Blogging and Creativity

Blogging is something I’ve always been fond of. Having the ability to share written pieces with the world through the internet has always been fascinating to me, and from a young age I’ve always been pulled towards this aspect of writing. And while I’ve had blogs in the past, I’ve never dedicated any real amount of time to keeping a blog. That is, until I discovered Coil.

Today, I’d like to share with you my thoughts on blogging, and how it’s become one of my favorite mediums to create in. Creativity plays a large role in this process, so we’ll be touching on the relationship between blogging (and writing for that matter) and creativity.

This article will be longer than ones I’ve written in the past, and as such it will be split into different parts to keep a cohesive structure. The parts are as follows:

- Part 1: Introduction

- Part 2: Creativity in Writing

- Part 3: Writing in the Digital Era

- Part 4: Coil Blogging and Creativity

- Part 5: Conclusion

With that out of the way, let’s get started.

Part 1: Introduction

As previously mentioned, I’ve always loved the idea of having a blog. Being able to have a dedicated space on the vast expanse that is the world wide web dedicated to your own personal writings is an immensely attractive idea.

In my younger years, I started various blogs that varied in subjectivity. But I never really stuck with a single blog, and even worse I never stuck with a single platform. You had your Wordpress and Blogger, and I constantly switched platforms, always looking for the “best”.

Looking back, I probably spent half of my time looking for new platforms, checking reviews and thoughts from other users as to what the feature set was like on each of these. I’d then try one out, stick with it for a couple of weeks, and then proceed to delete it and start my search all over again. In a way I enjoyed this process, as playing around with the various different platforms opened my eyes to the vast world of blogging.

I got into blogging back when Tumblr was booming. While I cringe at the content I wrote back then, I feel that Tumblr has always been a good starting ground for aspiring bloggers. It’s a simple to use platform with a wide-reaching audience, so you’ve got a good starting point for essentially any subject you can think of.

But what attracted me the most about blogging was the sheer amount of creativity that you could find. A nearly endless sea of creative writing, just waiting to be discovered.

Part 2: Creativity in Writing

In today’s age of Youtube and Instagram, written pieces online have mostly taken a backseat when it comes to what most people consume in their daily lives. With videos and images being able to convey immense amounts of information quickly, it’s only natural that we’ve progressed to consuming these more and more.

Wether it’s words on a page (or screen), videos, or audio, all of these things have one thing in common: they give you information.

You could argue on if said information is of any importance, but at the core of all of these things, the exchange of information is at its center. When you read an article, watch a video, or listen to a podcast, information is being transferred to you in various different forms.

One could argue that the video format is the most efficient when it comes to conveying information, as you’ve got a plethora of different options to choose from. You can show things on a screen, be it an actual video or images, as well as adding audio and text overlays, etc. This gives the viewer a healthy amount of information that is hard to come by elsewhere.

Audio would probably get second place (there are exceptions, such as visually-specific guides, etc.) as the listener can essentially listen to something, while doing something else at the same time. You could listen to your favorite podcast while commuting to work, for example. This would be harder to achieve if you were to watch a video, or read something.

And so, that leaves us with our tried and proven written media.

You don’t get any of the fancy bells and whistles that come with video and audio. Sure, in today’s digital age, embedding images, videos, and music, is all possible thanks to current technology. But all of these are fluff that is added to the foundation that is the written words on display. In Part 3 we’ll take a closer look at how these additions to written pieces of content can help with creativity, but for now let’s focus purely on the words, sentences, and paragraphs.

I’ve mentioned before how I’ve always loved writing. It’s easy to get into, yet hard to master. But this process of growing ones personal writing style is a journey I feel that most should at the very least try to undertake.

For me, I began writing in my early teens. Back then, my idea of good writing was what we’d now call “edgy”. It was usually short stories or poems that were written with the purpose to confuse and “inspire” the reader. When I take a look back at my earlier writings, it’s hard not to laugh. That’s not to say that it was all bad, as there are a couple of gems around there. But overall, it’s not very good. But we all gotta start somewhere, right?

But once I started blogging, my perception of what written media could do changed drastically. Instead of writing edgy think pieces on niche subjects that only I had an interest in, I could instead write about whatever was on my mind, and the odds of someone across the globe finding what I wrote interesting would be decently high.

And so I wrote, changing subjects and writing style as one changes a pair of socks every day. Instead of short stories, I changed my writings to short rambles (which I still use to this day), as these allowed me to convey what I was thinking in a quick and casual manner. These then turned into more research driven articles, with a more formal writing style.

Now, I try to merge all of them into my writing. But still, it always surprises me at how much freedom we have as writers on the internet. Writing styles are essentially endless, with each author having their own unique voice and style. Then you have subjects, which are too many to even count.

And with blogging being mostly specific to the internet, you’ll always find an audience, be it big or small.

And a lot of the time, the same people reading your posts are people who write them as well. And so a community forms, where people with similar interests band together and share content relating to subjects that they are interested in. It grows, and so does the quality of the writing among said group. At the end of day, you’re left with content that inspires others to write. Content that goes up another level as to what was expected.

