Useless Blogging: The most useful kind

There is a lengthy and wonderful conversation currently occurring about useless blogging and how useful it actually is. What constitutes a useful post? Should we really all be writing ’20 ways with kale’ type posts? What do you do when you come up empty? Or feel yourself falling short? Does anyone care anymore about posts that aren’t pinterest-worthy? Does every post need to solve a problem? Can’t we just get to know each other? Why does it feel like all people want to read is ’20 ways with kale’? Do you follow the path that seems to lead to more readers and advertisers? Or do you stay true to what makes your own heart sing?

all the lovely useless things

Lots of bloggers are chatting about this topic — I was going to try and list them all but it might be easiest to check out #uselessblogging and #uselessblogger

I think all these questions about useless/useful blogging all come back to the central question — Why blog at all? Why do anything creative with our time?

I loved Elizabeth Gilbert’s take on this in her book, Big Magic. She says that the desire to pursue creativity is inherently useless, inherently essential and inherently human. The desire for connection with ourselves and with others. The desire to make things of beauty. A desire as old as humanity.

What I have loved reading within this conversation is how people came to blogging. And it’s never been with the desire to extol the virtues of kale. New mothers have needed an outlet and identity away from their darling children. People want a creative space to call their own. Bloggers seek connection with others through the expression of thoughts and ideas and passions.

Sometimes we rant and sometimes we ponder and sometimes the words fall in a beautiful order and sometimes they appear in a scrambled mess. But it’s all fulfilling a personal need.

My own blogging journey is a chequered one. I wrote a few little blog posts back in the early days but I didn’t know there were other bloggers out there to connect with. When my middle son died I turned to writing as a way to work through my grief. When my youngest was born, I felt brave enough to move those words into a public space – Chasing His Sunshine. That blog was the most useful thing I did to work through my grief. It gave me solace, it gave friends and family perspective and it gave other bereaved families comfort and hope. It was the complete opposite of useless blogging.

Eventually, I wanted a place to write that was separate to my grief and this blog was born when my friend Sarah also wanted to expand her blog. This niche-less space. This sand-pit that allows me to throw words around see how they land. This corner of the internet where I welcome visitors with open arms but I’m also quite content to fluff the cushions and put on the kettle just for myself. This place of comfort for my soul.

Back when I first started writing the little posts, I had no idea where this would take me or what it would become. I didn’t even know web hosting companies like Hostiserver existed! Now I know a little bit about the blogging world, I feel a little more confident in the content I create.

I think the question about useless blogging needs to be turned inward. Is the act of blogging useful to the blogger? Is it fulfilling a creative need? Because the other stuff is just jam in my opinion.

Which begs the question — is the pressure to only create useful posts stifling the original usefulness of blogging?

Arrow 2

What’s your take?

15 thoughts on “Useless Blogging: The most useful kind

  1. Annette says:

    Robyna, I love your thoughtful take on this. This is beautful writing. Lots to ponder here, I’ll be revisiting your words and wisdom.
    Keep blogging from that rich, deep space within you. ❤️❤️❤️
    Annette recently posted…A useless blog postMy Profile

  2. Jenni from Styling Curvy says:

    I think we can definitely have both. I blog for me and for my community. Seeing them happy and moving forward makes me happy. I don’t think we need to demonise monetisation of blogs, it’s cool if peeps want to do that (I do), but authenticity, warmth, humour and being relatable are what draw me to a blog.

    Sometimes I think watching other bloggers succeed can put pressure on bloggers but I like to remind my self that I don’t write ‘for’ bloggers. Sure there’s a few bloggers who are part of my community but when I write I write for me, for my community and also to leave my footprint for when I’m gone.

    I also remind myself not to compare. Most blogs are heavily edited…a highlight reel so comparing to that is useless. When I saw other bloggers getting ‘free’ stuff I wondered why I wasn’t good enough for some of that bounty. Now I am that blogger but nothing is free, nothing! I work bloody hard, hustle hard, and care hard for my community and brands.

    I started my blog after illness and it was always a business from the start but equally a place for me to brain dump, to ponder, to giggle and to be grateful. It only feels weird when I look around and fall into the comparison trap.

    Thankfully these days that’s hardly ever. My blog is a conversation, and all conversations should be two sided and beneficial to both parties in some way. However that works for the blogger is their business.
    Jenni from Styling Curvy recently posted…WHAT I’M WEARING-DROPPIES.My Profile

    • Robyna says:

      Definitely agree – I don’t think loving your blog and blogging useful posts are mutually exclusive. But I don’t like the idea of people avoiding the blogs that have worked so hard to build because they feel so much pressure to be useful. Comparison is such a thief of joy. And you are so right – nothing in life is free. But working in collaboration with brands you love is always fun.

  3. Beth at AlmostPosh.com says:

    I don’t necessarily write to be useful but I do try and be entertaining. I’ve made connections via the blog and I like to think of my posts as personal conversations with those connections, speaking to them as I would a real-life friend . . . (ie banging on about fashion and trying to make them laugh) and some of them have actually turned into real life friends which is super exciting because making friends outside of work in your thirties and beyond is hard yakka. Like Jenni said above, sometimes it can be hard not to compare. Why are they getting all that stuff? Where’s my stuff? Is my blog not as good? Why are people choosing theirs over mine? Etc. Then I get over it and crack on with telling people what’s good at the Iconic this week or whatever.
    Beth at AlmostPosh.com recently posted…Katies VIP Shopping NightMy Profile

    • Robyna says:

      I remember seeing other people get free stuff and think that looks so cool, gimme! But you soon realise as a blogger that it’s less about free stuff and more about building communities and sharing things of value and helping others in businesses.

  4. Maxabella says:

    I honestly, wholeheartedly think that being useful is entirely overrated. Some of my favourite things in the world are pretty useless, but they lift my soul every day. You can tell me that a soul lift is a very useful thing, but I’d prefer to think of it as just being there, doing it’s thing. x

    • Robyna says:

      I think being told what to do (which useful posts can sometimes do) is never going to be as soul-inspiring as catching something within someone’s words that you feel is subtly meant for you. Such a big difference.

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