I talk to a lot of people working in different organizations, and most of them wistfully say to me, “I need to spend more time writing.”
We all know we’re supposed to have a blog, we’re supposed to update it every thirty seconds, we’re supposed to have an elaborate content marketing strategy, we’re supposed to amaze and enthral the world our thoughts and insights.
Yet we don’t.
Part of this is it’s hard to find the time, but I think part of it is that blogging feels like a chore, something we are supposed to do.
We don’t respond well to obligations. We want to do things because we like to do them, not because we have to do them.
I don’t blog because I have to, though certainly as a writer and communications consultant it is important to show I can in fact write and communicate. Rather, I blog because I enjoy blogging.
I enjoy blogging because I get lots out of it. Here are five reasons I blog, beyond the standard, boring marketing lines of “to increase my web traffic” and “to build my brand.”
1. Blogging helps me clarify my thinking.
Sometimes thoughts get jumbled in my head. Putting them down on paper makes them clearer and provides the space for self-reflection. There’s also something about writing that makes me consider the topic I’m writing about more deeply than if I didn’t write about it.
2. I get to share my expertise.
It is incredibly gratifying to use my skills to help others, and there’s no quicker way to share tips on writing and communications than by sharing them on my blog. Then it’s fun to see conversations unfold on social media and hear that something I’ve written on my blog has been helpful for someone else.
My blog posts on copywriting were fun for this reason. They were simple and helpful for many people.
3. I can publicly recognize others.
It’s fun to be able to acknowledge the people I’ve learned from and those who have helped me in my progression as a writer and a consultant, like in this post where I gave some love to my tribes. And who doesn’t like being on the receiving end of that kind of love?
This, incidentally, is a fantastic reason for businesses and charities to blog. Give your clients, donors and sponsors some love! It will get you more clients, donors, and sponsors. Promise.
4. Sometimes I have an idea that demands to be put on paper.
When this happens, it’s easier to give in and write the blog, rather than let the idea obsessively gnaw away at my subconscious, demanding attention.
This is a big part of why I work in communications. It is a true pleasure to take an idea and put it out there in the world for others to engage with it as well. Lots of businesspeople and founders of charities have big ideas they want to share, and it’s fun to work with them to do that.
5. I can celebrate my successes
I work alone. I have zero coworkers to turn to and say, “Hey! This thing happened and it was exciting!”
So I started writing my monthly roundup posts in part to celebrate the successes and share with others what I’ve been up to. It’s also a useful way of taking stock and realizing, hey. I actually did a ton of stuff this month.
These are not the only reasons I blog, but they’re important ones. They keep me motivated to open up my laptop, sit down with a cup of coffee, and take the time to put something out there.
Even still, there are times it is hard to carve out the time, which is why I started Writeshop Wednesdays Ottawa. Every week on Wednesday mornings at 8am, I meet others who want to carve out time to write. We spend an hour writing, often working on blog posts, though #writeshopweds members have also worked on books, op-eds, speaking notes, and lots of other stuff.
Whether you’re in Ottawa or not, I encourage you find the time to blog, and I know it will be easier to find that time if you keep in mind the reasons you’re doing it.
Leave a comment below - what are the reasons you blog? What do you get out of it? Or, if you don't regularly blog, why not? What are the barriers?