Why Do People Bother To Blog Anymore?

To answer Lorelle’s question on whether I’m a traffic hound or a blog authority. I am neither and I am both.

That’s the deal when you run a personal commentary blog like mine. In some ways you know that whatever you write should be taken as seriously as yesterday’s page 6 column in your local newspaper. Other times, you want whatever you write to mean as much to people as the front page headliners that covers all the major newspapers.

But at the end of the day, because whatever you write will always be a wide range of topics, you’re going to look like the weekly magazines people pick up whenever they are interested or ignore when there is nothing good on it.

Gone were the days when blogging was all about the simple things in life. When all that mattered was you, what you wanted to say and whoever bothered to read let alone comment. Now we try to focus on being good at something so that we can keep the people that read interested in whatever we’re writing. Now we focus on trying to build a “loyal readership” out of our viewers for the sake of reasons that still elude me.

To us normal bloggers that aren’t on the frontlines of technology or have nothing remarkable to offer except for our two cents of ideas and our undiluted expression of our own personal thoughts about ourselves, is the quest for a higher pagerank and more money through ads that important to us? Is it really benefiting the rest of us by being served the mish-mashed, rehashed thoughts and paid opinions? All for the sake of trying to cash in on the latest fad in blogging that everyone misunderstands but think they do anyway.

Nothing is that easy, especially if you want to sustain it on a long term. Are you seriously going to think that your blog will be here in the next 5 years? Do you seriously think that your product has enough business model to sustain itself through the periods when there are downtimes? Have you even considered the fact that placing ads on your blog constitutes to running a business and therefore has to be treated in the same way as an actual business?

Blogs may have evolved with the times to give people more than just a way to write about your day, but the purpose of a blog still remain the same. It’s to express thoughts and ideas that would otherwise be unheard off when you scream about it to your wall at night. Marketing a product and earning some change on the sidelines is one of the fringe benefits some of us can have, but not at the cost of what still matters – what you write and who you are.

I don’t think there is any price to pay to sell that off. At least not if you really want to keep the people from coming back day after day.

7 thoughts on “Why Do People Bother To Blog Anymore?

  1. OMG, Ed. I blogged about this too!
    But I think your piece is more well-written. But mine was written from a personal point of view, specifically my experience.

  2. My friend, trust me, you are not a traffic hound. Yes, you want the traffic, but you want the traffic to read, to establish a relationship. For you, the value in blogging comes not from how many visitors but from the connections made during those visits.

    You are an authority, one that is trustable and trusted due to the wonderful way you express and share your thoughts and insights.

  3. Pelf: Haha, it’s all about the personal point, even mine. I just temper it as a thought to share with other people.

    Lorelle: It is too, but I don’t feel like an authority either, at least by what I have wrote so far. In my mind, those with authority are those on the frontlines of their field. People who put whatever they advise to the test. Even if I am as you say, I don’t even know what I am an authority on. As it is, I am the jack of all trades and have to contend with that.

  4. You make some good points here, treating the blog like a business one people place ads, and having a 5 year plan. I don’t fully agree that the days of self-expression are gone. I think blogging is so mainstream that it has become a little censored.

    As to why people blog “anymore”, I take it the question refers to seasoned bloggers. It depends on the blogger’s directive, mine has always been a creative expression. Yet, I ask myself that same question from time to time. Why do I still do it? I have my reasons, none involve blog traffic or being an authority on anything.

  5. ChickyBabe: Self-expression isn’t entirely gone. It’s just like you said, gone mainstream that people aren’t emulating unique qualities, they are emulating the same ol dribble we see everywhere.

    You’re one of the few bloggers out there that still find solace in your own self-expression, even behind that anonymity. While other blogs have gone mainstream or tried to pick up a paycheck through their blogs, you’re still one of the only few that keeps on doing what you do best. You may have grown ChickyBabe, but you have never changed. I don’t think I want to see you change either.

  6. Are you seriously going to think that your blog will be here in the next 5 years?

    It’s just too hard to tell. Today, blogs and wikis have totally dominated the way people used to share information a decade ago — personal home, knowledge base, etc.

    The Internet repeats the pattern with each new wave. I can’t tell what’s happening next to information sharing, Web 2.0 hasn’t finished yet. But for sure, there will be (it’s already growing) a massive growth of SSO and OpenID.

  7. Exactly, the net always changes even if the basics remain the same. People tend to overlook things like that and dive into it because everyone else does the same thing.

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