Friday, October 26, 2012

3 Reasons Why You Should Never Start a Blog

There is one common reason that everyone starts a blog: an audience. Argue with that if you must, but you would be flat out wrong. Even if it's only an audience of two family members, or, my personal favorite "for myself"--as some bloggers humbly claim--it's still an audience. With that in mind, before you put too much effort into a blogging endeavor, consider the following:

1. Blogging must be done consistently in order to gain an audience, but blogging consistently is much more difficult than you would think. Before you put energy and effort into creating a blog, take a good, hard look at your time constraints and ask yourself honestly if you can commit. If you can't write on a regular basis, don't bother to start. You'll save yourself a great deal of frustration.

2. Readers will say the strangest (sometimes hurtful) things. You want to have interaction with your audience, and you dream of basking in the limelight of hundreds of adoring readers. Know this: you're not going to be everyone's cup of tea. If you have a hard time accepting criticism, if it makes you angry or if it causes you to collapse like a small, weeping child, blogging may not be your best choice.

3. Name a subject, any subject you can think of--from Chanterelle mushrooms to K-pop haters. Now Google that subject with "blog" in the search. There's a very high probability that there is at least one blog totally committed to your dream subject. Before you begin, know what's out there. Hit every search engine you can think of and then some. See what has been written on the subject and think about whether of not you have a fresh angle.

Depressed yet?  Don't be. If you can read that short list and still believe you have something valid to say, then by all means, go for it! This isn't meant to be a downer, just a quick reality check.

There are literally millions of blogs floating around in the blogosphere--hundreds for every conceivable subject. And every day, thousands more begin. There are as many reasons for beginning a blog as there are people who start them: to keep personal journals, to update loved ones, to "get noticed" as a writer, to make money, to share knowledge...and there's nothing wrong with any of those reasons.

On a personal note, I know my own blog is a combination of all of the above. I began blogging in late 2009, almost three years ago. At times, I have enjoyed it immensely and at other times I have been so frustrated that I've come close to deleting it completely. For nearly a year, I posted almost daily; but here it is October of 2012 and I've had only 12 posts since January.

When we were planning to move to Hong Kong earlier this year, many family and friends told me that I needed to "keep blogging" after I settled in. I made promises. After all, I was practically giddy with excitement and didn't think it would be hard to write with so many new experiences coming at me on a daily basis. But I was mistaken. It has been very difficult; here's why:

I have always written about my frugal life, in fact, that's my pen name on the blog. Of course, my perspective has always been that of an American, and my musings appealed to an American audience. Now I am here, a whole world away, and while I don't want to lose my old readers, I do want to appeal to new ones. I have been vascillating between starting a whole new blog (and losing ALL my subscribers), or revamping this one.  I have chosen the latter and have lost some subscribers and gained a few new ones, which can be expected. So I just wanted to tell all my faithful readers that this blog will continue to be what it always was, a combination of good deals, family adventures, thrifty tips and musings on gratitude. I will do my best to write to both my new HK followers and my loyal readers world wide. I will focus on what I know best: living a thankful and thrifty life! Happy reading!

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