We're encouraged to start and run blogs for all sorts of reasons - build a following, enhance our brand, maintain a position in our industry, and such like;
and many people who blog share their posts across social media sites, encouraging us to 'like', and sign up for their latest posts via email or similar.
But there's a lot of people I know who have blogs that maybe shouldn't - not because they're not genuinely interesting people, or have valuable things to say, but because I get the impression from what they post (and how infrequently they post), that they've not thought about what the purpose of their blog is for. And I've always held that unless you know why you're doing something in your enterprise, then you're probably wasting time and energy that could be better spent on other things.
So - in the interests of trying to encourage others who blog (or are thinking about it), a recap of why I blog (all of which could be seen as aspects of "I'm a freelancer and it gets very lonely sometimes"):
- Most social media channels make it difficult to be able to present a reasoned idea in them. Readers of a blog are more self-selecting in wanting to spend more than 3 seconds on my latest update, which means although there may be fewer of them in comparison, they're more likely to want to engage in the debate and discussion I'm seeking;
- I've no regular team of colleagues who I get to hang out with in the office/kitchen/lunch/etc on a regular/frequent basis - people whom I would otherwise use as my 'sounding board' to reflect on experiences and ideas to make sure I wasn't starting to loose touch with reality. A blog acts as my surrogate 'chat while the kettle boils' - in essence, I'm looking to you all to help me spot if I'm starting to 'loose the plot' in how I think about, and approach, the work that I do;
- As a freelancer I have no formal or regular appraisal or line management. I've therefore created what many see as an extensive and envious/commendable CPD framework for/around myself. My blog forms part of this - giving me a space to critically reflect on aspects of my work, and how I approach it;
- I have an idea that many enterprises suffer because of hype and spin in the wider sector - making poorly informed decisions because they're not aware of the 'bigger picture', or possible alternatives. I'm always keen to challenge this when I come across it, and my blog is a route through which I can do this (don't believe me? check out some of my previous posts about CICs, and why we shouldn't be listening to our sectors' leaders...)
In all of the above, I'm always keen to get comment and response from people to help me:
- better develop my own understandings and approaches to issues
- assure me of my (relative) santiy
- make sure my knowledge and skills are as current and relevant as they can be for the sake of groups I support
- (make sure I'm not becomming libelous...)
So there you are - the 4 reasons I try and blog at least once a month.
I suspect many of these won't be shared by other bloggers, but if they are - please let me know where I've gotten it wrong in the comments below!