[This is part of the Blogging Foundations Starter Kit Series.]
Now that you’re completely in the know about what a blog is the next step is to ask yourself a very important question that will save you time, energy, and valuable resources down the line:
Is a blogging right for me?
You see, blogging takes time which is our most valuable asset in this life. If a blog and blogging isn’t the right thing for you to be doing, whether that’s personally or professionally, then it would probably be better for you to do something else, right?
A blog, at it’s foundation, is simply one option of many for creating content and communicating on the web. It can be used and leveraged for many different reasons and your motivation for continuing to create and write content is as varied as types of coffee options at your local Starbucks.
But, here are 20 reasons (in no particular order) that I’ve come up with that can perhaps help you answer that very important question, and if you can cay “YES!” to one of them then a blog might be for you!
1. You Like Writing
This is somewhat of a no-brainer (like most of these) but if you enjoy writing a blog might just be the thing for you. It’s easy to create content and publishing it is just a few clicks of your mouse. Writing comes natural to you and you express yourself easily with words and sentences.
Blogging requires at least some level of interest in writing to be successful, and not just content! Responding to comments, leaving comments on other blogs, and other such copy-related activities are necessary for a growing blog. You write a lot, you enjoy it, and you do not feel pressured by performance.
If you write because you like it then a blog might be for you!
2. You Want to Write a Book
There is a growing population of people who simply know that a book is in their future. They want to become a publish author at some point in their life, even if it doesn’t become a New York Times Best Seller (although most of us would like that too!). A blog might be for you!
More writers are finding their start on a blog because they are able to create content daily, get feedback instantly, and also create a following and interest in their industry and around their topic way before a publishing deal drops. If you’re interested in eventually getting published then a blog might be a great way to get started. It might even be the vehicle that lands you that big contract!
3. You Like to Journal, But Want More
I’ve met countless bloggers who blog for themselves and themselves alone. They spent years prior writing daily in their journals but they realized they could express themselves faster through a computer because typing is simply faster. This is not to say that the art of pen and paper was lost to them (because there is definitely something intimate about that physical expression) but they were bent more toward a typewriter and keyboard.
In addition, they wanted to document with more than just plain text. Adding images, rich media like video, and other such artifacts were of great interest to these people. They blog posts were private, only viewable to themselves (or a select few individuals) and the blog was the perfect medium for it. If this is you then a blog might be the right thing to try!
4. You Want to Provide Updates to Family, Friends
I know of many bloggers who started their first blog with the intention of using it as an update mechanism for family and friends about themselves and what they were doing. This is the genesis of many travel blogs – people who travel a lot and who want to keep their families and friends in the know about their many adventures.
I also know just as many bloggers who started one when they first got married or had their first child. Sharing those pictures, experiences, and the like with their families and extended families were of great interest to them, so they started a blog! This makes perfect sense!
So, if you’re interested in using an easy-to-understand and create publishing system to keep your family and friends updated with your many exciting adventures then a blog might be for you!
5. You Need to Update Supporters, Better Than a Newsletter, Email
Many people start blogs because it’s directly related to their work and/or vocation. For example, a lot of missionaries, social workers, and the like use a blog to keep their supporters and financial backers updated with their work in the field. It’s easy to create content and publish rich media (images, videos, etc) so that the people back home can stay updated.
In addition, a blog is just easier to create, manage, and update than a typical newsletter. I’ve seen many people convert to a blog simply because the newsletter system was not cutting it or because there was too much work related to the creation and publishing of content (and then distribution and costs of distribution).
If you’re interested in finding a mechanism to keep supporters updated or looking for a healthy alternative to a newsletter, a blog might be for you.
6. You Like Technology
I never thought of myself as a writer until very recently, even though I’ve been blogging for 10 years! But, I loved technology and the blog system was intriguing to me since it was a rapidly developing piece of software and the culture and ecosystem around it was fascinating.
I’ve met more and more of these people as time has gone by – they were people who were interested in seeing the next movement of technology and the blog was a great place to start. If you’re looking to experiment with an ever-increasing complex-yet-simple piece of software, a blog might be a good thing to check out!
7. You Like Helping People, Sharing Experience
I’ve met countless people who have gone through a rough or difficult experience who then want to turn around and help others get through the very same thing. Unfortunately (and fortunately) there are hundreds of thousands of blogs related to cancer survivors who, after beating cancer and all the challenges of chemotherapy, want to share with others their message of hope to those who might just be starting down that long and difficult road.
Cancer is just one example. Perhaps it’s not medical but a life experience. Perhaps is a personal failure (or triumph), a business-related experience, or family-related (like Mommy Bloggers!) that encourages you to write and share with others. There’s just something within us that wants us to share those things to help others, and if this is something that you’ve been thinking about for a while then a blog might be right for you!
8. You Want to Connect with Similar, Like-Minded People
A blog can be a fascinating vehicle of connection, and a blog can help you easily (and quickly) find people who share the same interests with you. A blogs’ ability to create community is astounding (and continues to amaze me) and connect like-minded people has been well-documented.
If you’re interested in connecting with people who share similar interests, passions, jobs, life experiences, then you might take a look at a blog!
9. You Are Bored
Honestly, some of the most successful blogs out there are ones that had no creative story behind them – the founders were simply bored and wanted to try something completely new!
If you’re looking for a new distraction, a new hobby, or want to try something completely new, then a blog might be a place to start. Perhaps it could even turn into a career! Now wouldn’t that be a story.
10. You Love Education
Blogs are incredible vehicles of communication, especially as it relates to education. I have found personally that my excitement and interest around education has no better place (as of yet) then in the world of blogging.
