Last week at this time, I posed the question, “Do You Journal?” The piece encouraged readers to consider keeping a journal – any kind of journal – whenever he/she has something to say. I ended the post with, “What type of journaling will you pursue? Why?” So this week, focusing on a blog as a journal, I wonder, “Why Author a Blog?”
Your reason should probably be because you are passionate about a topic, have great interest in sharing information or opinions in writing, need an outlet for your thoughts and emotions, or something similar. Whatever the case, my recommendation is that you write for yourself… not necessarily to have someone else read it. I started blogging because I became very, very dedicated to networking – mostly because it provided so many benefits to me, both tangible and intangible. I felt – and continue to feel – strongly that it was my responsibility to share my insights with others in hopes that it could benefit them, too.
At the time that CoffeeLunchCoffee.com was established, it was my intention to only write and post 30 essays. I printed a blank month-long calendar for the month of November 2011 and filled in a topic for each day (using pencil, thereby giving myself permission to change topics if I wished to on any given day). I thought I would stop, forever, on November 30th. Well, it turned out that there was more to say… and I have been blogging periodically ever since.
So, if you feel passionately about a topic, issue, genre, etc., make the choice that that will be nature of your blog. Expect nobody to read it… but hope that everybody reads it!
In terms of logistics, I write each post in Microsoft Word, then I publish it to my site on WordPress. Once each blog is posted, I use social media (Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn) to broaden my distribution.
If you are giving this serious consideration, here are some thought starters for you:
- Are you trying to promote your business or industry? What are the prominent issues facing the organization or industry today?
- Are you an expert at your hobby or field of study? Choose topics for which you have some knowledge that others might benefit from.
- Do you have strong opinions about a particular issue? Identify a few topics for which you could pen a few thoughts.
Remember, a blog can be short or long (I recommend up to 500 words per post), written or filmed (video-blogs), etc. Still not sure blogging is for you? I highly encourage you to give it some consideration; but, hey, don’t just take my word for it. Check out this terrific piece from “Becoming Minimalist” blogger Joshua Becker wrote entitled “15 Reasons I Think You Should Blog.”
Why not print out a month-long calendar now, pencil in a few blog topics and see how it goes? I can’t wait to read your first post!
UPDATE (11/19/2015): I was thrilled to hear from Matt Banner, a blogger himself, who published this fabulous article entitled, “11 Reasons Why You Should Start a Blog Today.” In addition to the article – which offers some very compelling reasons to blog – Matt also includes a link to his guide, “How to Start & Create a Blog Today: Step-by-Step,” as well as “151 Blog Post Ideas Guaranteed to Keep Readers Hungry for More.” Check ’em out!
UPDATE (12/3/2015): Just learned about a very nifty and completely FREE guide cleverly called, “How to Start a Blog: The Beginner’s Guide to Successful Blogging” from FirstSiteGuide.com. It is beautifully illustrated with facts, figures and immediately useful tips for launching and maintaining a blog. Registrants get their choice of a downloadable booklet, visual roadmap infographic or audio book. Plus, the site offers great resources and access to expert bloggers who can provide additional guidance.