What’s The Reason You Want To Start A Blog?
If your answer is something a long the lines of ‘because I’m passionate about what I want to write’ or ‘I feel like it’s an extension of myself and I would love to create a space online to share my thoughts with others’ then you’re on the right track. If it’s to do with wanting to make money, get free stuff or simply because everyone else has a blog, please read on.
One question that I have been asked over and over again, throughout my time as a blogger, is ‘I want to start a blog, but I don’t know what to write about. Can you tell me?’ and my answer is no, I actually can’t. Not because I’m being mean or because I don’t want any competition on my hands – it’s actually not possible for me to tell you what you should be doing.
In truth (it may sound blunt) but if you don’t know what to start your blog about and you don’t know what to write, then you shouldn’t be creating a blog. I know it’s extremely fashionable and the trend of the moment to have a blog, especially a fashion blog, but just because everyone else is doing it, doesn’t mean you should. If you want a successful blog, and one you might possibly want to turn into a career one day, it only comes from a place of passion and drive. Long hours, many months and years of hard work with no reward, are what it’s actually like to begin with, but that doesn’t matter, you love what you’re doing.
Blogging is not all about free stuff and looking cool because it’s trendy, it’s hard work and it’s more like your hobby, being something that you are passionate about. I can’t even begin to tell you how many hours I have spent blogging in my life, but I do know that I started writing blog posts back in 2007 and I’ve committed almost every single say since then to my blogs. Of course I have breaks here and there, but with it being an online job, with social media present in every aspect, you can never actually just go on a vacation like you can from a regular 9-5 job, you always need to update social media and prepare content in advance for the time you’re away. So do keep that in mind. However, if it’s really what you love, then it’s not a chore or a problem, it’s just an extension of you that you can’t live without.
5 Reasons Not To Have A Blog
I’m not trying to put you off, or make you believe that blogging is horrendous, but I wanted to point out 5 common mistakes people make when wanting to start a blog. These are 5 reasons why you shouldn’t start up a blog, or do it just because you think these reasons are correct. There’s so much more involved, in every way possible (see my blog post on how to become a fashion blogger), so don’t make the same mistake that so many do every day by just following the trends. Are these your reasons?
1) Because everyone else has one, I don’t want to miss out.
This isn’t the right answer in wanting to create a blog. Blogging honestly isn’t the fad and craze of the moment that you jump on the trend bandwagon for (despite what people say and think), it’s actually a very difficult job and requires a lot of hard work. Tens of thousands of new blogs (just on WordPress alone) are created every single day, with almost 60,000,000 (yes, 60 million!) new blog posts being written every month. Do you really want to be just another statistic that opens up a blog because they feel they should? Most give up after 6 months to a year if they aren’t getting anywhere, or when they realise it wasn’t really what they wanted to do.
2) Because I want free stuff and free vacations.
Again, this is definitely the wrong answer. Sure, us bloggers do get perks of free things, but they aren’t actually ‘free’ and are more like working gifts. It takes many, many months of hard work to get your blog to a level that is considered good enough for gifting, but once you accept gifts, you have to remember that it’s a two way street and you are required to do work for that brand in the form of wearing, reviewing or photographing the gifted products. It’s a gift in exchange for promotion.
3) Because I want to vent and get my anger out.
This one isn’t ideal. Remember, unlike writing in a diary, a blog is public and absolutely anyone can read it – from anywhere in the world. If you are venting and making angry remarks about certain topics, you are going to offend someone. Personal diary type blogs are great for those of you who love to write to get your feelings out, and they work well, but if you are only doing it in a negative way, it can end badly.
4) Because I want people to admire me and my outfits.
If you are wanting to start a blog for vanity reasons and you think it’s all about the blogger gaining self worth from readers because of the compliments, it’s not. Blogging, especially fashion blogging, is an extremely hard industry and you are under scrutiny every single day. Trolls, negative, jealous people, and those who just feel like wanting to put others down, are out there in full force, reading your blog. So, if you are sensitive to criticism and are thinking a blog will give you a confidence boost because everyone will admire you, that truly isn’t how it works. It’s a tough, often thankless job, so don’t fall into that trap.
