Literal Thinking

Real stories of workplace follies

Blogging for money, vanity, and personal development

Posted by A Friend on 28 February 2009

Blogging Badge A few weeks ago, we facetiously left a comment over at the Creative Energy Officer blog that reasons for blogging can pretty much be narrowed down to two: money or vanity (or both). It was meant as a joke of course, but when we were forced to think about it more when the blog author followed up on us, we realized that we were probably closer to the mark than we initially thought.

A lot of people make money off the internet these days and a whole lot more have attempted to. We don’t have a statistical backup, but we suspect a good number of those making money and attempting to make money off the web do so through blogging. The internet has experts and wannabe experts who can tell you all the essentials about this. The only point we want to stress is that blogging for money is not only restricted to getting ad revenues from your blogs. A lot of bloggers use their blogs as extensions of their brands or platforms to demonstrate subject matter expertise. Lorelle on WordPress is a good example of an ad-free blog that most likely generates a lot of business for its author.

We also claimed in our comment that those who do not blog for money do so for vanity. Blogging is a cheap and easy way of putting your voice out there for the world to listen to, and we are in no doubt that bloggers at least get some sense of satisfaction when they know that people visit their blogs. We know we do, and though our blog is only a couple of months old, we have already caught ourselves a few times unhealthily obsessing about visitor statistics.

Regardless of the reason, we suggested that readership is essential to the survival of a blog. A blogger can only talk to him or her self for so long and if readers don’t follow, the blogger will eventually lose interest and the blog will die a natural death.

We admitted in our comment that we probably fall in the vain category. The blog platform that we chose does not allow advertisements, so we’re definitely not here for ad revenue. The nature of our blog requires us to post anonymously, so we can’t be here to promote ourselves or our services, either. Finally, there’s the vain act of addressing ourselves in the plural form.

But a really important reason why we started this blog is for our own personal development. While the slogan we chose for the blog, “Real stories of workplace follies”, may sound a bit negative, our focus is not so much about the mistakes made, but the lessons that can be learned from these. We firmly believe that the best life or business lessons are learned from negative experiences. Of course, one does not go around aiming to fail. But as one of our all-time favorite poems states, “Success is failure turned inside out, the silver tint of the clouds of doubt”: there are a lot of opportunities we can derive from failure, we just need to know how to.

One way of truly learning from a negative experience is to try to objectify it. This is essentially what we are attempting to do in the case studies that we present here. We try to step back and strip the emotion from the experience, and attempt to present the cases with just the bare essentials. We understand that perfect objectivity can never be accomplished, especially when we are personally and intimately involved in the experience, but we try to get as close to it as we possibly can.

The blog is fairly young, and we have so far only been focusing on presenting the cases. At the end of each case is an implied question of what went wrong and how things could have been done better. As the blog grows (and we hope it continues to grow), we are aiming to also write posts about the learning derived from the cases. After all, the whole point is to learn from the experience.

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4 Responses to “Blogging for money, vanity, and personal development”

  1. Don’t you love it when you are more brilliant than you intend? Damn, that feels good. 🙂 It doesn’t happen to me often, so I need to celebrate it.

    Thanks for the link love.

    Hey, do I get to write my blog for all those categories? I know that I have plenty of self-based motive involved. Blogging can be an ego-feeding venture. It feels good to know that folks out there get something out of what I write. Also, I have not yet profited directly from its existence, but I would not toss aside any cash either. In addition, I find it a great platform to workshop my ideas and writing style…to this end, I suppose that personal development is also a motive.

    However, I would only ask this question: just because people are trying to increase readership or even monetize on relationships, does that mean that it is purely self-motivated? I have a difficult time nailing down whether or not other people are being at all altruistic and, for that matter, if it even matters. If they are being selfish in their blog or purposely using it only for their own gain, but I still get some good insight, then who cares? I think people could blog for reasons unknown…even to brilliant people like us. 😉

    What has been the most wonderful part of blogging, our conversations and your blog posts is that it makes me re-examine my motives and feel more comfortable with them. This relaxes my writing…makes it more authentic. I get more joy out of it.

    Is joy a possible motive?

    Later, A Friend

    – Jeremy

  2. A Friend said

    Jeremy –
    Regarding your one question, there is a weird philosophical view (something we subscribe to because we’re also kind of weird) that even the most selfless of acts are driven by selfish motives. So we believe altruism, benevolence, charity, and all that, while seemingly selfless acts, are in fact driven by selfish interests: wanting to feel great about oneself. Is it a bad thing? No. Should we care? Not really. But that’s just our weird view.
    Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  3. If you are using WordPress as the core part of your affiliate marketing site you need to know that WordPress by default not only pings when you post a new item but it also pings when you update or edit a post. So if you proofread your posts and find errors or have to change out links etc WordPress pings every time you save the post. This has still not been fixed as of WordPress 2.

  4. Sherin said

    Beautiful post. I have visited Lorelle blog and it seems fantastic. I always remember one rule that, a true blogger would fill with passion on the subject or the blogging will be dropped by half of the way. If one have real passion to the subject like Lorelley, there will not be any need to go behind money but it will come to you directly.

    In the present time, lots of people creating blog by knowing that is a best way to create money but 98% of them will drop the blogging before 8 months because of not getting right appreciation. This is happening because of their less passion to the subject.

    You are extremely right A friend. I really love to read your blog, however this is my first time here. I thought bookmarking this blog worth for me.

    Thanks, Sherin

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