Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Many people ask me about why I write a blog. It began as a way to help promote my first book, Some Assembly Required, but over the past two years (Yikes, it is hard to believe that I have been writing this for twenty-three months!), I have found the blog to have much more value.
1. A blog is the best way I know to improve your writing skills. Since a blog is a living organism that must be fed regularly, to be successful you must consistently be posting fresh material. Writing a new 200 to 600 word article four or five days a week forces you to concentrate your thinking and tighten your mastery over the written word.
2. In order to find inspiration for writing the blog, a blogger must constantly read other blogs on similar topics. Success in the blogosphere comes from the viral nature of blogging. On days when I do not have a topic on hand, I will surf my favorite blogs to discover topics that I can write about. One should always give credit and link to the post that sparked your creative thoughts (otherwise you are stealing), but by reading a number of interesting articles I am not only inspired, but I also continue to learn new things. Reading is a great way to learn.
3. A successful blogger will help build a sense of community with his or her regular readers and other bloggers. Over time a blog will attract a loyal audience. That audience will return again and again, and become part of that blogger's circle of contacts. Some readers will add comments or send emails, and you will get to know them. The blog becomes a networking tool to help build a relationship with those who read your blog, as well as with other bloggers with whom you share links. When people read your writing, they get to know you at a deeper level.
4. A blog will also give you the ability to create work that can be repositioned into other products. Your blog posts can become the rough draft for articles or a book. While the writing style is different for different mediums, you can use your posts as an outline to build upon. Many people I have met desire to write a book, but do not because it seems to be too big of an undertaking. Start small with a daily blog post and in a year you might have enough material to create your book. Some fiction writers even blog their way through a novel. If you want to be a writer, you must be writing constantly.
If you have considered starting a blog...I say go for it. Realize that you need to be committed to writing regularly or your blog will die. The internet is littered with stale blogs that have been orphaned by their creators. However, if you begin to open your soul in a blog, you will expand and grow personally. Two years later you may surprise yourself with what your blog will become.
Have A Great Day.