After meeting Javacia Harris Bowser for coffee one morning in Homewood, AL, I knew that she was a local star that I wanted to follow in my blogging endeavors. She is one smart cookie! She is an educator, writer, blogger and successful business owner in our own backyard. Allow me to introduce my readers to Birmingham’s “writeous babe!” She will be sharing 4 reasons why you should start a blog from the empty nest.
I personally have become more purposeful, better organized and witnessed growth on my own blog, due to the helpful tips she shared with me in one short hour. I can’t imagine what I’ll see when I attend one of her conferences! So, without further a-do, enjoy today’s guest post from the author of See Jane Write, a Birmingham-based entrepreneur who is encouraging women across the globe to be the pilot of their dreams.
“So tell me,” she said with crossed arms, a furrowed brow, and the tone of a prosecuting attorney, “exactly why should I start a blog?”
The woman’s question surprised me – sort of.
I was taken aback by the question because the networking event she and I were attending had nothing to do with blogging. But I shouldn’t have been shocked that she would ask me this question because in my hometown of Birmingham, Ala., I’m considered the go-to girl when it comes to all things blogging.
In 2011 I started See Jane Write, a membership organization and website for female writers, bloggers, and entrepreneurs. Through that organization I host workshops, panel discussions, networking events and an annual full-day conference. Many of our events are about blogging, I started this organization in part because I am a blogger, and I grew this organization primarily by blogging. So to many folks, I’m Birmingham’s blog babe (or writeous babe thanks to my Twitter handle).
I answered her question with another question: “Why do you want to start a blog?”
“Well, I don’t,” she said.
“Then don’t start one,” I replied. She looked stunned.
Obviously, I’m a huge fan of blogging. But if you’re not blogging because you really want to, if you’re only blogging because a chick with curly hair and a hard-to-pronounce name told you that you should, then your blog is most likely going to suck. And the last thing the Internet needs is another craptastic blog.
But if you truly want to start a blog and you haven’t simply because you’re not sure how it could benefit you in the long run, I can discuss that sun up till sun down.
So why am I so in love with blogging?
Through blogging I found my voice. I’ve considered myself a writer since I wrote a really bad poem in second grade for my best friend who was moving away. I’ve been a full-time reporter for a newspaper and seen my byline in national magazines and even USA Today. But it was actually through blogging that I found my voice as a writer and became confident enough to believe that what I had to say mattered. Writing is like a sport in that you need to work at it constantly in order to get better. Blogging is my practice field.
Through blogging I found my tribe. When I started See Jane Write I had no idea that the women of this group would become my closest friends, but that’s exactly what happened. We found one another through blogging, but in the process discovered we shared so much more.
Through blogging I found my platform. My blog has been my space to write about faith, feminism, fitness and so much more. Blogging has also helped me land opportunities to write on these topics for publications like B-Metro and Birmingham magazines and to be a contributor to WBHM 90.3 FM, Birmingham’s NPR station.
Through blogging I found my purpose. Since I was a teenager I’ve known that I wanted to use writing to empower women and girls. But with the ever-changing state of journalism and the publishing industry, I started to wonder what it would look like to actually live out that mission. Blogging is my way. Not only do I seek to uplift women with the stories I put out into the blogosphere, but I give women the knowledge and support they need to share their own stories, too. And I even turned See Jane Write into a business — discovering a way to make profit with purpose.
You can learn more about See Jane Write at seejanewritebham.com.
If you are interested in blogging and turning your blog into a business, my new e-course Lady Blogger to Boss Lady may be just what you need. Click here to learn more and to sign up. Enrollment closes Monday, Sept. 21.
Javacia Harris Bowser is an educator, writer, and blog coach in Birmingham, Ala. In 2011 she founded See Jane Write, a membership organization and website for female writers, bloggers, and entrepreneurs.