Why you should have a blog


LinkedIn recently notified me that I was celebrating a work anniversary: Hipstercrite is six years old.

In truth, this blog is seven years of age; it was conceived from a volatile relationship between me and Los Angeles. Eight people read the site then. It was called PlasticLA, and I mostly wrote passive profiles on the men who dumped me (I’ll never forget that one asshole who thought he was James Joyce).

Six and half years ago is when I left my career in Los Angeles and moved to Austin to work on my writing. My first year in Austin I worked two jobs and a total of 60-70 hours a week, but I made sure to chronicle my adventures of being a stranger in a welcoming city. Everything about Austin inspired me; the local community helped revive my creativity, which had laid dormant for the five years I was in the City of Angels.

And I guess I’ve never stopped writing on this damn thing. Some months I’ve written multiple times a week; some months I’ve written only once a week (like now). It has all depended on what is going on in my life. What I’ve written about has evolved from a single twenty-something discovering a city and herself to a thirty-something who has, with excitement and apprehension, become an adult.

There have been times when I cared too much about how my blog performed, and there are times, like now, when I just enjoy it for what it is. Though I’ve often felt too uninspired, too tired, to keep this blog up, I don’t think I’ll ever stop writing on it. Even if months go by, I will not shutter it.

My traffic is ok and I make only $500-$1,000 a year through advertising, but the tremendous people I’ve met and the opportunities I’ve received through my blog are infinitely more valuable. I always recommend to creatives and entrepreneurs that they should start a blog. Here is why:

P.S. I hope none of this comes across as humblebragging; the accolades and perks I list below are to show that if I, a non-professional blogger, can receive them, so can you. 

1.) My blog has become my resume
When I pitch to publications, my blog does a lot of the speaking. As evidence of my writing, I may just send over the link to my blog and a handful of clips. Though my blog lacks formal editorial standards and it may have typos/grammar mistakes, it proves that I’m dedicated to writing. I will not give up on a project. Also, it shows inquirers what my “writing voice” is, and in my experience, people often want to hire you for your own unique voice. (If you have a blog, don’t be afraid to share your weirdness and secrets.) This doesn’t just work for writers; creatives looking for work and entrepreneurs looking to make connections can greatly benefit from having a blog.

2.) I don’t always have to look for work
Publications and companies have found me through my blog. I’d say half of the freelance work I get is through someone discovering my blog. Clients I’ve garnered this way include The Guardian, Sundance Institute, MassMutual and CultureMap. I have a very talented freelance writer friend who I hound about this. If I can get work through my blog, so can you. (Ahem, Meg.)

2.) You get paid in other ways
I try not to whore out myself or my blog when publicists or entrepreneurs inquire, but occasionally there will be a product or app that I’m excited to get behind. And often these brands can be mighty generous. A few gifts have included: a Microsoft Surface, a paid trip to Ohio, designer or fair trade clothing and Bose headphones and speakers. In total I’ve received about $5,000 in merchandise, and as I’ve stated, I rarely accept and promote branded items AND I’m a rinky-dink blog. In other words, if you are super popular blog that whored itself out often, just imagine all the swag you would get!

4.) I’ve met many interesting people
I know bloggers say the above statement often, but it’s true. I’ve met many incredible women (and men) through my blog, including the talented Laurenne Sala and Hannah Miet. I was a fan of both their blogs and had the opportunity to meet Laurenne in LA and have Hannah and her equally awesome boyfriend, Colin, stay at our house on their cross-country trip from NY to LA. In addition, I’ve met so many awesome local bloggers, business owners and sweet-ass Austinites because of my blog. I’m privileged and fortunate to have met these people, and I have the blogging community to thank for that.

5.) It feels good
If you’re not a freelancer or entrepreneur and have zero interest in finding work/making money off of your blog, I still recommend blogging. It can not only be therapeutic, but as mentioned above, it can connect you to a like-minded community. Having a blog can get you through the tough times, the lonely times and the confusing times. Take it from me; strangers have offered incredible advice and support when I’ve written about my anxiety, twenty-something turmoil and fear of dying. And in turn, as a blog reader, you are there for other bloggers going through challenging times.

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  • Reply Leigh Ann May 4, 2015 at 9:20 pm

    It makes me terribly sad when someone wants to give up their blog. I keep mine for all the reasons you state here. Whenever I am overthinking whether or not to post something or whether or not I want to keep going, I think back to why I started my blog, and it wasn’t for anyone else but myself, and I feel lucky that I latched onto it.

    • Reply Ilene Haddad May 5, 2015 at 10:03 am

      Leigh Ann – That makes me sad too. I don’t just love blogging—I love bloggers.

  • Reply Emily Gasper May 5, 2015 at 10:54 am

    I love your blog! 🙂 And am so glad you found happiness in Austin 🙂 Happy blogiversary!

  • Reply Ashton Wright May 6, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    These are great reasons and all so true. I may not post as often as I’d like but I always come back to my blog. Happy blogaversary!

  • Reply Milla May 14, 2015 at 2:51 pm

    I agree with all of these, but especially #5 for everyone. Blogging is a great hobby, and a great way to reflect on your other hobbies, whether they be crafts, music, cooking, and to meet like-minded folks. Most people don’t’ expect financial returns, or head pats for other hobbies, so it’s interesting that folks now enter/ quit this particular hobby for/ because of the returns. Keep up the good “work” 😉 <3

  • Reply Saniaa July 9, 2015 at 10:48 am

    Is there a way to get in touch with you via email? I love your blog! It’s funny, informative, positive, everything in perfect doses.

    • Reply hipstercrite July 9, 2015 at 11:46 am

      Hi, Saniaa. Hit me up in the hire me section!

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