Blogging has become more than online diaries (“Dear Blog, today Johnny finally asked me to the prom”). Whether someone’s a foodies, fashionistas, news junkies, music nerds, politically enthused, or a mother of preschoolers the Blogosphere gives the general public the ability to connect with other like-minded individuals—literally around the globe—and exchange ideas, resources, knowledge, and whatever tickles their funny bone in a way people twenty years ago never would have even dreamed possible.
But why bother with the blog?
1. Write for an Adoring Audience:
Blogging allows someone like Scott Adams (creator of the famous cubical-themed comic strip Dilbert) a chance to connect more regularly with his readers and fans. Like many bloggers, Adams often posts random musings about current events, the media, or will poll his readers with important questions like, “What should I be for Halloween?” Based on the throngs of comments following each post, people seem to love the chance to read and potentially connect with Adams in such a laidback setting.
Even for us indie bloggers—who, unlike Scott Adams, don’t have calendars and plush toys dedicated to their craft—maintaining a blog provides us with a unique opportunity to gain readers who extend beyond our Sweetheart and Mommy. Through participating in discussions on similarly themed blogs, writing witty posts, and hopefully catching a few hits through Google, even someone with no fan base can, in time, begin acquiring an audience of active readers and commenters.
And let’s face it, knowing someone is out there reading can get you from just thinking about writing to actually making use of that keyboard. Like any journalist, essayist, or author, what bloggers crave is an audience, someone to listen. And there’s nothing quite like a few active readers and a little ego petting to get you writing.
2. Stand on that Soapbox:
Because of the vast range of folks that blogging appeals to, blogs provide an unusual look into the way the general public actually thinks. If I want to know what the general public is saying about a new movie or book, I wander over to Google and read through some of the blogs. It’s a way of polling the general public, people you would run into on the street, to find out what they’re actually saying.
Unlike Life magazine, The New York Times, or National Geographic, the goal behind most blogs isn’t to sell a subscription or make money on ads, so the content is not based on what will sell, but on what the author feels like expressing on any given day. Rather than the content being decided by a group of professional goons in suits attempting to present whatever fluff or hype will sell to the public, blogs are the public. Blogs are completely uncut and uncensored—they are free speech, twenty-first century style. Not to mention, they’re free! So make use of it; stand proudly on that soapbox.
3. Pretend You’re Prolific:
The way you get better at writing is by, well, writing. Yeah, I know, it’s not exactly profound. But most of us hyper-edit ourselves when we sit down to write so much that it becomes overwhelming and not exactly an enjoyable experience. And, then, after all that sweat and tears we don’t actually write anything. Relax. You’re not writing for the New York Times and your seventh grade English teacher isn’t leaning over your shoulder pointing out the grammatical errors and fragments. It’s your space is cyberspace, so it can be messy. Blog with abandonment and don’t worry about perfection.
4. Discover the Writer (eh, Blogger) Within:
Perhaps one of the best things to come out of the Blogosphere, though, is the fact that people who never would’ve considered themselves “writers” are discovering the hidden writer (or blogger) within them. Folks who didn’t give writing a second thought are enthusiastically experiencing the phenomenon some bloggers refer to as “mental blogging”—mentally planning out their next essay or post as they go through their day. People are writing. What more could you want?
And in a time when the closest thing to an essay a lot of people write during their week is a Twitter or Facebook update, the blog provides not only a cost-efficient means of communication, but hope for the literacy of the chat-speak generation.
5. Play God:
So, why should you get a blog? The biggest reason of all is because it’s fun, man. We can all use a little space of our own, and playing god of the blog can allow for just that. So, what are you waiting for?