I’ve never much fancied writing a blog, for a long time I felt it was akin to screaming into the void, ‘nobody’s listening and nobody cares’ was my mantra. It was an exercise for the supremely vain so that they might echo their words back to themselves in the cavernous chamber of the internet, simply for the sparse like or comment. A pretty scathing review, right? So, what’s changed? In the greatest of online formats, here’s five reasons why I felt compelled to blog.
1. Two-way conversation
Many people start writing blogs because they feel they have something to offer the world, something valuable that people just need to know. They’re not necessarily wrong. In my experience, many people do have a wealth of things to offer the world and they’re all rich and beautiful in their own way. However, it is also true that the majority of all blogs ever created have virtually zero readers. Why? There’s a lot of stuff on the internet, and it’s painfully true that nobody cares… until you give them a reason to care.
Nobody cares about your hackneyed review of Ghostbusters that’s several decades too late. Nobody cares about your meandering story of the cabin you used to visit as a child. Instead, readers need to derive value from your words. How can you help them right now? Better still, if you can create a two-way conversation where readers can feel a part of the narrative, suddenly instead of a bystander, they are a contributor to a community. Then they are invested in the ideas, topics and discussions generated, then they supremely care!
My thinking with this blog is I will create posts that generate this kind of conversation, whether it be monthly book clubs to talk about literature or ‘questions of the week’ that open a dialogue between myself and the reader. If, somehow, this blog proves popular I will open my writing up to incorporate reader submissions. So, in the spirit of creating a two-way dialogue; what do you think I should write about? Is there anything I’ve been a part of or touched upon in the past that you wish you knew more about? What topics would you like me to explore? Are there currently obstacles in your life you feel would be beneficial to explore in this kind of forum?
2. It’s not all about you
Sorry broseph, but it’s simply not all about you. I want to write, and more importantly, I want to get good at writing. There’re no shortcuts there it seems, the only way to improve is to just do it. Regularly. Therefore, part of the reason I am writing this blog is because it is all about me, though, not in as vain a way as I once considered. Instead it’s all about practice. I can test all kinds of ideas and different formats. It is a literary playground for me to go wild and crazy in! Some of my articles will be more popular and evoke more responses, some will fall flat, but that doesn’t matter. Through assessing my content and seeing what resonates I can see what works and what doesn’t and adjust accordingly. That also means my readers and followers get better content that appeals to them. Everybody wins!
“Writing is thinking. To write well is to think clearly. That’s why it’s so hard.”
― David McCullough
It is also about thinking. My recent reading has taught me the importance of thinking and the use of writing and conversation to organise thought. I am a believer in the philosophy that proper thinking, having a truly original thought, is difficult. (Some, like Twain, believed it’s entirely impossible, but let’s not go there, eh.) We all know this from Facebook and perhaps more starkly, the dreaded Twitterverse. Endless reams of regurgitated thoughts or insights that’re ten-a-penny on your newsfeed. Even seemingly off-the-cuff responses in the comments are recited, often poorly, from a comment past read, or from some ill-reputed, bitter Youtuber. I too am guilty of it, everyone is! That’s not to say the comment, thought or idea is untrue and should be instantly discarded. It just means we should all be careful to think once in a while, to question our own beliefs and take stock of what we’re saying. It may mean a regular tearing down of what we think and building it back up. I hope through doing this blog, by writing my ideas in long form, I increase my capacity to think and I encourage others to do the same. Write back to me about my articles, craft responses, add to what I’ve written. Let’s get intellectual!
3. It’s definitely about you
There’s also the elephant in the room that most bloggers choose not to address and I must confess, it does feel a tad uncouth to bring it up. Part of the reason for writing a blog is to gain followers, improve SEO rankings and ultimately all those statistics are meant to lead to financial gain. However, blogs without useful or engaging content tend to suffer, so greed alone is not a useful motivator for the creator. The equation doesn’t balance if the content created is only written to superficially gain followers, they must create engaging or useful content. It makes sense when you think about it, who are these robots out there that want to follow your self-serving and sanctimonious blog? Obviously, no one does, it seems to me blogging is actually a harmonious relationship between writer and reader where they both learn from each other and grow together. So, adventurers, who’s ready to take that journey with me!?
4. I want to give back
The community that has surrounded my projects so far have been fantastically supportive. Those that know my exploits, know I have begun many a project using crowdfunding. The faith of those people who pledged in my ability to deliver is probably stronger than that of my own mother’s. My hope is I can write some articles that are genuinely useful or at least comforting to others embarking on their own similar journeys. I will be talking about crowdfunding, start-ups, leadership, storytelling, thinking and all manner of useful things I’ve picked up over the years that I hope will provoke thought, conversation and action. It’s a lame-ass present, but I can’t afford to give everyone an xbox, so it’ll have to do.
Are you having troubles with any of the topics above? Write in and maybe I can discuss about them.
5. It’s an experiment
I don’t know what’s going to happen. Maybe I was right, maybe nobody cares and all I succeed in doing is screaming into the void. My only success may be adding my words to the almost infinite amount that already exists on the internet. However, there’s still significance to be gained from a lack of success. There’s value to knowing blogging is a waste of time, at least for my particular ideas and content. Either way, through success or failure, I will grow and learn lessons, hopefully so too will the few readers I cajole into listening. Maybe it inspires me start vlogging, or maybe a podcast is a better way to reach people! As a disciple of agile practices, I will remain so with this blog.
Did this article resonate with you? Or perhapos I should stop writing immediately and go to hell! Either way, let me know! Get in touch with me via the contact form on my website.
This article was written by Cameron Readman. If you’d like to know more or receive notifications for future articles, please head over to the Website and subscribe at the bottom of the page!