Why do I blog?

Why do I blog?

It’s early on a Sunday morning as I’m writing this post, I’m awake because my body clock is so used to being up by 6.30am that I’ve become terrible at lying in. Oh, and the fact someone in my house was making lots of noise below my room at that time. As I was awake this early and for once had no planning on my to do list I thought I’d catch up on some blogs I haven’t read. Except that I didn’t get as far as enjoying reading those blogs, before I found myself just staring at Bloglovin and stressing about my own blog. How I haven’t had time since being on teaching placement for it, how I’m meant to be a full time teacher in September and will probably not have time to blog there after. It got me thinking about the point of blogging.

Why do I blog? What is in it for me?

I don’t blog because I want it to be a full time career yet I feel like that is why most people blog. That is why there are all these advice posts out there telling you how to be successful because blogging doesn’t seem to be about having fun anymore. It seems to be about who can earn the most money or be invited on the most press trips.

In the past year I have funded all of my travel myself. I haven’t taken a press trip once. The only time I received something for free was when I stayed the night at a brand new hotel. Am I worried because I’m not getting press trips? No, because all of my free time last year was booked with travels anyway. I wouldn’t have been able to accept a single press trip had I of been offered them. I also don’t see this as a fail because I got to travel to the places I want to travel to and there was no pressure to produce content from the trips.

I don’t blog for free things, press trips or to gain a huge social media following.

So what do I blog for then?

I blog as a hobby. A way to keep a record of all of my travels and to share some of the things I learn with people who might like to know. To share photos, stories, advice, where I ate the best meal or had the best experience. I don’t often create posts about places I haven’t been unless it is genuinely a list of places I’m contemplating going. Instead I post about the adventures I’ve had, in a way I feel like I want to. I NEVER plan content before I go on a trip like I have seen so many travel bloggers recommend and normally I don’t even write about the trip while I’m there, like those same people recommend. This means I often, like this morning, end up staring at blogs that are more successful than my own and try to re-plan my entire blog game plan.

Then I catch myself doing it, stressing about content for my blog, the need to have a gazillion social media updates and how my Instafeed has some how become selfies and my bullet journal. What I realised this morning, while I was stressing, was that I have to go back to school tomorrow and this is my only day of the weekend. I shouldn’t be stressing when it is only a hobby. But that’s the thing with blogging, there are so few people that do it as a hobby these days that you get sucked into the pressure of full time blogging. You get sucked into the fact they spend more time on their blogs and you have to actually do something else with your day. I forget sometimes when I’m comparing myself to full time bloggers than I’m not one of them and that I cannot compare myself to them.

So yes, I do blog as a hobby but I feel like it is becoming harder and harder to blog as a hobby. There is so much competition in this industry that it is easy to get sucked into it all.

I’m not really sure where I’ve been going with this post but after reading a few blogs about the industry this morning I had all of these thoughts bubbling around that I needed to get out. That I wanted people to understand before they judge why my blog isn’t like many of the travel blogs out there. Why I’m not obsessed with press trips and social media stats.

That all being, I had the most views in a month on my blog in January and I just want to say a big thank you for sticking with my blog even though it’s just some hobby I started five years ago.

Why do you blog? Let me know in the comments below.

10 Comments

  1. 6th Feb 2017 / 9:19 pm

    Love this, Jodie, and something I’ve been thinking about myself recently. Even if it is just a hobby, your blog absolutely rocks, and is so professional – and, better yet, you’re freed from the restrictions of having to cater to what ‘big companies’ and ‘the masses’ want to read. You can do your own thing, and that’s why I love reading your stuff (that and the fact you’re pretty awesome).

