Why do people blog? People blog for many reasons. If you wish to be seen or heard on the Internet, the easiest way to achieve this is to start a blog.
You might simply wantÂ to publicise interesting sites that you find during your web surfing. You think they deserve a wider audience and want a way to point others to them. This is how blogging began – as website logs or weblogs – lists of websites that were worth visiting.
However, there are many other reasons why people blog:
- You might have a hobby or special interest in a subject. Part of the fascination of a personal interest comes from sharing it with other enthusiasts. You might also want to encourage others who you think might enjoy your hobby to try it. There are thousands of such blogs online. For example, check out my antennablog if you are interested in amateur or ham radio, or a reasonable mystic if youÂ wondered whether someone couldÂ be a Christian mystic without losingÂ their sanity.
- Maybe you are famous, or would like to be famous, and want to tell the world how great you are. Make a blog! Or, you might be a fan of someone famous and love to talk about them with other fans. Think of a famous name, or look one up in Who2.com or Google. I’m sure there will be a fan site about them, if they don’t have their own.
- You might not be famous, but feel that your own life is worth recording. There are many biographical blogs out there to read. If you are active in online marketing then a biographical page can help you to build your own name as a brand. See MalcolmDow.com as the beginning of my own modest example.
- Writers and poets use blogs to publish their own works. Blogging is a good way to practice your art, and who knows, you might even catch the eye of a more traditional publisher!
- Perhaps you have the mind of an information collector. In Australia we call themÂ magpies – others might know them as squirrels – they can’t pass up something bright and shiny. You just never know when it might come in handy! If you have a mass of information about something then why not publish your own personal weblog encyclopaedia? Another possibility is to produce a wiki, the most famous of which is Wikipedia.
- If you are a member of a society or organisation, such as a school, club, church or service organisation, then a blog is an ideal medium for publicising news and event, the aims of your group, and for communicating with members. I run the Healing Prayer Ministries Network website, blog and Google groups for this purpose. Many pastors are now publishing their thoughts and teaching notes in blogs on their church websites. My Mal’s Meanderings is an example of this.
- Businesses use blogs to publicise new products and to post customer reviews as part of their strategy to make more sales and provide customer service. This is particularly effective for products such as software or books which can be downloaded, but any business can benefit from a blog. Some blogs are businesses.
- Blogs are used to disseminate a message that the blogger thinks the world needs to hear. Evangelists, social reformers, lobbyists and politicians are appearing online in ever increasing numbers. especially during times of crisis or when an election is imminent. Critics and conspiracy theorists also abound at such times.
- Many blogs are used simply as personal (but very public) diaries. people dream, philosophize,fantasize and reminisce online. Others record their travels, or document their home town in a blog, often accompanied by photos and even video clips. Others talk about their kids or pets, or post their family history.
- Some people with expertise in a subject like to teach. A blog is a great way to present a subject in serial form. (You might be beginning to think that THIS post should be in serial form!) Perhaps you don’t know as much about something as you would like to, but wish to learn. Then why not write a tutorial blog as you discover facts about the subject? In my university lecturing days I was often only a day or two ahead of the students – at least most of them. Tutorial blogs are excellent if you also provide a means by which readers can provide feedback, ask questions, and engage in discussion with you and other readers.
- Interviews with people make for good blog posts. In fact, any of the traditional approaches to journalism may be considered as the basis for a blog. If you’d like to hone your journalistic skills, then why not take a writing course. My friend Nenia has one you could try at Pen2Print.
- Blogs are often used to review books, plays, films and websites. Start your own niche review site.
- Anywhere that an email list is used might be a candidate for a blog instead, or do both together. Chris Garrett has writen a good post on this called Should you build a blog or an email newsletter list?
- And if you are still desperate, don’t go to a ‘Dear Dorothy’ or ‘Ask the Professor’Â website for help – start your own. Readers could submit questions which would then be answered in your blog posts.
So, why do you blog? This is a question worth thinking about if you want your blogging to have focus. I was particularly impressed by well known blogger Liz Strauss’ answers when asked why she blogs. I’ll summarise her answers here, but see her blog post for more:
- I blog because I said I would.
- I blog because people need a friend.
- I blog because I am an entrepreneur in the 21st century.
- I blog because I value the wealth of the blogosphere.
- I blog because I believe words canÂ change the world.
Do you know why you blog? Why not post a comment now to tell us about it?