Ten Reasons to Blog: Your Ego can Handle it!
“Blogs, social networks, newspapers, any other form of publication – all have social aspects to them. It is a spectrum really, with social networks at one extreme and a 19th century novel at the other. But there’s room for all types of social publishing platforms.” Richard MacManus
Were you voted most likely to dominate the publishing world in pre-school and again in High School? Okay, so you always imagined becoming the next J.K. Rowling or publishing superstar? Let me guess, was it the famous psychic who assured you your name will be in lights with your words written all over it? Do you fantasize about retiring filthy rich with the money lode you earned blogging? Is your weekly grocery list the most creative prose you’ve written since your school days?
“Authenticity is not an automatic ticket to success in an attention economy. Because, if you choose a platform or business building model where a key element is attention, you’ve got to be not only authentic, but significant.” Jonathan Fields (Career Renegade)
Alright, I hear your protests. Confess; did you send out a few inquiries to publishers with a treatment or two on How to Solve the Mystery of the Lemming Syndrome and got no response? Right, right… and that 5 page fictional outline on authentic yet insignificant baloney you mailed to 20 agents and publishers? Well, at least you got one reply; the rejection letter was curt and to the point “… Thanks, but no thanks!”
If you answered “yes” or even “no” to any of my questions, then writing a blog is the new path for you. Yes, you might get smacked down and your ego might take a beating but, you don’t want to take an unfulfilled desire to your nursing home or grave, do you? Even if you are busy and think you have little to offer; try blogging anyway; you might surprise yourself.
“One critical consideration when launching a blog is what you are going to call it.” Chris Garrett
The internet is open to a wide spectrum of voices; why silence your voice? Daily, people from around the world sift through the noise, looking for their version of a gem; that gem could be one of your blogs … or not. Don’t spend too much time worrying whether everybody will love your blog; everyone won’t, some might, and perhaps a few will. Pick a blog name, check your ego at your blog door and go to it.
If you’re still not convinced, here are ten good reasons to blog: Trust me; your ego will thrive…
“Your blog is what you say when there is nobody standing over your shoulder telling you what to do.”Lorelle Van Fossen
♥ Create a digital identity on your terms. Your blog registers your personal memories, ideas, and opinions online for posterity. It is your creative expression and you decide what you wish to include. Embrace the identity you have selected for your foray into blogging. Are you the last angry woman or the happy-go-lucky sprite? Embrace her; she has friends dying to connect in the blogosphere. Go meet them. You can invite your alter ego to blog, you may express your moods and magic through various incarnations or personalities, just stay on point whatever the message. Regardless of who you choose to be, do keep in mind that you must manage your views as what you say is on the internet forever.
“I’ve long advised that bloggers seeking to make money from blogging spread their interests across multiple revenue streams so as not to put all their eggs in one basket.” Darren Rowse (Problogger)
♥ Clarify your motivations and thoughts as you embark on this unique writing process. Even if the original impulse that led you to blog on a topic dries up quickly, push on and write anyway. Why am I blogging? It is important to ask this question on a regular basis. Blogging will help you engage in discussions that hold meaning for you and your gradually expanding readership. If you plan to make money from blogging, educate yourself on what that entails and then follow your calling. If you blog purely for enjoyment, don’t be shy about that fact either. It is your choice that counts and don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.
“I never remember what I read; I remember experiences. I find it best to dive right in and learn the hard way.” Pete Cashmore (Mashable)
♥ Connect with both new readers and other bloggers in the blogosphere. As you write, you will find a vast door open that connects you to other bloggers; some with a similar bent or experience and others with vastly different sensibilities. This is perfectly fine. Eureka or inspirational moments can be triggered by reading a blog on a familiar or obscure subject. As you connect with other bloggers, you will open a gateway to new blogging experiences and knowledge. It can be quite a feast and you must be careful not to over-indulge. There are millions of bloggers out there and only 24 hours in a day. Be selective of which blogs to read daily and which ones to read occasionally. Don’t get overwhelmed by all the choices out there, let your forays into the blogosphere evolve.
“Don’t focus on having a great blog. Focus on producing a blog that’s great for your readers.” Brian Clark (Copyblogger)
♥ Be open to re-evaluating your closely held premises about life, love and the world of ideas. As you formulate ideas and topics to write about, don’t hesitate to challenge yourself to feed off of other points of view; whether you play devil’s advocate or peacemaker, take a position and write on it. If you enjoy writing motivational pieces like I do, don’t censor yourself and pretend to be something else. Write how you feel and share your experiences; as long as your opinions are not completely outrageous you should write without fear of public sanction. Even if you choose to say something outrageous, do so with a clear head and the conviction to stand your ground. You are entitled to your opinion after all.
