Blog (as defined by Wikipedia)
is a type of website, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video.
To blog (as posited by Rob Bowen) is half a deeply philosophical question parody that helps this individual author setup the initial inquisitive device that drives the following guest post for Fuel Your Blogging. (With apologies to William Shakespeare) To blog, or not to blog; that is the question. Whether ’tis nobler online to buffer the sites and services of outrageuos proportion upon the vast sea of cyber landscaping, and by reporting, lend them credence…or, you know, not too?
Nearly everyone is doing it these days. Blogging. It has dominated the online market recently, turning most static, ordinary websites into interactive and often informative user experiences. So with that in mind, we wanted to take a look at this question, and with the launching of FYB, we thought it the perfect time to posit it. To blog, or not to blog? Once upon a time, before Angie and I were Arbenting, we started off a freelance graphic design business called Arbent Creative Designs. We decided that we would attach a blog to the site to help get our names out there and get the ball rolling. And, boy, did it roll…away from ACD and straight down the Arbenting hill! We realized right away, that blogging, for us, was more than a means to an end; It was the end. Almost overnight our entire missions transformed, as did we. We were no longer freelancers who were blogging on the side. We were bloggers, who were doing a bit of freelancing on the side. It took over, and we ran with it. With so many others among the blogging ranks, we thought we would take a look at the reasons why people blog. What makes this endeavor worth the effort? See below for the pros and cons.
To Blog – the Pros
Naturally we are all different and have come to this charge of our own accords for a variety of reasons. However, in the years we have been hanging our hats in this arena, these are the reasons that we have gathered from the corners of the web. We have assembled the reasons why, those of us blogging have chosen to do so, into a Pro list. These are the reasons to blog.
Reach Out And Touch Someone
Not literally, but figuratively. Blogging offers website publishers an opportunity to reach out to their communities and keep their users up to date with info, and to get valuable feedback from them. It also creates a forum of sorts on your site for sharing ideas and more with one another. Not to mention the fact that your contributions may just inspire and move someone to take similar actions. They can become a powerful tool to connect people who share the same ideas, and for those with differing ones, to discuss them.
Not talking about court ordered community service, or anything like that, but you have to realize that when you establish an online presence via a site, you are setting up in a community. As such, some people have the idea of feeding said communities, and that’s their driving force for entering the blogosphere. This is where Angie and I ended up after realizing that such a rich, helpful community of creatives was there working together. This can act as a powerful motivator for some. Blogging to provide resources, valuable information, perspectives, and inspiration to the community to keep it fueled and fired up, is another tick in the pro column, and a respectable reason to blog.
To Be The Branded
Often times we have seen blogging be used quite effectively to build and establish a brand. Blogging to brand is not at all uncommon, and by committing to an effective and meaningful dialog through said blog, your brand identity can be established, and brand trust can be fashioned. Be warned that this is not a path to be undertaken lightly and without the proper amount of time to dedicate to your undertaking you could actually be working against yourself and your brand. So build this foundation cautiously.
The Passion of the (Your Name Here)
Another popular reason to blog, is because you have something to say. Something passionately charging deep in your chest, yearning to be freed and shared with the online masses. Or you really like your cat, and feel that their cuteness and whimsical nature needed to be experienced by more than your lonesome. Your sad, lonely lonesome. Whether you find yourself in the former, or the latter crowd (hopefully the former) blogging can be an exceptional outlet for your words.
The Learning Curve
One reason that people tend to turn towards the blogosphere is for the opportunities for advancing your knowledge. While it is true that you should have a firm enough grip on a subject before you go espousing your advice and ideas on the topic, the learning should never truly stop. With blogging, through its engaging manner, once you begin these discussions, more techniques and methods for improvement emerge. You are exposed to more about the subject through the community and you can learn more than when you first entered the arena.
Not To Blog – the Cons
While the unbalanced nature of the two sides of the argument might have already given me away, not to mention the psychological tell of leading with the pros, I am going to reveal that I may be a bit biased on this particular topic. While I know numerous reasons to blog, I can see very few reasons not to. But for measure, here go the cons.
Time Is Not On Your Side
Okay, so we can’t all be Mick Jagger (not that it’s high on anyone’s list of inner wishes, but at least he has time on his side). Make no mistake about it, blogging takes time and a dedicated effort on your part, and if you’re not able to commit to it, then it can work against you as we stated before. If you do not put in the hours needed to create quality content then you will not be able to grow and sustain a loyal readership. You need to make sure that your site produces substance, and that doesn’t happen by accident, it’s crafted and crafting takes more than minutes.
Creative Commons, Common Courtesy
There is one more downside that should be noted to the blogging process, and that’s kind of the result of you taking the time to create quality content, Scrappers. That’s right, the lazy bloggers alternative to crafting good content of their own. These uncreative cretins forget that with a creative commons creation still comes an inherit amount of owed common courtesy, and they steal the content from other sites and try to pass it off as their own. No credit or links to you, the original author, other than your tell-tale signature style and hard work. It sucks, and it will happen. But that is the price you pay. Be thick skinned, and you’ll be fine.
That’ll Just About Do It!
That is going to about do it. Besides, if the post gets much longer, I think it would officially be an e-book. So what are your reasons to blog or not to blog? Leave a comment to fill us in.
Rob is the talented author and graphic designer, celebrated podcaster and poet, who is now the co-editor and imaginative co-contributor of Fuel Your Creativity. With a background working through most areas of the arts, Rob works from a creative wellspring that shows no signs of running dry.