When we start a blog, we’re pretty excited about it. We tell our friends and family, and they may or may not give us a nod of approval, an “atta boy”, or “way to go, girl”.

Today’s Lesson

When I started blogging, those in my inner circle asked, “What’s a blog?”, “Why would you want one?”, “How much does it cost?”, and “Do you get paid?” They didn’t “get it”.

In the beginning I convinced a few friends to pay me a visit and/or leave a comment. Some would, others didn’t. Although I was somewhat disappointed they weren’t excited about my new endeavor, I quickly found out, bloggers usually gain more support from complete strangers than they do from close friends and family.

Actually, it makes sense. After all, I’m not too interested in some of the hobbies my husband, kids or friends get involved in. I don’t take their lack of interest personally, nor do I let it drain my motivation and/or excitement.

I’ve realized this is MY passion, not “theirs”. I blog because I love to blog.

Lesson Seven Blog because it brings you joy. If you are looking for kudos and/or compliments from your friends and family, you may be disappointed. As you develop a community of like minded cyberspace friends, you realize fellow bloggers may be the only ones who understand why we do, what we do.

Today’s Assignment

Do your “real life” friends frequent your blog? Comment?

Do friends and family get excited when you reach milestones in blogging?

How many in your inner circle have blogs?

Do “they” understand your passion for blogging?

Photo Credit: Kevin’s photostream

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Look Who's Talking
  1. J.D. MeierNo Gravatar says:

    Your passion for blogging shines through.

    I’m still impressed that you’ve managed to keep blogging without a blog for so long. I’m baffled.

    J.D. Meier’s last blog post..A Zone Primer

  2. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi J.D.

    LOL, That’s funny. Just think, in another 11 months, I’ll have been blogging without a blog for 2 years. 🙄

  3. Debbie YostNo Gravatar says:

    I had the same experience with my friends and family and it did bug me a little in the beginning, but now I’ve come to terms with it. However, I never really thought of it the way you put it and it makes perfect sense. Thanks.

    I do have friends and family read my blog, although they don’t comment often. My best friend will often send me an e-mail about my blog instead of commenting. No one I know personally writes a blog. My brother belongs to a writing site that you can have a blog on, but that’s the closest anyone is to blogging. I joined it, too, but I’m thinking about looking for somewhere else for a couple of reasons.

    I don’t know if my inner circle really understands why I blog, but I think they appreciate it. I get a little miffed at my mom sometimes because she’s always talking about my brother and his great writing abilities. But that’s another story and one I’m sure no one wants to be bored with.

    Debbie Yost’s last blog post..Potpourri

  4. John HoffNo Gravatar says:

    I remember that excitement when I first started blogging. I wanted my family and friends to “see what I know.”

    Other than my mother signing up (who reads but never comments), only a small handful of my friends and family have signed up for my blog. None of them knew what it was and none of them ever comment. I think they signed up just to be nice.

    But – part of the reason for my blog is to remind people “if someone needs to get online.”

    So even though they don’t comment and who knows if they read my articles, at least my company’s name sticks with them. Oh and don’t even bother asking them what an RSS Feed is. LOL

    John Hoff’s last blog post..Good Business Decisions Should Become Second Nature

  5. NaturalNo Gravatar says:

    Do your “real life” friends frequent your blog? Comment? Nope. They, my friends” did in the beginning, but now they don’t show up. Sometimes they read, but hardly comment.

    Do friends and family get excited when you reach milestones in blogging? Truthfully, I don’t want my family reading my blog, lol, so no they are not excited and that’s fine.

    How many in your inner circle have blogs? None

    Do “they” understand your passion for blogging? Nope. maybe my sisterinlaw cause she writes, but she doesn’t blog. They don’t have to understand it. I do. 🙂 LOL

    Natural’s last blog post..Blog: For Sale By Owner

  6. Ian DennyNo Gravatar says:

    I must admit I didn’t really bother asking friends or family to visit my blog. I barely understood it myself!

    I do a bit more now and I completely agree that it’s a good idea to simply enjoy it as another hobby.

    It’s possibly easier to start a real-world business than it is to make real money from a blog.

    Ian Denny’s last blog post..This Blogging Lark Is Hard – How Do You Cope When Other Stuff Gets In The Way?

  7. I agree with your statement – strangers, people I just met – those people tend to follow me. Very few people who know me follow my site – I’d literally have to ask so I made it my business not to make a big deal/ask often


    Because its there for those who need it – I’ll let them know what articles might help them and its their choice if they want to go into it like that or not

    I don’t take it personally like I did at the very beginning

    JEMi | Tips for Life, Love, You’s last blog post..An InMyHeels Note: Thank You Kelly of She-Power.com!

  8. Barbara –

    It seems that you’ve spoken from my heart. When I started blogging, I emailed my closest friends and family members. To my surprise, none of the closest friends even bother to visit my site. AS you’ve said, I did not blog to impress them. I constantly remind myself that I am blogging to please myself and others who share my passion, ideas and deep desire to share knowledge and seek better ways to live life.

    This is my favorite post.


    Shilpan|successsoul.com’s last blog post..4 Fallacies of Myth about Wealth

  9. Cath LawsonNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – My daugher sometimes reads it but not too often (she’s only 10). She started her own blog on one of the social network sites, so i think she was just trying to work out how it should be done.

