When I started blogging in 2003 I was new to the phenomenon called weblog. I just encountered a couple of weblogs back then most of them gone today. Most of those weblogs where focused on web standards, CSS and personal commentary. I really liked the concept so I bought a domain and hosting, made my first css/xhtml design and coded a small PHP weblog system.
In the last six years I saw weblogs come and go, the personal commentary almost disappeared mostly since Twitter. And most notorious of all most weblogs are now commercial, everyone blogs for money. Since this year I also have a paid blogging gig for a weblog network.
I have no problems with commercial weblogs, but it bothers me that everyone gets a weblog online and start commercializing it before having an archive with decent content. I always liked personal weblogs by people with similar interests as mine: weblog, front-end, cooking, photography. But I never find anything I like enough to add to my feed reader. My bookmarks folder is 1/3 of the size it used to be, most weblogs gone or dormant, no new ones I really want to add.
Everyone is so concerned on writing a top post, they write it like they are going for an award in best weblog post. I miss the easy going conversational tone and the just blogging to blog. I’m not saying they should write anything just to write but be more relaxed. That’s why I don’t like a one man/woman weblog that has a commercial purpose, they handle the weblog as a business so mostly it doesn’t has that easy flowing relaxed content where the writer isn’t afraid to make a mistake.
That’s why in the seven years of my own weblog I didn’t add ads, or do heavy promoting or try to gain money through it. The only huge step I undertook was joining the 9rules network to have a community to share ideas and learn from. I use my personal weblog to experiment with code, WordPress and to just write about what comes to mind. Of course I try to improve my writing, if you compare my first weblog post to a recent one you’ll see a lot of difference. But I try not to fall to that pressure of having a lot of traffic and making money with ads. I tried Google text-ads a few years back, well that experiment lasted one month only and I removed them. I just felt they ruined the feel to my weblog.
My only pet peeve with this weblog is my Mint stats, I like checking it everyday to see what search results bring people to my weblog and if they actually spend time reading my content. Being linked to once and a while does give a good feeling knowing I’m writing something that interests other people.
Writing for a weblog network is the right way for me to make money by writing. My weblog stays my personal non-commercial domain with no burdens or demands. Just my own outlet that I keep because I want to and like to, not because I have to.