In November 2011 I opened this blog. I was leaving for America in a few weeks and had nothing else to do beside wait – in addition to quitting my job, getting married, getting rid of my apartment and saying good bye to everyone. I thought of having a blog for a while, but when I first started I didn’t want to tell anyone. I was scared that it would be very bad, and honestly, at first, it was not brilliant. Today, I’m wondering why I’m blogging.
1. It’s a hobby
One of the first reason I opened the blog was to have a hobby. My justification: it will keep me busy as long as I don’t have a job here in Boston. The first version of the blog has no strategy, no marketing, no special launch party, no interesting name nor branding, and no editorial line. I’m more of a go-getter than a perfectionist, so I just needed to start with something. The first version was crappy, but it was live, and I was busy working on it.
Today, it’s still a hobby, and I spend a lot of time on it. Since I don’t make much money with it, I balance my time with my real job, which consequently I found through the blog, so thanks to the publishers who liked what I’ve done. Woot Woot.
2. I like writing
I blog cause I like writing. But writing isn’t easy. I have many ideas, I probably have a list of 50 posts I want to write. I like to build the post, add pictures, write and rewrite stuff. Manu helps me a lot with this process. At first he was pretty hard on me: is this supposed to be funny, or interesting? There is a lot of repetition, useless words. It’s funny cause editing texts was my job in France (for practical guides, not literature), but it’s very hard to edit your own texts, I really need the friendly yet not indulgent look.
Also, what is cool with the blog, is that it gets me to do plenty of things, so I have something to write about on the blog. Maybe the fact that I’m living in a foreign country inspires me to explore many places, and see and do many things, but the blog is definitely a great motivator. Because of the blog, when we’re on vacation, we have to stop in front of any cute sign, take 50 pictures of eggs Benedict at every brunch, and even go to poetry night, just so we can tell it on the blog.
3. Because people read the blog.
Slowly, the blog got readers. People commented, I spotted the same ones on Twitter and Facebook as well. Comments are positive 99% of the time. But I also got tons of emails with various questions, that lead me to believe that people see me like:
- A travel agent: Are there some bathrooms on the road between Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon? Is it cold in Yellowstone in February? Can I reach the Keys from Fort Lauderdale by sailing?
- The tourist office of Boston: Are there some bus tours? What is the schedule for the museum for children? Do they speak French in restaurants?
- A lawyer: I want to live in America. I’m a baker/hair dresser/ developer? How can I do this? PS: I’m 16.
Okay, don’t feel that you cannot send me a message, I don’t want to frighten you, but don’t forget that I’m just a normal person and I don’t know everything. I share most of the things I know, and if the question is really frequent, I add it on the FAQ (only in French now).
I also meet people through the blog: some people who write me a lot (so I have the feeling that I know them), or other people with blogs. For instance, I spent my first Christmas Eve in the States with Amandine’s family, she used to have a blog about her life as an expat in Miami.
Where am I going?
These past few weeks, I thought I wouldn’t be able to make it back to the States, because I had some delay with my visa. I wondered: why this blog about Boston, and travels in the USA? If I don’t go back, should I keep going? Anyway, I’m back now. I have a few trips planned in the country, and there are still many places I want to try out in Boston… I still want to write, take pics and make videos with Manu. Doing what we’ve been doing for a while – I hope you don’t get bored!
But why not doing something else as well. The new layout of the blog makes me want to do other stuff, like more videos (it seems that you liked the latest one), podcast, or a google hangout to talk live (but about what topic?), invite people to talk about their own experiences, people who don’t have a blog but still have things to say, have an eshop to sell beef jerky to France… The ideas seem endless, but the work is also endless. Blogging is a time consuming hobby!
What about you, do you blog? Why do you blog? And if you don’t, what do you like reading on blogs in general?