I am able to educate to thousands of people my life, my learnings, and my thoughts about particular topics of interest in an easy and cost-effective manner. I can create discourse and get feedback on my material instantly which, in turn, helps the “curriculum” advance.
If you love education and love to help educate others then look no further than a blog!
11. You Own a Small Business
Blogging can help your small business grow like a weed! I’ve worked with tons of small businesses that have used their blogs to grow their small businesses faster than they thought possible.
The blog becomes a dynamic portion of their website which begs Google and the rest of the major search engines to come back to their site to index their content (or to make it searchable). It also establishes credibility, awareness, and another easy marketing channel for their product and/or service.
If you own a small business, either digital or brick and mortar, a blog can be a boon to your organization!
12. You Own/Work at a Large Business
I worked at some of the largest organizations on the planet and blogs were used there for both internal and external communication for a variety of different reasons.
Internally we used it for sharing knowledge, updates for teams and the overall business, and alerts to significant movements within the industry. Externally we used it for marketing, promotion, and engendering authenticity with our large client base, customers, and industry partners and competitors.
A blog is almost “required” if you’re a large business and will give you entrance into an entirely new and profitable ecosystem.
13. You Want to Promote Something
Perhaps you’re interested in promoting an event, an initiative, a dream, or a business (see above). A blog is for you!
You can quickly gather momentum around nearly anything you’d like by publishing content related to the event or organization. Non-profits and for-profits alike have seen amazing success by just using a consistent publishing center, like a blog. People can subscribe to the updates and be updated nearly instantly with what’s happening.
If you need to promote something then a blog might be for you.
14. You Need to Express Yourself Creatively
There’s something interesting about being a Creative. For some the act of creating and creation is enough to satisfy them. But there’s something about the art of sharing your creations with others that can make the experience “complete.”
A blog can be that platform to share! For myself, I love creating things, software in particular. But the use and value of software is only as good as it’s ability to help and provide value for others as they use it! And how will they be able to use it unless they are aware of it? How will they be aware of it without some sort of communication mechanism and/or tool?
A blog then!
If you need to express yourself creatively then a blog might just be the thing to help you do just that.
15. You Want to Become an Expert
You’re smart but you know that there are people out there who are smarter (or who have come before you) and you want to become an “expert” in your field of study, work, or recreation. A blog can help you do that.
You see, a blog can help you connect with others, share ideas, as well as create a platform of expertise that you can share with the world. Overtime I’ve seen people grow from anonymity to expert literally overnight. It’s not that the blog made them experts, rather, the blog helped expand their network so that the world could fully acknowledge them that they were!
Trying to get noticed more? To share your knowledge with the reset of the world? Blogging can help legitimize your wealth of expertise in ways that you couldn’t (or can) possibly imagine.
Try a blog!
16. You Want to Change the World
Politicians want to change the world (or at least they say that). A blog can help enable that as you create interest, momentum, and a following. Just as you would for some of the reasons listed above, you can use a blog to help accelerate all of those things.
A blog will give you a platform and influence so that you can begin to execute on those ideas that will make the world a better place, especially if you’re currently (relatively) unknown. Your ideas are worth it so make a jump into a blog and go make good on your desire to change the world. I can’t wait!
17. You Want to Stay Knowledgeable in Your Field
Creating posts are only half the equation, especially if you’re in the business of reporting. You have to do your research which requires you to stay on top of the industry experts and leading minds within your field.
And if you’re interested in staying up-to-date in your field then a blog is a perfect candidate for enabling you to do just that! It’ll force you to do the research and spend the time reading. It’ll also force you to be able to decipher and communicate better and more effectively your ideas as they relate to your field of interest.
A blog is a two-way street, both creating content and consuming it. If you’re “behind” a blog can help you get “ahead.”
18. You Want to Make Money
Let’s be honest – some people create blogs with the expressed hope in making a few couple bucks here and there.
In fact, every blogger will eventually at some point have to make a decision about money in some sort or fashion or encounter the question and tension, and that’s completely ok!
Some bloggers make full-time incomes by becoming professional bloggers or full time bloggers so to speak. In fact, some people make much more than enough, into the hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars (wouldn’t that be nice)!
The potential to earn an income is something that we’re going to explore explicitly on TentBlogger and if you’re interested in learning how I have done it then you should create a blog and join this community!
So, are you interested in making a few greenbacks? A blog could help you do just that!
19. You Want to Have Fun and Entertain
This could be seen as relatively close to the “You are Bored” reason above but could take an entirely different angle of approach!
Again, some of the biggest blogs out there (and most successful) are ones that simply wanted to have fun. I can think of blogs like ICanHazCheezburger.com and FailBlog.org, both of which seek to have fun and to entertain their audience. Perhaps this is a part of your creative outlet as well?
Blogs are fun, and if you’re not having fun then you should probably consider doing something else!
20. You Want to Manage, Control Your Brand
You have a brand online regardless of whether you know it or not! You’re either managing it well or you’re not and a blog can help you manage and control that personal brand better than most of the types of websites out there.
With a blog you can present the “real” you to the world through your thoughts, ideas, and rich media. If you’re interested in managing your personal online brand well then think about using a blog to do just that!
21. You Want to __________________
These are just 20 reasons that may popup as you seek to answer the question of whether or not a blog is right for you. These are probably a thousand more specific reasons as well and I just wanted to capture some of the more obvious ones for you to consider.
And I’d love to hear about your motivations and reasons behind your blog! Why did you start blogging? What was the genesis? What’s the story?
Let’s hear it in the comments!
[This is part of the Blogging Foundations Starter Kit Series.]