Blogging requires that you write regularly. I may not write as regularly as I should, but having written roughly 50,000 words in the last year for blogs, after barely writing since college, I’ve greased an old and rusty wheel that makes it easier to write today.
The commitment to blog is a commitment that doesn’t stop. Writing becomes nothing special or magical. It doesn’t require a muse to come down and land on my shoulder. It’s a discipline. And like yoga or getting regular exercise or showing up at work every day, once it becomes a habit, it doesn’t just come when the moment strikes me. Facing the keyboard, the strain of producing a masterpiece can’t get in the way of the work.
Blogging as a path to critical thinking
Blogging is thinking.
You are taking an idea or responding to an idea that someone else has presented or putting together a collection of thoughts into a new idea. There are so many people blogging that if you don’t have something original to say, you’ll disappear into the mass. You have to think. So you think and develop your own thoughts on a topic. And in time, you get better at it.
Blogging teaches you to listen
Some of the easiest blog posts to write have been those that came from the comments on a post or from someone sharing a link to the post on Twitter with an interesting comment. Listening to people (even virtually) and having others to bounce ideas off can be a helpful way of developing an idea.
Blogging improves communication skills
I have heard many people speak on a particular topic and try to get through to an audience about it. But, I remember the point (and the person who made it) when that point is communicated in a way that sticks. Writing regularly is a way of way of practicing the art of getting through to people.
The feedback from blogging is your teacher
Have you said anything worthwhile? Have you said anything worth sharing or commenting on ? Was it controversial.? Sometimes you know the answer to those questions when you’ve finished writing the post, but you will certainly know after you have published it.
Google analytics and even basic blog stats will give you the detailed information to make even better decisions. If one of the goals of your business is education, as it is at Social Media Explorer and Lion Brand—both blogs that I am involved with—the response to blog posts can inform your curriculum. If you’re selling a product, you’ll get a lot of insight from the comments that people write.
Blogging and the mindfulness of ideas
The requirement to generate posts regularly means you have to recognize a good idea. In my pre-blogging days, ideas would often come and evaporate as quickly as dreams. As a blogger, if I have an idea while I’m reading an article or in the midst of a conversation, I notice it as worthy of a post , and capture it. Getting in the habit of noticing an idea worthy of development is one of the most useful skills of all. Whether you are an artist or a business person, you need to be able to recognize a good idea when it passes momentarily through your mind and grab it so you can make it come to life.