5) Because I want to be my own boss and work from home.
If someone had said to me 6 years ago that I would be my own boss, working from home, I would have wondered what on earth they were on about, possibly even calling them crazy. But, it has turned out that way. However, you can’t start up a blog because you feel like it and then expect to be your own boss and work from home, bringing in loads of money. I wish it did work that way, but it doesn’t.
When you first start a blog, it takes at least 6 months to a year to even get a few google searches coming your way and some organic traffic, and then years afterwards building up a loyal following and readership, naturally. It took me 5 years to be able to go self employed and that’s with having multiple blogs on the go and side line jobs for extra money. Unless you have lots of money to throw at promoting yourself or you get to be featured in all the best magazines and blogs, you actually have to do all the hard work, learn your SEO and social media marketing skills, and grow it all yourself. Being your own boss is hard work in that respect. You can’t shut off.
Speak From Your Heart
If after reading those 5 points above, you are 100% certain you want to start a blog and know it’s what you feel compelled to do, then do it. I wasn’t trying to put you off, but just give you some home truths about what blogging can actually be like and it’s not as glamorous as people make out. Everything you see on Instagram, others blogs, social media etc is staged and placed to look pretty. It’s an idealistic view of what people want their lives to look like, to make them pretty. The actual reality is that I’m currently writing this from my bedroom, in my pyjamas, with things strewn across my bed after just having eaten a banana. I’m not sat on the beach or on a yacht with Starbucks, my laptop, and flowers placed fancily across my table. My point being? If you think this is what you’ll be doing – realistically, it’s not.
If you’re certain you want to open up a blog then you should already have an idea of what content you would like to create, what makes you inspired, and what makes you happy. Writing blog posts on what you’re passionate about is the only way forward. Passion comes from the heart and it always displays itself in your writing, so if you are really enthusiastic and happy about your chosen topics, it will be portrayed in your writing, and people will respond well to it. Find your voice, be creative and have fun with it. Don’t write about things just because you think you should, and don’t copy everyone else because you think it’s what you need to do. I already gave you those statistics above, so being another copy cat in that sea of blogs will get you nowhere. Each of us are unique and different, so make sure that comes across in your new blog. Stand out from the crowd and be yourself, it’s the only way to win.
– I will be writing plenty more blogging advice posts for you, covering lots of different topics, as well as one about finding your own voice and how to create a blog, but in the meantime, I recommend starting a free blog on WordPress.com and then seeing how it goes. That way is the best way and it’s how I started. You can learn so much from WordPress and since it’s free, they do all the maintenance and programming work, you just focus on what theme you want to use and your content. I had Raindrops of Sapphire hosted on WordPress.com for about a year before I decided to move to a different server and become self hosted, so that I could advertise and have more control over everything. It’s really easy to do and since it’s free, you have nothing to lose. It’s the perfect way of knowing if blogging is really your calling and if it’s something you love. Let me know if you have any questions for me below!
Main image courtesy of That’s Just Fabulous, second image courtesy of Ana Sofia Chic.
I have a blog and i’m still dreaming to win my first dollar with it. I would love to….
If you are passionate, keep at it!
Love reading why you started your blog.
Thanks, it’s more about why others might want to though.
I started my blog because I’ve always had a passion to write and I needed a place to find my voice. I wrote sporadically for the first 3 years, the almost daily for 2 years. I gained my readership then but you are so right Lorna, it’s a lot of work.
It’s a passion for me, so much so that I would write even if no one ever read again… I love it and I adore following other bloggers… I’ve grown with my writing over the years.
I’ve seen many blogs come and go throughout the years… finding your niche is the only reason you should write just as you said, otherwise it’d be a chore… I don’t write as often as I did but I’m all over social media putting myself out there and keeping up with other bloggers.
It’s fun when you love it ♡ xox
I think your blog is beautiful, Launna. You can really tell it comes from a place in your heart. It’s also a great place to communicate with others and ask their advice on your situations, so yours is actually one of the very few diary type blogs that I read if I’m honest. It feels like a journey with you that I’m very happy to be a part of. Social media is also very useful isn’t it?
