10 Reasons to Blog
With over 150 million blogs and 74,583 blogs started in the last 24 hours according to Nielsen’s BlogPulse, the world isn’t waiting for your blog. Therefore, before you jump into the fray, determine your reasons for blogging because an effective blog takes hard work to create ongoing content and to build an audience.
For context, here are salient facts from Technorati’s 2010 State of the Blogosphere. The average blogger spends 10+ hours per week on their blog and has 3.5 blogs. 80% of bloggers have been blogging for over 2 years. Mobile has changed blogging; 25% of respondents blog via mobile and 40% blog via a smart phone or iPad leading to shorter posts. In terms of traffic, 48% of bloggers receive less than 1,000 unique visitors per month while 2% of bloggers receive over 100,000 unique visitors per month. Further, social media is important for driving blog traffic; 87% of bloggers have a Facebook page for their blog and 56% of bloggers use Twitter to promote posts.
In light of these facts, consider your reasons for blogging carefully to help you assess the strength of your motivation. While it’s relatively easy to set up a blog, the drive to keep showing up at the computer screen must come from within. Here are ten questions to ask yourself before you start your blog.
- Do you want to keep a public journal? Since blogging is generally a public activity, this isn’t the old fashioned diary kept under lock and key. Do you want to share the details of your life with people you may not know? Ask yourself is there a reason that others would find my experience helpful? Remember, even your mother may not want to know that much about you.
- Do you have an issue about which you feel passionate? Has something happened to you, a family member or friend that’s caused you to help others facing the same issue? This can be a disease or other life-changing event. Is there a political issue that strikes a chord within you?
- Do you have the urge to share your knowledge? Are you experienced in an area that others are interested in? This doesn’t have to be old-fashioned teaching. It can be “How To” columns.
- Do you see an information need in the marketplace that you can fulfill? Can you communicate with a potential audience in a way that will make sense to them? Sometimes people are so knowledgeable that they can’t explain the basics.
- Do you want to support your business with additional content? Blogs are good for providing additional information since the blogger can react faster to current trends and user input. Also the content cost effectively supports search optimization.
- Do you want to use a blog as a website? Since a blog is a simplified content management system (aka CMS), it can be used to build and maintain a website. If you choose not to post articles, it will still work.
- Do you want to encourage a community? This works well for hobbies where participants share information and projects like scrapbooking. It’s also useful for groups looking to help each other remotely like mommy bloggers.
- Do you need to protect your reputation? Negative information, either personal or corporate, can hurt your reputation and search rankings. One way to combat this is to create a blog where you post positive information on the issue to get your side of the story out and to create more search entries. Note: The negative comments and posts won’t go away, they’ll sink down in the search results making them less noticeable.
- Do you want to create a platform for management? This can be important for independent professionals as well senior members of a management team. It’s critical that the executive understand that this is an on-going commitment that requires regular posting.
- Do you want to build a media entity? While the blog landscape has evolved making this more difficult to achieve, there’s room for a niche site. Is there an untapped opportunity that you see? Is there a potential for advertising or another way of monetizing the content?
Assessing your underlying motivation for starting a blog is a critical step in creating your blog strategy since it helps you to define your blog’s goals. They’re what drives you to show up at the blank screen and create strong content in the early phases when there’s not necessarily any feedback.
Do you have any other suggestions to add to this list? If so, please do so in the comments section below.
Tip of my hat to Mack Collier and BlogChat for inspiring this post in anticipation of tonight’s discussion.
For more information on blogging, here are some related columns:
- 7 Points to Create Your Blog’s Personality
- 12 Suggestions to Overcome Blank Blog Post Syndrome
- How to Generate Blog Posts Without Really Trying
- 12 Ways to Grow Your Blog Audience – Flog Your Blog – Part 1 of 2
- 15 Ways to Expand Your Blog Audience – Flog Your Blog – Part 2 of 2
- What Desperate Housewives Can Teach You About Blog Comments
Photo credit: sjiong via Flickr