We like to think that writing is boring, that reading is boring. And sure, it does take more effort to read words on a paper, since you essentially have to stop whatever you’re doing to do that. On the other hand, videos and podcasts allow you to focus on other things at the same time.

They’re all good when it comes to consuming media, I’m not saying one is better than the other. But for me, reading a good article is something special. You sit down and set time aside to read these words written by a stranger. No distractions, no multi-tasking. Just sit down and read.

This gives writers a special privilege when it comes to giving out information. In most cases, you as a writer have a good chance of having your readers full attention. Videos offer a similar advantage, although I’m many of you may use Youtube as a sort of background noise machine, as do I.

And when it comes to blogs, variety is king. You’ve got writers of all ages writing different things. Maybe it’s about their work life, or how their latest trip to Europe went. Maybe it’s about financial advice, or just short stories. If you’re looking for something specific, you’re more than likely to find it.

If you can’t find it, then guess what? You can create it.

Blogging offers users the easiest way to share content with others. Don’t have a camera or a good microphone? Or are you camera shy? Just pick up a keyboard and start typing. That, and an internet connection, is all you need to get started. So if you can’t find a blog that scratches that specific itch, the option to create it yourself is always there for you.

And there is no format to follow. Sure, you can find guidelines online on how to make the “best” blog and whatnot, but generally speaking, there is no formula. You do you. Creativity wise, the sky is the limit when it comes to blogging.

Part 3: Writing in the Digital Era

In the past, if you were to pick up a book or a newspaper, you’d find yourself staring at a wall of text. There might’ve been a couple of images sprinkled here and there. But for the most part, only text.

But now, with the rise of digital media, our options have opened up quite a bit. You can add as many images as you’d like. Heck, you can make your blog wordless, employing images alone to convey your story. Or what about a combo article where you add videos to your written piece? The possibilities are endless.

And the neat thing about all of this is that it’s all optional. Want only text? You can do that. A couple of words and an embedded video? Yep, that works too. A single word followed by you talking in the form of audio links? Yep, even that counts.

Today, the options that are given to creators are vast and wide. When it comes to blogging, you’ll find plenty of options to choose from.

Not only that, but the formatting options found within most platforms can lead to some interesting concepts as well. Maybe you build a structured story that spans multiple posts, with links leading to different options and endings. Something that could be found on paper books, sure, but its online implementation makes things much more simpler and fluid.

Really, if you’ve thought about blogging but haven’t gotten into yet, I highly suggest you do. It’s incredibly simple to start, and once you get the ball rolling, there’s no stopping you!

Part 4: Coil Blogging and Creativity

This all brings us back to Coil. On here, there’s a little interesting feature that I feel like helps writers give it their all. And that little thing is called monetization.

Coil’s payout rate is $0.36 an hour. This sounds small, but let’s think about this for a second. What this means is that, if a single reader spends an hour reading your post, you’ll get around a third of a dollar. Multiply that by any number of readers, and this number can grow quite high.

But why am I talking about money in an article related to writing and creativity?

I’m a firm believer that money should never be the reason to do something. But it can definitely incentivize you. And with the way Coil implements its payment system, that incentive is one that helps boost the quality and creativity of the content on the platform.

Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that you want to start creating something. You turn to Youtube. They’ve got a large audience. And hey, maybe you can make some money on the side. You start making videos, but realize that to reach a wider audience, you have to grow your channel. And then you realize that by doing this, you have the chance of making real bank. But there’s a catch.

You have to be advertiser friendly. What this means differs between different advertising companies, but generally you’re going to want to make content that they approve of, and that is aimed towards their targeted demographic.

And so, you change your videos. You make them longer, to keep the user hooked and to get more ads spliced in there.

With Coil, things are a bit different. Sure, the payout is dependent on how long your user stays and reads your article, but the moment they leave, the money stops.

So if you really do want to make money off of blogging on Coil, you have to get creative. You have to write good content, content that people will actually enjoy. And so, your content is catered towards the actual audience, and not the advertisers that try to sell things to you.

This can create great articles, as writers are incentivized to write good content that readers actually want to see. Here, success is dependent on the quality, not the quantity. As such, writers that want to make money on the side will need to come up with creative writing, ideas that inspire others. This in turn creates a cycle, with quality pieces inspiring other quality pieces. Those other articles then go on to inspire others.

It’s the beautiful circle of countless stories from countless people, all across the globe. Sharing experiences, giving inspiration.

Part 5: Conclusion

To summarize, blogging gives us the ability to share our experiences. As we improve our writing, we may stumble upon added bonuses. In Coil’s case, that bonus is monetary. Stick with it, improve your craft, and others will see the quality that you offer.

I truly believe that blogging is making a comeback, and I’m more than happy with this. With more content being put out there, there will be more inspiration for others to draw from. And those that always wanted to get into blogging, now is the perfect time. Especially given the current global pandemic, with some of us having an excess amount of free time, might as well put that time towards a passion that we may hold.

Thanks for reading, and stay safe out there.


All images used in this article provided thanks to Unsplash

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