I totally agree social media is very useful. When I first started writing I never put it out on social media. .. then when I started getting more serious I realized how important it was. Reciprocating visits was very important… today I only publish meaningful comments. .. and I always visit back ♡♡♡
I think that’s the best way to be as I do exactly the same!
Such great advice in this post Lorna! 🙂 I started my blog as a hobby and intend to keep it that way 🙂 I decided to start it after reading other blogs for a while. As it’s something I do for fun I enjoy it. When it starts to feel more like work and boring I know it will be time to give it up!
Away From The Blue Blog
That’s a good way to look at it, Mica! I’m glad you love doing it!
I’ve never been a blogger as such. The closest I’ve been to it was my online diary on the now defunct Open Diary site where I was a member from 2002 until the site closed down in early 2014. That was just a hobby though (with no particular subject or theme) – and to a very small audience. I had about 70 regular (and mutual) readers at my peak. The writing didn’t take up to much time but reading the diaries of all the 70 people who were reading mine certainly did – as, like most Open Diary members, I had a very reciprocal attitude. Really it was more about about friendships than anything else and I’m still friends with many of the people I met on Open Diary now. Had it stayed in existence I expect I’d still be churning out a couple of paragraphs 4 or 5 times a week still. 🙂 These days Instagram gives me the same kind of satisfaction that I used to get from Open Diary – though with maybe less effort as I can usually say what I want in one sentence and a photo these days. LOL 😀
So, serious blogging isn’t something I would ever do – but I found your thoughts in this article to be very interesting and your advice is certainly wise. I might have mentioned before that I read very few blogs these days so I hope you will take that as a compliment – that yours grabs me in ways that others simply don’t. 🙂 There’s your genuine passion for your subject matter – you are so right that it displays in your writing. When I visit your blog I want to read every word that you’ve written – not just as a courtesy in respect of your effort in writing it all but also because I really enjoy your writing style and how much personality and enthusiasm shines through. Of course the gorgeous photos of you looking amazing in all your fabulous clothes are always exciting, often memorable and often inspiring too. I think the final thing that most makes your output here extra special is your decision to be so interactive with your readers. 🙂
That’s really interesting that you had an Open Diary. I actually never associated men with online blogging or diary writing as it’s usually the majority being women, so that’s actually incredibly interesting! What type of things did you used to write?
I know what you mean about taking time to read and respond to others because I do that too. I set aside hours every other day to go back to everyone else’s blogs and read their posts and leave them comments, which is only fair since they read mine and do the same. But I find it incredibly interesting to see what everyone else is wearing and what they are doing. A little community of regular readers definitely builds up that way, but it takes time.
And thank you, Steven. That really does mean so much to me that you respond to my writing so well and the photography that Adam and I create. I know I say thank you often, but I actually mean it. I always look forward to your comments as I know you read everything I put, and I know your comments will be heartfelt too, so thank you. It’s always funny because more often than not I feel myself comparing my blog to other peoples and just always feeling like it’s not good enough or unique enough, so to hear that it is, is really nice. I guess it’s one of those age old questions of how do we measure success and base it on what? But I do definitely always want to be interactive. I don’t see the point of being one of those bloggers who ignores the readers. Why even have a blog?
You’re right that I was very much in the minority as a man on Open Diary. If the member who I read and were reading were a typical cross section then I’d guess that Open Diary was 85 to 90% female.
I used to write all kinds of things, really. Most entries would be about my life and what I’d been doing that day – more often than not focusing on a particular incident rather than my entire day. Sometimes I’d write about what my family were doing – my parents lived in France between 2000 and 2012 so there was plenty of material there. Other times I’d give my opinions on topical issues as I’ve always followed the news and politics. Naturally my Doctor Who obsession would shine through from time to time too. Once a month I would set a general knowledge quiz for my readers and the winner would get a silly little prize of some kind – such as a fridge magnet, a coaster, sweets etc – some kind of novelty item.
