Why am I blogging? Why indeed?

Facebooktwitterrss

 

It was never my intention to be a blogger—in fact, I had no idea how to blog (not too much has changed since then in this respect). I wrote a book first. Then a few more. I started this blog to promote it as a book companion of a sort. The idea was simple: buy my books for pennies and get unlimited support on this blog, because in this hobby everything gets outdated really fast. I never had an ambition to be a blogger, and I still have a hard time defining myself as one. I want to write on topics that interest me, which means research and spending ungodly amount of time for every post. This is why this blog is so biased toward international travel—because I’m primarily interested in international travel. And this is why I don’t write about the earning component of FF programs, about mile upgrades and business travel, and such—I’m simply not interested in all that stuff. There are so many blogs that are already doing it, and much better than I ever could, so why even bother?

And I find it extremely difficult to write fillers. When I write about something, it often takes hours to research, analyze, write, rewrite, and that’s a hell of a burden because, guess what!

This blog is a hobby!

Why am I blogging?

Because I love it!

Of course, contrary to what many would like to believe (or would like you to believe), love is not all you need. That’s baloney.

This is how things should work in my book.

  • Paying jobs come first.
  • Writing on spec comes second. This is why you hone your skills, read professional publications, or write and self-publish books, hoping, against all odds, that one day you’ll be greatly rewarded for a few years of very little sleep.
  • Your hobby should come the distant third. Because in between, there are travels, playing with your kids, movies, popcorn, beers, shooting pools, long walks, and all other little silly things that make life worth living.

I have failed to maintain this balance. Miserably.

I’ve never seriously tried to turn my blog into a commercial enterprise. As you can see, there are no ads, no banners, no nothing. Not because I’m vehemently opposed to making money with blogs—quite the contrary, I’m all for it (the only thing I’m vehemently opposed to is lying to your readers). Every critic foaming at the mouths that blogging must be a labor of love and passion should be mandated to run their own blog for a month or two. That will quickly change their prospective, I’m sure.

So it’s not about that. It’s just that the only thing that I love about blogging is writing and interacting with people. That’s it!

As a freelance writer, I don’t always get to say what I want to say. While I won’t lie (for money or not), I do not get paid for being passionate about something. I get paid for helping my clients and employers achieve their goals. So my blog is the place where there is no editorial control except my own. I’m sure you’ve noticed this lack of editorial control due to all my spelling and grammar… um, let’s call them imperfections. 🙂

This is my fortress, my domain, my sacred place where I heal my ills. It’s also the place where I get to be metaphorical, sentimental, sarcastic, vengeful, silly, ridiculous, and over the top. Because the absence of editorial control is worth something.

The question is how much. This blog has never brought me a penny!

OK, maybe that’s not entirely true!

Why am I blogging?

Because writing articles for this blog has allowed me to do something I wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise—to build my portfolio.

I used this portfolio (and tips and help from quite a few good people) to land paying jobs.

As the time marched on, I was able to land better paying jobs and quit the ones that paid less. I always strived to be location-independent in order to be able to work on the road, and while I’m not totally there yet, I might be close enough.

Whether or not working on the road is working for me is another story. Not very much so, I’ll admit.

The point is, my books and this blog have helped me land some really good writing gigs. But therein lies the problem.

  • When I write for this blog, I postpone paying jobs. That means I often have to work at night or on the weekend to avoid direct financial losses.
  • When I write for this blog, I postpone updating my books or writing new ones. That’s indirect financial losses, because my books still sell and bring me something. Not much, but something, nevertheless.
  • I find it very difficult to grow this blog. SEO, promoting in Social Media, and all the Word Press quirks give me headaches. No, strike that, they give me migraines! I’m just not wired that way.

This blog is a time-sucking device, which means I’ve gotta make a choice.

And here comes the inevitable bit about closing the shop.

Just kidding. 🙂 Not so fast!

The choices, as I see it, are these.

  1. To learn how to grow and run a commercial or semi-commercial blog (DIU).
  2. To hire some talent that would show me the light (but then I would be paying someone to work for my hobby, and that’s so wrong on so many levels).
  3. To downgrade this blog into what I planned it to be at the very beginning—the book companion with an occasional article, a rant, or something.
  4. To beg you for money (nah, not there yet).
  5. To paste a few banners and credit card links (nah, not there yet)
  6. To fold. (nah, not there yet, either).  🙂

So what’s the point of this rant?

