YAFP (Yet Another First Post)
"Should I start a blog?" is perhaps the early 2000s equivalent of "Should I start streaming on Twitch?". Some say that blogging is still alive, but social media juggernauts have undeniably relegated blogs to smaller pockets of the Web. A search for "blogging 2020" reveals many WAYS TO MAKE MONEY BLOGGING published by - that's right, other blogs.
Why do people write blogs? In the Good Old DaysTM, blogs were a bona fide mainstream social network, enabling people to form genuine connections on the Internet. Some bloggers became wildly successful and made a fortune off their sites. Today, from what I can see, authentic and personal blogs that aren't run by content marketing gurus seem to fall largely into two camps: highly technical or niche hobby blogs, and more general diary-like blogs that have been around since the golden age of blogging.
I've thought about starting a blog many times in the past, and have even made a few short-lived attempts. My interest never persisted beyond getting the website itself up and running on the Internet. In hindsight, those projects were doomed to fail precisely because my primary intent was for my blog to reach some measure of Internet popularity. After weeks of basically zero traffic, I would abandon my website, only remembering it when the email came to tell me my domain had expired. And then I would do it again a few years later.
Writing is a tremendously rewarding activity, and I want to get better at it. I already keep notes religiously and journal sporadically; I try to turn ideas into short stories. But these are all kept entirely private, and I've often found my notes written sloppily, my thoughts captured only in sparse fragments. Writing only for myself may not be the way forward, it seems.
Recently, I came across #100DaysToOffload, a challenge to write 100 blog posts. Even more so than the challenge itself, seeing non-technical people starting their own blogs and joining in has inspired me to give this another shot. It feels like a nice, huge conversation that's a bit less ephemeral than posts on social media.
Is there any point to posting my writing online if no one reads it? Maybe. The non-zero chance that someone might see this forces me to think harder, write better, and edit more. I'll still write primarily for myself, but also for the random stranger who arrives here by accident.
Besides, building a website is just fun. My previous websites died more quickly than Game of Thrones' Season 8 ratings1, but I enjoyed the heck out of the process. I learned tons about web development and web technologies - probably more than a layperson like me needs to know, actually.
So, to answer the perennial question, why start a blog? Hopefully it will help me to:
- crystallise my thoughts
- write better
- be more creative
If you happen to not be a bot, hello and welcome. Here's to this project having a somewhat more respectable lifespan this time.
1A death more brutal than any on the show, if you ask me. ↩
Day 1 of #100DaysToOffload