What’s the point of blogging?

Blogging is a commitment… it takes time, energy and work to produce a respectable blog. What starts as a free site often begins to cost money and, every so often, you will wonder whether or not the returns are worth the effort.

A lot depends upon what you want from blogging. It may simply be a place to air your personal views, share your creative work. You may want to make money from blogging and have found that is not as easy as it may seem. It may be an author platform where you can engage with readers, or it may support a cause. What ‘returns’ might you get from blogging, and are they really worth the effort?

Eight years ago, I tentatively set up a WordPress blog, just to see if I could work out how to do it. I had no idea what blogging was about… or why anyone blogged. In fact, I’m not at all sure what I expected to do with a blog, except that the social media platforms at the time didn’t seem like the best place to write.

However, I wouldn’t have called myself a writer then either. There were things I cared about and wanted to highlight.  I did have the bare bones of a book, started years before but still loitering, half-finished. I was helping a friend with his book… mainly as a sounding-board at the time. I’d won an international poetry prize… but never really understood how. Me? I wasn’t a writer. That was something other people could be. I just wrote stuff.

That first year of blogging, I published three posts and got six whole views! Some of them from people I didn’t even know; I can still remember how amazed I was at that. There was an incredible buzz realising that total strangers might read, even like, something I had written!

A year later, I started blogging a little more consistently. There was stuff to talk about; Steve had brought me on board as the Silent Eye came into being, even though it would not officially be launched until the following April. That year, the blog had over five thousand views!

I could not believe it. People were not only reading, they were engaging with what was written, as well as following our journey to the birth of the school. When we launched that April with the Song of the Troubadour, we carried with us good wishes from all over the world.

Over five thousand views. That was mind-boggling.  I could never take that figure lightly… it was just amazing. I was so grateful to everyone who had journeyed with us that year and there was no way it could ever get any better than that… No, not even if the blog had twice as many views!

The following year, it had ten times that. Not only was the Silent Eye now a major factor in my life and work, but it had brought Stuart and I to the start of our adventures together too. We wrote about the school and shared accounts of the workshops. We wrote about the land and the ancient places we love, about the standing stones and medieval churches and the mysteries we found there. Even the dog got in on the act…

We found ourselves with a growing shelf-full of books. That long-forgotten novel was out, the book I had begun just helping with ended up being published with my name also on the cover. Stuart and I had an incredible year and the books just kept on coming. Even the dog… and she still likes to point out that she sells more books than the rest of us…

And somehow or other, the blog views crept steadily up. One year, incredibly, there were a hundred thousand views, then a gob-smacking quarter of a million… Yesterday, thanks to readers in a hundred and ninety-five countries, the Daily Echo passed a million views. Me… a mind-boggled ‘millionaire’!

Now, let’s be very clear… I’m under no illusions. A million views makes the Daily Echo still just a very small fish in the big blogging pond. And, if I were to weigh, for instance, effort and expenditure against, say, book sales or generated income, there would be a definite deficit on the blogging side. But that is not the most important factor for me.

What matters is the effects blogging has had on my life and work. I have found confidence as a writer…and in myself. Even being able to call myself a writer was a huge leap for me, given my complete lack of self-belief when I wrote that first post.

I have learned a good deal about writing simply by writing every day. About the technical side of publishing, editing and design. About the art of formulating vague and abstract thoughts into coherent paragraphs. My photography has improved. Through researching for posts and books, my knowledge of history, mythology and symbolism has expanded. My world is bigger for blogging.

I have found the courage to write from the heart and to speak my mind. I may be wrong about many things… but I do not have to write to please, or for some mythical majority. I can exercise discretion and choose my soap-boxes… not everything has to be posted online. I can be me… and that courage and confidence filters through into my daily life.

Through blogging, I have made friends both online and off. Through reading the work of other bloggers, I have learned about places, lives and stories that would otherwise have passed me by. My mind travels to places my body will never go. I have learned that what I always believed was actually true… that people are people the world over. The barriers that are created by such labels as age, gender, ethnicity or religion have no meaning when you speak to someone heart to heart. And when the blogging community closes around you in times of trouble, or joins with you to share joy, there is no more supportive community.

