Day 1: Why You Want to Blog

Today we’re going to talk about WHY you want to blog, and why your WHY matters anyway.

But first, let’s get introductions out of the way.

I’m Claire Diaz-Ortiz.

(AKA @Claire on the twitters.)

I’ve been blogging for 11 years. 11 long-short, fast-slow crazy years of change and growth.

Let me tell you about that first blog.

It was April of 2006. I was in a tiny hostel room in Madrid, Spain. My best friend Lara and I had just begun what would be a 9-month, life-changing trip around the world. We had been living in “random countries” (my father’s words) before the trip, and we would proceed to live in “random countries” after the fact. But this wasn’t a living experience. This was a traveling one. And we had started it.

Days earlier, we had disembarked from a two-week cruise across the Atlantic. This had proved a cheaper way to get to Europe than a one-way plane fare, due to a grossly discounted cruise itinerary that included abundant, no-ports-to-visit, time at sea. In the fancy dining room, day after day, in the one hippie dress we each brought for the length of our trip around around the world, we looked out at the grey water. Each day, in the ship’s gym of floor to ceiling windows, I had pounded out mileage on the treadmill, trying not to lose my lunch as I looked out at the spray. I was running a marathon in Madrid, you see. Obviously.

Our first blog post, on our first long-windedly named blog, recounted all this. And that first blog post was not read by many. Our parents, of course. A few of our friends, naturally. Some random person who wondered what dark internet hole they had ended up in. But over the months, the audience grew. We were in the Canary Islands a month later when I realized that people I didn’t know were actually regularly reading our blog. I remember sitting on the tiny twin bed in that crappy hostel room, responding to comments, and thinking how wide the world really was.

By the end of that year, that blog about two hapless young women bumbling back and forth across a big map of the world had become popular. Wildly popular, on some days. It had started me on a journey that would change my life entirely. Leading me to start a nonprofit organization in Africa with Lara, become an early employee at Twitter, publish seven books, and do a host of other things. (To my father’s chagrin, mostly all in “random countries”.)

All this to say, I’m a fan of blogging. I’ve used it to build several different careers, to turn my own life around, and to connect with a ready and waiting world. And so I’m here to spout its charms.

But before I can spout the ins and the outs, you’ve got to understand why you’re here.

WHY do you want to blog?

Do you want to provide your mother with more frequent pictures of her tiny grandchild as he learns to throw spaghetti on your walls?

Do you want to share your dog training business with the world?

Are you going on a trip and want to chronicle the journey?

Do you love social media and think that blogging might be a way to expand on what you’re posting in other places?

Do you want to create an online diary of your first year in college/in the police force/living in a treehouse?

Do you have dreams of one day earning a living from this whole blogging thing?

Do you embrace the idea of having lengthy conversation with customs agents/tax officials/people sitting next to you on planes about why and how “Blogger” is an actual job title?

All reasons are valid.

But you’ve got to come up with one. One simple reason that gets you out of bed once a day/week/month to hit publish.

Your reasons can change.

But for now, for today, pick one.

Your challenge for today?

Think about your WHY. When you know what it is, write it down. Bedazzle it if you like.

Then tell me what it is if you’re so inclined.

P.S. Want to skip ahead or review a past lesson? See all lessons below:

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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25 thoughts on “Day 1: Why You Want to Blog

  1. I have been blogging for a few years now…before blogging however…I was writing in a journal (using a pen)…I enjoy seeing words come to life on a page…and I enjoy writing about topics that are meaningful to me and where I am at. The idea of writing a book has also continued to percolate in my head.

  2. I want to blog to help my family financially. I have no idea what to blog about though. We are a farm living family, frugal, homesteading. I guess i could blog about that. I haven’t gotten that far yet. I just have this need to blog.

  3. I want to blog about simplifying life- finding happiness and gratitude in what I already have and to slow down. I want to document my journey and share it with others in hopes to inspire people to find their own happiness through simple living. I had this simple life once, when I was younger. When there wasn’t the internet and the fast paced life or responsibility of mortgages and kids and a stressful career. I’m burned out and I’ve lost touch with myself and the ones that matter most to me. I want to document my journey of finding happiness in my life, as crazy as it is sometimes.

  4. I started a blog a week or two ago, I’m taking challenge so I can amp it up and KEEP ON WRITING. My reason is that I want to provide resources for plus-sized people who enjoy vacations. Things like what theme park rides you might have trouble fitting on, what footwear to wear when you want to stat walking, and other tips (which, surprisingly, can benefit people of all sizes).

  5. I want to blog to help grow my interior design business. If this can help get my name out there it will be a win win because I love writing and it will attract clients. If people pay for the blog itself I won’t complain 🙂

  6. For me, writing (when I make time for it) just does wonders (helps me log my journey, explore my voice, shows me where I’ve been/where I want to be, etc). Right now I’m a SAHP with a creative streak that has been dormant. I want to explore the questions and a-has! of what I’ve chosen to do and who I’m being right now.

  7. My WHY? The time has come for me to put my words where my mouth is–
    I’ve been a silent writer all of my life. I gotta go big or go home–and this idea of blogging has been festering about 5 years.

  8. I have discovered I like to write and it’s a stress reliever!! I found this out when I was incarcerated. After that brutal journey, I found out it continues even after the time has been served. I would like to encourage people in similar situations or other aspects in life and if I can make some money while do it, it would help me stay motivated.

  9. I would love to blog to grow my Beachbody Coaching Business. I know there are lots of people out there that need my help. I just want to stand out and don’t know what to really write about.

  10. I would like to grow my quilt pattern designing business. I have a blog which I haven’t updated in months. My life is boring, designing patterns can be boring. I love the designing, but the writing-the-pattern part is very time-consuming, and rather boring also. I don’t want to post too much about a pattern-in-the-works, so I need to figure out what I can post about on a regular basis.

    • I used to blog when I lived a different, more conventional life. Now I want to blog about living through changes, finding a new path or two or three, and making a living from art. Ideally this would tie back to my etsy shop and be the impetus for creating an e-book or other downloadable product.

      • Identifying that you are on a journey and want to blog about that is awesome, Victoria. Some of the best blogs come from folks who are walking through a journey just as you are, and tell folks about it as they go;)

  11. I have been a political blogger in 2006 and 2007, on the occasion of the presidential elections. Ségolène Royal wanted, as a candidate running for President, get inspiration from Scandinavian (Nordic) countries. I called this blog “Ségonordic”, and then changed the name into “Gonordisk”.

    This blog dealt with Scandinavian social models and in particular with the now famous “Flexicurity” concept.

    This blog became quickly famous and was quoted everywhere in the National Press…

  12. I have wanted to blog for almost a decade. I actually started one, read – claimed a name – and then never did anything with it. I even forgot I had a name LOL! That was 9 years ago. On February 14th of this year, I actually launched … ! There’s so much I don’t know and I am looking to make this profitable.

    Why do I want to blog?
    1. To be a connector for others … a resource.
    *To share the places I visit … who doesn’t love knowing a great place to have an espresso in Florence, Italy or Seattle, Washington!
    * To share my experience/knowledge/research in anything home related … repair, maintenance, design, real estate. (That is my part-time job!

    I’m excited to go through this process with you Claire. Thank you for sharing your experience and knowledge!

  13. Wonderful! I’ve been wanting to start a blog for two years! I finally have hosting set up and am struggling to learn WordPress and personalize my site. But walking through some steps with you could be just the kick in the pants I’ve been needing!

    I hope you are settling into a beautiful life with your new additions to the family. I’m so glad to read your posts again!