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How to know if blogging is right for you

I met a new friend over the 4th of July weekend. She is a friend of a friend who graduated from the same college, just had her third little boy and calls herself a wanna-be blogger.

We chatted for a bit, in the bright, beautiful sun, with our kids playing happily in the Puget Sound and husbands talking business and boats and whatever men talk about. She told me of her love for all things fashion and beauty and shyly shared about her instagram account where she dabbles in mini-blogging. She loves the hint of herself she finds in this little hobby. And someday, she said, she might like to start a real blog.

Which got me thinking …

Blogging is not for everyone.  It takes time and effort and a desire to put yourself out into the world and for many, there is just no desire whatsoever to be a blogger.

But for those who think about it, who dabble in it, who daydream about what they would name it and catch themselves thinking that would make a great blog post!, for those who consider themselves wanna-be bloggers like my new friend, blogging might very well be just exactly the thing for you.

When I get into conversations with people who are considering blogging, I’m so quick to say “do it!”. But again, I know it’s not for everyone. So how do you know if it’s for you? Here’s my quick list to consider when deciding if bogging is right for you:

1. You have something to say

This first one is pretty obvious, I suppose. You need something to blog about. It could be a specific topic (like baking cupcakes) or something super broad (like my all-over-the-place lifestyle blog) but you should have a passion, a message, a genuine point of view as a starting point. Without a clear direction, you may get lost along the way.

2. You enjoy writing

One of my friends started a blog because it was the ‘right’ thing to do and quickly found that all it did was give her anxiety. She could come up with blog post ideas without a problem, but when it came time to sit down and write, she avoided it at all costs. She didn’t feel confident in her grammar or spelling or writing voice and eventually decided blogging was not for her. And that’s totally okay. The nature of a blog is written word and if you don’t enjoy writing, you probably won’t enjoy blogging. (But don’t give up too quickly: you could always practice your writing or think outside the traditional blogging box or start a podcast instead).

3. You’re good with consistency

Posting regularly, keeping a consistent look and feel and voice to your blog, and having the discipline to keep going – these are key elements of a successful blog. Most of the time you’re just working for yourself, so a good dose of self-discipline comes in handy, too.

4. You have (or can make) time

I know. Who has extra time laying around?! I started blogging when our fourth baby was brand new and while I didn’t have much time, I took advantage of the quite moments during naptime and in the evenings to steal away a few minutes for my own creative endeavors.

How much time your blog takes is totally up to you, but in order to keep things going well (regular blog posts, replying to emails and comments, networking with other bloggers, etc) you’ll need to clear some time in your schedule.

5. You’re in to being social

Sure it’s mostly virtual, but blogging usually begins with the desire to connect with others on a shared passion or message or topic of interest. Many bloggers are self-professed introverts/homebodies/large-group-avoiders, but they still know how to carry a conversation, engage with readers, can be honest and vulnerable and develop relationships with their readers and fellow bloggers. You don’t have to be the life of the party to write a blog, but it sure helps if you’re approachable and likeable.

So to my new friend who is thinking about starting a blog, I say as long as these 5 statements are true of you, I’ll wholeheartedly encourage you to start today.

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