Do the returns match the effort? That depends on your definitions. In spite of the liberal sprinkling of ‘I’, me’ and ‘mine’ throughout this post, I believe that any manifestation of success, however you define it, belongs to no one person. If I thought this blog was ‘mine’ when I started writing, I soon learned otherwise… the act of writing may teach the writer a great deal more than he or she realises, but the written word does not come to life until it is read.

I may still be your typical ‘starving artist’, but I am am definitely richer for blogging. Not only have my horizons expanded, but I feel that I too have grown. That is not a bad return for doing something I love.

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at scvincent.com and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email: findme@scvincent.com.
This entry was posted in Blogging, Books, Photography, Spirituality, Steve Tanham, Stuart France and Sue Vincent, The Silent Eye, writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

163 Responses to What’s the point of blogging?

  1. Ritu says:

    Oh I hear you Sue!!!! Not quite at a million views, but to think there are people out there who wait for a post of mine… Mind boggling indeed!

    Liked by 6 people

  2. We have a very similar story, but I’m a year short of your term of blogging. To be fair, I still don’t know why I do it except I really enjoy writing and always have — and being retired it gives me focus. Which apparently, I need. I’m not sure how long I’ve been following you, but I think most of the 7 years I’ve been live. I’ve loved your travels, your stories, your pictures, your strength of character your willingness to deal with the stranger things of this life we lead. And I’ve learned a lot from you, in many areas too. Glad that we are part of the same world and hope we get to continue!
    an

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sue Vincent says:

      I remember coming across your blog in the very early days of mine. I liked the title, as I actually remember looking up the word ‘serendipity’ as a child, liking the sound of it but not knowing what it meant 🙂

      Like

  3. Sue, your blog is visually and intellectually impressive, your stats are mind-boggling (to me.) (I just noticed that “blogging” and “boggling’ are only one letter displaced from each other.) It’s interesting that you’re still enamored of blogging while I’ve gotten discouraged. As you’ve noted, I started mine as an author’s platform but with fewer than 800 followers, most of whom read one post and never return, I’m frustrated and disillusioned. It’s no one’s fault but mine. I should have learned more about the tech end of blogging but no matter. You’re a success story and I admire all you’ve achieved. Best wishes to you on all future endeavors – and I’m certain there will be many more.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Sue Vincent says:

      Thanks, Sharon. For the tech stuff, I’ve learned what I’ve needed…which is more than I ever expected…but that’s about it. As to followers, well, you get all excited at the beginning… until you realise how many never even visit the blog at all..they are just clicking and hoping to boost their followers with a follow-back.
      I do still love the creative process… and that is where I’ve learned the most from blogging.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Food for though here ma’am! Thanks for a bit of guidance! “I am am definitely richer for blogging” Agree!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Frank Prem says:

    Congratulations She. Wonderful achievements. I’ve just gone 3 tears.

    The time flies.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. stevetanham says:

    Reblogged this on Sun in Gemini and commented:
    Sue’s road to blogging…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord Blog Magazine and commented:
    If you are a blogger then you will want to read Sue Vincent’s post on how it has impacted her life since she began her blog 8 years and a million views (or so) ago.. Once you read through I am sure you too will appreciate all that this form of writing has to offer…#recommended

    Like

  8. I am with you Sue… and you manage all of this with a full time job too.. a wonderful example of how blogging can open us up to the rest of the world and make our lives the richer for it… xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  9. colonialist says:

    A real success story.
    I often wonder if I should stop being a blogging butterfly, flitting and sipping at subjects, and rather stick to one thing. Then I relax and tell myself I’m doing it for fun and as the topic hits me.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Hello sue – I set up my blogs to record a holiday road trip around Scotland so our family could see what we were doing that was back in 2012 it still is that but today more focus as a record of wildlife I see. It was a side effect that a wider group started to follow, I enjoy seeing people from all around the world visit and share my posts.

    Like

  11. franklparker says:

    What can I say, except “Well done Sue and Stuart”. I started my blog – and social media – to promote my books and talk about politics. I did a year of author interviews and now just write about my varied career (currently featuring my political activity in the 1980s). Politics/philosophy I now post to Medium, where I actually get paid for it, plus a lot more views.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Reblogged this on Legends of Windemere and commented:
    Great post on blogging.