    Aside from that, my friends and family don’t read it. They never understand anything I do anyway, so that’s not surprising. A few people who I’ve bumped into have told me they read it- it always feels really strange when that happens, but it’s good I suppose.

    Cath Lawson’s last blog post..Are You A Manager Or A Leader?

  10. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Debbie,

    Dr. Nicole was saying that her friends email her too, instead of commenting. I’m not sure if they’re intimidated about leaving their thoughts on line or what, but at least you know they’re reading your words.

    Hi John,

    First of all, congratulations on the birth of your son.

    Having a business blog is a great way to keep your name in front of others, but it’s too bad they don’t share a comment or two.

    I agree about the RSS feed. That would be a tough one to explain if they don’t even know what a blog is.

    Hi Natural,

    I like your answers. They always give me a chuckle, and get you an “A”. 🙂

    Hi Ian,

    Blogging is a great hobby, and you even get to blog for work. I’m amazed at how successful your business blog has been as far as gaining you more business. It appears your clients are enjoying it.

    Hi JEMi

    I would have to believe many of your friends face some of the situations you write about, so it’s a shame they’re not reading your words of wisdom. You’re like an online therapist, furnishing all of that great information, for free.

    Hi Shilpan,

    Like you, I told my friends and even have my blog URLs as a signature in my emails, but it’s rare that my friends or family members show up. They’re still confused on what a blog is.

    Writing because it’s a passion and wanting to help others is the best way to stay motivated and inspired.

    I’m happy you liked this post. Thank you! 🙂

  11. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Catherine,

    That’s sweet that your daughter is starting a blog of her own. You’re teaching her well. Maybe she will follow in your footsteps and become a writer too.

    That’s good that your blog is getting recognition in your local community. Maybe it’s time to hit up the local businesses for advertising, especially on your business blog.

  12. JenniferNo Gravatar says:

    I do have one friend that reads my blog. Actually he’s a mentor/teacher and taught me a lot of what I write about. I guess that’s one reason he’s so interested.:) My husband supports me. He glances over my stuff sometimes. If he weren’t busy with school, he would read more. I’m pretty sure my mom would read my blog if she had the internet. She did have it at one time, but doesn’t anymore.

    The friends I have that read my blog are the ones I’ve made since I started blogging. It’s just a fact of life – if you want to be heard you have to get away from people who know you. I heard someone say one time that a public speaker told him you have to go at least 100 miles away from home if you want people to listen to what you have to say. While I would love for my friends and family to listen to me so they could benefit from what I have to say, it doesn’t really bother me, personally.

    Jennifer’s last blog post..Obtaining Wisdom in a Chaotic World (Continued)….

  13. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Jennifer,

    How wonderful to have a mentor, and a husband who supports your writing. My husband knows I love to blog, but he doesn’t understand the concept. Although he knows it’s a “blog”, he stills calls it my “blob”. Hopefully, someday, it will be a big BLOB. 🙂

    I’ve never heard the 1000 miles from home concept. Just think, with a blog, we can do that everyday of the week.

    What would we do without our cyberspace friends?

  14. I have very few friends who follow my blog, and in my family my mum is the only regular reader, though my husband and dad try to check in. No one I know comments though, which I used to find funny. They email me if they have something to say.

    I have also found that most people I know don’t “get” blogging and can’t see why I would do this for no money. Even the ones who are supportive of my novel and my writing studies over the years don’t understand it. And my successes again, it’s not meaningful to them.

    Like Jemi, it used to bother me, but it doesn’t now. Though sometimes I do get a chuckle from the fact that my blogging friends know more about where I’m at in my life than a lot of my friends and family. My blog has become the one place where I pour myself heart and soul.

    Kelly@SHE-POWERs last blog post..What is the Music of Your Life?

  15. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Kelly,

    Lol, I agree. our blogging friends often do know more about us than our real life friends.

    With so many people not grasping the blogging concept, I have to believe blogs are still in their infancy, although some may beg to differ.

  16. jan geronimoNo Gravatar says:

    One college friend who I’ve neglected to keep in touch with since I started blogging had found what’s keeping me busy. Of course, I provided her a link. Ahehehe.

    We’re both writers for the college paper by the way.

    She checked out my blog. Instead of leaving a comment, she emailed me, saying my writing didn’t change at all – I don’t know what to make of that. LOL. But one thing that stuck to me was when she said she would feel naked writing a blog with all these readers commenting right and left the minute you hit the publish button.

    Guess, she’s an old school kind of writer. We still keep in touch but through email and IM. Perhaps she finds the comment section too impersonal with all those strangers vying for my attention.
    .-= Check out jan geronimo´s awesome post: Surefire – But Often Ignored – Trick to Superb Writing =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jan,

      That’s great your college friend found you. Even if she doesn’t comment on your blog, it sounds like you’ll be able to continue to stay in touch via email.

      You raise a good point. Some writers prefer not to have their work so “public”. Comments could seem overwhelming and many worry they may get negatives ones.

      It’s great you have the confidence to put your work “out there”. A blog is a great way to get discovered as well as to have an online resume.