Many established writers blog in addition to other forms of publication. These blogs can document snippets of their lives, be an online journal, be a way of sharing their writing process or a platform where they can showcase and promote their writing. But how do you know if a blog is right for you? What if people don’t read it? What if the writer feels as though they are not enough of an expert in this field? What if there is another person out there doing the same thing? These are relevant and justified doubts. But when writing your own blog, the benefits it provides outweigh the doubts that may be felt.
Blogs are a forgiving form of the written word. Writers are able to rewrite, edit and add to their posts even after initial publication. Blog readers are reading your information and opinions rather than finding the next Tolstoy. Each post written is short,sharp and has the potential to do many things for your writing and your writer status.
Here are five reasons you should start a blog despite any doubts you may have:
1. Blogging gives you self-discipline
When writing with no deadline, it is easy to let yourself write at random and irregular intervals. When you start a blog, you are dedicating yourself to posting regularly and formulating timelines in order to keep your blog ordered and structured.
It taught me to write quickly, edit myself as I was going, generate ideas and so on” —Kerri Sackville (author and blogger).
Bloggers and vloggers alike say that one of the key aspects of becoming successful and gaining a following is regular posting. It is a good idea to stipulate both to yourself and readers when exactly you intend to upload a post. This way, you have created a deadline for yourself, and readers know when to expect your next post. By creating this deadline, you learn to work to a schedule and divvy out your time effectively in order to make each post on your blog count.
2. Many people can read your online blog
You can write what you please on your own blog. Writing for companies and submitting to journals, magazines and competitions (though still fabulous publishing platforms) can be difficult. Guidelines must be met and the content must fit themes and topics. But your blog runs by your rules and still has the potential to give you similar distribution to those provided by other avenues.
With the ever-growing popularity of the Internet and ebooks, readers are turning to various online platforms for their major reading material. This is good news. Starting a blog and uploading regularly will provide you with instantaneous distribution to readers who are interested in you and your topics.
This could also set you up for future publication in different forms, such as books, regular articles for companies and alike. If your readers like what you write, they will follow you.
Blogging not only changes your life, it also changes the life of the reader. And because blogs are free for the audience and open to the public, on many levels, it is an act of giving. It is a selfless act of service to invest your time, energy, and worldview into a piece of writing and then offer it free to anybody who wants to read it. Others will find inspiration in your writing… and that’s a wonderful feeling”—Joshua Becker (Blogger).
3. Blogging allows you to choose your own styles, themes and topics
There are many publications, anthologies and competitions that require specific topics and themes for their submissions. Some are very specific and, in some instances, writers may find it hard to meet these specifications, and ultimately struggle with publication.
Blogging provides writers with the option of being able to choose what to write, how to write and when to write it. When it comes to your blog, you are the expert and your readers are the students. You choose how it looks, how it reads, and the style you write with. Your blog is your chance to showcase yourself to the world.
Developing your personal brand takes time, but the good news is that the tools are free and you already have the knowledge” —Fauzia Burke (Founder of FSB Associates).
4. Blogging allows you to develop your writing
Blogging can help both aspiring and established writers. Regurlarly creating content for your blog means constant writing practice. You learn to write and edit quickly and efficiently while creating your blog posts.
A lot of writers starting blogs are aiming to achieve writing credits beyond those that blogging provides; these could include paid writing jobs, book publishing (both print and ebook) and other jobs through publications that have pre-established notoriety. Producing, editing and uploading posts on a regular basis allows you to become rounded in your abilities making you and your work more appealing to companies, journals, magazines and competitions.
Blogging is a great way to show your talents and interests to prospective employers, while adding an edge to your resume. If you blog consistently it shows your dedication, passions and creativity - all of which are key attributes employers look for in job candidates”—Lauren Conrad (Author).
This efficiency allows you to use the time you would usually spend on producing general content, on testing new techniques and styles to use. It’s a way to spread your wings creatively and develop the style that will become typically you.
5. Your readers can give you direct feedback
Direct audience feedback is one thing print publications do not provide to authors. Most, if not all, blogging platforms have comment forums for readers to leave their opinions, criticisms and praise about your posts. Their comments let you know what they like, what they don’t like, what they are interested in and which writing conventions and techniques you use work and don’t work.
The good comments are the ones worth cherishing. They make you feel good about yourself and your writing, which only motivates you to create more for them to read.
The blogging community is friendly, encouraging, and genuinely cheering for you to succeed—the only thing missing is you”—Joshua Becker (Blogger).
Though there can be bad and hard-hitting comments that come your way, you can use these to your advantage too. You can choose to take what they say on board; find a way to alter some things in the way you write to make your writing more accessible. Or you can choose to ignore what they say; after all, you don’t know them.
There are many ways that blogging can help you with your writing. Even if you are blogging with your settings on private and all you are writing for is you, the discipline and practice could give you invaluable skills that publishers and employers are looking for.
So what are you still doing here? Go and start a blog. There are so many words out there just waiting to be written. Make your voice heard.