“I guess my point is, if you’re one of these people considering giving up on blogging in exchange for paying more attention to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and MySpace, or whatever they throw at us mere mortals, bear in mind you are giving up on something rather unique and wonderful.” Hugh Macleod
♥ Be bold about learning a new skill. Blogging is a skill that grows with time and the experience gained will be worth the journey. The explosion of social media sites and internet innovation will continue to provide vital fodder for creative, visionary thinkers. As the medium grows and you grow at blogging, you will learn about new applications/tools to help you improve your efforts and make blogging effective. As a new blogger in fall 2008, I soon learned that WordPress regularly updated and offered many blog design templates to choose from, that uploading images/video and writing simple html code for my blog was easier than I imagined. With each passing day/month, I learn new tips and tools about blogging and look forward to seeing (yes, with time) my blog enjoy exponential growth.
“The heart of blogging is linking…linking and commenting. Connecting and communicating is the purpose of the Internet.” George Siemens
♥ Develop an expertise in an area if you are so inclined. Are you ready to stay enthusiastic about a particular subject? This is not absolutely carved in stone. If you have several interests, like I do, don’t be afraid to explore them. Follow your spanda, your bliss, your voice and your blog will evolve. Whether you decide to be a generalist or a specialist is your prerogative; be at peace with your choice. Learn as much as you can on the topics you choose to write about and subscribe to your favorite bloggers to stay in touch with the community. Wikipedia.org and Google Images are great resources for material but there are tons you can learn from other bloggers including the bloggers whose quotes you read in my blog. Their names will link you back to their websites/blogs. Go visit and enjoy.
“I believe the term “blog” means more than an online journal. I believe a blog is a conversation. People go to blogs to read AND write, not just consume.” Michael Arrington
♥ Develop discipline and a commitment to honor the goals you set for your blog postings. The best gift you can give yourself as a blogger is to be honest about what is/isn’t feasible time wise and stay true to your blog goals. When I took Darren Rowse’s 31 Days to Build a Better Blog in April, 2009, it helped me create a realistic schedule for posting my blogs. I knew that, given the demands of work, family, personal training goals, and other commitments, a weekly blog post would be ideal for me. Find your rhythm and go with it.
“The more popular a person thinks he is in the blogosphere, the thinner his skin and the thicker his hypocrisy. This should be exactly the opposite: the higher you go the thicker the skin and thinner the hypocrisy.” Guy Kawasaki
♥ Gain some perspective on readership, blogger stardom, media attention, blog statistics and search engine optimization (SEO). Even Technorati’s star bloggers identified in 100 Top Blogs by authority or 100 Top Blogs by reader favorites did not become wildly successful overnight. NorthxEast.com’s 50 most influential female bloggers focused on their content, their readership, and their blog goals and with time their influence spread. Don’t fixate on the numbers … ok, at least not daily!
The point is to focus on your game, do the best you can and enjoy the process. Even if you were being paid to blog, it really should not feel like a demanding second job. I enjoy researching and gathering information and photographs for my weekly posts. I actually find the process relaxing and fun because I always find something I never expected… so go with the flow; gain perspective my dear, perspective is key to longevity here.
“Just as we don’t spend a lot of time worrying about how all those poets out there are going to monetize their poetry, the same is true for most bloggers.” Seth Godin
♥ Take ownership and responsibility for your good/bad posts. To err is human and to forgive is divine. Unless like Seth Godin, you decide to disallow comments entirely, be prepared for positive, negative, spammy, and zero comments on your blog. Again, don’t fixate on the numbers. Did someone email you privately to say how much they enjoyed it? Fine. Move on… The fantastic part is that you have administrative control and can limit or edit comments as you deem fit. Another point to remember is that the joy of blogging includes the ability to edit your content whenever you want.
“Without the New York Times, there is no blog community. They’d have nothing to blog about.” Malcolm Gladwell
♥ Please get over your fear of public rejection. Your blog represents one facet of who you are; it is not the whole picture. Even if some of your characters are fictionalized to protect the fill-in-the-blank, is your message conveyed effectively? Is the authenticity of your intention and the lesson learned expressed there? Yes, you may choose to re-invent yourself into some new-fangled persona through blogging and maybe, the characters in your blog are more exciting than the characters in your real life but so what? As long as you distinguish fact from fiction by the way you deliver your message, readers will understand you are not the New York Times or BBC News.
As your voice and vision grow, your confidence as a blogger will grow. If you have a niche, you will attract like minded spirits; if you don’t then enjoy your role as a renaissance man/woman. Perfectly acceptable. Now go to it! What do you think?
♥ Let me know how the process evolves for you. I’d love to hear from you regardless of where you are in your blogging history. Share some of your insights or tips here if you wish. Thank you!
***Spanda is a Sanskrit term for the subtle creative pulse of the universe as it transforms into a dynamic living form. The divine impulse to create!
Nature Photography by Veronica Pinke
More Nature Shots by Øyvind Strøm
I Like You uploaded by Mike Montiero via Creative Commons.
Kashmir Gathering by Ami Vitale
The great Baobab Tree by Alli Cooper
Total Eclipse by Yang Lei AP
Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©