We’re fast approaching the end of another year. For some, this may have been their first year with a blog. Others no doubt will be started in the New Year as part of a New Year’s resolution. For me, it’s the end of my second year as a blogger. However, it’s the first year that I’ve really started to engage with other bloggers and I feel so much better for it.
And speaking to others really got me thinking about why we start our blogs. We pour so much of our time, effort and essentially our lives into these websites. But why did we all start? So I started asking my fellow bloggers the stories behind their blogs and some of them were incredible.
For some, it was the appeal of the community that drew them to blogging. For Millie, “My main reasons for starting blogging were to connect with more likeminded people in a supportive community that values the same things that I do, eg. taking photos of anything cute!”
One of my new blogger friends, Abi, said that support from her boyfriend was actually what encouraged her to start,”I haven’t always been the confident girl you see in my videos. I have always loved watching YouTubers but when I met my current boyfriend, George, he told me to just go for it, what’s the worst that could happen? And from the moment I picked up the camera it lit a spark that nobody could put out!”
And she isn’t the only one who was encouraged by someone else. One of my new favourite YouTubers/ bloggers Nadine started because “Honestly, my English teacher told me to, because I told her I wanted to be a journalist. But once I started I became so inspired by other bloggers, and I keep blogging today because I love having my own space online to be creative and express myself!”
For others, it was the love of writing. Emily-Rose said, “I started because since I was little I wanted to be a ‘how to’ girl and I’ve always kept a journal and feel like I’ve not got the most optimistic outlook on life so I figured writing a blog would combine the three.”
Francesca also decided to start a blog due to her love of writing and photography, “I started blogging as a way to keep the writer in me alive, I’m also a photographer so was very keen on developing my skill set rather than see it deteriorate. I find time where ever I can to take a few blog photos during the day and during the evening once the kids are in bed, I’ve got some time to write. Once ai started I didn’t want to stop and thats when I really got into blogging.”
And of course, we can’t forget that with blogging, we get to write about whatever we want! Gemma told me,”I first started blogging because I’m hugely interested in makeup and beauty related blogs; I spend all my free time reading them! It was just the next logical step for me to start my own blog. I didn’t think I’d get many readers, or how long it would last for, but I did it purely for my own enjoyment – writing posts about things I knew I would like reading.”
Abbie also said that freedom of topic choices what was encouraged her to start her blog, “Once I found out a blog can be dedicated to any subject of your choice and interest, I thought I could create a travel blog. As time went by, I began to get into the whole blogging thing and wanted to expand my topic choice to travel and lifestyle.”
Tiffany also had a similar start to her blog, “I started blogging because I had read blog reviews for years and always brought new makeup and skin care and wanted to share my thoughts with everyone. I also needed a hobby and loved the idea of writing about stuff I loved”.
Being able to write about your chosen topics means that you can give others the answer you’ve searched for. Katie said, “I wanted my blog to be that place where if someone googled ‘How do I make my hair thicker?’ my blog would come up with the answer and a review on the products mentioned as I always wanted just one place where I could find all the answers to the questions I had.”
And of course, having freedom to write about whatever you want can mean that you get chance to talk about issues that really matter to you. For Amy, this includes mental health topics. “I started blogging to give me something to do. As the years went on I found my niche and that was mental health and beauty. Beauty always been a passion but mental health is more important for me to talk about. I find it helps me and others which I love.”
However, having a hobby like blogging can also help you escape from everyday stresses. This was the case for Jessie- Ann. “I was really homesick when I first started university, so blogging provided a welcome distraction and has since brought me so many amazing opportunities and allowed me to meet so many wonderful people. I’m so so happy I started blogging, and can’t imagine life without it now!”
Samantha- Jayne also uses blogging as an escape. “I have multiple chronic illnesses, so I spend a lot of my time at home and was starting to feel a bit brain dead. I’m not able to blog as often as I’d like due to energy and concentration levels, but it’s given me something to focus on, and I’ve always enjoyed writing. It’s been really nice engaging with new people online, and even though I still have a lot to learn about blogging, and it’s hard at times, I’m really happy that I decided to give it a go!”
Charlee also wanted to use blogging to help keep herself occupied.”When I left college, moved into a house with my then partner. I got very lonely and bored, so I started YouTube several times in fact, till I moved back home and found out all about blogging, I loved this idea so much more, for the fact I could be anonymous if I wished. So in July 2015 I bought a domain, changed my name to Rose above the Thorns and full heartedly threw myself into blogging.”
Even those who blog for a living are also setting up their own personal blogs so that they can express creativity. Steve said, “I set up my own blog in 2011. I was already blogging for an employer’s blog, but they wanted everything kept very formal and corporate, and while that was fine for a while, it was quite limiting and I wanted to blog about more unusual topics.From there, it just took off on its own, trying to write at least one post per month. 5 years, it’s still going and I’m still enjoying it!”
In fact, creativity can be a big factor when setting up a blog. Krys said, “I started blogging as a creative outlet. It’s a way to my telling my story. Looking back at pictures of my younger self, style has always been something that’s played a part of who I am. Blogging is another way to share that with people.”
Chelsea also said that being creative was her main drive. “I started blogging as a way to feel creative again. I wanted a new hobby that could open my eyes to new skills, new interests & views on the world, whilst having a little slice of the Internet to call my own.”
Some have been blogging so long that they can’t remember how they officially started. Sarah Lauren was one of those people- “As weird as this might seem, I don’t really remember that moment when I decided to start my blog or my reasoning why. I’ve always enjoyed creating content online so I decided to just bite the bullet and make a blog and it all just sort of happened.”
As for me, I originally started blogging as part of a university module. I decided to pick a social media module where I had to build a blog so I thought it would be great for employability skills later on and in fact, it was. But after the module finished, it become much more than something I had to do and became something that I wanted to do. Amongst all of the busyness of uni, my blog was somewhere that I could write about topics that were not academic. And what really surprised me was that people actually wanted to read what I was putting out there, so I started to feel as though I was part of a community. Although I have dropped in and out of blogging during extremely busy or stressful periods of my life, it’s something that I will continue to go back to. Hopefully, it’s something I can look back on when I want to think about all the cool things I did throughout my 20s.