    Like

  13. joylennick says:

    Thank you Sue and Sallyl Surely, Sue – with such an impressive blogging history,you can claim to be “Queen of the bloggers,.” with Sally up there “neck and neck.!” Two great examples for would be’s…With my pathetic offering once monthly, I can hardly claim anything but personal satisfaction that I get noticed at all, being a tiddler in a sea of whales (no connection to personal proportions intended, ladies!) Being well-endowed in years, I come to this modern, literary and technological scene too late for my pathetic capabilities (always pushing when the sign says “Pull”!) I had my brief moments of glory in 1983/4 when I had two modest, factual books published, and have won a few prizes for poetry and a short story, but fast forward to 2000, and I should be given the booby prize for blogging! HOWEVER, I love words and interacting with other, more proficient, bloggers and writers, so shall plod on regardless, eager to snap up any stray, literary crumbs. Onwards and upwards. Hugs xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sue Vincent says:

      I can name you a good many bloggers far more worthy of that sort of accolade, Joy…there are many bloggers I admire for their work, commitment and engagement with their readers. But, I think what makes a really enjoyable blog, for me, is when I can ‘hear’ someone loving what they are doing as they write. That comes through and is far more interesting and engaging that the shiny professional blogs to me. xx

      Like

  14. Reblogged this on Claire Plaisted – Indie Author and commented:
    What’s the point of Blogging with S Vincent

    Liked by 1 person

  15. You’re so right in that the numbers should never count, Sue. I think many of us begin with the numbers, but that all changes if we get past the first year. For me, I’d never have self-published two books if it were not for blogging and the support and encouragement of the blogging community. Plus, if it were not for bloggers like you who publish weekly/monthly challenges, many of my stories would never have come out of the other side. Many of the ideas I have had for blog posts would never have come to life if it were not for conversations and comments we bloggers have with our readers

    I’ve made many new friends through blogging, some of whom I have had the pleasure of meeting in person. I have learned so much form the blogging community, some of which I choose to share with those who follow my blog.

    There are a few things about blogging that can almost make steam come out of my ears, but they are far outweighed by the positive things that blogging has bought me. When I published my first post, a new world opened up for me; a world that has undoubtedly made me a better person and which has bought me into the fascinating lives of others.

    Congratulations on everything you have done and achieved since you published your first blog post, but, most of all, thank you for the support and encouragement you give to so many others.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sue Vincent says:

      It is almost inevitable that, when we first start out blogging, the numbers are fascinating. You soon learn that they are not what matters… and even get a bit cynical about some of them. Especially those mythical ‘followers’.

      But so many other things open up along the way… things you would never have imagined.

      Starting a blog was one of the best, if most time-consuming, decisions I have made. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  16. ksbeth says:

    so well said, sue and here’s to you and all who love to blog, myself included.

    Like

  17. Congratulations on a million views!

    Like

  18. Oh, wow1 hoe figures are mind-boggling. well done! 🙂

    Like

  19. Pingback: What’s the point of blogging? | Legends of Windemere

  20. Patty says:

    Reblogged this on Campbells World and commented:
    This is a magnificent post and says everything I’ve always felt about blogging.
    Congratulations for becoming a millionaire. That’s a big deal too.

    Like

  21. Good post Sue.
    I never thought mine would be so well received when I started in 2013 but I’m so glad I did.
    Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. That is a wonderful, open, wise, and inspiring piece of writing, Sue. Those of any experience can only endorse what you say; and the rest of us can only be encouraged! Congratulations – and thank you – best regards, Mike.

    Like

  23. TanGental says:

    Well anyone as prolific as the Daily Echo with the quality of your content should be pleased
    I’m newer to this game than you but you set a very high standard for us to emulate. And believe me i do learn from those who do things better, who impress me
    And you and your output tick that box.
    Congrats on the million, yes but the real congrats is on what you come up with Daily. I’m very happy and hugely grateful to have add to that mountain of views

    Liked by 1 person

  24. I’ve been amazed at the blogging community & how supportive it is. I’m only in my 3rd year & already had ups & downs, but all I can think is ‘how I can make it better?’ I love how blogging has opened up other avenues, other directions. It’s such an interesting outlet 😊 great post Sue

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sue Vincent says:

      I agree, Sam… and for me, it only gets better.
      The blogging community is utterly fabulous. I will never forget how they got behind my son and his triathlon trike ride… just incredible.

