I really wanted to do a play on the whole "So You Think You Can Dance" title. No clue why I wanted to but I did and I have. So ... ha? Maybe? I've been thinking a lot about blogging. Thoughts about it have been consuming my day (obsess much? Possibly!).
Some of you have been following my blog for many years and you have witnessed the various transformations and changes as I have tried to figure out my blogging identity. Last year, I decided I was going to take my blog more seriously than I have before (treating my blog as a business versus a hobby), growing my traffic and attempting to monetize my blog. This has definitely been quite an adventure and there has been a lot of education in this process. This industry is ever evolving and bloggers must keep up with the latest technology, social media platform, money making methods and trends. It's exhausting.
There are some questions that I asked myself after I took a hiatus from blogging and was considering what I wanted to do with my blog, where I wanted it to go and if I even wanted to blog. These questions could be helpful to you to ask yourself if you want to blog, are a newbie blogger or even blogging for awhile.
1. WHY do you want to blog?
That is the question that I thought about the longest and hardest. If I could not answer this question- I had no business blogging.
When I first started blogging, I wanted to write about shaken baby syndrome, traumatic brain injuries, and life as a single mother with a special needs child. I wanted to share with the world what our world is like. I found that I don't like that world. The more I time I spent dwelling on it, the more depressed I became. I decided I did not want it to be my primary focus but I do want to continue to raise awareness and do more prevention but it's mentally, emotionally and physically exhausting. I get emails from those who are new to the world of shaken baby syndrome and I feel good when I am able to help them because it helps me, too. We are in this world together. It's an ugly, horrible and overwhelming thing to live through and nobody understands this world but those who have lived through it.
I then started writing book reviews. Then just reviews. At first I loved it. FREE STUFF! WOOT! Then... I became overwhelmed. I became resentful. I couldn't keep up. It felt like my job. This opened my eyes that I am just not a reviewer. I am not. I don't enjoy writing reviews because I am just not very good at it. I am not a good reviewer and that is perfectly fine. I still post reviews from time to time but I find that I prefer story telling. I like to be able to just talk about a product naturally versus being clinical with a review. Here are some examples. I love to write recipes, cook and take photos. I am enjoying it beyond belief. I don't want to be a food blogger (well, strictly) because I still like to read and chat about books, music, movies, shaken baby syndrome, traumatic brain injuries, and life in general.
2. WHAT do you want out of your blog?
Do you want to make a living out of your blog? Who wouldn't want to, right? There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to make some money off of your blog. However, don't blog just because you want to make money. You will become burned out and frustrated and will quit. In the first six years of blogging, I never even thought about making a dime off of my blog. I think I had a few AdSense ads but that's about as far as I thought about it. I just wanted to write about life, books and I was good with that. A year ago, I decided that my blog would become my business and I decided to monetize my blog. It's a double edged sword. You really need to good content BUT good content means absolutely zip if you don't have traffic. I am still trying to grow my traffic but it's a work in progress. In a year, I have definitely achieved my goal to make money and I have been making a nice little supplemental sum since November of last year but I want my traffic to increase and to do that, it's about marketing.
3. WHERE do you see you and your blog in the future?
Are you seeking internet fame? Do you see yourself blogging full time? Do you see yourself getting a book deal? Do you vision yourself on the talk show circuit?
I don't handle the spotlight well and I am not a talented writer but where I do see myself and my blog in the future is me being self employed full time. I am developing a business that I would love to go hand in hand with my blogging and hopefully one picks up where the other one is slacking in regards to business and earnings.
I am going to continue to share resources I am finding to be beneficial to me with you and any blogging networks, revenue opportunities, etc.
Now.. Debbie Gibson.
Why? Because I can and she followed me on Twitter and that makes me think I am much cooler than I probably am. Oh and she's seriously a babe.
What about you? What are your answers to the above questions? I would love to know!