Blogging a hobby. Blogging a profession. Jury is still out on this, at least in our nation.
The revolution of internet has spread far and wide but we need to agree that the evolution of blogging has not been as quick as that in our country. For most of us it is still a hobby, a pastime and at best a passion to achieve higher goals.
Like thousands of bloggers across the length and breadth of India, I too started with this. An idea of writing away a part of my life in words on the internet. A medium I discovered when Facebook notes fell short of satiating my creative needs.
But somewhere in this six (and counting) years of journey, I decided to take myself and this blog a few steps further. Scratch that, a lot of steps further.
Question I ask myself today is why?
What started as cryptic diatribes on politics, random hit-backs on friends and family and at times out loud thinking rants, this blog suddenly decided to take itself more seriously. Not the content or the subjects it ranted on. But only itself.
Where earlier a blogpost usually consumed fifteen minutes of our time, today it happens to stretch over days. Through scribbled notes in diary to as many as five deleted drafts in a night, blogging has become a lot about better finished end product. Coupled by a well marketed/promotion strategy.
But again why?
When I Consider How My Light Is Spent
When I consider how my light is spent,
Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide
Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
Here John Milton laments sudden loss of his sight thus rendering the very talent of poetry lodged in his soul useless.
This is how I feel about not taking one’s blog seriously. By not giving a blog its due are we not wasting the very talent we own? By denying our art its right position, its right stature- are we not in a way committing a sin?
Blogging is not simply the art of creating content. It is the art of creating a product. As bloggers you are not only a writer or a photographer or a cook, you are your own blog’s Bansal brothers. And simply putting up a blogpost is not even half work done.
Why is understanding your blog stats and working in their direction the most serious thing you can do for your blog?
A couple of years back, I decided to assign myself a target Alexa rank. The elusive and much talked about figure of under 100,000. And do you want to know where I started this journey? 22 million! If you still have doubts as to how I did this, then do read How to change your alexa rank from 22 million to under 100,00 in ten months.
But why did I choose to do so?
Answer lies with Picasso.
In this piece, re-created through journals of Brassai based on his interactions with Pablo Picasso for over thirty years, a very interesting thought on art is discussed. Here we get to know that Picasso always sold his work pieces at a rather inexpensive rate, thus ensuring that his art reaches out to as many people as possible. He believed that art as a way is successful only when it can be heard or seen by a large mass.
Blog stats and monitoring of same supports a similar idea where we as bloggers can unsure that our voices do not die a slow death.
But again why did I decide to take my blog seriously? Why even look for stats and contemplate on content for days before hitting publish? Because I believe art in any form deserves so? Perhaps.
But more importantly because this is who I am.
I realised that if blogging is an integral part of my life then should I not take it seriously. Like every other thing I own and carry out as a way of being. Isn’t that who I am? And if this blog is my alter ego then should it not represent me in larger sense?
Tonight I ask you, did you decide to take something about your life seriously in recent times and why? And if you are a blogger then please do tell me what does blogging mean to you?
No not all things need to be taken seriously 😀 *an old pic*
Why do you blog? Even better we at Blogchatter have a writing prompt which is on till 18th November. Write a post around the theme ‘Why do I blog’ and tweet the link to Blogchatter twitter handle.
Don’t you wish to know how John Milton ended that poem?
My true account, lest He returning chide;
“Doth God exact day-labor, light denied?”
I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies, “God doth not need
Either man’s work or His own gifts. Who best
Bear His mild yoke, they serve Him best. His state
Is kingly: thousands at His bidding speed,
And post o’er land and ocean without rest;
They also serve who only stand and wait.”
Ask me how to take the Alexa rank from below 100,000 to 22 million in 6 months!!! That’s how my blogging have deteriorated these days. 🙁 … But yes, when we take blogging as a routine in our life, it becomes a habit and eventually that becomes an integral and serious part of life.
Once you get into the groove there is no looking back. So woman get to it now! 😀
Wow Richa, wonderfully elucidated! Got the wheels turning in my head. Feeling motivated to commit myself more diligently to my own blog. Powerful and thought-provoking! A strong driving force like you is just what #blogchatter needs 🙂
Thanks Kala 🙂 But I believe blogchatter needs people like you to work for its cause more 🙂
I have been telling everyone, blogging is my hobby. Time to take it seriously. I did start with the first step of being self-hosted. I liked the way you have structured this post.
Going self-hosted is a great way to commit to blogging. Or so I feel 🙂
On a self-assessment trip, Richard? But I enjoyed reading it.
Richard is on a self assessment trip 😀
You are such a talented blogger Richa. Yes I did missed your post in months in between, but I too have been in that phase. Guess what? Coincidentally, I too have started to take blogging on a serious note. Though I have taken Calligraphy ‘serious’ recently, but am still focused to blogging, because it has given me a strong identity, a lot of good opportunities and a platform to connect with great souls like you 🙂 Let’s rock it!!
I keep seeing your calligraphy on instagram 🙂 But yes blogging is a much wider avenue to showcase oneself..
Very nice post. BTW, Its contest time. Please go thro the article here http://jumbledhead.blogspot.com/2015/11/truly-made-of-great.html and post your comment. Best comments win Rs. 750 amazon voucher. Cheers.. !!!
Will do hema 🙂
Kudos Richa for finding a goal and achieving it. While I admire it that you have decided to take blogging seriously, I also feel that it is okay for some not to have blogging goals in terms of numbers. I know of very successful bloggers who are not monetizing their blogs despite getting opportunities by the dozen. At the end of the day, blogging is for pleasure and it is okay not to chase targets for some. 🙂
Monetizing my blog has never been on my bucket list. And after the initial immaturity neither has contest wins been. I think taking blogging as seriously as I take all the things I commit myself too that was an idea. Yes for some maybe stats don’t matter but for me they have always worked as positive motivation 🙂 They are the reason I did embark on this journey where I decided to understand blogging beyond writing 🙂
Glad to see that you’re back in the blogging business, Richa. I guess the one thing that drives us all is passion. And if it is rewarded with good numbers and some income, that’s the icing on the cake! Rock on.