As you’ve probably figured out by now, I’ve been swamped with work recently. Not only have I neglected my blog—I’ve also neglected my two AORs for the wife and me, and those are long overdue. There are deadlines, book updates that wait for no man, and, you know, stuff. Like holidays! So when you don’t see me posting for days, just know that I’m still around. I’ll pick up the pace next year, I promise.

And sorry for the long rant too. I feel much better now. 🙂

Photo By: IvanWalsh.com

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

11 Responses to Why am I blogging? Why indeed?

  1. I enjoy your blog, Andy. Keep it up!

  2. Boris Minevich says:

    Keep writing Andy

  3. Sometimes I wish I would get comments like “Your blog sucks” so I can quit much easier 🙂

    I do get comments like “you suck” and I really enjoy those and it is what keeps me going lol.

    Welcome to the TBB Buzz Monday, loved this post!

  4. Boris Minevich says:

    Andy, where else do you write?

  5. mintcilantro says:

    I just want to know how to travel with miles and points.. and you cover teh developmnets i need to know.. just like travelisfree.com.

    I read your blog because you have no fillers. I don’t care about all the industry news and nuances covered by the popular bloggers who need that content to get people to come back and click on their links.

    but yeah, i know it must be a lot of work to write those detailed posts with screenshots and data.

    what you ahven’t mentioned is that miles and ppoints are becoming so devaluaed that it may not make sense to spend energy on this. We can spend the energy on making money instead 🙂

  6. Andy Shuman says:

    @ EVERYONE, THANK YOU for the encouragement and your kind words.

    @ Boris, the links to my portfolios with the publications I’ve written for is in the “Hire Me” menu at the top. Actually, I haven’t updated them for ages, thanks for reminding me. 🙂

    @mintcilantro, it’s a tough call. I would say that for anyone with a normal day job, it still makes sense. If you mean MS, then yes, unless you live in an MS wonderland, it’s certainly not worth your time and energy. But normal credit card churning (as if there is anything normal about it!) is still here, and despite devaluations, still works. It doesn’t take THAT much time to meet the spend, especially if you don’t live in NYC. 🙂

    However, if the hobby does interfere with your career or professional development, then it’s a tough choice, that’s for sure!

  7. […] “Why am I blogging?” by the Lazy Traveler. Great introspective post, I love this type of posts. No sleek sanitized mega cross linking SEO induced crap like you see elsewhere! The irony of this space is that the mega pumpers are the most commercially successful because they prey on the newbies while the ones who have more passion for this insane hobby, have more integrity who are not willing to accept a paycheck and go along with horrendous crap that is done to their content (to, you guessed it, sell more credit cards!) are resigned to introspective posts like this which remind me some of my infamous rants from the past. These bloggers…eventually…give up which should be a sin but it happens often, I have seen it so many times. So, when I say help the small bloggers I MEAN IT!!!!! Go out of your way to help them, YOU have the power. Help them continue on and save us all the preaching BS, we are not making a killing here but likely just taking ourselves out one blog post at a time. Lol, catchy hey? I LOVED this excerpt: […]

  8. bluecat says:

    Hey Andy, I appreciate your blog a lot. You don’t post every day and I find that this is totally okay: if you don’t have info worth sharing, you don’t waste my time with nonsense.

    I like your blog because it feels very genuine. Love the travel reports, especially the pics of you and Timmy, possibly because you guys remind me of me. 🙂 When I read your blog, I don’t feel like I need to watch my wallet–the integrity is important to me.

    Anyway, thanks for what youve done so far! Looking forward to more good stuff as it comes!

  9. Boris Minevich says:

    Looks like you came to the US after college. Amazing English writing skills considering that you did not come here at the young age

  10. […] from Financial Blogging. This is from Canadian financial blog Financial Uproar. Hit a nerve as Andy’s introspective post hit yesterday. So many similarities about the state of blogging in our space and how TBB has […]

  11. Andy Shuman says:

    @bluecat, thanks a bunch. But you’re wrong: always watch your wallet 🙂
    @Boris, long after college, but it took me almost 20 years to grow a pair and start writing. Imagine that! 🙂 And thanks!

Leave a reply

Copyright © 2018 lazytravelers.net. 2013-2017 All Rights Reserved. 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers