People have all kinds of reasons for starting blogs, from the downright inane – “it seemed like a good idea at the time” – to the highly strategic. I decided to explore some of these motivations in a little more depth, not only because it’s interesting, but because I believe it’s an important question for all of us to think about. Why? Well, it gives purpose and direction to the activity, and is also a way of measuring your progress. Now, I’m not one of those 5-year people who can tell you in detail what they’ll be having for breakfast on 14th June 2012, but I like to have a broad idea of where I’m heading.
Here are some reasons I believe people get involved in blogging:
- staying in touch
- fame and fortune
- professional exposure
Blogging for fun
I suspect that the majority of those signing up for new blogs on WordPress.com or Blogger do so out of curiosity, to see what all the fuss is about. I read recently that a very large percentage of those signing up to these free services update their blogs a total of once! In other words, they sign up, write the obligatory Hello World post, and never return.
Still, there are plenty of others who do stick around, and may even become fairly obsessive about their blog, but their primary motivation is personal fulfillment rather than any of the other reasons I mention here.
Blogging to stay in touch
Blogs started out as online journals, a way for people to keep up with each other’s lives. Nowadays this role has been largely usurped by the social networking phenomenon – MySpace, Facebook, YouTube, etc. Interestingly though, accounts in most of these services have a blog component to them.
Blogging for fame and fortune
As with most human activities, there is a small elite in blogging who have become very rich and very well known because of their success in blogging. The reason for this is their sites are very influential in various niches, which allows them to cash in on advertising and affiliate marketing – five figure monthly incomes are the order of the day here. But even apart from this A-list, there is a long tail of those who earn a nice second income from their sites whilst maintaining their day jobs.
Those who make it to the top and stay there are obviously high achievers, but longevity also has something to do with it; it simply takes time to build up the network of contacts that leads to this level of exposure.
Blogging for professional exposure
While those in the previous category make most of their money from selling advertising and affiliate products, there are also lots of people who use blogging as a marketing channel for selling more traditional products and services. Indeed many businesses are waking up to the fact that the informal and interactive nature of blogs enables them to reach their customers in a whole new way.
Blogging for lifestyle
From stay-at-home mums to world travellers, blogging and internet marketing offers the promise of working where and when you find it convenient. All you really need (in theory anyway) is access to the internet.
Why do I blog?
I think I have elements of all these. But mainly, I find the whole concept fascinating: the idea of creating something from nothing, that will be of benefit to others, and even make me some money along the way!
Why do you blog?
How about you? Have you figured it out yet? I’d love to hear your point of view, so please leave your comments below.