Why Do I Blog? It Is Not What You Think

by Robb Sutton

A little while back, I asked you guys why you blogged. It is a simple question really…with a more complex answer than “because I want to”. Over the years, I have always said that blogging is truly unique because you can make blogging whatever you want to and that can change with time. Some people blog to share pictures with friends and family while others blog for a full time income. The spectrum is wide open in the pursuit of putting words on a screen.

Before we jump into the poll results and why I think they came out the way they did, I want to tell you guys why I blog.

Why Robb Sutton Blogs

My blogging career started due to one specific need.

I wanted to be a part of the industry I called home instead of just another rider.

In the cycling industry, there are several ways you can be “more involved”.

  • You can own a bike shop. Owning a bike shop is lot of work with little pay, so it really has to be a passion with capital to invest in the process.
  • You can go to work for a bike related company, but I didn’t want another job that would end up putting a sour taste in my mouth in something that I actually liked.
  • And…you can become a part of an advocacy group that promotes cycling.

Instead of going these routes, I started mtbtrailreview.com as a website that would gather user submitted trail reviews. Now, anyone who has messed around online for more than 5 minutes knows that user submitted content is an extremely hard thing to get even when you have traffic. Getting user submitted content when you don’t have traffic is almost an act of God, so I started Mountain Biking by 198 (the blog) to funnel traffic to the trail review site.

Well…2 months in…the blog completely overtook the trail review site and we were off to the races. Now, Mountain Biking by 198 is Bike198.com with sub-domains for other cycling disciplines and the sky is the limit going forward as the site continues to evolve due to user feedback and future planning.

I tell you this story for one very specific reason. My main goal in starting a blog was to become a part of something and that is the driving force behind the growth. I see a lot of people start blogs with the passion to make money online and that is their sole driving force. What ends up happening? They end up making very little in the first 6 months and give up.

Blogging for an income is a by-product of blogging out of passion and the want of being a part of something bigger. This passion bleeds into the other aspects of the business (writing, promotion, etc.) and as people connect with that passion, you see larger traffic numbers, increased affiliate sales, increased direct advertising revenue, etc. Blogging (for the most part) is not driven by only monetary gain for successful bloggers. They actually enjoy what they are doing.

Bike198.com, RobbSutton.com, CoffeeObsessed.net…they are all my outlets to be a part of an industry I love. This passion, plus some smart business decisions and planning, is what brings the income over time. I didn’t want another job. I wanted to write my own ticket on my own terms. Blogging is my outlet to get that accomplished and I love every second of it.

Why Do You Blog Poll Results

Why Do You Blog

I am really pleasantly surprised by the results as they were pretty much what I was expecting with the top spot going to “A place to get thoughts out of my head! and “Creating a Business Online” and “Make Money Online” following suit shortly there after.

While there is a lot of focus on making money through blogging online, I believe that the #1 reason that most bloggers blog (or at least start a blog) is to share their thoughts and experiences with other people. Many of you do not care if you ever get to 100k subscribers as that is not your goal. Be careful though…it could be where you end up if people connect with your writing!

As time moves forward, I would expect to see the “Generate Free Leads for My Business” continue to grow and expand. As more companies look to social media as an outlet for business growth, blogging is going to be the natural progression for organic search engine results.

Some of My Favorite Comments from the Poll

Brandon @ WeBlogBetter.com

Robb, I find that I blog because I want the opportunity to have influence with people. I’m not necessarily interested in quick money, but I’m highly interested in connecting and communicating with people. It’s the community I love.

John Paul

Man I blog for about 4 of those reasons..lol

It’s about making a living, at same time helping people to the best I can.

Nothing wrong with making money as you help people. problem is making money off of people.

Srinivas Rao


When I originally started my blog it was so that I would have tangible asset demonstrating my skill set to share with potential employers. But as I’ve grown as a blogger, it’s become about much more. It’s allowed me to learn about interesting people, connect with people from all over the world, and come with new ideas for business. BTw I’ll have a review of your Ramped reviews ebook up sometime after the New Year. Using your methods I’m already ranking #1 organically in Google for one of the surfboard companies I reviewed. So it’s funny to see my blog come up before their site for their boards.

