Intro and Part 1 if you missed them. You're welcome whether you need some encouragement, want to spread some encouragement, or just want to see what goes through the minds of bloggers!
I'm sure that you have an idea of *why* you blog. Some of you may have just a general idea, and some of you may even have it stated in a mission statement for your blog. But is your why good enough? What about that other blogger's why? Is it better? Should you change your why?
I've mentioned before that comparing blogs is a little like comparing apples and oranges. So the why's of blogs will all be different - and that's a good thing! Your why is just right for your blog and is just as important as that bigger blogger's why! It's OK if your why does not involve fame and fortune or building a brand. Nothing wrong with those why's! But other why's are great too and keep the blogosphere community going. (Oh dear, you are going to be so sick of the word why by the time I'm done - LOL!)
Can you state your reason for blogging in one sentence - right now? Do you have to have a reason, a why? You can blog without one, but you'll lack direction and purpose and I predict that you will eventually become dissatisfied with blogging. Maybe you had a reason when you started, but it's become jumbled or unclear as you look around the blogosphere and think that your reason isn't important enough or big enough. Maybe you lost track of it as you tried to keep up with all the latest link-ups, social media updates, and posts telling you what you need to do to be successful. Maybe the reason you had in the beginning doesn't match up with what God wants your reason to be now.
I lost track of my why more than once (I'm not even certain I have it clearly in mind right now - I write these posts for me too you know!). And I've taken big blog breaks more than once because when your why isn't clear, it all starts to feel like treading water. I even "quit" last year as many of you know, but came back just 4 months later. I definitely lost readers and connections, but had to do what I felt led to do at the time. Sometimes it takes stepping away to clear things up. If you feel clearly led to step away, then do it. Just make sure that it is because you are being led in that direction and not because you feel like people aren't paying enough attention to your blog or don't appreciate your work because they don't leave comments or don't take you seriously because your blog is small. Search your heart carefully before you write a farewell blog post!
If you need to find or redefine your why, try looking at your own blog! Look at the posts you wrote during your first month of blogging - what were they about and do you still like them? Look at the posts you wrote when you started gaining a few followers - did they change and are they better or worse than your beginning posts? What posts on your blog are YOUR favorites - whether or not they got comments? Start there rather than looking at what posts have been the most popular with your readers - you want to make sure that you are being true to YOUR why and not adopting a why that some of your readers think you should have. Let comments determine what subjects readers respond to and use that to inspire your writing, but don't let those comments exclusively determine your blogging vision. Remember, the readers who comment are only a portion of your audience - the people who read and are affected by your blog!
Don't compare your why to everybody else's - you are unique. Your why IS good enough! It IS important because it reflects you! The blogosphere would be boring if everybody had the exact same reasons for blogging.
I feel like I rambled a bit today, but I hope you find the encouragement that you need! If you have written or found a post that encourages bloggers, please share the link in the comments. Lord willing I'll be back next Thursday with another Encouraging Bloggers post. Feel free to share this post or put the above button on your blog if you know of bloggers that need some encouragement. And if you're on Twitter, share some encouragement and use the hashtag #encouragingbloggers.
Be encouraged and blog on friends! Have a fabulous day!
Oh - and you get a bonus encouraging virtual hug if you can tell me how many times I said "why" in this post - LOL! :)