What is the Point of Being a Hobby Blogger?

I have been blogging on and off for five years. I’ve never been hugely consistent, which is partly a weakness in my character as well as a desire to keep my blog a blog. It still is very much a hobby of mine. But, sometimes, what a pitiful hobby it feels to be when I see what blogging is now.
When I started, most people were on Blogger with backgrounds found from friendly sites that designed *free* designs for anyone to use. People connected through link-ups and began to follow through Blogger or by email. There were no extra sites that I had to manage like Facebook {which I don’t have now, anyway}. Blogs looked like the people who wrote them: casual, friendly, welcoming, homely. It was like meeting a friend in a busy cafe for a cup of tea, or sitting with legs tucked under on a comfortable couch in their living room.
But now – well, we all know what it is like now. Everything is stream-lined and competitive and busy. Just busy. People like me, who hobby write, just cannot compete. We’re like the joggers you see running in the park with a haphazard jumpsuit we put together, puffing along and struggling but doing it – while packs of brand-clothed, smooth runners go on by at twice the speed. Don’t get me wrong – those runners have spent years working hard to get where they are. They are where they are because of all they have done to get there. But, it’s still like they are in a different league. Most good runners are never going to the Olympics.
And blogging today, and keeping up, feels like competing in the Blogolympics. 

And we have to ask ourselves – are we happy being Average Joe? Are we happy to be a good runner, just not a professional one?
Are we happy to have only a few followers, no income, no professionally designed blog, with a few quiet social media outlets, and only being able to post once or twice a week {or when inspiration hits, like me}?
When I put it like that, I think, ‘Yes, I can be happy with that. What’s so bad about that?’ But the moment I see a blog that is what I secretly would like to be like, well, stirrings of discontent make me feel like my little blogging home is a little bit of a hovel.
And then I ask myself, ‘Why cannot I not just be content with what I have?’ I have a gift of writing. I have thoughts I love to articulate, in fact, I have to articulate. I have some really lovely people that genuinely want to read my noise. My blog looks nice and has almost cost us nothing.
It’s so hard denying the desire to compete. The inner pressure I feel to do MORE with this blog when I see other blogs out there that are more and have more and are doing more. I’m not bagging them – I admire them. But I know I’m not called to be a “big blogger”. I sense in my spirit that I am to remain small, be thankful and to keep writing.
It’s in our nature to see something amazing and big and professional and want to give up. I’ll never compete, so what’s the point? And it’s an honest question to ask: what is the point of blogging when it’s not going to “hit it big”?

Well, let’s list them:

to glorify God in all we do.
to be faithful with the small.
to be content and thankful for the gifts given us.
to keep going even if it seems pointless.
to pursue genuine friendships.
to have thoughtful, encouraging conversations.
to grow and be convicted.
to enjoy life.
And there actually are probably many more answers.

So, if you’re like me, and sometimes you wonder what really is the point of being a small-time blogger, just remember: the benefits of being small are numerous, and I believe, there are more opportunities to develop depth and honesty with your readers because you have the time to do that. Also, being a hobby blogger gives me the best of both worlds: I can blog without taking away from the life I want to write about.

Are you a small-time blogger like me? Share in the comments.

21 thoughts on “What is the Point of Being a Hobby Blogger?

  1. I want to get into competition sometimes, but I can't compete with the others in terms of quantity. Therefore, I do what I am good at. Post a quality article once or twice a week. If research is involved, it may even take months to post one.

    Really loved the tone with which you have written this, by the way.

  2. Quality over quantity is very important, I think, for people to enjoy a blog. I generally only follow blogs that do that, otherwise I just feel pressured by a constant barrage of posts.

  3. I really appreciate your writing this. I like to see a variety of blogs, and the ones you call hobby blogs are the sweetest ones of all because they are like visits. There is not much commercialism to them. I hope many of them continue just as they are.

  4. I had a hobby blog for about 7 years and recently started a professional blog. I truly enjoyed hobby blogging for all that time until I realized that I wanted to use my writing to help my family. I applaud all of those who are still hobby blogging in this world of pressure to go pro!

  5. This is my first visit to your blog. I found you through The Art of Home-Making Mondays. I echo your sentiments completely!

    I started blogging in 2006, and let me tell you, the blog world is night and day from what it was then. Most people blogged for fun and friendship in those days.

    I took a 2-year break from doing any blogging, and I just started up a new blog in late May. I did spend $12.50 to get a template, but it's not a custom template, so others may have it too. I also no longer have a Facebook account. I have never had Twitter or Instagram, nor do I do Google Plus.

