It’s largely thanks to Mike over at MikesFIlmTalk, who’s recent post deals with a subject that all of us bloggers probably think about at least once; will it make us any money? So head over and have a look at that.
I went off on a tangent, like I do, and ended up thinking about why I blog and ultimately why anyone blogs. The likelihood is no, it won’t make you any money unless you happen to be extremely funny like Jenna Marbles and manage to become a celebrity from your blog(or in her case, vlog). But is it about that? Do we ever even think for a moment that it will make us money? I certainly didn’t.
For me blogging has been an extremely successful way to get my work out there, build a portfolio of examples of my written ability and most importantly, practice and hone my passion. I have no intention to be a blogger for a living, this is merely a pathway to becoming a successful writer. And we all know that practice makes perfect. Through this blog I’ve been approached by people asking me to write for their websites, used some of my posts as examples of my written work to land myself a couple of writing jobs (unpaid, unfortunately) and most recently I’ve been approached by an indie film director who’d found out about me through my blog and asked if he could post me a DVD copy of his film to review. There’s no doubt in my mind that any money I end up making in my writing career will be because of my blog; it’s how I became passionate about writing about films in the first place, and it’s how I developed and improved my writing skill until I was at a stage where, dare I say it for fear of sounding big headed, I’m pretty good at it.
I blog for fun, I blog because I like the interaction with likeminded people, I blog because I like to get my views, opinions and for want of a better word my two pence worth out into the open. I blog because it’s a way to talk excessively about my passion and not have to worry that the person I’m talking to might doze off halfway through my monologue, and I blog because it’s damn good fun! Actually, aside from all that I started this blog because I had to; it’s actually, first and foremost, meant to be where I put all my coursework for my degree, and where my lecturers keep up to date with and mark my work…I guess I got carried away and my blog became something else entirely!
I’ve blogged for almost two years now, starting off on Blogger with one follower, and heading over to WordPress where I now have over 300 followers and counting. For the first year, blogging with no readers at all, I did it because I loved it and I didn’t care that no one read it because I could still show people my labour of love and say ‘yeah, I made this, all by myself’. Now I’ve got the buzz for gaining followers, getting likes and responding to comments on my post, I now have to add to my list that I do it for you guys. Not because I think you need my posts or my opinion and not because I owe it to you to post every day, but because I like getting the views, the likes, the comments and the follows and I want my blog to continue to grow.
Do I care that I’ve never been ‘Freshly Pressed’ (whatever the hell that even is) No. Because thanks to this blog, and my constantly improving writing ability through blogging every day, I’ve landed a job writing for Planet Ivy, and I’m a writer for Coventry East Asian Film Society (an award winning society who’s patron is Herman Yau, director of Ip Man: The Legend is Born among other films) and I am now also the secretary. Without my blog I wouldn’t have been able to go to a film festival in Italy and write film reviews of films that premiered there and had hardly been seen by anyone, and I wouldn’t have had the chance to interview two directors; because if I hadn’t started blogging I wouldn’t have unlocked my passion for writing and my desire to do it as a career.
For me my blog is kind of like a diary. I don’t just watch a film, I sit and think about it as if I was reviewing it (which I am, since I do review every film I watch) but I struggle to voice my passion about anything, I don’t really know why I guess I’m just not good at expressing my feelings, so if the person I’m watching the film with says ‘did you like it?’ I’ll probably just say ‘yeah it’s ok’ when really I want to take to my blog and say ‘That was the most f*cking amazing thing I’ve ever seen!’ so that’s what I do; I take to my blog and I’m honest about my opinions on the films I watch, because I can feel all the things I want to say about it bubbling up inside but I’m completely useless when it comes to saying these to a person.
I’ve no interest in writing if I can’t write about film. If I can’t be successful as a film reviewer/critic, or as a writer for a website/magazine writing articles about film and media, then I’ve no interest in writing for a career. I have set pretty high standards for myself when it comes to writing and journalism because I have some pretty strong beliefs about it. For instance, celebrity gossip gets my back up, I can’t stand paparazzi type news where a celeb has walked to the shops in tracksuit bottoms and somehow that makes front page news. I’ve promised myself I won’t write that kind of stuff no matter how much money I’m offered because I would do a shitty job because I’m not passionate about it, and I just know I wouldn’t enjoy doing it. My aim in life is to love whatever I end up doing, so I’m probably going to be a bit picky about what I write and who I write for in the future, as time’s gone on, and the more I’ve seen of people hating their jobs and struggling through life just to make ends meet, I’ve no interest in doing anything I hate for the sake of money, there are more important things like, you know, being happy (life is short, after all)
In short, I blog because I love it, I’m passionate about what I write, I like the interaction and it’s good practice for a career in writing. I blog because I have to, it’s a requirement for my course (although I did blog before I started uni so I would probably be doing it now regardless) and I blog because I can express myself in a way I can’t verbally, not without sending whoever I’m talking to into a coma. Blogging does pay, maybe not directly, but if you want to write, then a blog is a good way to hone your talent, get your name out there, gain contacts and have something as an example of your writing ability. Plus this blog is mine, I made it from scratched, chose the layout, added the pictures everything; and there’s nothing more satisfying than seeing something you’ve made from scratch do so well.