Sarge | BeginnerBlogger.com

At first I started blogging just to see if I could make a website that people actually visited. I experimented a lot.

Then I realised how powerful a site is when you get visitors. I really underestimated how awesome blogging is. I love connecting with people.

I want to make money, sure but I want to make money so I can continue blogging and growing and experimenting and having fun online and not have to work because I ‘have to’. It’s the lifestyle, freedom, interaction and personal growth I’m after :)


I am actually kind of new to blogging. My site is about 2 weeks from launch. I decided to start a blog because for the longest time I’ve always tried to keep a diary or a set of notes.

Recently, I picked up the hobby of homebrewing. In homebrewing, it is important to keep track of all your notes when you do recipes, to either improve the drink or prevent something from happening again. So I find that blogging allows me to keep track of that. Not only recipes though, I like to keep track of everything I know about homebrewing, everything I see about homebrewing, and some things just in general that are funny or cool associated with beer and brew. My blog allows that.

On top of all that, homebrewers are some of the nicests more giving people I have met in my life thus far. Everyone seems to share an unwritten code of conduct. Personally, I enjoy it and I really think connecting with that community will be fun and interesting all while making me a better beer.

So I accumulate this knowledge and I’m trying to help pass it along. That is what most homebrewers do, they pass info along, they help each other out. So I’m trying to help newbies, just like me out.

I guess that is why I do it. Making a living would be nice, or finding a job in marketing for a brewing company or becoming a brewmaster would be an end goal I suppose. Really though, I’d like to eventually open my own craft brewery / restaurant!

Wow, that is a lot of reasons to blog…

Mike Crimmins

I blog for money and hopefully I can turn it into a full time business. However, there’s other ways to make money. I blog because I love to write.


This post made me think about why I actually blog. My blog was such an unplanned venture. It was basically an extension of my Knowledge Reactor tutorial website where I wanted to provide some free IT and multimedia knowledge. Since I learned so much online, I wanted to give something back.

The blog was more like a place to allow my users to connect and I guess make a community around my brand. It really made me happy.


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Simon | Teenius January 5, 2010 - 10:01 am

Very interesting stuff there Robb. I actually read that very carefully, because I too want to create a site in the sport I participate in (Power Kiting – link to a video), becuase it’s so hard to get involved in the “behind the scenes” of the sport without actually launching a business.

The site I’m on about building will be based mostly on tutorials and reviews, similar to your biking site!

Darni January 6, 2010 - 6:59 am

Those are the reasons why I blog.They are orderd by importance.

#1 passive imcome
#2 freedom
#3 interest
#4 developing business skills

Ahmad Wali January 6, 2010 - 12:25 pm


I started a blogging last year in Feb by copying articles from different websites but when I saw some famous bloggers like Robb Sutton and others now blogging is becoming my passion as I am planning to start my own blog on my name, Thanks for inspirations and guides.

Brandon @ WeBlogBetter.com January 6, 2010 - 9:26 pm

Cool thought Robb. I love that one line. I recently took on a role that should help me to do the same – to become a part of the industry I’m involved in, and it’s a joy and pleasure all along the way. Great thoughts and loved reading the statements of others!

Tom - StandOutBlogger January 7, 2010 - 4:36 am

I started blogging because I wanted to see what blogging was all about and my first blog moulded into my current blog when I found that I really liked networking and learning with other bloggers.

Taylor Marek January 8, 2010 - 12:03 am

Exactly the same reason I started my blog 4 years ago Robb! I was young, didn’t really want to make money as I was playing around with this new medium. I found it an effective way to share my thoughts, and I am more pleased, as well as humbled that people actually care enough to read what I write. If only for that, I am content. 😉

7 Blog Posts That Will Transform Your Life | Site Sketch 101 March 7, 2010 - 8:07 pm

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