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Why Blog?

Posted By Barry Ritholtz On January 19, 2011 @ 7:20 am In Philosophy,Weblogs | Comments Disabled

The latest spasm careening through the blogosphere tangentially referred to a minor rev share offer [1] from Seeking Alpha, one of the major blog aggregators.  We saw the usual hand wringing discussions of “blogonomics [2],” as well as an article discussing the challenges of blogging [3] (its hard).

Pretty much, most missed the point (though props to Abnormal Returns for getting the philosophy right: Blogging: a means not an end [4]).

I can think of many reasons why someone might start and maintain a blog:

Blogs? Yeah We Got That

1. You have something to say

2. You enjoy the craft of writing

3. You want to figure out what you think, and do so in public

4. You want to be part of a larger community of like minded individuals

5. You have a hobby or interest that you are really, really into

6. You want to maintain a presence on the Intertubes

7. You have an expertise and you want to share it

8. You have an eye for content (text, graphics and video) and you enjoy leading other people to them

9. You want to create a permament online record of what you are reading, looking at or thinking about

10. You like engaging in debate with total strangers

That’s off the top of my head.

Note that each of these bullet points begins with YOU. Blogs are about what YOU want to produce, regardless of how many readers shows up. The Big Picture [5] would more or less be the same content with 100 or a 100,000 daily readers.

People are often surprised to learn that I write for me, not for the readers. That keeps it honest (as opposed to the SEO-driven content-farm material). It also helps to quiet the voices in my head.

Notice what I specifically did not list as reasons to blog:

1. building a business;

2. developing a brand;

3. monetizing content;

4. getting media exposure;

5. Getting a book deal;

6. Getting bought by a larger company.

While all of these things may come about through a blog, they are not, and should not be, the purpose of writing a blog. Instead, if you happen to produce outstanding content and have great insight, then these things might occur (emphasis on might).

If you want to pour your thoughts out on a daily basis because you find the process helpful and gratifying, then by all means, have at it. If you seek fame or fortune through blogging, be aware of the long odds you face: Very, very, very few people manage that.

I find the process very worthwhile. I’ve been doing it — first on (the now defunct) Geocities [6], then Typepad [7], and now WordPress [8] — for about a decade.

If any of those first 10 factors apply to you, than give it a whirl. No pressure, you never know what might happen.

If your motivations are in those half dozen reasons not to blog, well then good luck — you are going to need it . . .


Article printed from The Big Picture: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog

URL to article: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2011/01/why-blog/

URLs in this post:

[1] rev share offer: http://seekingalpha.com/article/246803-an-open-letter-to-seeking-alpha-contributors

[2] blogonomics: http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2011/01/16/why-is-seeking-alpha-paying-its-contributors/

[3] challenges of blogging: http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20110115/ISSUE03/301159994/bye-bye-bloggers

[4] Blogging: a means not an end: http://classic.abnormalreturns.com/blogging-a-means-not-an-end/

[5] The Big Picture: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/

[6] Geocities: http://geocities.yahoo.com/index.php

[7] Typepad: http://www.typepad.com/

[8] WordPress: http://wordpress.org/

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