Having blogged for almost two decades now, I have had the opportunity to talk to hundreds of people who have gone down the same road as me. We often commiserate on the challenges and excitement of writing online. In the end things often crystallize around one questions, “Why did you start blogging?”
The answers vary. Early on, when the internet was much more open, a lot of people wanted to, and were able, to make blogging either a day job or part-time job. As the web matured, those opportunities dried up, and people’s reasons changed.
They were usually using blogging to bring traffic to something else, where they hoped to make money or were trying to use their blog to forward their career.
I try not to judge the various “why” of blogging. In the end, the content speaks for itself. What I would like to talk about is they “why” itself and why it is important to think about the “why” before you start blogging.
In philosophy, the term “means to an end” refers to any action (the means) carried out for the sole purpose of achieving something else (an end).
Before you blog and the entire time you are blogging, ask yourself, “Why?” Only by understanding that, will you be able to gauge whether what you are doing is getting you towards your goal.
Some of you might have started blogging and after some time, come to the realization that it was not helping you reach your goal. That is fine. First think about what you could do to change that?
- Meet people who share your interests?
- Learn more about a subject?
- Establish yourself as a subject matter expert?
- Get better at writing?
…blogging is right for you.
No goal? Stop what you are doing.
Just because you did something, doesn’t mean you need to keep doing it. If that seems painful to you remember that your decisions are influences by your emotional investment. Therefore, the more of an investment you make in something the harder it becomes to abandon it (Sunk Cost Fallacy).
I don’t want to discourage anyone from blogging, but want to caution people to keep things in perspective. Your blog is a tool. Use it correctly and it can be very rewarding. Used incorrectly, it is a unrewarding chore, and a time sink.