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Friday, August 9, 2013

Sylvia Villalobos: Why Do We Blog?





I’m relatively new to blogging (seven months or so), and still learning about this fascinating world filled with communities and challenges and stories. Great personal stories. As I make my way through the blogosphere, I discover equally interesting places from faraway countries and old neighborhoods. I discover a lot of other things, but will focus on the first-mentioned aspects of blogging.

So, why do we blog?  To share our stories, I would say, but that’s hardly the only reason. Perhaps to promote a product, establish our writing, build a platform, express our creativity, be part of communities.

Some communities are so well organized (and crowded), I can’t bring myself to be commenter number 189. Does the large number of comments affect the blogger’s personal rapport with followers? I don’t know. I’m asking.

What I do know is that not having a blog is a thing of the past.  Since I like to write, I started blogging when I was told no writer is without a blog nowadays. So far so good, but are we blogging because everyone else is or for reasons that will last?

According to quora.com most blogs are abandoned soon after creation, with 60-80% abandoned within one month, and many surviving blogs are not regularly updated.  That may mean nothing to the serious blogger, but in the world of data those are large numbers.

On the other hand, the longest running blog, according to newswireless.net, belongs to Rupert Goodwins who started blogging in 1996. Now that’s staying power and dedication -- seventeen years of blogging. I’d like to think staying power is one of the goals. Otherwise, it seems like a lot of work and dedication gone to waste. A long-standing and active blog, it appears, stands on two pillars: great content and persistence. Since blogs are similar to personal journals, as a new blogger I find posts with personal touches most inviting.

For a time I thought blogging was something young people did, another aspect of the social media revolution. It didn’t take long to learn that’s not the case. Some of my favorite posts are written by bloggers transformed by life experiences. Not long ago, I read a post titled Good Girl Disease, by Doreen McGettigan. I think you’ll be moved by this true-life story. I was.

So, what is it that makes you blog?  And what motivates you to blog often?   

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About the author: Silvia lives in Los Angeles with her husband and son. Her stories have appeared at Fiction365Red Fez, and Pure Slush.  She is currently working on her mystery novel, Stranger or Friend.   

32 comments:

  1. Whar makes me blog? good one that. I started with one blog to show places I had been, which lead on to a second on another subject. I then started a third because I was interested in that and I end up witha fourth as a daily blog. Now I don't write I show my photos which I have taken over the years. The first blog was on explorations, the second on a developent of an old Hospital near me and the third about churches and gravyards because I visit them a lot. The forth is a daily photo I show which could be of anything. I did have fifth blog on the construction of our village hall but that has nod dropped off.
    The Daily blog I enjoy showing pictures on, the graveplace one is weekly and the other two I try to update once a month. Why do I do it well becouse it's fun and I enjoy it, I just hope others do as well.

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  2. Hi Sylvia, great post thank you! I often wonder why I blog! But truth be told, I enjoy it even though it is time consuming and also because it is gratifying to receive responses from which I learn a lot. Invariably I write about psychological matters which is my particular interest. I much enjoy others' posts and learning more about other parts of the world or other views...Also I believe in the value of sharing stories, stories which need to be heard and not be left 'unsaid' ..
    I checked in at Doreen's post and left a comment.
    Thank you - and have a great weekend.

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  3. I started my blog in 2006, initially to let family and friends across the globe know what me and my tribe are up to. But it has evolved.I find it cathartic with having 2 kids with special needs. I have got involved in the writing community. And I can use it as a platform for my business/books. But I think what works, for me, is that it is a mixture of posts - personal, craft, writing, photos - etc :)
    Suzanne @ Suzannes-Tribe

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  4. Hi, fab post, and a question I ask myself often. I first started out trying to promote Caprilicious jewellery, my website, and now am hooked - According to the numbers following me, I am mean to have but 19 followers - but every time I speak to friends and people who bu my jewellery, they tell me how much they enjoy reading the blog - now I know I have an audience, I blog compulsively with a weekly Friday offering. Why wont people follow simple instructions and press the 'follow my blog' button? - I have no answers to that - except that they may be anxious about cookies (whatever they are lol) or because they have to register themselves with Bloglovin and worry about being hacked - anyway, my blog will soon be two years old, and I cannot see myself stopping, I love talking to people, even if I cannot see them - and I am passionate about my jewellery - and the two seem to fit perfectly. Thank you for such a thought provoking post, Neena Shilvock

