Bloggers: what even is the point of your blog?

Well, let's restate that a little bit: what is the purpose of your blog?

I see a lot of other indie hackers who blog, including people in my same domain (people doing or who have done startup in a month challenges):

I wonder why they do it, and why I should do it. What benefit does it serve?

Is it for marketing and attention seeking? For example: people follow their blogs, which means they're following along with the products they're building, which means they could become the initial users, or could do word-of-mouth marketing for their friends/family/connections.

Is it for personal reflection? For example: blogging is a way to think about what you're doing, recognize good and bad patterns, which will improve your game?

Is it for something else that I'm not seeing?

Anyway, if you have some thoughts about why they do it, or why you blog, then let me know down below 👇

  1. 4

    Great question, and I've thought about it over the years too. I kind of see it as a diary or journal of my life. I started writing around 2010 and it's magical to be able to go back and see what you thought and felt throughout changing times.

    I started blogging because I saw people on HN do it. And I wanted to kind of use it as a portfolio site when I made music and music videos ~2011.

    Then when I started traveling in 2013, it was really nice as a travel blog and to keep my family updated.

    Then it transformed into writing about building startups/websites/apps.

    So as you see the objective of it keeps changing. It's kind of a creative outlet of what's on my mind at that time.

    Just like other things like Twitter, I feel like the less you try to rationalize and make an objective of it, and instead just express on them from your feelings/heart in an honest way whatever you feel, it works much better and is more pure.

    Writing also is a way to structure your thoughts as many others have said.

    When I'm older it'll be nice to look back on my life and my blog will be among the best archive documents to see what I did and how I felt.

    1. 1

      Woah! The man himself shows up to weigh in.

      Writing from a place of intuition I think is the way to go. When I made this thread, I was trying to get more strategic about my writing: more targeted, more directed, more effective, etc. But I found that I started writing less because I wasn't sure which direction I wanted to go in. That's even worse than not having a clear objective! Aimless writing is way better than no writing at all.

      Your comments about your writing changing over the years are also interesting to hear. Right now I'm still in the early days, so maybe the fact that I don't have a direction in my blogs is because I'm still in an experimental stage. Maybe once something catches on my writing will undergo an evolution.

      ... shameless plug, if you want to check it out, here's a link: https://startupinamonth.net/

      Thanks for weighing in Pieter :)

  2. 4

    I'm blogging // write articles because:

    • I try to help others
    • I want to share my thoughts
    • I want to share things that I like
    • I want to share things that I'm doing (this will be my focus in the next months)

    I'm doing it on https://lcfd.me/ (always work in progress) and on Twitter https://twitter.com/lc_fd

  3. 2

    2 Reasons for me:

    1. Document annoying things that I figured out so others save time. (Coding or devops related or law related for example)
    2. Just dumping random thoughts on (digital) paper - for reflection, for fun, for no reason at all.
  4. 1

    There are lots of reasons to blog. You covered some of them:

    • Marketing / attention: give people a reason to look at what you're doing
    • Personal reflection: we retain what we learn better when we teach that which we have learned

    But also:

    • Authority: people don't know how knowledgable you are on a given topic unless you show it (writing/blogging is one way to show your knowledge)
    • Trust: people buy from people they know, like, and trust... when people spend time reading helpful things you've written, they trust you and are more likely to buy from you (or hire you)
    • SEO: if you want search engines to send you free website traffic (for any of the above reasons) then you need to have something worth sending traffic to
    • Practice: some people blog as a means of getting better at writing
    • Affiliate Income: write product reviews, people buy through your affiliate link, you make money
    • Creative outlet: some people just love to write, and prefer to do it on the internet

    Personally... I probably hit all of the above reasons to some degree between the 3 or 4 web properties I blog on.

  5. 1

    I'm considering starting a blog and thinking through this myself, so hopefully my thoughts could be helpful.

    Seth Godin talks about how habit of blogging everyday forces him to notice things, which ultimately improves thinking. Journaling privately is fine, but putting it publicly on the internet would really make you recognize which ideas are good vs. bad. And if you're big enough to get engagement, then you can really contribute to how people see and think about things.

    Personally I'm not planning to blog everyday. But I do think putting it online would force me to make my thoughts sharper, more concise, and hopefully useful. It would definitely be great to get attention, make money, etc. Hopefully that would come if I manage to add value to others through my blog, but at worst, it's feels like a good practice with little downside.

    Just registered here too and signed up for a Twitter account, so going all in! https://twitter.com/HewsPang

  6. 1

    I blog to record my progress to reach $10k a month as a freelance writer. I also want to release a product that writers can use in the future. So my blog will be proof that I know what I'm doing.

  7. 1

    Let's see if my perspective on the matter will be helpful.
    I've been writing down, using paper and pencil, my insights, ideas, observations, takes, commentaries, and such daily for a couple of years now. It clears my mind, streamlines my convoluted inner processes, helps me to distill what do I care about the most, solidify my inner state (I am what I write about myself :). There is a solid scientific case about the health benefits of personal writing if you are still skeptical about my personal testimony. ..
    Recently, I decided to build a regular blog and publish posts on topics I have strong opinions on and likely are of interest to the broader audience. So in my case, it is an unforced organic process from my messy mind to the notebook to the online blog.
    But why go public? Motivation is: to share what I've figured out, to connect to like-minded people, solicit comments, prompt sharing similar stories, all of which will make it all richer; for validation of some thought experiment, for securing it ...
    But it is not all. I plan to build products such as books or courses around the blog. In that case, the blog embedded in a website will be a natural marketing tool, so to speak; here I am, my personal story, my life philosophy, my way of thinking, my interests all together create a certain unique background that another person can connect to, trust and buy if chooses so.

  8. 1

    I think of it as an investment, I make almost $10 a month on my blog so it's not about the money but I will probably focus more on promotion at some point. For me it started as a way of marketing my products. But I think of it more as a living resume and source of exposure for networking now.

  9. 1

    I blog for personal reflection and keeping a log of my progress.

    A blog is not a marketing tool until you have at least 500 subscribers.

    The Makers above have mastered the art of personal branding - I think that's why they do it.

    1. 1

      I've asked around a few different places, and I think that idea is spot on. After I gain an audience I can turn my thoughts to crafting my posts into marketing material, but for now it's much more valuable to me if I just write period.

      Thanks @tdbryant2!

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