Once in awhile, in real life, a friend will mention that she is thinking about starting a blog. I always say "go for it!"
Here are my top six reasons for blogging, followed by my five handy tips:
1. Something to do
This might sound like the best reason NOT to blog for some people. Since I keep my writing sessions pretty short (see handy tip #1 below), blogging is just an expression of my hobby.
2. Make new friends
Reading other blogs has helped me get to know a lot of other people who share my interest in interior design. Some are professional interior decorators, others are hobbyists, but I've learned from all of them.
3. Give & take
When I started reading blogs, I felt like I needed a way to introduce myself since these people were sharing themselves through their writing. Being able to refer them back to my blog does that. There's also the slim chance that my ideas, or my story, might resonate with a reader and inspire them somehow--which is a good feeling.
4. Hones my voice
The more you do something, the better you get. Being able to tell a story or communicate an idea is important enough to practice.
5. Clarifies my "vision"
Since this is mostly a design blog, my posts help me clarify what my vision is for a project. I think of it as a "to do list" that I'm sharing with the world.
6. Potential for extra income
Besides a few posts with affiliate links, I haven't taken advantage of this option yet in 2+ years, but the option is there. It would be great to earn a little income on the side for my home improvement projects, but it's also pretty great that I can say whatever I want...
Now for my handy tips.
1. Set a time limit
I try not to take more than 15-30 minutes to write each post. If I use images, I save them to my computer and add the link to the empty post, then fill in with text around it.
2. Containerize your lists
If I write a list (and I do LOVE making lists), I think of a number and then fill in the blanks. It helps me stick to my time limit and containerizes my ideas.
3. Develop a vocab
I have a common language that I fall back on when writing to simplify things. It helps me express myself more quickly and is true to who I am. For example, I think every post I have ever written must have the line "so fun!" somewhere. Other words I (over)use are: beautiful, gorgeous, stunning...
4. Be yourself
I try NOT to think like a marketing genius and instead hone in on who I am and what seems right intuitively to me. This is good training for the rest of life, too.
5. Keep going
It bums me out a bit when I see someone with talent and a fresh voice who gives up after a few blog posts. Sometimes life is just about hanging in there.
And I'm three minutes over my time limit for today so until we meet again...