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  5. Why do I blog? I ask myself that same question on occasion lol. Mostly, to ramble my thoughts and I like the community of bloggers. Some I have had for a long time, I mean from the very beginning, they have seen my son through college and law school, yeah a long time :) Others, are new and that is great, I love finding new blogs and just the fun community of it. See, I ramble :)
    Lucy from Lucy's Reality

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  6. Hi Sylvia, great post. Those figures are impressive and I'll be heading over to read your recommendation next. I ask myself why I want to blog every single time I start a post but never get a clear answer, some posts just roll off the keyboard in minutes and others torture my brain but refuse to go away for days sometimes. I also love the the lessons and access to other blogs and that I never knew existed before doing the #atozchallenge.

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  7. I blog to showcase my crafts & photography, share bits of my life with friends and family who don't have a Facebook. I go to blogs and if I see tons of comments already I often don't leave one, assuming it'll never be read or lost in the shuffle.

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  8. Bill, Susan, Suzanne, Neena, Lucy, Ida, JoJo ... thank you for sharing your examples. Bill, graveplace is a great name. :) Should't leave things unsaid, I'm with you Susan, and Suzanne LOL on the cookies comment. Lucy, thank you! Seeing those bar graphs move is great, Ida, and yes, for much of it we owe a big thanks to Blogging from A-Z. JoJo, I don't leave a comment either if I see sooo many there already. Glad I'm not alone.

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  9. I started blogging because a friend asked me if I would like to write for their blog. I agreed and enjoyed it so much I started my own blogs, one on blogger and one on wordpress. I love to write and blogging is a way to share what I write with others on a regular basis and share it with others who are genuinely interested in reading it. I find that I get more joy out of writing when I know it will be read by others. So blogging is my way of making my voice heard among the billions of voices on our world.

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  10. This post is timely since I'll be teaching a class on blogging basics for folks who are thinking about starting a blog. I've noticed that the 60-somethings are looking at blogs as a way of telling their life story and connecting with family. I started blogging because my friend was doing it (ha!), and I saw it as a great creative outlet for my words and photos. I loved the community that I quickly joined. My blog has evolved into a review blog for theater and the arts as well as personal essays and commentary. I started another blog for my travel writing.
    Thanks for your words today! I'll likely share this post with my class next Tuesday.

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  11. Blogging for me is a creative outlet for not only writing but photography, fashion and whimsy.

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  12. Hey Sylvia, good to meet you. I started blogging because I've been writing since I was a kid and I love it. In the beginning the blog was a way to deal with pain and grief and now I write mostly about my observations, with what I hope is a humourous twist. My goal is to make people laugh, or at least smile.

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  13. J, It's always nice to be read, isn't it? I attended a reading once where the writer said he doesn't have a book (even though he had his on the table in front of him) until he has readers.
    Mary, wish I lived were you are so I could sit in on that class.

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  14. Tami, will go over to your blog to take a look at the fashion.
    Thanks, Eve. Good to meet you, too. Some of the most memorable works come from pain and grief (unfortunately). Good to hear that changed to observations and humor.

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  15. It's a good idea to know why you're blogging before you start.
    Once you discover what you look for and what you will offer (content) then it's a matter of style. Frequency is another thing to consider.

    I enjoy blogging and learning something from others on a daily basis. I may blog slow, but I try to make up for that with quality content and images.

    Too many bloggers burn out trying to keep to a daily schedule. That's an important consideration.
    Good Luck in the blogworld!

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  16. I blog for a mutlitude of reasons: to motivate myself to write regularly, to gain feedback and constructive criticism, to have an organised and presentable way of storing my writings, to be heard..

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  17. I started doing it because I thought that, with six billion people in the world, I would at last connect with others who lived with mental illness and enjoyed reading and writing weird little stories. Alas, how wrong I was. Cyberspace is just as full of "normal" people who don't get it and judgmental jerks as real life. Connecting with people who get or enjoy what I write is rare.

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  18. Blogging can be difficult trying to come up with fresh ideas for posts. But I enjoy being out there as part of the writing community!

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  19. I got started for the first reason you give - because I was told that no writer should be without a website or at least a blog. Then I got into the 2012 A-Z challenge and only just made it through that, but I am hooked on the chance to air my views on writing, on the expat life, and on the odd things that cross my mind. Sometimes Facebook isn't enough.

