It could be said that, so far, the 21st century can be described as the Age of Blogging. Even back at the turn of the millennium, blogs – or weblogs as they were once known – were beginning to take shape on platforms such as LiveJournal, and as time progressed, independently-owned blogs began to change the media landscape forever.
In 2019, blogging has morphed from a small, niche pursuit into a hugely profitable industry, with thousands of early adopters leaving their day jobs to pursue a self-employed career that offers a multitude of benefits. Yet even though blogging has very much hit the mainstream, many people still hesitate, wondering if they too can become part of one of the world’s most vibrant industries, and start a blog for themselves.
If you, too, have contemplated establishing your own blog but always shied away from actually doing so, you are likely to share the same reasons for doing so as many other would-be bloggers. Below, we’ve looked deeper into the reasons people who definitely do want to start a blog tend to find themselves reluctant to actually do so and – perhaps most importantly of all – how these issues can be overcome.
#1 – Tech concerns
It is an unavoidable fact that building and then maintaining a blog requires an element of tech-savvy. Bloggers have to be able to create blogs that work; the blog needs to load quickly, be easy to navigate, and allow the content of each post to shine. For people with little prior experience of building or maintaining websites, concerns over the complexity of the tech side of running a blog are entirely understandable.
If you have found yourself concerned over the same issues, then it is important to note that blogs are not especially technical creations. Yes, they need to work, and it’s helpful if the design looks good, but the basic functionality is actually rather simplistic.
What’s more, much of the tech side of blogging can be done with little to no experience of web design. You don’t even need to learn to code. Blogs can be created from pre-designed templates and loaded to a website with relative ease, and there’s plenty of online guides that help to simplify the process even further.
Finally, it is worth noting that there are web designers who are willing to design a blog for a small fee if you would prefer to avoid the tech side of blogging altogether. If you’re hoping to turn your blog into a business, then investing in design services could well be worth considering; see it as a startup cost, just as you would with any other kind of business.
#2 – Viability concerns
What we now call blogs began life as essentially online journals; diaries that were not kept behind lock and key but shared with the world. Over time, these journals started to morph into blogs that were related to specific subjects, written by passionate hobbyists who wanted to share their knowledge and interests with a wider audience.
For the most part, neither of the early iterations of blogs – personal journals or passion-driven hobby blogs – was created to earn the writer an income. The online journals were a way to connect with others and share a life experience, while the hobby blogs were a labor of love, reliant on the author’s passion and enthusiasm. However, as the early blogs grew, things changed: bloggers began to realize that the blogs they had started for fun could also be profitable, which ultimately lead to the world of monetized blogging that we are all familiar with today.
As a result, most people who consider creating a blog will be thinking about monetization as a foremost concern; even journal-style and hobby blogs tend to be monetized these days. However, many people wonder if starting a blog is really a viable way to earn money; for many, the fact that the early blogs were not monetized has lingered in people’s minds, creating an association that suggests blogs can only ever be a hobby, rather than a viable income source.
If such concerns are behind your hesitancy for starting your own blog, it’s worth learning a little more about the many different ways that blogs can be monetized, so you can see for yourself how the process works. In addition, it’s worth reading ebooks written by established bloggers, so you can pick up tips and tricks that will allow you to follow in their footsteps in the future.
#3 – Photography concerns
The early blogs we mentioned above contained relatively few images, and the pictures they did contain tended to be extremely poor in quality. Blogging was, for the most part, a text-based form of expression – but this has changed significantly over the past ten years.
Modern blogs are gloriously designed; rich with images, all of which appear to have been taken in a professional photographer’s studio. When viewing these blogs – and seeing how high-quality photography has very much become “the norm” – people considering starting their own blog understandably become concerned.
The good news is that you do not need to be a professional photographer to run a blog; nor do you need to invest in expensive camera equipment in order to meet the modern blogging photography standards.
There are two options worth exploring when it comes to blog images. The first is simply to use the equipment you have available; for example, it’s entirely possible to take wonderful photographs with a smartphone camera. You may want to consider purchasing clip-on lights, or making your own lightbox, in order to enhance image quality, but neither of these options requires significant investment. For editing, you can use one of the many image editing platforms currently available; there are several free-to-use options that perform well, or you could consider investing in a PhotoShop subscription and following online guides to ensure you get the most of the software. Alternatively, if you’d rather edit on your phone, then there are plenty of apps that can allow you to do so if you prefer.
The second option is even simpler still: you can use stock images. There are plenty of sites online that provide royalty-free images; the images are usually high-quality, and require minimal (if any) editing in order to use. You can also purchase stock images if you prefer; a more expensive option, but one that can provide you with quick and easy access to fantastic photos to use on your blog.
#4 – Saturation concerns
Thus far, we have focused on blogging as a practical concept: monetization, images, and so on. However, it is worth noting that many would-be bloggers pause for a more conceptual reason: they are concerned that the blogosphere has become saturated.
In truth, there’s no easy way to alleviate this concern; the sheer size and scale of the blogging world are undeniable, and the potential for future growth seems to be exponential. What’s more, many of the blogs currently online have been in existence for over ten years, so new bloggers are up against stiff, well-established competition.
However, before you resign yourself to a blog-free future, it’s helpful to put the size of the blogosphere into perspective. Consider this: there are hundreds of millions of fiction books in the world, yet no author has ever reconsidered publishing their novel due to saturation fears. The world is always eager for new stories; new perspectives; different ideas – and the same is true of blogs. Similarly, readers may have old established favorites amongst the most established bloggers, but they’re more than happy to seek new pastures, explore new worlds, and read something different.
There is, however, a key to ensuring that over-saturation is not a concern: you have to ensure that your blog is able to offer something new. Blog readers – just like people who read fiction novels – are open to new experiences, but few will consider visiting a blog that offers the same kind of content and ideas as every other blog online. After all, they already know which blogs to visit in order to access that kind of content, so the chances of them abandoning old favorites for your site are slim.
Given the above, one of the most crucial considerations for any would-be blogger is the fact that they need to do all they can to ensure that their blog is distinctive. You can achieve this through the content you create, the stories you tell, and the advice you can provide. Over-saturation is only a concern if you are considering creating a blog that provides nothing new to potential readers; if you have a clear idea of how your blog will be distinctive and stand out from the rest of the crowd, then there will always be a place for you online.
Pixabay // CC0 Licence
If you have wanted to join the blogging revolution, but always held back due to one of the concerns above, hopefully the solutions we have presented will allow you to make the final leap to start your blog soon. Good luck!
Remember how we overcome?
They defeated him through the blood of the Lamb
and the bold word of their witness.
They weren’t in love with themselves;
they were willing to die for Christ.
Revelation 12:11 The Message