I just got back from the WITI conference, where I got the questions “Why do you blog?”and “Should I blog?” I am a big fan of blogging, so here are some reasons that I think people should blog. If you have a blog, please add to the list! If you don’t, maybe these are some reasons to encourage you to start one. Of course, I don’t think that everyone has to blog, or you are not as cool or geeky if you don’t have a blog. These are just some ideas if you are wondering what the deal is with this whole blogging thing.
- Express yourself. We all have an urge to express ourselves, and blogging is a simple way to get part of who we are out into the world.
- Practice writing. Even if you aren’t a professional writer or want to be a writer, everyone needs to write well to be successful. Blogging is a great way to get yourself to just write on a somewhat regular basis. It doesn’t matter what you write about. The act of writing, in a format other than an email or IM, is good practice. There are no rules about what your blog has be to about or a style that it has to conform to, so you can write narratives about your life, write critiques about other blogs or books, explain your position on an issue, get others charged up about something that you are passionate about, or just complain about the world.
- Get feedback on your writing. Blogs are interactive. People will tell you what they think, especially if they hate what you write or if they feel a personal connection to what you write. You might not get this feedback in comments in the blog itself. People who I didn’t even know read my blog will tell me “I tried that recipe and it was great” or “You are really full of youth angst, aren’t you?” Feedback, whether you agree with it or whether it is positive, is inevitable (so expect it!) and a good thing.
- Improve your personal SEO. Blogs, since they are updated regularly, are going to increase the number and relavance of hits when people Google you. And people are Googling you, so you should care. Have some control over what people find.
- Become rich and famous. There is a chance that people will love your blog, you’ll attract a devoted following, and you’ll make so much money on the ads on your blog that you can retire early and be mobbed by fans every time you walk out the door. It is a small chance, but other people have done it, so you might as well try too.