The term ‘blog’ nowadays seems to sound like an old term yet in some ways, most of us commit to it. Before we go down to the reasons why people still blog, let’s revisit a little bit of the history of blogging.
It all started not so long ago in the 1990s when Justin Hall, a student from Swarthmore College created a site called links.net to publish his writing. The site itself featured brief posts containing links alongside some of his thoughts on a topic. But blogging back then wasn’t easy as you need to learn HTML codes. In short, advanced technical skills were needed. Few years later, blogging platforms started to rise in popularity. Sites such as LiveJournal, Xanga and WordPress gained traction due to the ease of use and efficiency. Since then, the general public uses blogging as a way to share news, opinions, and personal stories.
The emergence of social media such as Facebook and Twitter introduces users to ‘microblogging’. Despite this, it doesn’t affect blogging as much as we thought since blogging has evolved and expanded. It has shifted from personal diaries to influential online platforms used for communication, expression, education, branding, and much more.
So why do people still blog? The following are the reasons some of us find comfort in blogging.
#1 A Place for Creative Outlet and Therapeutic Purposes
Being creative is indeed a part of human nature. This is also the reason why there are prehistoric cave drawings and ancient stories and myths. As human beings, we need and are inclined to be creative because doing ensures our sanity. Creative activities help to fight anxiety since it activates the parts of our brains that process emotions. Any creative ventures help to calm brain activity, thus enabling one to feel calm.
This is where blogging is still relevant. The activity helps individuals to express themselves creatively, and share their thoughts, ideas and opinion with audiences around the world. Sometimes it also helps people to connect and establish engaging and meaningful conversations.
#2 Long-form Content
As mentioned above, the emergence of social media platforms provides users with a chance to microblog. However, for some, there’s a limit to the number of words which you can write. Facebook, for example, has a 63,206 character limit. That translates to around 10,000 words. However, it is not advisable for you to do that since visual posts usually perform better than the 10K words you write.
Let’s have a look at the other popular social media, Twitter/X. Traditionally, Twitter has always been known as a platform where users can only write a short post with a limit of 280 characters including space. This has been revised and users can write up to 4,000 characters. However, if you want to write a long post, you have to subscribe to Twitter Blue. That means you have to fork out a certain amount of money.
In contrast, blogging provides a space for in-depth exploration and analysis of topics. Some subjects require more comprehensive coverage that isn’t feasible on platforms with character limits.
#3 Portfolio and Resume Building
Blogging is one of the most important tools blessed to people who work in the creative industries. If you are photographers, writers, designers, and etc. blogging can actually help you in many ways. A blog serves as an online portfolio where you can showcase your work, skills and experience to potential customers or employers.
On a similar topic, it is also an opportunity for collaboration—with people from the same niche can help you to promote your blog and enhance your online presence, thus solidifying your reputation as one of the people in that industry.
# 4 Community Building
It is normal for a blog writer to stick to a niche. This niche normally draws people from the same interest. Bloggers often build loyal audiences and connections through their blogs.
Take Tim Urban as an example. He started writing his blog, ‘Wait But Why’ in 2013. In his interview with Forbes, he stated, “Andrew and I started ‘Wait But Why’ in 2013, at the time knowing almost nothing about growing a blogging community”. He, then, paired it up with the power of social media (i.e. microblogging) and he nabs it. “I think more than any time in the past, in today’s world, if you do something really consistently good, it’s fairly likely to end up being noticed by a bunch of people”. His blog has garnered millions of page views and famous fans such as Elon Musk and Evan Williams.
The saying ‘birds of a feather flock together’ is never truer.
Money makes the world go round. Blogging is a useful and easy tool to get some money. Your blog can be monetized through various methods such as affiliate marketing, sponsored content, selling products and courses, and displaying ads.
How do you go about this? Keep writing. The more you write, the more your blog contributes to search engine optimization (SEO). Fresh and quality content on a blog can improve a website’s search engine ranking. This, consequently, drives organic traffic and potential customers.
To answer the question of whether blogging is still relevant, well, the answer is yes. Some of the famous names and websites such as Tucker Max (tuckermax.com), Mario Lavandeira (perezhilton.com), Michael Arrington (techcrunch.com) and many others started with blogs. If they can do it, so can you.