    Like you, I can sometimes get envious of those “big” blogs with lots of followers. I even brainstorm ways to grow my blog. But in the end, I have realized, like you, that I don't want to be a professional blogger. I am a “quality over quantity” person. So I would rather have a smaller number of readers, who I feel like I know, than thousands I don't know at all.

    Thank you for sharing your wise and beautifully-written thoughts.

    Patti @ Embracing Home

  6. “So I would rather have a smaller number of readers, who I feel like I know, than thousands I don't know at all.” YES! My feelings exactly. It saddens me that we can lose those friendships and the meaning of blogging by trying to keep up. Thank you Patti!

  7. Yes, yes, yes. I would truly like to contribute some income to my family in some way, but I have discovered I don't have the time to put into making a big name blog. . . and I don't have the interest either. I want to focus on my family first. In terms of writing, I'd rather focus on my newspaper column.

    It takes a while to discern what you really want to do after dabbling in something new. But, after all, one reason for doing a hobby blog is to have a hobby. 🙂

  8. I would love to contribute too {hence, ads on my blog} but to make proper money takes a lot of time and effort. I don't think I could justify it for myself, and I know that it would make me stressful and distracted from my proper work. Some women can do it, and that amazes me!, but quite a few big bloggers have pulled back because they have admitted they can't do it all and do everything well.

  9. I love this Sarah. I'm a small blogger myself (a little over two years now), and I occasionally have those feelings of competition too. What I found that helps the most is when I wrote my purpose for blogging. Much like your list, it narrowed my content down and revealed what makes me happy and content. Like you, I don't think I'm destined to be a big time blogger, but as long as I'm happy and fulfilling my purpose to myself and my readers, I'm content with that. Thank you for such an enlightening piece! It's great to know that there are hobby bloggers like me out there who may not make profit, but are making progress and and impact nonetheless. Stopping by from Tuesday Talk 🙂

  10. Loved this post (found you through Strangers and Pilgrims ;0) I too am a hobby blogger, have been since 2007. I have also wrestled with the same thoughts and discontent at times but came to the same conclusions – that I'm happy with my small blog. I think that if I had to try and make my blog look and act like some of those big streamlined blogs that I would not be being authentic to who I am. I'm not a big 'career' girl. I'm a mom, who loves Jesus and who's aim it is to live my life for Him and to raise my children in the way that they should go, to love my husband and create a warm and welcoming home. Big and streamlined? Naa – that's not me 😉

    Lovely post, beautifully written and a thoroughly good uplifting read.

  11. I love that last part you said – “I'm a mom, who loves Jesus and who's aim it is to live my life for Him and to raise my children in the way that they should go, to love my husband and create a warm and welcoming home.” That is the heart of my life and what I want to share on my blog. I really believe that I could not authentically spread the amazing message of biblical womanhood if I were not first fully invested in it, in real life.

    Thank you for your lovely comment and encouragement, Shirley.

  12. I enjoyed this post :). Sometimes I feel like I'm doing it “wrong” when I read posts that are all about “post on a schedule, make sure you include pictures, share share share”… but it's not me. I blog simply because I LOVE writing, and I know that my family members, or some friends (including ones that I have made through my blog) will enjoy updates on our life. Or sometimes I share deeper thoughts, again, because I just have to write, but also because my Dad has encouraged me that my writing is one of the gifts he feels that God has given me to use to minister to others. But after the post is written- I just don't feel like it would be me to do all that I'm “supposed” to do with it. There can be a pull to do it anyway. But I'm content staying small, as well :).

  13. “I blog simply because I LOVE writing” – YES. I totally get you. Writing is my heart expression on so many levels, but especially working out God's Word in my mind as my life unfolds and I let it lead me and correct me and change me.

    Thank you, thank you for encouraging me!

  14. I found this post via a Facebook share. I was having this exact conversation yesterday within my Facebook group and a close friend. What is the point of all this? I don't make money and have no intent on doing so, does anyone really care what I have to say or write and what could I be doing with all the extra time if I wasn't blogging. So you helped put it all into perspective. Sometimes we just need to hear from others struggling with this same question.

  15. I am so glad you were encouraged, Michelle. I feel like we have to remember that God asks us to be faithful with the small things. Not necessarily so that what we do will become big; but more that, we can be content, thankful and useful right where we are.

  16. I am so with you Sarah! I go through times of being discontent in my blog not growing as I'd like and other times of just being happy as a smalltime blogger, thankful for the opportunities that do arise. I had a real breakthrough earlier this year in letting go if striving to keep up. I have had so much more peace since then. I totally agree with all the points you have made! Its so nice to be able to blog when God is stirring my heart and to have the time to actually live my life instead of living through my blog. Thanks as always for the encouragement to stay faithful with what God has given me to do and not look at everyone else:)

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