Thanks Corinne 🙂 I am in this business because of a lot of things I learned from you and write tribe 🙂
Interesting information Richa! A blog can indeed turn into a powerful tool if you choose the right strategy right from the beginning.
True. But what is beginning Vikram, one can never know 🙂
Yes I too started taking blogging seriously but seriously have no clue how to go about it.
Good post Richa. And that pic of yours scared me. 🙂
That pic of mine scares me still 😛 And Indrani you are doing a fab job of blogging, don’t think much 🙂
For me blogging needs to be serious business, else I just cant write. Putting something out there for the world is not easy, but when you do the least you can do is to make sure that it is right.
I have visited many blogs with nonchalant writing and it disturbs me. I honestly think that blogging indeed is a serious business.
Soumya I hear you woman. Nonchalant writing and at times simply blogging for the heck of it. Uff. They turn you off don’t they?
I think, blogging is better off as a hobby. You may have to compromise in a profession, but a hobby is your own prerogative. You are free to exercise your free will and give it in the world’s teeth, whether they like it or not.
But, I a great and debatable article. 😀
Hobby is perhaps entrepreneurship… you are your own boss have your own journey and yet it is more of a profession than a hobby..agree?
Congratulations on setting and achieving your goals, Richa.
I feel it is different for everyone though. Some set goals, and want to make a career out of blogging, which is pretty great, and some might not want to monetize and treat it as a business, and that is okie too. To each his own. 🙂
To each his own Shanaya 🙂 Amen to that.
Interestingly enough the area of my life that I started taking more seriously was my faith and when that happened other areas of seemed to fade to the background, my blogging being one of them. Finding a balance is my challenge at the moment.
Angel good to hear you selecting perhaps one of the most important elements of life. Well let blogging and other things find their own space with time, don’t spend too much time on finding the right balance 🙂 All in my opinion of course 🙂
Congratulations on doing so well with your blog! I check statistics once in awhile, but they aren’t that important to me. Alexa rank is 1 million something worldwide and somewhere around 600K in the U.S. Last time I checked, it was ~70K in India. Not great, but not terrible either. The website is my creative outlet and I may take it to a business level sometime in the future (after retirement), but that involves compromise and commercialism, which is anathema to creativity.
70K in india 😀 Because you have all of us here your loyal readers Debbie 🙂 and I agree that creativity when forced by external factors does suffer but then perhaps all extreme stands have cons 🙂
I relate to this post so much. Blogging is an extension of my own persona and gave me a voice online. Not being tech smart, I aspire to be brand-though I am quite pessimist on that count-it led to many things, including the upcoming content portal. A great post.
Glad you could relate to it and an upcoming content portal! Tell me all about it 🙂
I also took it very seriously 6 months before and results are amazing 🙂
It is the tip of iceberg 🙂 Carry on to see even better results 🙂
Blogging is a part of me now. It’s not there as a fad. I loved your post and this is such a good prompt. Let me see if I can write by EOD tomorrow 🙂
It can never be a fad for a serious blogger parul 🙂 or else one can not sustain..
Thanks Rixha for sharing these thoughts. I too decided to take bligging seriously and got professional help in redesigning the blog, read up all the Tips on SEO ranking, analytics etc, set myself goals but still get disheartened with the painfully slow results…….
More than professional help perseverance helps… or so I feel 🙂
I guess I am still at a stage where blogging is my hobby, a medium to unwind, a medium to meet other bloggers and find interesting content. Loved reading about your transition to a serious blogger. And congrats on getting your Alexa under 100K 🙂 mine is 7mil. Long way to go. Thanks for proving the link to the post.
Rajlakshmi who said for serious blogging all these things are not true- medium to unwind, to meet bloggers and find interesting content 🙂 It is all this and a lot more 🙂
I blog for pleasure, and for the social interaction with other bloggers. Right now I am content. But I also agree that, due to the public nature of blogging, we should always strive to do our best. My blog is an extension of myself.
Not the public nature Alana but the idea that this is a digital impression we make on the internet for almost forever.. thats why it is slightly important 😀
Well, I never knew the Picasso anecdote but I have to agree… what we do should be easily accessible to the masses too. And blogging has always had that advantage – free for everyone. I think my journey began as part of wanting to just have something like an online diary. Over the years, it just moved on and progressed… at heart though, it still remains an online diary at times, I feel 🙂
At heart it will always be that.. but the sincerity with which we take our blog, it is almost sacrosanct I think that is truly what defines a serious blogger 🙂
I agree that we have to take our blog seriously – and the definition of serious depends on the type of person you are and the person you want to be. This year I understood what my focus should be in terms of content on my blog, and that’s a start. Also, you need to keep re-inventing yourself. I for one never have taken any interest in blog stats but the last few months has seen a change in my thinking. External factors can motivate you and perhaps that might be the push I need to get me blogging regularly.
Like we discussed also Aditi, stats are more for motivation than anything else. And blog always helps us in defining ourselves and our writing, you would agree I am sure..
I like to believe that I do take blogging seriously but yeah it is still a hobby and passion.
I have thought of self hosting but I guess the time required to manage that is something I am not able to give. And that’s why am holding back :(.
With regards to Alexa rank, since it can be increased using an Alexa toolbar, honest question is whether it has credibility? Though I do check my Alexa rank on and off, I have heard a lot of people saying it’s pretty useless since it can be manipulated :/.
Well said! At a time when i am looking at my blog too as something which is larger than just me 🙂