I’ve dreaded this day for much of the semester. Today is the last class session for my blogging class.
It was the first time for us to offer a course focused solely on blogging. I was giddy to teach the course, and my students seemed just as excited to take it.
Then, it happened—the recognition that blogging is a lot of work.
My students have one more required blog post after today’s class. After that, they’ll decide whether they want to continue blogging. They already survived a critical milestone, since most people quit their blogs within two or three months of starting them.
I still hope they see enough value in what they’ve learned this semester to continue their blogging endeavors. I’ll spend today’s class attempting to reinforce all of theses reasons they should keep blogging.
1. You’re developing a skill
Whether it’s been months or years, think about how much you know about blogging now that you didn’t know when you started. Blogging is a unique and sought-after skill to add to your professional toolbox.
2. You’re targeting an audience
Every function of business is based on some audience, target or customer you’re attempting to reach with a customized message. Blogging helps you practice these functions.
3. Your traffic is growing
Even though your traffic might not be growing at the rate in which you hoped, the fact that new people are visiting and reading shows that there is an interested audience.
4. You’re gaining subscribers
Again, you may not be gaining subscribers at the rate you hoped, but this shows that people are interested in your content and are becoming invested in your site.
5. Your writing is improving
Writing is a fundamental life skill that improves with practice. Every blog post you write makes you a better writer.
6. You’re meeting deadlines
My students were required to blog once a week, on a set day of their choice. Just meeting this weekly deadline helps them practice becoming motivated and working on a schedule, even when they didn’t want to.
7. You’re managing content
Most content management programs are similar. Learning the basics of blog and post decisions helps learn these programs, opening up future job opportunities and making students more valuable employees.
8. You’re building professional relationships
Blogging allows you to engage with professionals in the blogging industry, in your niche and in other areas, building your professional network and creating lasting relationships.
9. You’re promoting content
Part of running a successful blog is about strategically promoting content and engaging with your audience via social media. Learning how to strategically and effectively deliver content to an audience is a booming career industry.
10. You’re being creative
We need creative outlets, like writing and designing. Blogs are a fun, creative hobby.
11. You’re building your resume
Blogging is a great springboard for other writing and professional opportunities.
12. You’re reading more
Reading makes you more informed and helps you become a better writer. Blogging helps you read more because you want to read other blogs and learn more about your niche and blogging in general.
13. You’re thinking critically
Blogging means looking at the information available and thinking about how you can add your own perspectives and make it suitable to your audience. During this process, you are evaluating various ideas and either accepting or rejecting them, based on your knowledge of the content. Thinking critically is an important life skill.
14. You’re researching
No, you’re probably not using academic journals in your blogging, but you are using your informal research skills. You are, at the least, using what my colleague calls “the Google machine” to gather and evaluate information.
15. You’re entertaining
Your blog content entertains your readers, which is one of the purposes of providing information.
16. You’re teaching
You’re using your blog to inform your audience about something with which they are unfamiliar
17. You’re a community member
Of course you were a member of several communities before you were a blogger, but now you’re a member of the blogging community. The blogging community is a unique, online group whose interactions are based on reciprocity. It is much different from other professional media communities, which tend to have competitive undertones.
After seven years of blogging, I still find a lot of value in the practice. I hope my students will continue growing and developing as bloggers.