The reasons we start are always different. We miss adult companionship after the birth of a child. We have a desire to connect with family in faraway places. We have friends that have turned a small piece of the Internet into a lucrative business. There are all kinds of factors that drive us.
Until one day we sit down at the computer and start a website.
The reasons are different but underneath those reasons, the motivation is the same. We have a need to create and it is a need that the Internet fulfils.
And that simple decision launches something that soon becomes bigger than we could possibly have imagined.
Before we know it, we’re hooked. Because when we started, we thought that all we had to do was set up our website and a few social media channels and start writing and we suddenly realize that there’s so much more to it than that.
We find ourselves forced to acquire skills we never though we could. We teach ourselves to edit HTML code and CSS to make minor tweaks to our sites. We pour over articles on Google PageRank and SEO. We install analytics and determine our top traffic sources.
We spend large amounts of money on virtual products that make our sites more attractive and easier to navigate. We watch new social networks as they are launched, poised to make sure we show ourselves as leaders by being a part of the next big thing.
We find a community. We develop a huge network of friends that share our passions, understand our goals and motivate us to do better. We form bonds that transcend location and make connections that will last a lifetime.
We start to make money. Some of us make a lot of it. People may say we’re just “in it for the money” because of that. But we know that’s simply not true. There are hundreds of easier ways to make money. Ways that don’t require working twenty-hour days six days a week. Ways that don’t demand a constant connection to the never-sleeping monster that is the Internet.
We get tired. We feel invisible. We wonder why we’re doing this to ourselves.
What makes us different from the thousands of other websites out there? Is it even worth continuing to write every day, continuing to frequent the various social networks? There will always be someone bigger and there will always be someone better and there will always be someone bigger and better that’s so similar that we wonder what purpose we’re serving. What makes us unique?
We wonder if we should just quit the whole thing.
And then we keep going.
Because deep down inside we know that it’s not just about us. It’s not just about the work or the numbers and it’s not even just about the writing. It’s about building something that has a life of its own, a life that’s given to it by every reader that comments on a post and every Twitter follower that retweets a link they found useful and every Facebook fan that answers that question we asked.
We keep going because as hard as it can be, we love it. It’s challenging and organic and uncontrollable and sometimes infuriating and we love it anyways, too much to ever stop doing it.
We are bloggers. And this is where we belong.