Written by Jo of Jomygosh.com
Money. Swag. Book deals. TV shows. It’s undeniable that some bloggers have made it big. Really big. Take The Pioneer Woman, who has an empire including cookbooks and a television show, Tucker Max of I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell fame, or Lisa Stone, the founder of BlogHer.
It’s really an enticing dream: you build something, you get discovered, you get paid. It’s the American Dream for the 21st Century.
It’s no wonder that many people assume that bloggers are in it for the cash. (Or, at the very least, that we’re all handsomely paid!)
But the reality is much, much different. I’d posit that most bloggers—probably the vast majority of them—begin blogging for reasons that have nothing to do with money… or fame… or fortune. In fact, I posed this question to a group of more than 600 bloggers and not a single one mentioned financial gain or success as a motivating factor.
There are the bloggers who started writing because they wanted to share what they make with the wider world. I’m in that category! I began blogging after my fiancé deployed to Afghanistan. I was alone, sad, and addicted to making silly and elaborate care packages. I didn’t realize that anyone else would want to see them… but I wanted to share them anyway, especially since the care packages were fleeting. They would take hours to shop for and make, and then, once I handed it over the counter to the mailperson, it was gone. Taking photos and posting them online gave me a wonderful sense of accomplishment and gallery to look back on.
There’s something that all of us can teach someone else… and some bloggers have gone online to teach. Alicia from Two Kids and a Blog (twokidsandablog.com) loves to quilt and shares that passion with the world: “I wanted to teach a younger generation to quilt using amazing fabrics and having a blog has given me access to the best fabric and biggest fabric companies!”
Many bloggers start their blogs to have a platform dedicated to their writing craft. Pam from The Coastie Couple (thecoastiecouple.com) began her blog exactly for that reason. “I’ve always loved writing and blogging gave me a chance to do that daily.” Jodi (jodisgoing180.com) “started blogging as a creative outlet” because she wants to publish a novel. Her blog keeps her true to the daily discipline of writing daily. Kristen from If the Saddle Fits (ifthesaddlefits.com) uses her blog as a place to write… in a different way. “I originally started blogging because I felt like all the academic writing I was doing for college was changing the way I wrote in general and I didn’t like it. (I started out pre-Law),” she says. “I wanted a place I could write with personality (and attempt to be funny) without so much guidance, but could still share for feedback.”
Heather (sugarnspice-life.com) began her blog to document the stages of her home’s building process. Amber (airingmydirtylaundry.com) blogs because “my memory is awful and I knew I’d eventually forget everything. Having posts from a few years back is amazing—I can read and be like, ‘Oh right! I remember that!” Others begin blogging to keep in touch with family and friends, to keep a log of a life-changing event (like a move to a different country), or to keep a journal of the cute (and not-so-cute) the kids are doing or saying.
Obviously there are many, many more reasons to start a blog than just these. What were yours?
About the Author: Jo is the creator of Jo, My Gosh! (jomygosh.com), a popular military spouse and significant other lifestyle blog. Her work can be found in military spouse digital and print publications. She is currently collaborating on an ebook for Millennial military spouses and significant others. Find her on Facebook (facebook.com/jomygosh), Twitter (twitter.com/jomygosh), Instagram (instagram.com/jomygosh1, and Pinterest (pinterest.com/jomygosh1) and say hi!