      Like

  25. scifihammy says:

    This is such a well-written post and sums up what blogging is all about. If you enjoy it, it is worth the effort.
    And congratulations on becoming a Millionaire! 😀
    I am a long way behind you, but I enjoy being here too and today I am Five on WP! 🙂

    Like

  26. This is a beautiful post, and I completely agree about the other aspects of blogging making you rich despite not bringing in much money. Also, congratulations on so many views.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. jenanita01 says:

    We have learned so much since we began blogging, it’s a bit like becoming part of an enormous family!

    Like

  28. iScriblr says:

    Oh wow, you are super rich for sure! Kudos on your achievements!😀😀

    Like

  29. trentpmcd says:

    A million views -wow, very good! There are many pluses to blogging, and I’m still in the act of discovering them 🙂

    Like

  30. Jen Goldie says:

    Sue “You had me at Hello” Thank you so much for sharing this. Sometimes I wonder how you manage it all. You have my deepest respect. 💜🌼💐

    Like

  31. Wow, congrats on a million views! I’m enjoying blogging too, and prefer it to trying to keep up with other social media sites. One day I hope I might reach your dizzy heights!

    Like

    • Sue Vincent says:

      I can still remember the feeling of getting views in double figures 🙂 Couldn’t believe it! This milestone seems incredible… but I’m not sure it beats getting that first ten views on a post 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  32. dgkaye says:

    Congrats Sue, thanks for sharing your journey through blogging. I’m totally with all you said. ❤ xx

    Like

  33. A wonderful post! Congrats on the million, and looking forward to what else your blog’s got in store!

    Like

  34. Mary Smith says:

    Congratulations, Sue. I completely agree with you’ve written about blogging. I still remember my joy when a total stranger left a comment on my blog – and came back again!

    Like

  35. willowdot21 says:

    Reblogged this on willowdot21 and commented:
    A great post from Sue , about what blogging means to her. 💜

    Liked by 1 person

  36. willowdot21 says:

    Wonderful Sue not are not just a blogger you are an inspiration 💜💜

    Like

  37. Great points, Sue! ❤ I love your note about writing, "…but the written word does not come to life until it is read." Congratulations all around.

    Like

  38. A wonderful look at your blogging journey, Sue, and how it’s grown. My first year was very much like yours, and I laugh to think about it. Blogging does take a lot of time and energy, but the rewards are worth it. Congrats on 8 years! That’s awesome. Happy Blogging!

    Like

  39. Widdershins says:

    Congratulations!!! Well deserved and well earned! 😀

    Like

  40. petespringerauthor says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your journey, Sue. As a novice, I look at blogging as another opportunity to practice writing. If it satisfies the author, then anything that may come with it is a bonus.

    Like

  41. Eliza Waters says:

    Congrats on 8 years of blogging, Sue. What a journey, eh? You’ve summed up the best things about blogging so well. We live, learn and love more than we ever thought we would, all because we decided to hit the ‘Publish’ button. Here’s to many more enriching years of the Daily Echo!

    Like

  42. Sadje says:

    A close look at blogging and a blogger’s point of view. Lovely of you to share the progression of your blog. It is amazing how people find the posts we write entertaining or informative.

    Like

  43. Bela Johnson says:

    Wonderful post! I had no idea what blogging was about either, yet I’ve done it for a number of years with no attachment to outcomes. I didn’t then and I don’t now care about making money off my writing here (I have been published over many years in various publications, but never sought writing as a mainstay). I’ve just written since I was small, and WP seemed a good place to share some of that writing.

    I totally support people in whatever their goals and objectives are with regards to their own blogging, and it’s fun to see how different each of us perceives this network of like-minded souls. I am grateful for the connections. Carry on, Sue, and warmest Aloha.

