Twitter is like a calling card. Facebook is like a phone call. Blogging is like a full-fledged conversation. Those in the knowhow in regards blogging will tell you that it is hard because of the grind required to stay interesting and relevant.
It is not about publishing as much as you can. It is about publishing as smart as you can. And as a norm, it requires passion and authority – which leaves out most people.
Blogs which originated as online diaries or journals have taken the digital world by storm over the past 20 or so years.
The word Blog originated as slang for ‘web-log’- a term that was coined in the 90s. The very first blog was called Links.net, a place where people could share their reflections and, their favourite links with the world. It was just a simple page with manually updated HTML but it changed the course of how people shared ideas and content on the web.
Of course Facebook and Twitter might have been increasingly ingrained in our everyday lives as a valuable source of information but these two are at best compared to a bowl of crispy bread that one gets before the main course but not entirely satisfying.
Meanwhile, blogging has become the main course, the source of context. And the evolution into that role has injected new life into the blogosphere.
When blogging started, the first blogs were glorified online journals, and in all likelihood, becoming a professional blogger and making money online wasn’t the goal. Since then, the blogosphere has evolved, and now people blog for many different reasons. There are even distinctions among types of blogs – business, lifestyle, fashion, food, and entertainment blogs, among others.
Grace Sibanda who blogs about Christian related topics says that blogging gives her the space to speak away what’s in her heart that may help someone somewhere out there.
Not certain as to when she started blogging said she had a blog website called ‘Word Heaven’ which was an utter failure and eventually started on the current one on a trial basis. “Then I started enjoying it,” she adds.
Grace explained that she is mostly motivated by the global reach a blog has. “Blogging gives me the opportunity to express the word of God through poetry, speeches and just plain unstructured colloquay,” she says.
Sharing personal experiences with the world was the reason blogging came into existence and it is still a valid reason to many bloggers today. Most people simply blog for personal reasons. It may be for writing about their daily experiences but for some it may not even matter whether anybody reads what they write. They just do what they do because they enjoy doing it.
Blogging allows people to express opinions, to share common interests with people all over the world. It gives the established author a forum to dialogue with readers. Blogging gives the opportunity to connect and network with likeminded individuals who share the same passions.
Some people’s passions lean toward supporting a cause. Whether it’s a political, environmental or social cause, a blog is a great way to build awareness and garner support. Some people blog to share knowledge especially those who love teaching. For some, blogging helps them to refine their writing skills. Today, the world’s biggest brands also use blogs to tell their story, promote their products, and connect with their audiences in ways that were once considered impossible.
For companies and entrepreneurs, gaining online visibility is one of the best ways to grow subscribers, leads and ultimately revenue. Businesses create blogs primarily to expand their online presence, connect with potential customers, promote their brand in a positive conversation, and even generate online revenue.
Blogging is a great way for aspiring authors and freelance writers to build up an online portfolio. By showcasing their writing skills on large platforms with expansive reach, freelancers can grow their exposure and sign new clients.
According to Atuhe Namupala, a local blogger, her blog is empowering in its honesty and it paints pictures of her life story in an expressive manner. “Some experiences are seen as a taboo but to someone who reads it and relates, they may see it as a gift. There’s nothing more rewarding than sharing your story and seeing that someone else appreciates and relates to you,” she expressed.
Blogging is hard work…
It’s true, growing a persistent audience with your blog takes time. Making enough money from your blog takes time. But that puts blogging very much in good company with the traditional ways of founding and growing a business.
“Considering the material I do and my conceptualization process I cannot blog every Tuesday or other day. I then decided to blog whenever I feel the conviction to do so. However, this is tricky because I do feel those that read my blog may be left hanging at times. Besides that blogging is a lot of fun, the only challenge is consistency.”
She adds that when you blog, one always has to proof read their content before posting it and be sure to defend what they post. As the internet and technology become more ingrained in our day-to-day lives, the benefits of blogging become impossible to ignore. However, unlike in the early days, bloggers don’t need to have computer science degrees or particular knowledge. It only takes software such as WordPress.com, Blogger.com, weebly.com and Wix.com to mention a few and ‘how to start a blog’ guides to set up a blog.
However, being a good writer is not a prerequisite for a successful blog. Many very high profile bloggers are self-proclaimed terrible writers, and part of their success could be attributed to their message of “If I can do it, so can you.” Grace who thinks of opening a travel blog soon admits that blogging requires more commitment and engagement but it’s always worth a try. “Yes if you feel like going for a blog give it a try. It is not scary or difficult.”