“Blogging forces you to teach yourself what you don’t know and to articulate what you do…you are forced to organise your thoughts…”
Michael B Fishbein, The Huffington Post 2014
For some time now, I’ve had it in my mind to write a blog post about why one could or should write a blog. That’s not because I feel some sort of urge to magnanimously share information, nor is it to impose my opinion on that subject on others. It’s not even because I’ve been asked by several people, each for their own reasons (and with varying degrees of hostility!), why I do it. Blogs are all so different; general news blogs, tech reviews, fans of a movie / TV show, cooks sharing recipes, even attempts to influence government policy and campaign on particular issues. The list is endless! Equally so, there are a variety of reasons one could cite for writing them, and the benefits for both writer and reader.
I included an “About this Blog” page on my blog (see link above or HERE), in the aftermath of some ill feeling that had been created by a post I’d written. Just a few short explanatory paragraphs that at least touch on my own reasons. It doesn’t answer all the questions I’ve been asked about why I do it and what I feel the benefits to be however, which brings me to this post. I want to elaborate more and explore some generic thoughts on the issue.
Showcase your skills, get the facts right, and share them to benefit others
A blog can be a great tool or channel for self-promotion. A recently self-employed friend started a blog alongside his business website and has attracted contacts as a result. He sees it as an extension of his networking which helps in growing his business reputation, and an enhancement to his professional image. It’s not all about business though.
If your blog focuses on a subject matter or group of related topics, it could showcase your skills and knowledge in the area concerned and consequently engender respect. Tell your story, the way you want to tell it…avoiding the bias often associated with the various sections of the press and media. Unlike reading the journalism of others, you get to include the information you want and can be sure of the facts as a result. Become an expert – stay active or knowledgeable in a field or topic – and thus be of benefit to others who read your blog.
You could benefit good causes, help other people and inspire them, share hobby ideas or even attempt to influence public policy by highlighting an issue of concern. With blogging covering so many possible topics, one could attract like-minded hobby enthusiasts, fans and people who become friends and could benefit from your work.
Stand out from the crowd and be creative
The hypothesis of the so-called “1% rule”, on which there are a few variations, is basically that there is a huge participation inequality on the internet. A tiny minority of internet users are creating content compared to the amount who view it. So…be bold! Be creative! I actively take part in a very creative hobby (see HERE) where a lot of my friends blog about their creativity – kudos to them for that. Get out there and stand out! CREATE content and be part of the 1%!
Flex your mental muscles!
Articulating your thoughts is not only (as I find personally) a cathartic experience, but also a great way to become more familiar with the topic you’re writing about, to learn, and to truly absorb experiences and knowledge relating to the subject matter. It makes you think clearer and write better as a result. Blogging challenges you and your creativity, making you more articulate, making you reflect deeply on your chosen subject matter, and fuelling confidence; Engaging with others intellectually helps to appreciate strengths and weaknesses in arguments, and to point out flaws in them, both your own work and that of others. Expressing thoughts and opinion can make a difference – to yourself as well as others.
Coming back to myself, as my about page says, this blog is a general thing. Various topics that may grab my attention and make me feel a need to write about them. In some cases, an exercise in thinking aloud, in others, topics like admiration for my wife’s gardening efforts! For the most part however, it’s writing for writing sake…the mental exercise and cathartic experience. If someone finds it interesting, then great!
There are so many reasons to write a blog and several possible benefits for each one of those reasons. A google search for “why write a blog” will keep you in reading material on that subject for quite some time. If you have a topic focussed idea, go ahead and dive in. If you want to grow your business or enhance your professional reputation, that can be achieved too. If like me, you want to just flex your mental muscles and write for writing’s sake, I’d firmly encourage you to do so.
“The ability to think clearly and generate ideas is one of life’s most critical skills, yet one of the things you don’t get taught in school. Blogging fills that void, helping you grow your thinking muscles exponentially.”
Richard Goodwin, https://howtostartablogonline.net/why-blog
Some useful links for further reading: