Blogging and Writing

What Is Your Blogging Purpose?

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What I’ve always found is that whenever blogging starts to feel less good, it’s because I’ve strayed away from my blogging purpose, so I thought it would be worth chatting about purpose.

My blogging purpose has evolved somewhat over the almost four years that I’ve been blogging, but that’s been less about a change in direction and more about gaining awareness of new things.

When I first started, my primary purpose was to have something constructive to do with my time. I wasn’t working all that much and was sort of adrift in life, so starting the blog was a way of finding an anchor.

As I got settled into the blogging world, having a sense of community became another key element. I really hadn’t anticipated that blogging would offer that, but I was very glad that it did. It came at a time when it was very difficult to interact with people in-person because of my illness, and offered a way to engage with people that wasn’t exhausting. The members of my blogging community have changed somewhat over time, but the fact that there are people there has been a constant.

Blogging has also been a way to exercise my brain and learn new things. That’s something I’ve always valued, and blogging makes it easy to do. I’ve learned a lot about blogging itself, and my weekly what is… series has been a great way for me to learn new things and learn more about some things that I was only vaguely aware of.

Another part of my blogging purpose is to raise awareness about mental health issues and challenge stigma. This is where SEO and trying to grow my blog come into the picture. Yes, I want to grow my blog, but it’s not just about growth for the sake of growth. Yet that’s where deviation from purpose can come in sometimes. I might get distracted by other people’s numbers and need to reorient myself to my own purpose of growth for the sake of messaging, not growth for the sake of competition. I’m usually pretty good about staying away from that particular sidetrack, but I stumble off the path occasionally.

I think it helps to have a clear idea in your mind of what your purpose is so that it’s easier to recognize when you get sidetracked. I suspect it’s pretty much inevitable that you will get sidetracked at one point or another, so it’s a matter of deciding what to do about it.

What are some of the key elements in your blogging purpose, and do you notice yourself getting sidetracked sometimes?

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63 thoughts on “What Is Your Blogging Purpose?”

  1. I think you excel with your blog, Ashley. It’s interesting how the purpose – and what you gain from blogging – changes over the years and evolves, often so gradually you don’t notice until you take the time to reflect on it. x

  2. It’s really good of you to raise this question. My purpose is to inform. I get sidetracked when I find little worth writing and try to fill space just to fill it. Most of the time, if I don’t find something that I think is worth saying, I simply don’t blog that day. I prefer that to prattle, although it’s contrary to almost everything I’ve read about building a blog following.

  3. Love your post and all your posts.

    I first started blogging for having somewhere to let off, which was part of my therapy and can still be.
    In the process of blohging, I am learning things about blogging too.

    Writing my posts helped other people to not feel alone, as well as being support for me too. Making friends in the process, some that I have met and keep in touch with not just at my blog, but away from it too. So that part has been an unexpected bonus.

    When one time I blogged at WordPress before moving to where I was, I discovered the lovely supportive network that WordPress is. Its just a shame those happiness engineers did what they did with the editor.
    Yes i recently did a post update there. That was a copy and past, then edited to reflect blogging from there. But that dashboard still remains unenjoyable for me.
    I will only use that blog for rare blog updates, but at Blogger will be where I continue to blog.
    I am so grateful for those, including you, coming to follow me over there, making it a lovely, supportive community.
    I am also noticing new commenters there too.

    I go with the flow to write, but odd times what I have wanted to write, I have held back for some time before posting, because I just didn’t want to write those negative posts. But I really appreciate, including you, that have supported me in those posts when I have done. Some posts have been very hard to write, even though I had the words.

    I don’t feel I have ever gone off track with my blogs, but if anything, grown with it.

    1. I think you do a very good job with your blog balancing the lighter things with the harder parts of life. I’m glad Blogger is working out well for you. It’s such a shame that WordPress is constantly making changes that make it harder for bloggers rather than easier.

      1. Thank you for your comment, Ashley.

        Yes, its a shame that WordPress just make things difficult for bloggers, whether they paid for their blog, or not. I have certainly continued reading of the difficulties bloggers are having.

  4. I think my main purpose in blogging is that I seem to have some kind of psychological need to write to process and understand myself and the things that happen to me (possibly related to autism and alexithymia in terms of difficulty processing emotions). For some reason, I find it hard to write without some kind of audience being in mind.

    Now that I have a core of readers who will read regularly, and a subset who will comment regularly, I write also to stay in touch with them.

  5. I always appreciate reading your blog posts. It seems to me that your purpose for writing is always very clear.

    I started blogging a little over a year ago and mainly was looking for a vehicle to extend chapters of the book I was writing. Now that I have exhausted those chapters, I find that my purpose for writing my blog is a bit nebulous. Right now the challenge is to go back to prior posts and see if there is anything to update on so as to repost those to a newer wider audience. Or to see what is new in my life and illness management these past few months to share.

