Do you find yourself asking that question when you read yet another blog post or article giving you advice about blogging? How to get more comments, how to build and grow a community? That to get comments and shares, you have to comment and share other people’s work?
And you ask, “What’s in it for ME?”
Before that, you may think that blogging is such “hard work”. That it takes up so much time. Writing, taking photographs, promoting, commenting, sharing. Repeat, rinse, repeat.
Yes, blogging takes time. But it only takes as much time as you want to give it. Do you need to post every day? Will once a week do? Do you have to take pictures for every post? Do you have to read and comment on 20 blogs a day? Do you have to be on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Instagram, StumbleUpon, LinkedIn and what-have-you every single day? Do you have to retweet everything you see in your Twitter feed? Do you have to do allthethings?
No, you do not.
You do what you can, when you can, if you want to. You are not obligated in any way. You make your blogging experience your own.
If you want to grow your blog (for whatever reason – to make money, work with brands, use it as a springboard to publishing a book or a new career, or because you just like the idea of many people reading your writing), then yes, you have to put in some work. You get what you put in it.
If you simply want a place to record family memories or just write/ photograph simply because you love it, then do that.
I comment and share. A lot. I enjoy it. I don’t expect something in return. You see, my blog is a place to write and share my photography because I love to, a place to capture the moments that would otherwise fade from memory, a space I can call my own, a place where I meet with people I consider friends. So what’s in it for me?
A community of like-minded people I would not have met otherwise.
People who have become the kind of friend who emails me to see how I am.
People who send me Christmas cards with the faces of their family, whom I’ve come to know and love.
People who have crossed into the world of being personal Facebook friends, where real names are used.
People who I can confide in, commiserate with, seek comfort from.
People who I have collaborated with for my blog and business.
People who have offered me opportunities in places I had no chance in hell to a) get into or b) even know about.
People who have given me many reasons to smile and laugh.
People who have given me the privilege of reading their beautiful words.
People who have surrounded me with love and care when I needed it most.
People who understand what it’s like to be a mother, the good, the bad, the ugly.
People who I have come to trust and rely on.
People who have taught me about writing, photography, and design.
People who have taught me so much about blogging, community, friendship, the power of words.
What’s in it for me?
Tell me, what’s in it for you?
As part of an initiative to give back to my readers, I have an ongoing campaign of Comment to Win going on. Comment on at least two posts in January, and you stand a chance to win one 150×150 sidebar ad on my blog. Check out the Comment to Win page for all the details.