I asked myself this question after contemplating blog ideas and questioning the direction of my content. I had been feeling a bit lost – like what is the point of putting time and effort into something and getting nothing in return? I had just watched a Ted Talk the evening before, while walking on the treadmill. Why was I watching videos while exercising? Because I had seen someone online recommend it for those days when you are feeling unmotivated and lacking energy – just do something. Hell, jump on a treadmill and just walk, watch some videos on your phone to distract yourself from what you’re actually doing. Doing something is better than doing nothing.
When I began doubting my decision to blog, I Googled “why start a blog” (literal much). The results returned with the likes of: attract an audience, establish authority, allows you to help people, make money and become an influencer. Other articles that popped up included “reasons not to start a blog”, and most commonly “how to start a blog”. There is a lot of advice about finding you niche and knowing your audience so that you can influence others. And then there’s me, sitting at my computer with no audience, no niche, and not at all interested in influencing anyone. Firstly, who am I to be “influencing” any type of “audience”, and secondly, there are enough influences in society telling us what we should believe and how we should act, trying to shape us to conform to a certain way of thinking or being. Without even realising it, social media told me to get my ass off the couch and walk on the treadmill. On this occasion I think we can get away with referring to it as “inspired” or “guilt-tripped” rather than “influenced”, but you get the picture.
The Ted Talk I listened to on the treadmill emphasised the importance of “why” in everything we do – especially if you want to be successful (which is a relative measure in itself). In his talk, Simon Sinek poses that “if you don’t know why you do what you do, then how will you get anybody else to be loyal, or want to be a part of what you do?.” Further, “if you talk about what you believe, you will attract those who believe what you believe.”
Another article I came across also gave me some hope that I could find some purpose in my unexplained desire to blog. Joshua Becker wrote an article about his personal blogging experience and how it has changed him. Joshua lists benefits such as becoming a better writer, broadening your mindset, living with more intention and at the very least, you have a journal stored in the cloud showcasing your personal growth and development.
I’m a dabbler – I like to cook, I try to eat mostly healthy food, I like to frequent cafes and drink coffee, I like being outdoors, I read books and watch too much tv. I try to do yoga most days, I go to the gym, I enjoy photography, I like to write, I love travelling when I can in between working and studying and when finances allow. I’m not a fashionista or a fitness guru, I don’t travel to luxurious destinations each month, and while I love cooking healthy meals, I mostly use recipe books and am not overly creative in the kitchen. I am an everyday girl – I don’t have a niche, I don’t know who my audience is. There is not one thing in particular that I am an authority on, or want to influence people on. Hence, the question I keep asking myself, WHY start a blog?
The answer I have landed on: I will blog because it is a creative outlet, a hobby I enjoy putting time into. If blogging encourages me to grow personally in my writing, or my cooking or photography, or by broadening my mind, then that’s an added bonus. I will stop worrying if my content is cohesive or relevant. I will blog about things I believe in – maintaining a healthy lifestyle, getting the most out of travel experiences and musing about concepts/ideas that are meaningful to me. At the very least, I’ll have a comprehensive journal to look back and laugh about one day.
Questioning the why can be a really powerful exercise. I have also been using this technique when considering my career path and relationships. If you haven’t already, check out the Ted Talk video here – I promise it will get you thinking!