This post was originally written for a college assignment asking students to explore why people blog. No word limit was enforced.
Every article I read mentioned that blogging facilitated learning by forcing the writer to research their subject more. They also mentioned the power of the comment section, and how that would help teach the writer more. Comments are a particularly interesting thing. There have been studies conducted that prove online comments make people enjoy the article itself less, and there’s natural human bias to believe negative feedback more. While deciding to listen to or ignore the comments, the writer (and even readers) need to do more research beyond just reading the comments to get closer to what’s “correct”.
Blogging is a relatively easy way to accomplish several things at once, if it’s done well. There are so many benefits that it’s very common to see blogs for entire companies. Those benefits can be summarized well in this article that was written by the marketing company I work at.
Personally, when something is attached to my name, I attempt to clean it up as much as possible so I may try and maintain a professional image. However, wanting that also comes at the cost of caring too much about little things. It’s very rare that I post a blog that is attached to my real name, but it’s not uncommon to see something written from an internet persona of mine just because there’s no pressure to write something “valid”. In the end, am I just missing out on chances to promote myself? Even doing little things like sharing articles is a chance to show you’re keeping up with the latest happenings.
Overall, it’s hard to deny that people just want their thoughts and opinions heard. Blogging is a terrific platform for that, of course. But is that selfish? More importantly, does it matter if it’s selfish? I follow the thoughts of popular YouTubers on this subject. Essentially, be selfish. If you care what other people think, and what the metrics are, you’ll run out of steam pretty quickly. Even if it doesn’t “get popular”, as long as it’s useful to you, then at least you have an archive of your thoughts and the experiences of getting them.
EDIT 6/18/2016: I had a much longer piece below this point originally, but I’m taking it out now and editing as a separate post. I also added the italicized preface.