>>i am trying to decide if blogging is something i want to try. to try or not to try? is it beneficial? are there any downsides?<<
When I started blogging almost five years ago, it wasn’t something as common or popular as it is now. As hard as it is to imagine now, many people didn’t know what a blog was at that time! My only goal was to be able to offer help or perspective to moms who might not have real life support, since I would have appreciated that as a young mother trying to figure everything out from scratch. As readers began to ask more questions about other areas, and I was finding it hard to respond to the private emails with questions as well as to write for the blog, it gradually evolved to writing about a number of other topics.
While I started off blogging to help others, I found taking the time to write created ‘me time’ at the end of a busy day, and as more and more people began to comment, it became more personally rewarding. That made it something I wanted to do for myself. However, there was a point that the readership numbers got very high and many new people were reading, that blogging stopped feeling relaxing and started to feel stressful. Some people welcome controversy for the increased number of hits it will get their blog, and will try to stimulate it, but that wasn’t my goal and I wasn’t really interested in negative energy.
So if you should blog or not really depends on what your reason for considering it is. If you want to make money, there are those who do very well, but you have to put a lot of time and effort into it. There are a lot of blogs on the internet, and people will only read yours if they can find you and if they appreciate your content. I personally wasn’t that invested in the numbers of daily hits I got (though it was fun to watch the numbers of visitors climbing and know people in many countries were reading), and this kept it low-key and low-pressure for me. If you want to make money, you need to be focused and treat it like a business – don’t underestimate the time this takes. I can easily spend an hour+ on a blog post; it’s not the writing but the clarifying so you won’t be misunderstood that takes so much time.
If your life is already very full and busy, consider if you really want one more thing on your ‘to do’ list. Blogging should be enjoyable, not something you make yourself do because your readers expect it. If you want to make money, be realistic about how much time and work it will take before you are earning an income, and consider if there is other work that you could more easily do that is more reliable for many fewer hours of your time.
I try to make restrictions for myself on screen time, since the computer can too easily pull someone away from what is going on around them with the real life people who need them. (Note the recent absence of posts, despite many, many things to share about.) If you think it will be fun and don’t care if anyone reads what you write, go ahead. If you have lots to do and hardly find time for yourself as it is, be careful that blogging will enhance your personal rejuvenation time, not take away from it.