  6. What are some of the key elements in your blogging purpose, and do you notice yourself getting sidetracked sometimes?

    My ‘purpose’ in writing (online) has always been to ‘take out the garbage’ in my head and get it down somewhere so I can move on. I don’t mean that I think what I write is garbage, but rather an excess of ideas and thoughts that can’t be processed easily anywhere or any way else. I started doing this type of thing in probably 1985 when I began to write poetry on the ‘pre-computer’ word processor I used at the time. No backup, so I had to print my stuff out and put it in a binder. As computers evolved, it got easier to electronically document or whatever you want to call it my thoughts and put my mind at rest. I have a bit of what is called “whirling thoughts’ or a restless mind (especially at night), so doing this has been very useful.

    Of course I get side tracked, but not in the fashion that you or most of the rest of your commentors have listed. It’s more a thing I notice if I’m not writing anything fresh, but am overdoing the prompt or the reblog alternatives a bit much. The point of blogging for me is to rid myself of that overabundance of thought and copying someone else’s work (in a sense) isn’t doing that.

    I really enjoy this series by the way and find some new information each time you write one of these!

  7. Yeah, your blog makes for a great community experience! YAY!! I’m always impressed by how many people regularly comment!!

    My purposes are (in no particular order):

    Category 1: self-expression, emotional expression, comic reprocessing (making disastrous experiences with my mother seem humorous), and record keeping (I never reread anything I’ve blogged, but I like the sense of keeping track of my life, like you’d do in a diary).

    Category 2: in regards to advice, I think I’m trying to master discernment about people and situations in a way that’s less judgey than my mom, because she’s polluted my thinking with unnecessary judgmental thoughts. I’m pretty sure that I feel compelled to analyze advice columns in order to master my own form of judging things that’s less needlessly harsh and more insightful. It’s an uphill struggle, but I enjoy it.

    Category 3: I love making new friends and interacting and following other peoples’ stories and connecting with people!

    Randomness: I get tickled pink when my stats reveal a rare country that I’ve never even heard of! [Shrugs.] Who isn’t thrilled to have occasional readership from Trinidad and Tobego? I’ve arrived! 😛

    1. Getting visitors from new countries is so fun! It really makes it feel like a small world.

      That’s an interesting approach to the advice, and it makes sense given what your mom is like.

  8. Great post and I agree, it’s so important to reorient ourselves with our purpose. My blogging has also evolved over time but now it’s generating good SEO to my counseling site, which gets me a stream of referrals. Lately, I’ve been needing to reorient my purpose to my podcast, as I near the end of the first season. I started it to reach people and to inform and have gotten off track at times comparing the listenership to my podcasting peers. So I had to take a step back and focus on the purpose which is to make good content for those who want to listen; in other words, quality over quantity.

      1. It took about a year and a half for that to happen but like they say, seo is a long game

  9. I don’t have a blogging purpose other than to empty my head and engage in a community.

    Then I started writing stories and books, and made some friends, and now I nurture that via the blog.

    Is that a purpose?

  10. Ashley, your blog is great! I enjoy reading your posts and how you can write, but somewhat teach your readers from the view of a clinician.
    Not sure I can describe my purpose. For me it has been the growth of my blog, interacting with others. It is that interaction that keeps me going. Even when I have nothing to write I still love reading the posts of others.
    My writing skills have improved over the years. It is funny how lazy I had become with my speech. Writing here on WordPress has refreshed my speech. I notice that I am cleaning the cobwebs out of my speech skills. I always loved English in high school and it could be the reason I love WordPress.

    1. I notice when I go back to my earliest posts, my writing style was more formal because that’s what I was used to at the time. As time has gone on, I think my blogging voice has moved closer toward my speaking voice.

  11. Yes! I so relate to this. My “purpose” is to write poetry and short fiction, and to be part of a community of people who enjoy the same, either writing or reading or both. When I get all caught up in answering nonsensical questions or doing posts of photos to prompts, I start to feel like my blog is dumb and meaningless. That’s what my refresh was all about!

  12. My blogging purpose originally was to get a bit of traction and awareness of my first book, but it took off into something else as my life’s calling shifted. What’s interesting, especially since you made this entry today, is that I haven’t written an entry in nearly two months. My coaching for betrayal trauma is absolutely taking off and I’m working to balance my life better with additional responsibilities that have come up in my personal life, and the blog — which was already started to feel like it was on life support — has fallen through the cracks. This won’t be permanent. I think things will get easier this summer. But, I have had to just tell myself that it’s better to blog nothing than just fill up space because it’s a Tuesday or Saturday or whatever. The blog has been a big part of my life for nearly 5 years and I’m sure it’ll continue to be. But…balance, Josh. Balance.

  13. I am just starting out with my blog but would say that my purpose is to find lemonade recipes for the lemons in my life. I want to share my experiences in the hope it can help others to find theirs. 🤗😊

  14. We are thankful to you Ashley for the wealth of information you provide, not only mental health related but plenty of useful information about blogging related topics.

