There are hundreds of reasons a person may blog, whether they be personal, business or pleasure, you’ll find a different reason from whoever you ask. The main question you want to ask yourself is, are you blogging for the right reasons?
People are blogging just because it’s the ‘cool thing to do’ or the latest trend or the next big thing. According to dictionary.com blogging is simply, to write entries in, add material to, or maintain a weblog.
Knowing this we need to know the definition of the word blog! Blog- an online diary; a personal chronological log of thoughts published on a web page; also called a Weblog. So according to the dictionary, when your blogging you’re basically just making an online diary.
If you work in a corporation and blog regularly, I’ll bet you never thought of it that way. But lately the blogging definition seems to have changed and taken on a looser meaning. If you check out Wikipedia.com and look up blog, you discover a more detailed or current definition of the term. When you wrote a diary as a kid did you ever allow anyone to read you personal diary, much less comment in it? Of course not that’s the whole point of the diary it’s supposed to be personal. So maybe there is more to this whole blogging thing then meets the eye.
Blogging has definitely changed over the past few years, going from what I remember as a personal thing you might do on your free time on your online personal website or MySpace page to now something you feel you must do in order to keep your visitors attention, inform someone about something, keep your popularity up, rant off about something, etc.
Believe it or not though, blogs have been around since the mid 1980’s. Most early bloggers were journalists who typically wrote about their personal life with text, video and images. Blog’s typically were just an easier way to have a diary and weren’t intended to make you popular or give you social status through the internet.
The Cons of Blogging
Blogging without the right mindset is perhaps one of the worst things you can do when blogging. Let’s say you work for a large company and you tend to share a lot of knowledge with your customers through the use of blogs. This is a good thing, until you’re doing it for the wrong reasons.
Now I’m a fan of blogs don’t get me wrong, but have you ever read a blog and thought, “What was the point of that?” When you blog you need to have the right mind set. If you’re writing for a company and feel your writing will benefit the reader and you can honestly admit to yourself that, then you have nothing to worry about. When a person blogs a lot and is fairly decent at it, it can lead to fame in the virtual world, with readers from all over the country and world going online and visiting your blog site. The problem with this is when you start becoming popular you don’t want to lose your status. So you’re more then likely going to be trying to write either more or better blogs to keep your readers coming back, while staying consistent.
Now the problem comes when you honestly don’t have anything to write about yet you write anyways. This is where blogging can turn either pointless or narcissistic and risk turning into an all about you article. We, the readers, already know you’re an awesome writer; you don’t need to go on an ego trip and brag about yourself, doing so will typically do the opposite of what you want and turn off readers from your site.
Blogs also take away the great feeling of finding things on your own through research and exploration, and blogs aren’t always accurate. Which leads to the next point, you don’t want to believe everything someone says or blogs about. Don’t be a sheep, no matter how popular or famous someone is, do some of your own research as well. Blogs tend to be a one way conversation, you post and receive a comment, typically will not go any further.
When you do actually write a good blog you have to compete with others just to try and get ranked or even have your blog read. Another downside to blogs is you don’t get paid to write them unless you are extremely good. It’s also hard to be original these days because so many people have written about the same or similar topics over and over.
The Pros of Blogging
Blogging of course has its benefits as well. If you are truly a good writer or know how to get your point across better online then you may indeed be a good blogger. Blogging can give a person fame, e-fame, status and popularity by being good and capturing and maintaining visitors. Blogging allows the person to become more creative and improves your typing speed, accuracy and internet knowledge.
Blogging can be good for sharing information on specific topics, giving your professional opinion about something. Blogging can simply be a diary for you or a way to express yourself and how you feel that day or about a particular situation. It can also be a personal reference to something that maybe you need to save for a future time. By writing you may improve the view point from an outside person or company on how they see your company. Blogging can also improve your search engine rankings which is pretty much a free thing except for your time and optional blogging software.
Now a days blogging programs can be used to create websites for your company such as WordPress. Even though they were created primarily for blogs you would be surprised how well they can pull a website together just as well as any other web site design program, not to mention you have a blog style and website in one program. Some of the side effects to blogs can be: becoming an author of books or magazines, create new friends all around the country or world, great for your resume or even a replacement of needing one if your good enough, you can create your own brand, influence people or start your own business!
So as you can see blogs have changed a lot in the last 10 years and can serve multiple purposes. If used correctly and with the right intents blogs can be a very powerful tool for you and your company.
Photo by Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com