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  20. My blog is my diary, although on the surface it is not clear that what I write is real. I started blogging when a really good friend in cyberspace died. She was only twenty one and a great writer, luckily a lot of what she wrote has been put together into a book and much of her work is in cyberspace.

    So it made me think I might be a rubbish writer but I enjoy it and I can leave a small mark on the world in cyberspace. OK I also create art with some bits all over the world (I am not famous just old), but I enjoy writing my diary.....

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  21. I have been blogging for over a year now and can say I blog both for the love of it and the wonderful community I get to be a part of. Glad that you're blogging too and that you know age doesn't matter.

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  22. Blogging is a great way to get much needed practice, feedback and affirmation that your writing is good. I say affirmation because no comments means something, and picking up followers means something too!

    It also keeps my creative juices flowing even when I need a break from my current project.

    I've also met some wonderful people that I consider true friends although I'll never meet - or even talk on the phone - with 99% of them.

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  23. D.G., thank you. Frequency & content, looks like those two are very important indeed.

    Ghahdeer, thanks. 'To be heard,' yeah, we sure feel more connected when heard.

    Mink, based on this short entry, bet your blog is fun. Will check it out.

    Ah, Lizy, we're in the same boat. Good to know.

    Linda, and I really enjoy that you stopped by.

    Rob, sorry about your friend. As long as you know the posts are real, that should be evident to your readers, imo.

    Sheena, thank you. For the love of it, I hear you. And the communities ... encouraging to see.

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  24. Hi Silvia .. finding one's theme may well be different from the reason for writing - I didn't know what I wanted to blog about .. if anything actually - what would people be interested in reading ...

    With my mother bedridden from a severe stroke, but completely able to communicate - I needed some extra input to give her opportunities to explore things she might be interested in ..

    So I wrote about things that interested me and almost certainly my mother ... and relished the mixing and matching in each post: I had my input, I had my knowledge I'd read about/researched some more, and I was learning.

    I think I've learnt more about life from other bloggers, as well as my own postings than I've learnt in the rest of my life ...

    One thing I definitely did not want to hone in on .. were the challenges and trials and tribulations I had along the way .. the main thing was to remain positive ... and two friends wrote about my personal letters to them that my approach was so positive, it was always a pleasure to read my letters ... hence Positive Letters was born ... four and a half years on .. I continue.

    Now there are many opportunities that are available on the net - and the blog will continue, and I will continue my learning ..

    Cheers to you - it's always interesting to read others' start points ... and learning about life, as well as having the opportunity to learn approaches to writing, blogging etc .. good luck with your blogging future .. Hilary

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  25. Cindy, I understand what you mean about affirmation. And keeping my creative juices flowing, even during long breaks from a writing project, stands as an important reason.

    Cheers to you, Hilary. Thank you for so aptly describing your process and reasons for blogging. I especially like this: 'I think I've learnt more about life from other bloggers, as well as my own postings than I've learnt in the rest of my life ...' I feel the same way, although on a smaller, newer scale.
    Silvia @ Silvia Writes

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  26. Wow - what great responses you got! I just wrote a post about why I blog a few weeks ago. Basically, I blog to practice my writing and hang out with my friends. The friends/community part of blogging was a complete surprise to me and continues to bring me great joy.
    Tina @ Life is Good

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  27. Welcome to the blogosphere. I discovered my ability to write and that's what has kept me on here, though i have been away for couple of years. Passion brings you back even when you are kept away by other things. Great post.Good work done. Hope you pass by my page to read about addiction..

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  28. Thank you, Tina.

    Ebendy, will certainly stop by.

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  29. What ever our reasons for writing; whether we're venting or being creative or touching base with others who share a point of view or oppose our views. Blogging opens up a world of possibilities from the comfort of our very own homes no wonder it's so popular.

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  30. This was an awesome post. I have been asking myself that very same question.
    Like you, I like blogs where the writer injects part of his/her personality, life.
    There is only so much time I allot to read blogs. I have to be selective.

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  31. Just back from your previously mentioned blog.
    Excellent. I blog as a writer who loves writing. Thus I play with writing.

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  32. A great post which obviously resonated with the A to Z community. I did a post on the reasons I blog a while ago. http://suesconsideredtrifles.wordpress.com/2013/01/26/how-did-i-get-here/
    I enjoy it so much I now have a second blog! Sue

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