    “What are some of the key elements in your blogging purpose, and do you notice yourself getting sidetracked sometimes?”

    I was a bit reluctant to start my topic of photography and philosophy, since I was not sure how it will be received by the audience, because majority don’t show much interest in philosophy.

    But readers proved me wrong.I am thankful to you all.

    I am not a philosopher by profession but interested in philosophical thoughts.

    Every photograph I take, I feel I should be able to covey some message.

    Being a physician, I was tempted to cover some medically related topics and I might have sidetracked but I felt it is beneficial to the readers.

    I am thankful to you and also my other readers who constantly support and encourage me and I wish to continue this journey as long as possible.

    Hopefully I don’t get addicted to blogging or land up in writer’s block.

  15. Hmm…good question. The real impetus for blogging for me was following an early therapy session when I said writing a blog was something I wanted to do, and then couldn’t think of a compelling reason not to go for it, so here we are! But I don’t know that I ever properly identified my blog’s purpose.

  16. I really appreciate what you wrote. I am at the point of developing this blog site of living in health. There is so much that I don’t now about though and am not sure how to get my blog more interactive. I am trying to wor with my creative side as well. I would really like to talk about anything health related here but also about mental health, kidney disease and addiction.

    Help where do I focus.

  17. Hi. It’s interesting to see how your blogging has changed. I started to blog when I did a challenge for Lent to enable me to be accountable to others. I continued with it as I found I enjoyed writing. I then wrote about the art I was producing. I now blog about various things – sometimes a painting I’ve done and the process, sometimes it’s one of my sermons, or a subject that I want to write about. I also want to raise awareness of mental illness, and the way that faith can help (I also acknowledge that religion can be used to keep someone in a bad place….. but don’t get me started on that!). I have written a book about my life, which is the back story to the art and poetry on my blog page “Are we there yet?” So I need to keep my site active because if people do buy the book, then they will need to access the art etc online.

  18. I regularly get side tracked when it comes to my blog’s purpose, often starting to compare myself to other bloggers and getting bogged down with stats. I was similar to you in starting out, in that my blog was a way to do something productive with my time, but as things have evolved I now hope to be raising a bit of awareness around OCD/anxiety as well as connecting with the overall writing community. I loved this post, it’s so important to remind yourself of why you’re doing something when you find yourself getting side tracked. x

  19. The community side to WordPress is great, there’s so many smart people with interesting things to say. I’ve learned loads from your blog!

    I think my blogging purpose has changed lately. I started out wanting to improve my writing and grow the blog but now it’s more a way of expressing myself and sharing any interesting thoughts or wisdom I’ve learned with others.

  20. My earlier blogging purpose was to improve my English since it is my second language and I was majoring in English. It was also to build virtual friendships with real life people since I have been introverted. After some time, it has become a place for venting to strangers for some mental health relief or just to sort out my messy, scary mind. Then, at some point, I started to get more subscribers and I wonder if this is good for my future career in some way. Now, it becomes a good platform for me to regain my mind clarity and life motivation as well as mental strength. At the same time, I am learning fascinating new things which are very helpful for me from amazing bloggers like you.

  21. My blogging purpose is to spread knowledge that i have about dance because i realised when i used to go to my dance sessions, instructors just train us how to move your boday how to make a movement or elements but their theoretical knowledge was short abd now from all these ears I’ve learned so much theoretically and practically knowledgeable about dance, rhythm and musicality and techniques i took this step to share my knowledge with everyone wo need it the most

  22. I started out solely to document my recovery, but then I grew a passion for raising awareness. I get sidetracked when I get disheartened with the lack of growth, it’s something that i’m finding quite difficult.

    1. I feel like growth has gotten a lot harder. The rate that I’m gaining new followers is about half what it was last year. Even in terms of what other people are posting, my WordPress Reader feed has gotten so quiet. I’m guessing it’s related to COVID, but hard to know.

  23. Good reasons to blog. I blog because I love writing, to keep my stress down, and to try to start a following for a career in writing

  24. Hi, I have only just started my blogging journey this month. I first started doing posts about DIY, thinking that I could teach others however I quickly realised that I found that difficult and floated more towards sharing my own views on life with also hoping to support others who may be feeling certain emotions or are in situations. I have written some blogs with aim to support mental health. I also write about children’s views as I have my own and I am a teacher. I am probably still finding my way but do think mental health awareness and support is extremely important. Thank you for your blog, I have throughly enjoyed reading it and thank you for letting me voice my comment.

  25. Great read! Having a purpose really does help when it comes to motivation to continue and simply enjoying it. That’s probably why I stopped blogging regularly and only recently got back into it – no true sense of purpose. Right now, I’m just sharing my love for writing and my opinions with others writers and enjoying that. A proper purpose will no doubt come to mind at some point 🙂

      1. Yeah it just felt like the time for it! It didn’t take long to feel like I’ve run out of ideas initially, but taking suggestions has helped quite a bit

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