Why do people blog?
In my view (you may wish to add to the list), there are 3 main reasons why people blog:
To get attention, to make money and to influence others.
Blogging for Attention
Blogging is an attention-seeking platform by nature. It is positive and negative – just as you seek attention for positive causes (raising money for charity), you can also seek attention for negative causes (as an extreme, attacking a religion).
If you’re a new blogger, attracting attention may seem like your first (and most important) step but it can’t be your end goal. All that attention is useless unless you have the means to convert it to your advantage, whether you are looking to make money or to change people.
Blogging for Money
Blogs are publishing platforms, and information publishing and networks are always a good source of income if you have mindshare and a profitable business plan.
We have talked a lot about making money and attracting attention here at Performancing – see the Blog Monetization and Blog Promotion sections in the Best of Performancing section.
Mind you, as Ryan said earlier, that blogging doesn’t scale well as a source of income unless you outsource it and focus your time on management.
Blogging for Influence
Attracting attention and making money off your blog is, in comparison, simple. Influencing public opinion, whether you are trying to change the views of an industry or of a society, is a different game.
While attracting attention and making money are themes that are often discussed in blogging, we don’t often talk about acquiring the power to influence others. Simply put, very few people / bloggers have the means to influence a mass audience, and it starts with the most basic of things – getting attention and holding peoples’ interest.
So tell me – why do you blog?
Help find lost people at http://www.itsalargeworld.com
Different people have different needs……but the only thing that drives people is — TO WIN!!
People blog to win – win a busines, win a vote, win opinion, win discussions, win relationships….etc……winning makes people happy — http://www.viewsnest.com
Each of the three categories mentioned seems to carry a slight negative connotation, or am I just reading too much between the lines, Ahmed? 😉
When I first started blogging, it was by the recommendation of a friend. None of the three reasons you mentioned were even on my radar. I rather enjoy writing and there’s not many places you can really write your mind and feel some sort of satisfaction (also the reason I wrote for my school newspaper). I think I’ve moved beyond using my blog as merely a creative outlet, although that definitely is a large part still. I’m not quite certain it falls into those three reasons, but it has something to do with sharing my thoughts and enjoying the fact that someone’s reading it – so a little bit of narcissism perhaps, although I think that’s a little too strong of a word for my situation. I’m not that enamored with myself. 😉
Just the motivation to make money online is the poorest (pun fully intended) of reasons. But there are others, none of which are about “getting attention.”
Determining why you want to blog needs to be done before anything else so you can choose a blog niche. Money motivations alone make for a blog that won’t make as much money as it would without one of the other reasons stated above. Combinations of the above motivations are the strongest.
I was vague in my last entry. FWIW, when I said, “My blogs (and most I read) are my work”, I meant really “My blogs are my work, and most that I read are the sole/soul work of their authors.” The point being: I just don’t see how anyone else could write in the blog of another, but that’s just in this niche, perhaps.
I want to echo Truden. It may seem trite, but indeed I know I speak for a large-ish blogging community in a particular software niche: most of the folks who do it (in the 100+ range) do it to share knowledge with each other. They’ve learned from others this way and want to return the favor.
Sure, some do it as much (at the same time) for any or all of the 3 reasons you cite, but as Truden says, for some, the real core is just to share knowledge.
It need not be always entirely altruistic, either. Some come right out and say that they write an entry just to have a place to hold some tip they’ve learned so that they can easily find it for themselves later. 🙂
I have come to learn that blogs and blogging do indeed mean very different things to different people. For instance, the whole notion of “selling a blog” still mystifies me. My blogs (and most I read) are my work. No one else could possibly do it, and I daresay many wouldn’t read it if I wasn’t doing it (of course, they’d just read someone else’s), but I can’t see how I could have someone else write my blog. But again, I come from a technical perspective, where the blog is about sharing knowledge within a well-defined community.
To me, blogs serve a purpose to put info out there in a way that’s easily tracked and searched. Sure, one could just put it up as a “tips” page on a web site (which I did starting in 97-98), but blogging adds some important new dimensions–and also helps those who don’t otherwise have a web site.
But I grant that there’s a whole other world of possibilities for which people blog (and read them). Makes it hard, I think, to get a real accurate answer to the question posed in this entry. 🙂
You forgot the very first reason, my friend:
Blogging to share
It all started there.
“Everybody wants the same 3 things: money, fame and to make a difference.” – Pennie Williams.
I think its the same 3 reasons for which people do everything: write books, start a company, work for a non-profit.
Three more reasons people like to blog:
1. Enjoy writing
2. Creative outlet
3. Can learn and become expert in niche
I find that one of the things that drives me to blog is the brainstorming aspect and the feeling out of collective wisdom from readers…in other words, to experiment and learn.