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Why Bother Blogging? 5 Reasons Why People Blog

August 2, 2010

August marks my one year anniversary as a blogger. When I mentioned this to a friend (who works in a totally unrelated field) they asked me, “Does it pay well?”. I kind of chuckled and said, “I don’t know, because I don’t get paid to do it”. Of course, this led to the inevitable, “So why do you do it?”. What a great question and it got me wondering, why on earth do people blog? Particularly those who don’t do it for a livng.

Here’s what I came up with:

1. To Share Knowledge The Feel Good Factor

The naive little girl in me likes to think that people are altruistic in nature and simply like to share their experiences to help others avoid making the same mistakes. If you read a text book it will likely say that this is the primary motivation behind forums… but then again, text books also say that PR is free.

Let’s face it, at the end of the day, people (on the whole) are selfish and although the idea of pure altruism is nice, I think that it only really happens under exceptional, even life-changing, circumstances. Blogging tends not to be one of those situations. Sharing information through blogging does, however, make us feel better about ourselves and allows us to demonstrate what we know, whilst contributing towards the community in which we are (or strive to be) a part of. It can also provide a nice talking point in those uncomfortable networking functions.

For me, the ability to share knowledge and feel good about it is the reason why I started blogging… coupled together with a premature mid-life crisis which had me constantly asking myself, “What exactly have I done of value in my life?”.

2. Peer Recognition

If you are really good, blogging can catapult virtual unknowns to subject experts and can even earn you “celebrity” status within the community. It can open up opportunities along the way including book deals, speaking gigs, new business deals, job offers… not to mention stalking-like activities at conferences.

Of course, I don’t really believe that people blog just to seek out fame, but there are more practical opportunities that can arise for the every day blogger, including recognition from industry peers who you can bounce ideas off and ask opinions from (for free!). I think you’d agree, most of us would take that over being an F-List celeb.

3. A Sense of Achievement

My memory resembles a sieve more and more as time goes by. A blog is a great way to keep a diary of thoughts, challenges and accomplishments. It provides a good reminder of what you have had to overcome and lessons you have learned in order to succeed.

Each blog post I write provides a marker for what I was working on or thinking about at a particular point in time and every once in a while, it’s nice to be able to go back and remember the lessons learned. It’s also interesting to read older posts with the benefit of hindsight, particularly those focused on topics that were uncertain at the time, but have moved forward since.

4. Lazy Explanations

If you’re like me, you always have too much on your plate, so anything that can help save a few minutes here and there is always welcome.

One unexpected benefit I’ve come across whilst on my blogging journey is that blog posts make a great point of reference for recurring questions. For example, I often get questions about sponsoring competitor keywords and partner PPC. Rather than type out an explanation each time, you can just refer people back to that post (or cut and paste into your Email) and voilà… instant answers!

5. Broadening Horizons

There’s a big, wide world outside of our cube walls. Few of us are lucky enough to experience everything that’s out there; but that’s not to say we shouldn’t try.

I don’t want to be confined to just knowing about B2B, large enterprise companies, targeting men who wear Crocs and like Star Wars. I want to test out Facebook ads and YouTube videos, apply blog metrics, learn the latest B2C E-commerce techniques, and see how a “Mom and Pop store” (aka a “Corner Shop” in the UK) can use location-based services to better their business. And then I want to write about it, without being shut down by the branding police.

Blogging helps to keep your creative juices flowing and provide you with a sense of accomplishment outside of your comfort zone. It really is a great outlet if you like to learn and try out new things. Additionally, you can often find ways to apply these learnings to the industry you work in. Mike Moran hit this on the nail in his post about How Good B2B Marketers Cheat.

Finally, I think that the stakes are raised a lot higher in today’s market, to the point that it’s not just about saying you are knowledgeable in a particular field, or writing in your CV that you are passionate about what you do; it’s about showing that you live and breathe your subject area outside of the 9-5 workspace.

So tell me, why do you blog?

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2 Comments
  1. Imelda,

    Great post!

    Reasons one, three, and five resonate with my reasons for blogging.

    I remember starting during school, just as a means of getting thoughts down because I used to dislike the idea of carrying a notebook around for thoughts.

    That led to getting so into blogging as a means to explore ideas and expand my horizons (beyond what my employers think I am good at) that I invest quite a bit of time during my week to it.

    I recently found out that my large family reads my blog, and that made me feel quite good. A little one asked recently, “Andy, why do you think and write so much?”

    “Because it’s something we all should do,” I replied. “You should do it too!”

    It’s like I am fulfilling my duty as a role model in more ways that just the traditional one.

    Just my two cents! 😀

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