“Why do you blog?” I was asked this weekend during a phone call. I provided a reason but upon reflection, there are actually five reasons why I blog. They may help those of you who want to start blogging as well as those who are struggling with their blogs and want to be more consistent. Blogging has provided the platform for anyone in the 21st century to become both an author and a publisher in the digital space.
(1) Print Publishing: I have always wanted to write books and blogging provides me the opportunity to produce content that can eventually be turned into books. I am keen to get a book deal with a reputable publisher. There are examples of people who have successfully gotten publishing deals as a result of their blogging endeavours e.g. Michael Hyatt, Derek Sivers and David McRaney.
(2) Skill development: Blogging enables me to hone my writing skills. The craft of writing requires continuous regular practice, which blogging provides for me. I strive to communicate my ideas in 600 words or less and blogging disciplines me to write concisely and simply if I want to keep the attention of my busy readers.
(3) Thinking purposes: “Writing is thinking on paper” according to William Zinsser. Until I put down my ideas on paper or in MS Word, I don’t fully ‘see’ or grasp it. The art of working on several drafts of a blog post enables me to wrestle with an idea and make sense of it before publishing it online. It is much easier to edit and remix a blog post idea on paper or in MS Word than in my head. David Allen said that “your head is for having ideas, not holding them”. My blog is the perfect electronic container for holding my ideas and sharing them with you. It frees my head to think up more new ideas to put in it.
(4) Income generation: This blog is an ideal professional and marketing platform to building brand awareness for my company – Horeb International. It is what drives traffic to the website. The blog posts also allow me to showcase topical knowledge in areas such leadership and personal development especially to folks who don’t know me. The blog has enabled me to build a following and a growing fan-base of subscribers. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my email and RSS subscribers who regularly read my posts. If your organisation, charity or church is looking for a speaker with expertise in any of the topics I blog about then give me shout, I would love to come speak at your event. I have been fortunate to secure speaking engagements in the past through my blogging.
(5) External motivation: I started two blogs in the past and both failed to take off hence I abandoned them. I have written 96 blog posts in about two and a half years on my current blog so far. How come I am more successful with this blog than the previous two? My secret is you – my readers and subscribers. I actively promoted this blog when I started and still do and as a result I have gotten lots of friends and contacts to subscribe to receive my blog posts via email and RSS feeds. There are people who expect regular blog posts from me because I told them that when they signed up to my blog, they will get regular blog posts from me. I have to keep my end of the agreement to my subscribers. I can’t make anyone read my blog posts but I can push myself to write one every week. I have put myself in a position where failure to deliver will be public and I don’t want to fail. This external motivation also spurs me to be creative in terms of looking for useful ideas to communicate to my subscribers.