Most of my entries would open with a photograph that I had recently taken – which mostly had nothing at all to do with whatever I was writing about. Then I would write the main body of my piece. Finally I always listed the last 5 music tracks that I’d listened to, what I had eaten (or would eat) for my main meal of that day and a headline from (and hyperlink to) a news story from the BBC News website for that day – sometimes a big story and sometimes a funny or strange one. Whatever I felt like picking really.
So there was a clear structure to what I was doing though the contents of my entries could be anything. It was fun for 10 years. Then my output there dropped in the final couple of years when I was with my most recent girlfriend as it was a long distance relationship and I spent the weekends travelling and visiting her. I was the ironic situation whereby the more that was going on in my life the less I was able to write about it! LOL I was sad when the site died in 2014 though as I’d been on it almost ever since I’d been online at all. 🙁
Oh, it’s a pleasure to read your blog – though thanks for the thanks! 😀 It’s nice to real appreciated as a reader too, of course. 🙂 I also want you to know that even on the rare occasions where I don’t comment I do still read you. For example – your article on the shaver was every bit as good as everything else you write but, in that case, I didn’t feel I had anything to contribute. LOL I’m sure you guessed that your male readers would largely leave that one to the girls though. 😉 Keep up the good work! Never be in any doubt that you are unique – what you do here is exceptional, Lorna.
Sorry for this reply being an essay – but I couldn’t really have explained what I did on Open Diary in just a few words. This reply is about the same size as my entries there used to be!!! 😉
That is funny how your life got more busier, you couldn’t write about it, even though that’s what it was for. It makes sense though! It sounds like you wrote some great entries, from a male perspective. Did you save any of them? Or did the site closing mean you lost everything? And yeah, I know sometimes you don’t comment if you can’t find any common ground with the post, that’s completely understandable since you always like to leave thoughtful comments 🙂
No, I didn’t save any entries. When it was announced that the website was closing some of my friends chose to save their entries and download them back to their computers. I didn’t bother as I didn’t really think I’d have any future use for them. That might have been a mistake, in retrospect, but at the time it made sense to just let them fade away.
That makes sense, if that’s how you felt at the time. Everything happens for a reason!
If you want something in life you have to put passion and hard work into it, nothing comes for free. It scares me how many people there are who are not willing to work hard for their dreams and just expect it to happen to them.
You have to test your own wings to be able to see what works and what doesn’t. No one can do that for you. Keep up with the good work, you’re a great role model for many! x
Thank you so much! I’m really glad you feel the same way. That quote from Thomas Edison ‘Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety nine percent perspiration’ is so true!
I totally agree with all your thoughts here. Blogging for me is a labor of love and that’s how it should be. Great post!
It definitely should be!
Great article! I’ve been blogging for a while now and I agree with so much of what you said, it definitely takes a lot of time and effort and passion to establish yourself as a blogger. And starting a blog because you need a place to vent is never a good idea!
I’m really glad you agree!
This is a great idea for a blog post Lorna! I found your advice refreshingly honest, and you’ve made lots of valid points about the fashion blogging industry. I think so many people have an unrealistic view of blogging as you’ve said, thinking they’ll be an overnight sensation, and be able to earn quickly and receive nice things. But it’s important to have a healthy respect for blogging, and the sheer hard work and dedication that goes into it, as evidenced by your own blogging journey.
You’re so right, acknowledging and connecting with readers is of the utmost importance, and it’s the personal touch you bring to your blog that makes Raindrops of Sapphire such a pleasure to read.
Lots of love Saba xx
Thank you so much, Saba! I’m so glad you like it so much and feel that way about my blog. That means a lot. But you are right, people do need to have a level of understanding and respect about what goes into blogging, as it’s much harder than they think!
You’re so welcome Lorna! It’s my absolute pleasure. That’s very true, the images we see on blogs give the impression of an exciting and glamorous lifestyle, but the reality can be quite a contrast sometimes. But it’s the blogger’s job to constantly provide something exciting for readers.
It is, which is why we try to keep it happy and uplifting for the readers to enjoy!
The beginning of my blogging for a job that does require that you have a blog and so far I feel enjoy with jobs at a new hobby in my life.
If you enjoy it, that’s what counts!
