5 Reasons to Start a Blog

Smoked Trout Salad with Peaches I'm still in Minnesota with my family, so apologies for the slow schedule here at Set the Table. If you're looking for something to tide you over, I have a new Comfort Food Friday post up at Whole Home News that you might enjoy: Smoked Trout Salad with Peach Vinaigrette. Click here for the full post and recipe.

Now, on to today's post!

I've been thinking a lot about why blogging is so wonderful. After nearly 5 years of blogging between Tokyo Terrace and Set the Table, I've come to truly love being a blogger for reasons I never expected. When I mention that I'm a blogger, people sometimes say, "I've been thinking about starting a blog but I just don't know. Is it worth it?" The short answer is yes. To find out a little more about why I feel this way, read on...

Here are 5 reasons to become a blogger:

1. Community: This is the biggest, most unexpected joy of becoming a blogger. There is this huge, tight knit community of wonderful people out there who are supportive, encouraging, and all sorts of awesome. When I moved to Tokyo and sometimes felt lonely without a full-time job or just needed something to take away the sting of home sickness, the blogging community was there. When the earthquake happened in March of 2011, I got a flood of emails, facebook messages, and tweets from bloggers checking in to make sure Brad and I were safe. Then, when I had Riley and took a year off of blogging, these lovely people welcomed me back with open arms when I was ready to return. If you don't read the rest of this post, that's fine. Because community is the NUMBER ONE reason to get into blogging. Hands down.

2. Creative Outlet: It can be hard to hold onto our creative outlets amidst jobs, kids, and just generally "growing up". Blogging allows you to express your creativity in any way you chose. Love to write? Blogging is perfect for you. Love photography? Yep, you can be a blogger. Love cooking? Um, hello! Food blog! Love crafts, beauty, or organization? Yes, yes and yes. When I took time away from blogging, I began to feel myself slipping into a rut. I didn't realize until after I got back into blogging that I truly need time to write, photograph, and of course cook.

3. Constant Learning: Yes, you may be finished with formal schooling. But guess what? Continuous learning is good for your mental health and blogging can help with that. I am constantly learning new things about cooking, writing, photography and more every day thanks to Set the Table. Without my blog, my guess is that I would mostly stick with what I know rather than pushing myself to gain more knowledge. Learning makes me happy and keeps me on my toes. The fact that it goes hand in hand with what I love to do (food blogging) is an added bonus.

4. Do Good: This is one area that I'm still working on but hope to develop on my site. Bloggers can do a lot of good for their communities by raising money or bringing awareness to various issues. If you have a passion for helping, blogging is a great way to get the word out and gain more support. You can raise money for those who don't have enough food; bring awareness and understanding about a disease; help encourage healthy eating in our schools. There are so countless options and so a plethora of ways to make a difference in the world. Really.

5. You LOVE It: I realize this may not be something you know right now if you haven't already started blogging. But consider this: if you start blogging and it feels like pulling teeth to get yourself to write a post, maybe you haven't found the right niche. Don't blog because other people are doing it; it should feel right to you. I'm not saying blogging isn't hard, or that you won't lose sleep, or that sometimes you might find yourself wanting to throw your laptop against the wall..because you might. OK- you will.  But ultimately you should feel satisfied with what you're doing, for better or for worse.

There you have it! My top 5 reasons to blog are out there in the...well..."blogosphere". I hope this helps those of you who have been thinking about starting a blog but weren't ready to make the jump. I wouldn't dream of taking back the past several years and all the friends I've made in the blogging community. It's been wonderful. And the good news? There's always room for more!

Are you a food blogger? What are some reasons you think food blogging is totally worth all the hard work?

Thinking of starting a blog? What is currently stopping you? I'd love to hear what you think and get a conversation going!