job. And a job that allows me to work from home, make my own schedule, and spend most of my day with the kids.
For self-satisfaction. I feel good when I blog. I like to put outfits together and work with companies. I like having a to-do list and deadlines. I like brainstorming and watching an idea come to life. Blogging makes me happy and the idea of running my own little business is exciting.
There are a billion blogs out there; food blogs, travel blogs, fashion blogs, etc. And while it may seem crazy to some people, the numbers don’t lie. There must be something about it that ignites something in the souls of so many people for their to be so many blogs out there, right? Or the fact that more and more companies are hiring bloggers or sending them products to talk about. It’s pretty crazy.
Who knows how long blogging will be around or if it’s just a “fad”. But over the past three years, I’ve watched blogging shift and grow in ways I never thought possible. Not only for myself but for the blogging community in general. Who knows where I’ll be, or where the community will be in five or ten years. But I guess that’s the excitement of it. It changes everyday and new opportunities arise. What wouldn’t be exciting about that?!
Bloggers: if I forgot to touch on anything, let me know. And non-bloggers, to learn more about starting a blog, feel free to read this or this or ask any questions below! I would love to hear your thoughts on blogging! This is also a good read if you want to know how to help your favorite bloggers 🙂