Almost ten years ago, I began to actualize my love trials and all the lessons I had learned thus far in life and love. Aside from my private journal entries, I wanted to created a virtual diary. It began as a single blog, Poetically Speaking, where I would vent about my frustrations, reflect on my triumphs and seek counsel/understanding for my missteps, through poetry.
Regardless to the topic I chose, I never poured out my heart on my blogs in search of a pay check. To me, money was not a factor. I believed that through my words, I would not only be helping myself, but I truly believed, that I had created a place, where people, like me, would not be judged while seeking refuge and clarity. My blog was an unstructured and unpredictable collage of my journey. Just like life, my blog could not be ordered and there was no right or wrong way to compose it. As we each learn and grow at different stages of our lives, I used my blog to highlight certain moments in my walk, with hopes to help someone else take heed of what's to come, and/or acknowledge that they too, have triumphed or learned hard life/love lessons.
Turns out that's exactly what happened. And for awhile, before I knew how to use Google analytics, I didn't think anyone read my posts. I couldn't tell whether a single person truly benefited from my words. Until one day, people began to comment! And for me it was a big deal to receive maybe one comment for every three to four posts published. It truly felt good and I felt better knowing someone, somewhere actually took time try and identify with my words. That was all the glory I needed; it was more than enough payment for me because I felt so accomplished in those moments, and still do today.
Now, with several eyes on my words, 2 blogs currently operating and 2 achieved, more people are identifying with my message/words. And that impact, man, that impact, makes me feel so accomplished. Especially because I didn't start my blog to make money!
And I know my fellow bloggers are going to question, "Why not get paid from doing what you love?" And trust me I do. I get paid for published articles, some informative and others entertaining. I get paid royalties from selling copies of my novels and I even look forward to getting paid writing screenplays in the near future. But blogging, blogging to me was always suppose to be subjective, it was never suppose to be a business.
If I had started my blog to generate income, my intent would not have been solely around my purpose. Instead I would have been motivated to write for money, forcing topics and opinions, not necessarily genuine or rational/logical on the minds and hearts of my peers. My readers, are more than readers, they are people, who want to identify with the realities of the world, with the realities of life and love. I dare not pressure them for clicks to purchase things they may or may not be able to afford, in order to get a check every month.
And I know some of you are thinking, "There's no pressure!" And I would have to argue the contrary.
Ask yourself this, who wants to really read a blog full of advertisements? No one! Why? Because the content gets lost between ads, making the content hard to follow.
So regardless to what blog it is, I will never click on ads. If I clicked on a link to a blog or article, it's because I wanted to read that blog post/article. And while ads seem to make more sense for fashion blogs, the craft and art of writing gets lost in blogging everyday.
So I think the real question is what blogging as a business doesn't do...
Blogging as a business, doesn't mask those who lack the passion for blogging, nor does it make them a writer. I think too many people are weighing their options and trying to come up with more "why nots" than "what ifs".
Why not consider what happens if you create something that has potential to reach the masses with no impact? The point of reach should be impact, right? Not clicks. But clicks get you paychecks and I don't know too many people unmotivated by money.
So the issue becomes, for me, that I can't use my craft in a way that it was initially intended. And it pains me that now my blog is not as "attractive" because new comers and money driven blogs have structured blogging in a way that made my blog look "undeveloped", or quite frankly not appealing.
None of my blogs had a background for many years. My words were to appeal, not the blog layout. And I notice today, when I click on blogs and try to read topics, that the percentage of people who can actually write, is very small.
And maybe that's because many writers do not maintain blogs anymore. Because with the amount of people blogging these days, its art and purpose is lost. It's unfortunate that there are blogs giving people a false sense of accomplishment, due to likes.
Just to be clear, the intent (of blogging) is to positively impact peoples lives, not just tell them things you don't believe in, or share irrational thoughts to provoke controversy, in order to get publicity. In either instance, no one really gains anything, besides a waste of time and energy for entertaining such BS!
Now I don't begrudge a fashionista sharing style tips, or a photographer or artist showcasing their art on/in a portfolio. But when you create a blog, you give others the impression that writing is your craft. And as a writer, I don't go to a photoshoot trying to direct or take photos.
I am a writer, and I have the ability to describe what I see and make you feel as though you were in the same moment as me. I can recap my life and make my life lessons feel like your own. I have a way of establishing an emotional connection through words, just as a photographer would a photo, a fashionista an outfit and an artist a drawing/painting. But what I do not do, is try to make a profit off of something I don't consider my personal gift or medium.
Blogs are suppose to be vessels of hope and help. They are safe spaces, to be used to develop crafts, share ideas and build communities. And somewhere along the lines I believe we loss sight of that.
Take Huffington Post for example, and I am not exempt from submitting an article or two to Huff for publishing, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that the blogs I create for my own blog (free of charge), are blogs that I could probably easily get published if I submit them. But I realized that I never want to submit those pieces to Huff. I always want those blogs to be my own. I seek organic reach for those posts. I want them to touch people because they are meaningful, not just because it was published in Huff.
I believe that my blog is my way of being uncensored, unfiltered and unedited. I control my words! I control my message! I don't worry about it being shaped for "appeal".
The truth, never needs to appeal! It is accepted because it is just that, truth... -Audreyanna Garrett
As a writer there are varying degrees of success and satisfaction with your work. Some of us pride ourselves on content, how the message is delivered and what emotion that message evokes. Others of us pride ourselves on reach, but regardless, we all want our words to be read. Therefore we take great pride in what we say. And whether controversial or consoling, a blog posts are the eyes of souls and show the intent of our hearts.
And when your passionate about writing, a blog is your voice, free of restrictions. You can't put a price on that. And when your intent is pure, you don't seek compensation for that...