So You Think You Should Start Blogging
Simple yet powerful questions to help you decide.
Two years ago I started blogging for a competition held in my organisation. The competition was to publish 3–4 blogs a month and get enough traction (likes, shares, claps) to win a monthly prize. I decided to participate and wrote 3 blogs in that month and garnered enough points to get the third prize. But that was the beginning and the end of my blogging journey.
8 months ago I realised that I want to try blogging once again. But this time around I wanted to make sure that I do it seriously. I read a lot of articles about writing. Read stories from well-known bloggers and tried to understand the pattern. Among various qualities, one common quality that stood out in almost all those writers was consistency and their commitment to writing.
Although that is true for anything you do in life, consistency alone will not help you achieve your goals. There are multiple factors in play. Some people are naturally inclined towards writing, mainly because of their upbringing and education.
But then I stumbled upon this article which completely changed my way to approach writing. One of the paragraphs from the post completely stood out for me. And literally pushed me into the world of blogging.
Experiment, Experiment, Experiment Since my writing is not good enough to be curated, why not experiment a little. Yes, I'm talking about embellishing here with a pronoun, accenting there with a verb. While you are at it, throw in a few sarcastic sentences just for the humour. Write when you feel vulnerable. Write when you feel mad. Write when you want to scream the daylights out of somebody. Write flash fiction. Write about politics. Write in any genre but the ones you've tried before.
Now that I think of it. I've found three questions that are crucial for any beginner writer to keep in mind as they enter the wonderful world of writing. Consider them as a quick check if you are serious about writing.
Question #1: Do you have expertise in any field?
Before you begin writing, you will have to figure out whether you can contribute to the ever-growing knowledge base on the internet. You can write about a lot of different topics but that would only be an addition to the pile without making much of a difference. If you want people to read your writing then you have to make sure that you give them powerful content to read. People on Medium are very much quality-oriented and won't fall prey to click baits. Stuff without actual meat would not survive even a day.
First, you have to choose something that you're interested in. You have to make the whole writing process enjoyable. The only way to do that is to write about something that you're interested in. Also, chances are that the more interested you are in a particular topic, the more you're willing to learn and the more creative you'll be when thinking about new ideas.
Second, you should have enough experience/knowledge of the content that you are writing. Your content should reflect you. You would only be able to help your readers if you have faced the problems yourselves.
Question #2: What is the status of your current Job?
This applies to people who wish to start writing as a part-time job. A lot of people are trying to find quick ways to earn money, in that pursuit they tend to switch between there jobs, trying to find a better one every time. This seems like a healthy way to get closer to your goals, but it can have some side-effects as well. Instability in work can cause a repelling effect on other parts of life.
You need to ask yourself the question if you are really good at your job? if no, then consider changing that to a yes first. I have seen a lot of people blaming their jobs because of their incompetency. Don't be that person. It is not about becoming the best at what you do but becoming good enough.
Making money writing is not for everyone and it is a full-time job in itself. Even for full-time writers, the struggle is real. You should consider whether you are really good at what you are doing before you start writing. This will not only make you more successful as a writer but also will enable you to give it enough time to contribute.
Question #3: Can you sustain it?
Something worth considering is if you want to write for long-term or short-term. Writing is an exhausting job and requires a lot of concentration. Even if you do it part-time, you will have to make sure to give time after work or on weekends to think and write. It requires a level of dedication and commitment. And It is not just about writing the piece, there is a lot of pre and post work for every article. It is tedious and sometimes frustrating just like any other creative process.
It's a lot of work. I am in no way trying to scare you off. But these factors can actually have a lot of impact on your decision and you might have better options to consider instead of writing.
Answering these questions will help you make an informed decision.
Timing is very important and can have a major impact on whether you succeed or fail.