Nearly a decade ago, I used to hang out in a small forum with a group of other cool mamas I’d met online. I’m still friends with some of them today, despite only having met one of them in the actual flesh. Anyway, one of them started a blog, and then a few more followed suit in quick succession. It became the ‘in thing’ for a while in our little e-gang, and I was repeatedly asked why I didn’t join the fun and create my own.
“I dunno… it feels kinda narcissistic” I would say.
Blogging was a relatively new phenomenon back then, and to my mind it was the equivalent of keeping a public diary. It not only felt overly personal, it seemed completely pointless too. Who would care enough to read it?!
Of course, blogs these days are rarely just a public stream of consciousness. It is totally possible to run a blog without ever even referring to yourself once!
But what about the many bloggers who do still have a strong element of ‘me’ in their blog? Are they narcissists? Am I a narcissist, now that I’m doing it too? Most people I know IRL don’t blog, so why am I any different? If I want to write, why don’t I just keep it to myself? Why the need to hit ‘Publish’?
The Introvert’s World of Blogging
Long after I dropped the idea that blogging = narcissism, I still at least thought of it as an inherently extroverted activity and therefore not something for me. I mean, introverts are supposed to be private, right? So surely broadcasting your thoughts to the public is the antithesis of this?
Still, over the years it sucked me in. Now, I realise it’s actually quite the opposite: blogging is a pretty introverted thing to do, in many ways.
Contrary to popular belief, many introverts actually do enjoy being sociable and connected. It’s just the actual, physical “IRL” side of socialising that is so draining to the introverted personality.
When I sit behind my computer screen I can absorb myself into that peaceful, solitary world of writing. I can enjoy the two-way communication I love, through the blog, the comments and through social media, without it sapping my energy as happens with IRL socialisation.
I share what I write because it enables me to do that, and unlike the extrovert, the contents of my head rarely get a verbal airing. So it seems inevitable that they might spill out onto a page from time to time.
If I had to pin the answer to the Q: ‘Why do you blog’ down to just one thing, that’s it. Introversion. But that won’t be the case for everyone.
Other Reasons People May Blog (Without Being a Narcissist)
Blogging for Self-Promotion
Wait, I thought we were talking about non-narcissists!
DOES narcissism and self-promotion go hand-in-hand? Narcissists have an inflated sense of self-importance, so you could say it stands to reason…
However, is blogging & self-promotion a case of inflated self-importance, or is it simply a case of being confident to stand up and say, hey, I am just as important as anyone else on this planet who has a platform for their voice? Whether that platform is a regular paid slot on Forbes.com or a personal Tumblr blog with one single follower (your mum), does it matter? Does success somehow validate your importance and your right to self-promote? And how might one achieve that success without starting at the beginning?
The reality is, if you don’t promote yourself then nobody else will. You have every right to stand up and say, “Guys, I wanna be heard!”. It doesn’t mean you think you are better than everyone else; it simply means you want to take advantage of the democratisation of the media that blogging has enabled. And why shouldn’t you?
Self-care and the Blogger
Writing is therapeutic for those who like to do it. It can be a hobby, an escape, and blogging can give writers a sense of purpose that they might otherwise lack.
Not everyone wants to write a book. Not everyone wants to write in a Word document for nobody to see. If it’s your thing, it can be an awesome part of a solid weekly self-care routine. And if you’re going through a difficult time in your life, all the more.
The Business of Blogging
I’m a firm believer that all businesses need a website. Even if it’s just a humble homemade Weebly page, one way or the other you need to be online. And guess what? Google likes websites that are kept up-to-date with fresh content. Very rarely will you see a stale old website sitting on Page 1 of Google (and yes, Google pretty much is the current be all and end all when it comes to SEO).
This is why a blog makes a great addition to any business page, as the whole premise of blogging centres around frequent and regular updating. Plus, blogging is a great way to connect with your market and can be an invaluable tool in your customer retention strategy.
But there’s more. Blogging can be the business. You might set out with the intention of creating an income from your blog, or perhaps you later realise a tempting opportunity lies in monetizing your established hobby blog. Either way, blogging for business can be a pretty solid career choice in the 21st Century.
So there you have it. Just a handful of the reasons a person may choose to become a blogger, and narcissism is something that rarely enters the equation. Of course, there are many more possibilities, so let’s hear it: why is it that you choose to blog? Or, if you are not a blogger yet but want to be, what is it that holds you back?