There are over 200 million blogs on the internet. You could call blogging an explosion – everyone has one. Many writers have jumped on the bandwagon in recent years and fired up their own blogs. But why do people blog? What benefits does blogging offer? What’s the appeal?
Here are some reasons why writers blog:
To Build Your Platform With a Blog
Blogging is an undeniably great way to build your writing platform. In fact, it’s probably the greatest modern invention for writers. Before blogging, platform building consisted of getting out from behind the typewriter and hunting down speaking gigs. Now blogging has taken the place of the speaking gigs as the number one platform-building tool for writers.
The potential reach of a blog post vs. a traditional speaking gig is astronomically higher. The more readers you have, the more chance you have of catching the eye of a publisher. The larger your following, the greater sale potential when a book of yours is published. The question isn’t why, but why not?
To Make Blogging Friends
Blogging also helps connect you to other writers. The blogging community is ever-growing. Many writers value blogging for the input they get from readers and other writers. Without blogging, writers have to rely on friends, colleagues or writing workshops in order to get their work read and critiqued. Now they can get their work reviewed without having to even ask.
Because It’s the New Journaling
Writers used to journal. Carrying a pen and notebook with them everywhere to record thoughts, impressions and ideas. Now they blog. Though public and not private like a journal, blogging has become the daily practice of many writers. And though the personal secrecy of a hand-written journal has it’s own value, a newly published blog post looks and feels more official. Also, when writing in a journal, you know that the only reader is you.
While blogging, you know you’re writing for an audience which ups the ante and, for some writers, makes them write better, cleaner and tighter prose.Having an audience and knowing that people will be disappointed if you don’t publish a new blog post can also serve as a huge motivation. Devoted readers are like cryptonite for writer’s block.
Because Who Needs a Website When You Have a Blog?
A lot of writers forgo building a website and subsequent costs and upkeep in favor of a blog which they control and maintain. Keeping a blog is often cheaper than a website or even free. And instead of hiring someone to maintain it, you maintain it yourself. No muss, no fuss.
Because It’s All Yours
Blogging gives you full control. You write what you want. You publish when you want. There’s no editor. There are no niches that you fit into or don’t. There are no rejection letters. All the publishing rights belong to you. Blogging is you taking the reigns and getting your voice heard. For many writers, both professional and budding, this is a huge plus. It’s the dream of many writers – to enjoy full artistic freedom.
To Publish Something
A lot of newbie writers who long to be published choose to blog so that they can be part of the published writer community. It’s a great way to practice writing and get your work seen. It allows you to access an audience that used to be only for those who had published a book or article. Now anyone who wants to be published, can be.
For Professional Growth
Publishing a blog can lead to other opportunities whether it’s a book contract or a job as a writer for a magazine or for someone else’s blog. It’s a great way to get a foot in the door for those who want to earn a living writing. Few people make a good living from blogging alone. If people are making money from it, it’s usually supplemental income. Blogging can be more like your writer’s resume. When you’re hunting for writing jobs, including your blog address is a quick, easy way for people to see your writing.
To Learn a New Skill
Some writers use their blogs informally and without a specific intention or market. Others delve into the mechanics of SEO and conversions. For those who focus on the business of increasing their blog traffic, they’ve learned valuable marketing skills. They can apply those skills to their own work, or get hired to help other bloggers. Writers who become blogging experts are in high demand and often offer their expertise for a good price.
To Establish Expertise
If you claim to be an expert on something and you’ve written a blog about it, that’s usually enough for people to believe you. A blog is a way to showcase your knowledge and background in a certain area. Next time you claim to be an expert in Japanese tattoos or French cuisine and someone raises an eyebrow, just direct them to your blog.
To Increase Your Confidence
Blogging is different from traditional forms of published writing in the sense that it’s likely that your friends and family will have access to your blog first. Instead of an anonymous readership, your immediate circles are the ones you’re letting into your blogging world. This can be very intimidating and requires courage to put your thoughts and voice out there for others to criticize. It will force you to build your confidence.
To Stay Productive
Blogging is one of the few beneficial ways that a writer can spend time online. Spending time blogging will make you feel better and more productive than spending hours scrolling through your Facebook feed. Instead of reading what other people think, you’re developing your own ideas and opinions. Most people are online to consume the ideas of others. If you’re online to offer your ideas, you’re in the minority.
If you’ve been considering blogging, surely there’s something on this list that appeals to you. There are a lot of benefits to blogging whether it’s building your platform, giving yourself a daily writing practice or just for the pleasure of having finally published something. Whatever your motivation, blogging has a lot to offer to writers.