Why Do You Still Blog?

blog diagramWhy do we blog? Why after months, or years do we still blog? For the writer, blogging is little bit like going to the gym.

Friend of the blog Patrick Phillips recently posted Seven Reasons he keeps blogging from a list of 21 Reasons to Keep Blogging by Craig McBreen.

I’d encourage you to take a look at my reasons, and Patrick’s’ reasons as well as the original post. Think about why you blog or don’t blog.

It fine-tunes your communication skills

Writers get better by writing. That’s true for a blog post or a novel.

For the writer, blogging is little bit like going to the gym. It’s our opportunity to work out, and to find others who are passionate about the same things we are. Sometimes we try a new exercise, or new machine. As we get better, we find we can go longer, and not need to take as many breaks. What once felt punishing becomes fun. It’s a way everyday to get a little better at what we do.

You become a better salesperson

I have often quipped to my friends that if I had to live off of what I could sell, I’d starve. I don’t have either the personality or temperament for sales, and my colossal failures at professional sales jobs proved it.

Outside of the odd affliate link, I’m not really selling any products through the blog. My whole goal is just to get eyeballs on my site. Even in that endeavor, I have to sell. I have to sell people on the idea that they will get great content on my site. I have sell my ability to produce posts that educate, or entertain.

You hone your observational skills

I’m much more aware of everything happening around me. Every bit of news, personal interaction, or life experience becomes potential fuel for the blog. This is even more true when I’m challenging myself to write 30 posts in 30 days!

It improves your debating skills

Sometimes I’ll make a post in response to something I’ve observed because I want to debate either my own initial conclusion or the conclusion of the author. I’ve had to learn about ad hominem attacks, straw-man, and other common debating terms.

I’ve also learned just from the debate itself. I have a follower on Twitter who often disagrees with me, but we have some respectful, and informative debates. We rarely, if ever, change the other persons position, but I’ve learned so much in the exchanges, and I’ve learned to value our conversations greatly.

You develop thick skin

Putting your thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes out in public makes you a target for people. Some people simply aren’t going to like what you post, and some will feel compelled to let you know about it.

This is an ongoing challenge for me. I’m a people pleaser by nature. I want to be liked, by everybody, even though I know that’s impossible.

Another word for thick skin is callus. Calluses are developed by repeated friction, pressure, or other irritation (thank you Wikipedia). Blogging puts me in a situation to experience that pressure, and that friction. It forces me, in a sink or swim kind of ultimatum, to develop that thick skin.

You learn to be your own boss

Nobody is going to make me write a blog post. No one may even ask me why I haven’t written a blog post after a day, a week, or a month goes by without one. When it comes to the blog, I have to be my own boss, or nothing is going to get accomplished. I have to be “chief cook and bottle washer”, doing both the sexy, glamorous work and the unseen, ugly jobs nobody wants to do. (Really? I have to do another editing pass?)

It’s weird being your own boss. You have to find an inner motivation, and inner dream or goal. Then the dream or the goal becomes the boss. You answer to it. My goal is to have 100 unique visitors a day by the end of year. That becomes the boss.

You have an accountability platform

While you have to be your own boss, eventually readers find you, and before you know it you’ve got a group of people who are just waiting for the next bit of wisdom to fly off your fingertips. This can be where my people pleaser weakness can turn into strength. I don’t want to let those people down. They are counting on me. That will get me off the couch.

My readers become the witnesses that I said what I was going to do. Now I have to do it.

 

I’m curious. Do you blog? Why? If you don’t blog, I’d be interested in hearing why you don’t.

 

photo: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic by Robin Hamman

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