    Like

  44. wonkywizard says:

    It was through Helene Valliant that I came to know about Sue Vincent, Reena and Willow dots; blog. Their photo prompt with or without set theme are very inspiring. Also thanks to Claudia Mcgill, Aussien and many others that I learned to interact and learn in the process. It’s more than six years with word press.
    Blogging was a kind of self exploration of meaning of living and dying for me. Poetry was to me a way of self healing. There is no expectation; only sharing for those willing to share, and the returns are returned. Thank you all.

    Like

  45. You express the joy and WONDER of blogging so well here, Sue. I can’t add anything – you said it all. What a writer you are – I have learned so much reading your posts. Blogging has give me/us a million and one benefits – friendship, recognition, self-confidence, universal appreciation that we are all the same in so many ways, understanding that there are more GOOD people out there than bad, and virtual love in blessed ways.

    Like

  46. I was a very lucky blogger, Sue. I discovered Sally’s blog and, through hers, yours, within my first six weeks of blogging. Between Smorgasbord and your Daily Echo I learned very quickly what blogging was all about. Writing, visiting, expressing thoughts and forming friendships. I too love blogging although none of my blogs are monetised. It is a lovely friendship opportunity and also, as you have said, a platform to learn about writing and share.

    Like

    • Sue Vincent says:

      I watched you take the bit between your teeth, Robbie, and achieve in a very short time what many never achieve… you have a community on your blog and your face and name are known in the corner of the blogosphere. That takes work and dedication.

      Like

  47. You really say it all here, and say it so very well. I have marveled at how much you do (unless there are more hours in a day in your time zone?) You do for others with your blog as well as platform your own writing.
    I started just a couple years ago as a place to put some responses to writing prompts. What I didn’t know was how many really wonderful people I would “meet” and come to know as friends. It’s a real community of helpful, generous people. You, Sue Vincent, are not only an excellent writer, you are a community leader. (And that’s not just by the numbers)

    Like

  48. Adele Marie says:

    I agree, Sue. I love my blogging family and adore reading about their adventures or their latest writings, paintings and now having added archaeology to the blogging family and two herbalists along with craft, the wise craft, I’m feeling mighty blessed by those around me in the blog world. xxx

    Like

  49. I love the line: My world is bigger for blogging. Well said. This, to me, is the heart of this well-composed post! Congratulations on your success. I am so happy for you, and know this must be so fulfilling 🙂

    Like

  50. Congratulations on your eight years and a million views, Sue. I started my blog in 2013 to journal about my cancer experience but only wrote several posts. My blog didn’t take off until August 2016 and has gone wider than intended to be.

    I made so many friends in this community and this is my plane traveling all over the world every day. Thank you for your post, Sue.

    Like

  51. Pingback: What’s the point of blogging? — Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo – Weevl 'Getting you Online to Offline Community Activities'

  52. Kim says:

    This is wonderful! Gives little old me with 3k views a month some hope. And yes, it definitely does improve the writing.

    Like

  53. Great post! I’m brand new to blogging. I have no idea what to do if i’m being honest. Your post was super inspiring to me. Thanks for sharing it. 🙂

    Like

  54. Zada says:

    Good Blog and Best Advice, Number are nothing Like the idea, Blog Readers are the same as we are they breath and do the same as we are but some people just stick to follow.
    just a waste of time.

    Like

  55. I just came across this post, Sue. Blogging has so many rewards! Well said. It was nice to learn things about you that I had not known. 🙂

    Like

  56. I love this Sue. X

    Like

  57. Thank You so much for posting this.

    Like

  58. tockwith says:

    Well for me, I am only about 10 days into blogging…but so far, so good, and wish I had started years ago. But life is about looking forwards, not backwards!

    Like

  59. AsmaFatima says:

    Just started blogging and don’t know if I can manage even half of it. But yeah read your most gave me hope. Long road ahead though

    Like

  60. Basil Rene says:

    Great post. Started my blog 2010 without any real expectations. I have a small following but that suits me fine. It’s a hobby, not a job.

    Like

  61. Thank you for writing this. It was very motivating and helpful!

    Like

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