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Friday, February 26, 2021
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Why Blog? A Sloth and His Blog

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Sloth Makes a Blog was/will be again a series of WordPress tutorials from 0 to blog. It started elsewhere, but I’m continuing it here. If you’re interested in reading about that, you can do so here. If not, read on. This is an introductory post to the series and looks at the question “why blog?” covering some of the common reasons humans decide to make a blog.

Zip is a Sloth. Which means that he spends much of his day hanging around, sleeping, eating leaves, and leading a slow-paced life.

A bunch of sloth merchandise at Fuego.

But, for some reason, the idea “I should start a blog,” enters his little head.

Perhaps he’s been inspired by the popularity his species has had as of late, and he thinks maybe he can cash in on the Sloth hype while it lasts. Maybe. But first, more sleep!

He overcomes his slothful inclinations and decides to act on his impulse and go for it. Maybe. Maybe tomorrow.

Many people (but not so many sloths) decide to make a blog. Some put actually doing it off due to time or lack of technical know-how. And, of those who do start blogging, many of them will abandon those blogs early on. I sometimes imagine there’s a whole graveyard of abandoned blogs out there. I’ve buried several there myself.

But as Zip seems to be excited (at least as excited a sloth can be) about making a new blog, I plan to encourage him to get started and help him. Sloths don’t have much any money, so he’ll be starting from step one and starting out with mostly freebies. I’ll help him with the cost of web hosting.

But, before we go on, let’s look at some of the various reasons why people start blogs.


Assessment of reason: Good.

Having a website is essential for a business and having a blog component is useful in many ways. It helps customers find you, stay up to date on your business. A blog can build enthusiasm for your products or services. And there’s another perk of having a blog component to your business website. If you update your blog regularly, it will likely help your site’s search engine ranking.


Assessment of reason: Good

Do you have a cause you care about deeply? Or a collection of customized Furbies you “simply must” share with the world? Or are you so passionate about cooking that you post pictures to your Facebook feed of the seared encrusted carpaccio of beef that you made for dinner last night?

Admit that your Facebook friends just may not want to hear about your Furbies, your political opinions, or see photos of your meals, however yummy they were. But some people might want to hear about these things (especially if you’re providing useful information about them).

In fact, blogs that fit a specific, small niche usually do better than huge, multipurpose blogs. Sometimes a community will even form around such a blog, which can be rewarding intrinsically, if not financially.


Assessment of Reason: Maybe

Some websites make a lot of money, some make some money, some make a little money, and many make no money and/or cost money.

Some people are definitely making money on the Internet. But it’s a hard road, often people don’t realize how much time it can take to build and run a blog. Or how much time it can take to publicize and bring enough traffic to that blog to gain financially. You’d better enjoy what you’re doing because some blogs never take off.

Or, your travel and events blog is suddenly faced with COVID-19 and you start earning a whole 2 cents/day. Just saying…not complaining, a lot of people have had it worse than me.


Assessment of Reason: Good

This is a way that many people end up with a travel blog. My daughter has a friend that had the opportunity (and I’m sooo jealous) of living in France doing research for an extended period, and I helped her start a little free WordPress blog.

However, if you start a travel blog, do it because you love it. It’s an oversaturated market, as this card from Monopoly for Millennials tells us:


Assessment of Reason: Maybe

I sometimes forget that the word blog is short for “weblog,” which is what WordPress started out as: an internet log or journal, arranged in chronological order. Of course, it’s now grown into much more than just that.

If sharing your feelings with the online world is your reason for wanting a blog, there is nothing wrong with that. And blogs like that can be fun and straightforward if you’re just posing what you want when you want and not worrying about traffic or monetization.

This is where Zip is right now — for some reason, just wanting a blog. Should he have a blog? As he is a sloth, the answer is, probably, “no.” Having a blog can be fun, fulfilling, rewarding…but it can also be a mountain of work.

Like to write? Run a blog by yourself, and you’re not only the writer but are responsible for design, layout, proofreading, maintenance. You’re a team of one. Unless you actually have a team. Let’s be Zip’s team and help him out.

This is the first in a series I plan to post a series of simple WordPress tutorials (likely at a Sloth’s pace) on self-hosted (WordPress.org, not WordPress.com — we’ll get to the difference later if you don’t know what it is.

The series will follow Zip as he actually builds a WordPress blog. I hope I can help him prevent some of the mistakes I made (and some that I continue to make) in my blogging adventures.

This is the first in a series I plan to post a series of simple WordPress tutorials (likely at a Sloth’s pace) on self-hosted (WordPress.org not WordPress.com — we’ll get to the difference later, if you don’t know what it is.

The series will follow Zip as he actually builds a WordPress blog. I hope I can help him prevent some of the mistakes I made (and some that I continue to make) in my blogging adventures.

Next up will be a post on some things to think about before you blog.

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Cheryl is a former Occupational Therapist and WordPress enthusiast who became a writer in some parallel universe and occasionally, but infrequently, publishes things in this one. She writes two blogs (or is it three) which she won't quit because she knows that blogs, in her case, are like a hydra and if she cuts one off two more will take its place. When she's not doing that, she enjoys hiking, cycling, kayaking (formerly fast, now ebike), messing around with Adobe illustrator, making assorted things, meditating (though she wouldn't call that "like," and reading. She normally doesn't speak about herself in the third person, but she sometimes uses "we" in the royal sense while writing this blog. She lives in Poulsbo, WA with her spouse, her youngest adult daughter, a very old mutt, and a Siamese cat.
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