The majority of blogs fail.
It’s the negative omen quoted over and over in blogging forums across the web. And while it smashes newbie dreams of easy money, this warning overlooks the benefits of starting and failing a blog.
Most people have no problem naming reasons to start a blog, but hardly anyone wants to think about failing at one. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find many people who are eager to fail at anything.
Yet, failure is as worthy an accomplishment as any.
The more I blog, the more I realize that blogging – no matter how long this site exists – isn’t a destination. It’s a journey to places I couldn’t have imagined.
Cheesy travel quotes aside, the benefits of creating a blog, even if you don’t become rich and famous is well worth your time and effort. And you’ll find that failing a blog will offer many rewards if you invest in a few moments of self-reflection. Here’s why.
Why I Started Blogging
I started Awe Inclusive to lower my travel expenses.
Press trips, special lodging rates, and promotional items were perks I’d hoped to receive. Thing is that there are countless bloggers vying for the exact same things. In that loud sea of voices, businesses only hear the most vocal.
Producing quality content, being faithful to a blogging schedule, and being active on social media isn’t enough.
Time is a key factor in blogging success. It takes time to build trust, influence, and relationships. It takes time to be impressive enough to gain the eyes, ears, and checkbooks of travel companies.
And so after five years of blogging and not getting unlimited access to these benefits, I accepted that it was impossible to lower my travel expenses.
*insert round of laughs*
Yeah, right. That’s not at all what happened.
Actually, my travel expenses dropped significantly. Without a bunch of business freebies.
And this is why bloggers should remember the real reason they started blogging. Except for a few kooky ones, most bloggers don’t share their stories to rank first on Google or go viral on Stumbleupon.
They create these goals in hopes of reaching an even higher goal. High rankings, popular articles, and expressive followers are roads that lead to the doorstep of free travel, but those aren’t the only paths to get there.
Yes, I have received press trips and passes that included free or discounted hotel stays and free or discounted activities.
But I also enjoyed the other of perks being in the travel world that led to lower travel experiences like:
- alerts about flight deals
- a network of world travelers to split travel costs with
- access to information about inexpensive lodging options like Airbnb and Innclusive
- a better understanding of how to collect and use points
- tips for how to get flight vouchers for future travel
- and so many more.
In the beginning, I had no idea that these roads also led to my goal. And even if my blog fails, I still have access to these resources.
Success Beyond Blogging
In the years since launching Awe Inclusive, I’ve been challenged and inspired beyond expectation. My list of friends has exploded into a universe of spectacular humans who travel like second nature and who don’t believe in the word “can’t.”
I’ve stretched my comfort zone and grown into somewhat of a daredevil as I bungee jump off towers, dive with Great White Sharks, pet lions and cheetahs, and skydive from 12,000 feet. My stories have motivated my loved ones to get passports, research destinations, and plan trips.
Being alone in a new place is no longer scary. I’ve traveled solo to Dubai and Toronto and Thailand.
People ask me for travel recommendations or tips to travel more often. I’m invited to tag along on so many trips that I have to turn many down.
I’ve conversed with people across the world who have helped me better understand myself and my connections to others. Overall, I have grown into a better individual.
Other bloggers have experienced similar, unpromoted benefits.
The best part is that I didn’t work for any of those things. All I had to do was be myself and the perks came naturally!
Blogging pushes you to believe in yourself and your abilities. Your confidence sky-rockets and the word “no” motivates you.
In these tight-knit blogging communities, others are eager to help and share their expertise. You’re privy to in-depth discussion and trouble-shooting from experts.
You’ll discover a welcoming family and grow relationships beyond the computer screen.
And you can get those things even if your blog sucks.
What Makes A Great Blog
I believe the best are fueled by passion.
A desire to help someone else and a dedication to start what you finish is the perfect recipe for success.
It’s a simple concept, but somewhere between the hustle and bustle of chasing page rank and page views, I forgot to focus on helping. Zig Ziglar said it best: You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.
Call it blessings, karma, reciprocity, or fate, what you do for others always seems to impact the quality of your life.
When I re-evaluated my purpose for writing, adjusted my focus and put my audience at the forefront, my workflow changed. My actions reflected a desire to share my passion, and I felt better about my blog and my accomplishments.
The cloudiest version of yourself is seen through the eyes of another.
We’ve been programmed since our first composition notebook to judge our creativity and impact based on the opinion of others with red pens. We may not be in school with overzealous teachers, but we’re still taking in a barrage of feedback about how well we’re doing.
And much of that feedback comes from sources that don’t have enough information about us to really determine where we stand. They don’t know our true goals or the individual path that we’re on to get there.
So, forget about their grading scales.
If “failing” means never having a shitload of followers or never getting Oprah-rich from writing, so be it.
I’ve reached my goal of paying less for travel and I’ve developed a new goal to share my travels to inspire, motivate, encourage others. Even if it’s one person. Even if it’s only mom. And because I know she’s reading, I am a winner in her book and my own.
Start your blog. Run it to the best of your ability and you’ll find that failure is only one of many satisfying results.
What’s been the best thing you’ve ever failed at? Share why below!