Why You Should Blog
A decade ago, had you mentioned a “blog” to just about anyone, they would have looked at you as though they thought you had gone mad. Even today there are many who don’t even know what a blog is, but their numbers are growing ever smaller compared to those who not only know, but blog enthusiastically themselves. In fact, the word blog has become more and more frequently used both as a verb and a noun. “I blogged about this” or “I wrote about it on my blog” are sentences that are technically possible, if a little self-involved. There is a persistent strain of opinion which holds that blogging is the preserve of the self-obsessed and conceited, but this is to do a tremendous disservice to the medium and many of its practitioners.
There are many different ways one can approach a personal blog. Some find that it is a good place to vent about things that have upset them, while simultaneously a good way of communicating positive feelings. Others may get creative with their blog and build up something of a character around it. Some of the most popular blogs are read by millions worldwide, considered by many to be better than a soap opera due to the interactivity that a good blog can have. Others just enjoy putting up opinions and observations, either inviting or at least not discouraging feedback. If all of this sounds a bit like a glorified diary, you’re close, but not quite there. A diary is, after all, intended to be extremely personal while a blog is very much shaped by its potential for wider readership.
So far we have seen blogs turned into books, films and TV shows, and we have further to that seen the medium itself take several different shapes. “Vlogging” is now an entity in itself, differing from blogging in that practitioners do not so much write about their subjects as speak directly to camera and post the video content on a blog, or on the popular video hosting site YouTube. Everyone with a webcam and a microphone, or with a modern cell phone, can now be the star of their own video show. This medium has the further advantage above blogging of being more demonstrative. Words typed sarcastically on a blog can become damaging by virtue of the fact that typing has no inflection. When vlogged, they are better understood.
Of course, you don’t need to make your blog public. It can be as private or as open as you wish, and you can ring-fence it for only your friends to see. Top bloggers have made careers in the wider media, too, so if you have a gift for the written word it can be advantageous to let your opinions be read by an audience. You may simply want an easily archived journal of your thoughts. The only limits are those which you choose to place yourself – which in itself is good practice. It is generally better to keep some things for your eyes only.
To streamline and minimize blog maintenance, I will be discontinuing maintaining the Simplepersonaldevelopment.com website (however, I will still hold the domain). I will gradually move all articles from this site to Entrepreneur Journey site. This article originally published on the above website on August 23, 2009.