The other day, I realized how long I’ve been keeping this blog. My first post was back in November 2018, meaning I’ve maintained this blog for nearly three years. When I did the math, I simply couldn’t believe it.
And, adding to my disbelief, I realized this post would be my one hundredth. There are few things in life I’ve ever been so consistent with, and I’m a bit proud to say this blog has been one of them!
Since starting Paper Crow Blog, I’ve discovered certain things about blogging along the way. These revelations include learning that this writing project helped both my career and my personal well-being.
1. A blog is a great way to share writing samples with potential clients.
If you plan to freelance or do any writing-related work, a blog offers an extensive portfolio of your writing to share with others. When I wrote my first post, I did so hoping to share my writing adventures with other writers. I thought of it as an informal way to discuss writing and basically “nerd-out” on my hobby.
However, as I’ve transitioned into professional freelance writing and editing, I’ve noticed an extra benefit from my blog. Potential clients often peruse this site to get a feel for my writing style. Several of them have offered me assignments after taking a look through my blog. Who knew such a fun pastime would help me earn money?
2. Writing blog posts keeps the words flowing.
I recently had a conversation with a friend about how scary it can be putting your writing out there for the world to see. When I first started my blog, I worried, What happens if people hate my writing? What if they think my ideas are wrong? What if I reference “irony” wrong in the eyes of the general public and am thrown under the bus like poor Alanis Morissette?
The more I’ve written publicly, the less I care about these things. Even I, adept as I am at being anxious, find it hard to stress about 100 posts at once.
Yes, I’m human and make typos. No, I’m not the Savior of the Subjunctive Mood. Nor am I the Countess of Consistency. Sometimes I write posts once a month, once a week, or even twice a week. But with each post I write, it’s another set of words I’ve let flow out of me, organized, and then wrapped neatly in a metaphorical bow by clicking the “Publish” button.
3. Blogging helps you meet like-minded people.
I love seeing readers’ comments, especially on posts I don’t expect anyone to be interested in. I can write a post about a random book I read, a weird habit I learned helps my writing, or even just a short wrap-up of a vacation, and seeing people’s comments just makes my day.
How cool is it to connect with people you’ve never met simply through writing? In our fast-paced, image-driven world, it’s easy to forget that text still holds such a beautiful place in the realm of communication.
4. Blogging is like a ramped-up version of journaling.
I’ve professed my love for journaling many a time. Writing in a notebook with a well-designed pen still holds a special place in my heart, but blogging does offer some bonus features a traditional notebook doesn’t. While I’m not likely to blog about many of the things I journal about (my monthly existential life crises, that time I misspoke exactly 14.5 years ago, and so on) topics do often overlap.
Whether I’m discussing my hopes and dreams for my writing or my occasional feelings of inadequacy in the writing world, blogging can be just as therapeutic as journaling. The platform also encourages me to dig deeper into my thoughts and structure them a bit more than I would in a diary. A frantically scrawled, verbless sentence on a journal page may make perfect sense to me at the time, but it’s unlikely to have much meaning in blog form.
Blogs also make it possible to link to sources, helping connect your writing to others’. It’s also much easier to add photos, insert videos, change fonts, etc. Kind of like a lightning-fast scrapbook page. Do you remember Marissa Moss’ little Amelia books from the ’90s? Blogging’s like that, only you don’t need to be able to draw.
5. Blogging is still relevant.
When I started Paper Crow Blog in 2018, I remember feeling hesitant, not sure if blogging was even a “thing” anymore. I had read several articles about blogging being a platform of the past, one that was slowly being replaced by trendier social media forms.
According to this HubSpot post, the popularity of blogs has indeed declined, a fact demonstrated by fewer Google searches related to blogging. Yet, we are still stumbling upon blogs when searching for answers.
SEO (search engine optimization) is a huge component of many companies’ blogs. This strategy drives traffic to their site, which is why you often land on a blog post when you ask an eloquent question like “why car toyota yaris bumper come off again” (Seriously, though. Worst bumper design!). While heavily optimized content is, quite frankly, terrible to read, there are plenty of individuals and businesses that still favor natural-sounding blog content over pieces designed to win the favor of the Google gods.
And clearly, blogging is relevant to me! So there’s that. And many, many other bloggers remain scattered around the world, creating valuable content that grabs our attention. So I intend to keep on blogging and hope others do, too!
What do you think of blogging? Am I clutching remnants of the past by keeping one? Have you learned anything from your own blog or someone else’s? Share your thoughts in the comments!