Like many others, I started a blog because I was told I needed an online presence, but it took me four months to finally understood why I should want to blog in the first place. You can save yourself some frustration if you think about your “why” before you blog.

Online Presence

Performing a quick googlitsu on building an online presence (also called a platform) will lead you to articles on website traffic. These, in turn, take you down the rabbit hole of SEO and the quest for the holy grail of any online business, the fabled organic traffic. The sheer number of tools and services out there that promise you fame and fortune is enough to make anyone walk away feeling exhausted… and none the wiser.

After a while, you start to wonder. Do you really have to do all these things? Did others invest in tools to get ahead of the game? Are you falling behind because there’s something you don’t know?

These doubts hit the hardest when you see your newly launched author website receiving absolutely no visitors despite your best efforts to promote it.

Consider Your Why

Some online marketing services pray on these fears.

But before you spend any money, consider this: Why do you blog?

Let me share some of my thinking to help you with yours.

A person I trust told me I need to build an online presence whether I like it or not. I usually listen to advice coming from people I trust, even if I don’t buy into it yet. So I started this blog hoping that by giving valuable writing tips I could attract enough attention to find a sustainable source of editing jobs (because editing was something I knew how to do well). Unfortunately, the only thing I learned from a couple of months of struggling to write SEO-optimized articles was that I didn’t enjoy writing SEO-optimized articles. And the editing gigs? All my clients came from channels and activities completely unrelated to this blog.

What was the point of continuing to blog, then?

A Great List of Whys

You can blog for the same reason you sometimes sit down with an empty piece of paper and a single question to ponder. It clears your thoughts and it makes you a better thinker.

You can blog for the sheer pleasure of writing.

You can blog because you believe that sharing your experience can help another person.

A blog allows you to write down things that you’d write down anyway, even if no one read them.

That last one is the hardest part. You want to be heard. You feel you deserve to be heard because there’s value in what you have to say. But if being heard is the only reason you have for writing a blog, then maybe you shouldn’t. You may end disappointed.

If, however, you can find better reasons to blog, than just being heard and getting traffic, people will find you. If what you’re writing is good, they will tell their friends about you.

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