OVER the past few weeks, I’ve come across some general unpleasantness towards blogs.
And more to the point, the people who write them. (Including me)
Which has made me feel, well, a little bit sad.
I’ve read that blogs are pointless, boring and dull.
I’ve heard people say they’re not interested in any blogs, because they’re only written by narcissists (yes, really).
And I’ve even come across one blogger who oddly decided to take a big ol’ pop at anyone who made a living from their blogs or called themselves professional bloggers (again, this includes me).
Yep, it seems some people are falling out of love with blogs or in many cases, still don’t get them.
How can this be, I hear you cry?!
I have no idea.
I blog. I am a blogger. And I love blogs. Next week I will be even talking about the importance of blogging to an audience.
So it seems only fair, that today, I do my bit to stick up for my blogging community, try and spread a little blog love and whack some misinformed views down to size.
Here are five good reasons why we all need blogs, and the brilliant people who create them.
BLOGS PROVIDE VARIETY
Which topics float your boat? What interests you? Which kind of things do you like to look at or read online? Because trust me, whatever it is, you will find a blog to suit your needs.
Wanna read about the meaning of life? There will be a blog out there to suit you. Need some style inspiration? Smashing, let some bloggers show you how to dress. Feeling alone in the world with a particular problem? Fear not, someone out there is going through the same, and – the best bit – they will be blogging about it.
Gone are the days when our information and inspiration, could only come from mass media or books. Gone are the days when if you were into something a little different, you had to feel alone or a bit odd.
There are millions of blogs out there, all serving up different dishes of creativity, words and love, bringing variety to the web and doing a damn good job at it too.
If you haven’t found the one for you yet, it’s because you’re not looking hard enough.
BLOGS PROVIDE ANYONE WITH ‘A VOICE’
Everyone I have ever met has a story worth telling.
But too often in life, our voices remain silent or they go unheard. And this is particularly true for women.
We are silenced in work meetings. We are spoken over when we do speak up. We are too often dismissed and too easily forgotten.
But not anymore. Not when it comes to the blogging world.
Blogs are powerful because they provide anyone – me, you, your neighbour, your grandad – anyone, with the opportunity to share something with the world.
To contribute, to inspire, to write from our hearts.
Years ago only the chosen few could take their voices or their talents to an audience. But now, thanks to the Internet, we can all do that. We can all have a voice.
It’s exciting, it’s liberating and it’s incredibly powerful.
BLOGS PROVIDE HELP & SUPPORT
When I found out that my friend’s husband was diagnosed with terminal cancer, some weeks ago, the first person I went to was the lovely Julia from Rainbeaubelle.
Why? Because I knew that she would know what my friend would be going through. And I knew this because she’s been courageous enough to share her personal experience on her blog.
This is what bloggers do.
We open our hearts to the world, writing about and covering the darkest bits of our lives and stories as well as the brightest.
We write, we fight, we share and we care.
And some of us do it for nothing.
BLOGS PROVIDE OPPORTUNITIES
This blog of mine is now my main source of income.
If you’d told me that, when I first started it over three and half years ago, I’d have shaken my head in disbelief and laughed. But it’s true. It is.
And not only that, it has brought me opportunities that I wouldn’t have dared imagine.
I’ve made amazing friendships. I’ve been featured in the press. I’ve been a cover girl on a national magazine. I’ve stayed in a gypsy caravan. I’ve won an award. I’ve been shortlisted for awards. I’ve worked with wonderful brands. I’ve just got my first book deal. I’ve been filmed for TV.
How did all of this incredible stuff come about?
Through this blog.
Blogs provide opportunities and they provide them for anyone.
It doesn’t matter how old you are or how wealthy. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve worked as a journalist or you’ve never written a thing before in your life. It doesn’t matter if you have ten kids or none.
If you work hard, if you put yourself out there and do the best you can, your blog, any blog, has the potential to change your life.
BLOGS BRING OUT ‘THE HUMAN’
As human beings, we are more the same, than we are different.
We all want to be loved, liked, admired and respected. We all have the same kinds of fears and insecurities. We’re all fighting our own battles and trying to create our best lives.
But sometimes we forget.
Sometimes we forget that we’re not alone. Sometimes we forget that we’re all in this together.
But blogs don’t allow for this.
They cut through the ‘crap’. They cut through the gloss. They show you ‘real’ people with ‘real’ lives. They give you people’s stories. They give you different voices.
In a world that is too often filled with nonsense and celebrity, blogs help to bring us back to the ‘real’ world.
They dare to show us the imperfect. They dare to highlight things that the mass media would rather ignore. They dare to tell and share real stories.
And if you still don’t believe me, then there’s only one thing for it.
You need to stop reading this right now and head over to the Humans Of New York blog, grab yourself a cuppa and settle down to have a good read.
Because if you fail to be moved by this blog, if you fail to realise that this blog is one of the best things to ever come out of the Internet…then all I can say is, perhaps you are not human.
Because if you still don’t ‘get it’, you’re from a totally different planet than me.