I’m writing this blog at 11.50 a.m. It’s due up at 1 p.m. There’s a wren outside my window singing a little song*, the sun is shining and I’m just about to settle down to work again after a morning of admin and phone calls. My pile of pre-written articles has been depleted and I just know there are bound to be typos and grammatical errors in anything I write this quickly. It’s one of those days when I have to ask myself why do I blog?
There is an over-abundance of blogs out there in Cyberland. Why on earth should you spend time and energy in creating something that people may not read?
You blog because you want to:
Attract an audience and keep visible – you want people to know you are out there. The world is a big place, and even though the internet has made it smaller you still have to work hard to be found. And then you have to keep being visible … no one likes to be forgotten.
Build engagement – it’s nice to talk. By blogging you can open up a dialogue with people you wouldn’t normally reach. By engaging with fellow professionals or potential clients you can show them that you are not a robot, but an actual living, breathing human being (well, sort of).
Establish authority – it’s good to be able to show that you know what you are talking about, that all your training and background stands for something and that you are a professional. By blogging you can become an authority in your field.
Stand out from the crowd – you can develop a niche and create posts that really stand out from the crowd. This can attract business or even just more engagement with others in your line of work. You don’t have to be wacky or controversial, just be yourself.
Generate income – some people earn a living from blogging, through endorsements (hellooooooo famous YouTubers) or writing for businesses, but even a small blog can generate income by attracting clients. And hey, when you are a freelance, you need to attract clients.
Blogging sucks because:
It eats your time – not only do you have to set aside time to write, but you may need to research too. One blog post can eat up hours of your valuable time if you are not careful.
You have to stay relevant – there’s no point in writing a blog that is out of date. You have to stay informed at all times.
You might be boring – who the hell wants to read your musings anyway? There’s a niggle at the back of your mind every time you upload a post.
Trolls eat you for breakfast – no matter how good your writing, how relevant or entertaining it is, you will attract trolls. If you are an editor you will also attract trolls who like to tell you how to write. Heaven help if you accidentally add a grammatical error or typo when you are writing the damned blog at midnight because you have no other time to get the thing written.
Finding something to write about is difficult – it’s true. It can be damned hard to find something interesting to write about when you can’t write about your commissions and you are spending a lot of your time in front of your computer working on a job. Well, something interesting and relevant that is … I could write a blog about my breakfast choices (chocolate cake anyone?), but that wouldn’t really cut it.
So we have five pros and five cons. It still doesn’t answer the question ‘Why do I blog?’ It can be tough, and time consuming, and no-one may read my scribblings (and if they do they may find it boring or irrelevant or ridiculous). I can’t say I have attracted more work than I can handle, but I have engaged with a lot of very interesting and lovely people (the trolls can get back under their rock). It makes me think about my work, and in turn I can perhaps shed some light on an industry that many people don’t understand. I guess, though, at the end of the day I blog because I want to. No more and no less.
*This blog is late thanks to said bird. I wanted to take a photo, he was elusive after I picked up my camera. Dammit.