Why in the world would I start a blog?

First of all, writing in itself is very therapeutic. Many of people, who are not so apt about expressing themselves verbally and need more time to formulate their thoughts before speaking, would find this alternative more favorable. Writing allows for one to thoroughly construct thoughts without the pressure of live interaction. Sometimes, there are things that we are not comfortable saying out loud or in person, or we do not know who to tell these things to.

By writing blogs, we reduce the discomfort of expressing our inner most feelings, especially when it comes to sensitive topics. There is also the very popular option of remaining anonymous to the public, which allows one to let go of fears of judgment and social pressure. Many people even keep private blogs just so that they can release their feelings through cathartic posts. This has helped ease symptoms of anxiety, depression and even illnesses like asthma and rheumatoid arthritis.

The best thing about blogs is that your posts are kept on record, so you can look back at them anytime you feel like, for whatever reason necessary. It is basically like keeping an online diary. If ever a person eventually feels the urge to share these thoughts with a special friend they can trust, they can always send a link to their blog.

Another cool thing about blogging is that you can write whatever you want to write about, whenever you want to. Your target market will be those who subscribe to your blog because they are interested in the things you write in the first place. Thus, you are able to write for yourself with the added benefit of support from the people who appreciate what you’re all about. There is also room for versatility, as you can write about anything you wish to without the restrictions of themes or genres. In fact, you will find that many of the more popular bloggers are those with a wide array of topics, as they cater to many different types of people.

Because your viewers will be those who are, in some way, similar to you or at least share the same interests, you will also be able to connect with people who understand and appreciate you- or at least are intrigued by you, at the very least. Thus, you will be able to talk to them about the thoughts and opinions you share, and debate about ideas you do not. Either way, it is a learning experience. These people can also help you through suggestions, support or even opportunities.

You may also, through these connections, form collaborations and help each other put your words into action if you wish to take your blogging a step further. In my personal experience, connections through blogging has proved to be helpful in this sense. Just to give you an idea, I wrote about the poor condition of a home for the elderly some time ago. And wouldn’t you know it? A large amount of my readers requested that we create an NGO to support these elderly people. News of this reached a TV station which, as a result, did a feature on the elderly home and even paid for the renovation of the place. All this arose from a single blog entry which I did not intend, moreover expect, to be so influential.

The magic of blogging is that you don’t realize the capacity you have to touch others, simply by writing about something you are passionate about. You will find that many blogs you come across have political, environmental and socio-cultural themes. The writers passionately and convincingly sway people to support their cause. In their own way, they are able to make a difference. Once a blogger is able to get a viewer who is just as adamant about their cause, but probably could not have put it into words as well as they thought the blogger did, the post will spread like wildfire.

It will be linked from one supporter to another until eventually, someone will have taken the initiative to do something about it. This is very advantageous to those bloggers who have so many ideas, suggestions, and critiques but don’t know what to do with them or how to get started. They can make a difference in their own way by simply sharing their knowledge and opinions- by being the spark that starts a fire while having others fuel it for them.

Blogging is also a very effective way of marketing. If you or your friends have a business, blogging is one of the best ways to get it out there. Simply plug in the link of your blog anywhere acceptable, and people can read about whatever it is that you are promoting. We are living in a digital age wherein online advertizing is very rampant, as many people now have access to the web. Thus, blog marketing is and will probably continue to be very effective. If you are not trying to promote anything of your own, you also have the option of marketing for others. One can make promotions or reviews about products, events, and even artists and can earn some money every time they get a page view or are able to link readers to the site of whatever entity is being marketed. It’s all about collaboration and convincing writing skills.

Another benefit to blogging is that it’s a great way to help people. I cannot count the number of times I referred to a blog for advice, first-hand reviews, or information about something I’m rather unfamiliar with. It’s a great way to share what you know and give tips to those who need it. What’s more, people you’ve helped will come to respect you and may even refer you to their friends. You will gain a reputable name in whatever field your blog specializes on, or simply become known as a very informative and educated writer. This could be helpful in one’s professional life and many opportunities and benefits arise from bloggers who have become well renowned because of the people they have helped.

Blogging can also help you become a better writer, and more importantly, a contemplative person. Not only does the practice improve your writing, it also allows for you to become accustomed to reflecting more deeply. Because you are able to gather your thoughts and put them into writing, it encourages you to dig even deeper, think even wider, know even more. It allows for us to debate with the things we have written, since we sometimes imagine what our own devil’s advocate would say about our opinions. This practice allows us to present stronger, more informed arguments and keeps us open-minded as well.

Because we dedicate much of our thoughts and words to certain topics when we blog, we also learn more about ourselves. People get to identify the things that matter enough for them to write about. Once individuals come to identify what these things are, they begin to realize why they are important to them and how they can integrate their passions into their everyday lives -even in their careers! Blogging also helps us keep up-to-date with our fields of interest.

I write for an astronomy column in one of my blogs and because of this, I’m happily forced to keep myself well-informed about what’s going on in the world of nebulae and black holes – and I’m loving the fresh information! Many people, like me, have the tendency to become so caught up with our careers that we forget to keep in-tune with the things that excite us and keep our lives interesting. Because of blogging, we are allowed to take a break from the world of facts and figures and enter into a mindset wherein we can feed ourselves with information that incites us. What’s more is the sense of accomplishment and confidence we gain when we are able to articulate these things as personally and creatively as we wish.

Blogging is more than just about being heard. It is more than getting your name out there. It can improve your way of thinking about the environment around you, the things that interest you, and even yourself. Through the introspection that is encouraged through writing, we begin to realize why we are passionate about certain things, what we take a stand for, and why. We gain motivation and encouragement from positive feedback, as well as open-mindedness and humility from the negative ones.

Blogging helps us become more comfortable with who we are because we are able to put it all out there –even the things we sometimes have a hard time admitting to ourselves. It is so pleasantly surprising when we realize that we are not alone. We find that others can relate to us and are even thankful that we share what we do when we write. Blogging is about being opinionated, artistic, informed, or even silly. It is simply being yourself, only, on the net.