This is great advice. I always do a double take when I hear someone wants to start a blog for money. Um, unless you are someone already famous, prepare yourself for a huge disappointment! I mean, it is great to make money and all, but as you pointed out, it takes years of hard, dedicated work. I often wonder if this is why so many fashion blogs fail in the first year or two. People give up because it wasn’t what they thought, which is totally ok, but still…. better to have realistic expectations instead of loads of disappointment.
Yeah, that’s exactly why I thought it would be good to put a light on it and let people know. Everyone thinks it’s this glamorous world of free things, free trips around the world and lazing about on the beach. It only gets to that level once you have spent years working extremely hard, and then only like 1% get to do that. Crazy isn’t it!
I really enjoyed reading this and you’re absolutely right, the best thing we can do is create content we are passionate about. And yes, blogging is hard work and it’s hard to take a break without fearing that traffic is going down. I really need to learn more about SEO and I’m also planning to self host my blog although this probably won’t happen in the near future (as I’m useless at any of that stuff haha). xx
Yeah, it all takes years and a lot of learning. I don’t even know how many hours, days, months, years, I’ve actually dedicated to learning new things in order to progress. It’s a LOT. It definitely doesn’t come easy.
great post, many bloggers think to earn fast money with blog, but there’s a hard work.. kiss
There is, lots and lots of it.
Goog good post dear
kiss from MM
This is excellent, Lorna! When I started mine, I did because I simply love sharing the things I love. I’ve never been one to want to do what everyone else is doing (in fact I usually love going the other way). The part about promoting *myself* through product reviews and outfit posts was a hurdle to get over because it felt a little scary at first, but I knew it would be beneficial to the whole thing. Content was tough at first but it was almost like something clicked…the more I got momentum going the more that content did too. The passion is so strong that I basically jumped in without thinking twice! I never would have thought, either 🙂 Of course I’d love it to be my full time job eventually but as of now I’m absolutely enjoying the ride and the challenge! I appreciate how honest and down to earth you are…it shows through your posts (more than most other bloggers) and one of the reasons you’ve been my favorite and most inspiring blogger over the years 🙂
Thank you so much, Lana 🙂 That’s really kind of you. There’s bloggers I conntect well with too and you are one of them. I think our shared love of denim helps that. But I’m glad you really love blogging and have found your passion in it too, it’s great isn’t it?
It is definitely great…when you find and align with a purpose that you just gravitate and stick to without much thought, it’s just awesome. And aw thanks Lorna that means a lot 🙂 Sharing things I love and helping out brands that I see talent/potential in is what drives me the most, I hope I can do it forever!
Me too 😀
You know what I admire about you and your blog the most, Lorna? You’re not just another fashion blogger. You’re one of the rare gems in the fashion blogging world; you’re articulate and your voice comes through your writing and with each post I read, I’m more of a fan than ever.
Please write more blogging tips, tricks and most importantly, advice. I will be sharing this post as anyone and everyone need to have a read and learn a thing or ten from it.
Shireen | Reflection of Sanity
Thank you so much, Shireen! That’s incredibly kind of you and it means so much to me to hear that from bloggers like yourself. I can’t thank you enough. One of the strong reasons I am so drawn to blogging and love it is because of the little community here. I will of course be doing more blogging tips posts as I plan to do 1-2 each month, so I’ve got quite a list written down of topics to cover. Are there any in particular that you are interested in reading about?
Photography editing please! I’m struggling with my photography. 🙁
Oh that’s interesting, you mean Photoshop? I’m not overly brilliant with tips on Photoshop, but I have certain things I do and make sure are right for my photos in general 🙂
No, I don’t have Photoshop but general photography. I’m still using my auto option with my camera. ;-(
Ok, I might ask Adam to give his opinions on that too since he is really good with using the actual camera. He takes the shots of me 🙂
Such a good post, and very honest. I think it’s helpful for you to speak the truth of all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes in order to make a successful blog- Especially because it can sound so glamorous and certain sites can make it seem like there is not much to it (if you don’t already know otherwise!) haha.
Thanks Jen, I’m so glad you like it and appreciate what goes into blogging!