    As for why I blog? I actually have no clue. At times I’ve thought about packing it all in, especially when I’m putting pressure on myself to get something written when I could be out with friends or just sleeping. I feel for me it’s a mixture of wanting to recount my memories for prosperity, but also as a way to hone my skills and build up my freelance career. xx

    • Jodie Louise
      Author
      23rd Feb 2017 / 9:46 pm

      Thanks Emily! It’s nice to hear thoughts of someone who has a freelance career but who still doesn’t use their blog as their career just as a way to showcase your skills for your career. I think it is important to not put pressure on ourselves to get blogs written and social media posts scheduled. We just have to enjoy it! xx

  2. 8th Feb 2017 / 8:21 am

    Ah what a refreshing post!

    “I blog as a hobby.” -> and that, surely, is the most important thing. Once a hobby becomes your life, your ‘bread and butter’, then it often stops being a hobby and starts to become … a ‘chore’. It becomes less fun, because you’re always hankering after ‘reach’, after ‘income’; you become obsessed with stats and worry that ‘that most got 12 less hits than the previous post therefore it must have been a failure’.

    It’s always been in my mind to concentrate more on writing, but I know I’m far too lazy; plus I’m not that sort of blogger anyway. The popular blog posts tend to be on the lines of ’23 Things To See In This Far Too Popular Place Anyway Whilst Talking In Capital Letters’, and I think I’d feel physically ill if I tried to write that sort of post, except ironically.

    Why do *I* blog? Because I can. Because to do so allows me to write down where I’ve been and what I’ve done, to provide both a means to learn more about a place (I’ve always been immensely curious!) while also keeping a record so when I become old and forgetful, I’ll be able to look back and go ‘oh cool, I did that’. If what I write helps out other people on their journeys, then yay, bonus!

    I will say one thing though:
    “There is so much competition in this industry that it is easy to get sucked into it all.” -> there doesn’t *have* to be competition; people can read more than one blog and as long as you write something ‘distinctive’ then people will still go here as well as everywhere else. My main niche can be described as ‘I go to these places so you don’t have to’ -> no matter how many travel bloggers there are, very few of them will ever go to. for example, Burkina Faso … 🙂

    • Jodie Louise
      Author
      23rd Feb 2017 / 9:44 pm

      Thanks for your comment, I loved reading all of your thoughts! I totally agree about something not being a fun hobby once it because your way of earning money. You are totally write about there being so much competition in the blogging industry, I think that is where a lot of my frustration comes from!

  3. 12th Feb 2017 / 5:18 pm

    I’m SO with you on this. I also blog as a hobby. It’s my creative outlet, a way to track and remember my travels, and also a way of connecting with a really cool community of like-minded people. But all of the “how to be successful through blogging” push does tend to stress me out – until I remind myself that it’s meant to be fun, not a chore, and I’m writing because I enjoy it! That helps a lot of the stress fade away 🙂

    • Jodie Louise
      Author
      23rd Feb 2017 / 9:41 pm

      It’s good to be able to remind yourself it is just a hobby and write because you enjoy it. Those how to be successful posts definitely stress me out too. Nice to hear someone feels the same!

  4. 12th Feb 2017 / 9:42 pm

    This totally resonates with my Jodie because I’ve been going through the same thought process myself recently. It’s really hard when you’re working/studying to keep going with blogging too and it’s so easy to compare yourself to others. But I always love reading your blog and totally trust your opinions, as I know you are always 100% genuine. Keep doing what you do and your readers will keep reading it 🙂

    • Jodie Louise
      Author
      23rd Feb 2017 / 9:40 pm

      Thanks Emily. I’m glad you could resonate, so nice hearing other people feel the same!

  5. 23rd Feb 2017 / 9:40 pm

    Love your comments and attitude to your travels/life.

    We are on a middle aged gap year and really enjoying blogging about it just for fun, memories, and to share with friends and family.

    One thing I’ve noticed is that it spurs us on to get that better picture and to go and see that additional tourist site on a hot day.

    Ps – thanks for advice on Iguacu Falls – heading there tomorrow

    • Jodie Louise
      Author
      23rd Feb 2017 / 9:47 pm

      It is so refreshing to hear that people are still blogging to keep a record of their travels and to keep family and friends up to date. This is definitely why I started my blog but I seem to have lost sight of that on occasions!

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