The blog has risen to such prominence as a form of communication and branding that it would be crazy for creative professionals to not have one. A blog is a tool–and like all tools, whether you should use it or not depends heavily on what you want to accomplish. Here are some compelling reasons to consider blogging:
Blogging is relational. Blogging is a higher-touch use of technology than your conventional website. The more people get to know and love you, the more they’ll be inclined to hire you or your company.
Blogging can make you famous. Or infamous. Or almost famous. A great blog stands out in a sea of really mediocre ones and even if you’re not getting 10,000 visits a day, a good blog can provide a growing platform from which to launch your fame. Consider your blog your in-house PR firm. Blogs are the new fame-makers. If one of your goals–and all of this must be driven by specific goals–is to be seen as an expert in your field, then blogging is among the fastest ways of getting there.
Blogging is about connections. A good blog connects you to other people in your chosen field and it increases your access to people you can serve with your particular expertise. Connections in the viral world lead to more connections and they multiply exponentially.
Your so-called competition is bloggling. If another person in your field is blogging and you are not, it’s more exposure for them than it is for you. If you’re working in similar markets, this is a way to keep your visibility up or if others in your field aren’t blogging, it’s a way to be first and much more visible.
Blogging forces you to keep current. It can help keep your paint stirred. Like teaching, it can be an excellent way to learn and solidify your thoughts and practice.
Blogging makes you a producer. Blogging allows you to produce and not merely consume–it enables you to give back to the community and that’s a karmically cool thing to do.
Blogging is a form of conversation. If you buy into the notion that all opportunities in life begin with a conversation, the benefit here should be obvious. The more conversations you have, the more likely you are to encounter new opportunities because opportunities come through other people and our primary connection to other people is conversation.
With all these reasons taken into consideration, it should be said that blogging is not for everyone. It’s a tool and in the right hands it’s currency. In the wrong hands, it can do more damage than good. Here are some reasons you might want to give the world of blogging a miss:
You have nothing to say. Some people just aren’t there yet. I think everyone has an opinion–some of them even informed–but not everyone has the confidence to express their opinions (which in some case is good.) If you don’t have anything to say, your blog is dead before it gets off the ground.
You can’t write. Let’s face it, some people choose images of their children as their medium because they’re better with these images than words. If this is the case, don’t force a square peg into a round hole. I do suggest, however, that before you jump ship and abandon the idea of blogging entirely, you consider publishing an image of your children every day or each passing week. We don’t always need words and there are other ways to blog than to write.
You’re a shameless self-promoter. If you insist on plugging your latest achievements and ego drivel, the blog may not draw the audience you hope it will. People come to your blog to get something, not to give it. If you suck the life out of your readers with the All About Me Show, you’ll find them dropping like flies. Unless your’re Paris Hilton. Or Angelina Jolie.
You don’t have time to commit to it. If you publish a personal blog to keep family updated with the latest pictures of your kittens, then how frequently you publish is not much of an issue, but professionally a blog must publish with reliable frequency. Sure, take a hiatus once in a while, take a no-blog month or publish only on Mondays. But make it reliable and consistent. If your readers can’t rely on new content they’ll go elsewhere.
You just really don’t want to blog. Fair enough. Don’t blog. If you hate blogging and you do it resentfully, it’ll come across in your writing and eventually you’ll be blogging as bitterbloggerwithnoreaders.com. We all have to communicate with our markets in the way it works best for us.
No one is forcing you to blog. But there are compelling reasons to consider it. A blog is good marketing, it’s also a good way to give back to the community and it’s good for the soul. If you do it right, a blog can be a real asset and a real blessing. Making some intentional decision about who you are writing for and why you are writing will keep you focused.