Is Blogging Still Worth It?

is blogging worth itYesterday in 10 Reasons Blogs Fail we talked about how challenging it can be these days to develop a successful blog. With so many ways to fail, it raises the question is it even worth it to try blogging?

In my opinion, that depends.

Despite the challenges, there are still some tremendous benefits. Five of the most important benefits to blogging include:

  1. Blogging builds your credibility as an expert in your field.
  2. Blog posts can bring in visitors through search engines.
  3. Blogging gives you good, original content to share through social media.
  4. A blog is a great place to share stories of how your organization is helping others.
  5. Blogging can help you build relationships with other experts in your field.

If you’re looking for even more benefits to blogging, check out 40+ Ways Blogging Leads to Success.

Whether blogging is worth it or not depends on two things…

  1. Do you enjoy blogging?
  2. Are you committed to doing what it takes to blog well.

By committed to doing well, I mean are you committed to blogging consistently, engaging with readers, taking the time to think and plan ahead and take the initiative?

Enjoying blogging is key to your success. If you don’t enjoy it, if everything you need to do to make a blog successful sounds like more work rather than an exciting adventure, you’ll find ways to avoid them rather than do them consistently.

If you’ve never blogged before but think you’d like to try it, don’t let all this scare you. There’s no harm in experimenting with blogging. Give it a shot. If after a month or two you find you don’t like it, it’s not working, or it’s not worth it you can always shut it down.

Do you think blogging is still worth it?  Why or why not?

How would you advise a friend or organization that was considering starting a blog?

If you haven’t already done so, please complete the State of the Blogging Universe Survey and check out the other posts in this series.

3) 10 Reasons Blogs Fail <– State of the Blogging Universe Series -> 5) What’s the Best Blogging Platform?

Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, elder of CypressMeadows.org, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck and add him to your circles at Google+ as +Paul Steinbrueck.

18 Responses to “Is Blogging Still Worth It?”

  1. Excellent question and discussion starter! I think blogging is certainly worth it! I wonder if the monks who sat transcribing the Bible by hand wondered if it was worth it. Was this next copy the one that would turn someone's life around… or in many cases, an entire town? Broadcasting your message, if done consistently and well, can have a lasting positive impact in on and offline communities. I'm glad that my pastors blog on a regular basis about their life's struggles, from toothaches to major crisis. It adds a boat load of credibility and personality to our church and pastoral team.

    • PaulSteinbrueck Dec 6, 2011 at 4:41 pm

      Stephen, I think there's a big difference between transcribing the Holy Word of God and blogging one's own thoughts and opinions. But your comment brings up a major factor I neglected to mention in the post – Is God in it?

      Surely those monks were following God's call on their life. Before starting (or continuing) a blog, we should all pray and ask God is this what You want me to do?

      • I agree that there is a huge difference between the Bible and a blog; however the ACT of transcribing and blogging are similar in that their purpose is to reach the masses and further the kingdom. We have always used technology (written books, printing press, radio, television, internet, etc.) to further the Gospel.

        To your final point, there is a big reason I emphasize praying and inviting God into every facet of your church's web design & development process.

  2. Big amen to this: "Enjoying blogging is key to your success. If you don’t enjoy it, if everything you need to do to make a blog successful sounds like more work rather than an exciting adventure, you’ll find ways to avoid them rather than do them consistently." This is exactly the advice I'd give anyone thinking about starting a blog.

    I enjoy blogging. It was the perfect platform for me after the back page essay market for magazines and book review sections of newspapers died. It has been a great place to work out material that has ended up in books. This, of course, is my personal blog but I even enjoy blogging on organizational platforms. Short copy kind of gal~

    • PaulSteinbrueck Dec 6, 2011 at 4:45 pm

      Hey Meredith, the fact that you enjoy blogging – and the way it helps to connect people, educate people, and work through issues where there aren't clear cut answers – shows in your writing. :)

  3. For me blogging is worth the effort, at least for now.

    I am very new to blogging. I started a blog in August of this year, the same week I signed up for Facebook and Twitter. So, I sort of jumped into social media all at once.

    I've fumbled around and made a lot of mistakes, but I'm learning a lot.

  4. My primary reason for starting the blog was to promote a new book I had just completed. However, I soon discovered that self-promotions via social networking is not nearly as simple as it sounds. I also discovered that much of the expert advice on promotion thru social networking just does not fit well for me…I lack the social skills to pull it off without coming across as self-promoting…which does not fit well with my life goal of being Christ-promoting.

    However, along the way, I've discovered that I really do enjoy blogging, and I really do enjoy interacting with other bloggers. I've discovered that blogging is a fun tool for sharing what God is teaching me. So, I've pretty much quit worrying about book promotion, for now, and am just having fun with the blog.

    I am still working on finding my blog focus and theme. In fact, I published a post on that topic earlier this week.

    • PaulSteinbrueck Dec 7, 2011 at 12:20 pm

      Joseph, I think blogging, Facebook and Twitter are all extremely useful tools authors can use to connect with their readers. I think you've already learned a key lesson about blogging and social media – self-promotion doesn't work. Instead of thinking, "How can I use my blog to sell more books?" Think, "How can I help my blog readers and in doing so demonstrate my book could help them even more?"

      By the way, you're comment reminded me of a post I wrote on my other blog, which I think you might find helpful – The Most Important Quality Great Writers & Book Marketers Share – http://ow.ly/7RQHf

  5. I do have trouble with consistency, because the blog is a hobby worked in around work, family and church responsibilities. I have been quite consistent in publishing at least one post a week, but not consistent on the timing.

    I do have a question for you, Paul. If you were going to publish once a week, what day and time would you choose to publish, for maximum impact?

    Thanks for the post!

    • PaulSteinbrueck Dec 7, 2011 at 12:35 pm

      It depends on where you are and who your audience is. Here's what the data says: http://www.problogger.net/archives/2010/12/06/whe

      Personally, I would probably post early Wednesday at around 6 AM Eastern time. People are usually busiest on Mondays and have more time to read as the week goes on. People will have more time to read on Wed than Mon or Tue, but it also means the post will be relatively new still on Thu & Fri. I also think it's best to post early for those who like to read blogs with their breakfast or coffee.

      Keep in mind you can share your blog posts on Facebook and Twitter more than once and at different times. So maybe you post to FB and Twitter immediately at 6 AM Wed, but then you tweet it again at 4 PM that day. And maybe you share it on Facebook again Saturday morning since Saturday is the biggest day for Facebook sharing.

  6. To me, the primary consideration is does blogging answer a relevant question for your organization. Here are a couple of my personal experiences. I have written a blog for about two years now:

    rcnnolly.wordpress.com

    In the past year the hits per month increased by anywhere from 100 – 300%. So from a simple numbers game, it works. But more importantly, I have a core of subscribers who regularly inform me that the information I blog about is useful to them. My blog is reasonably focused. I am not particularly interested in growing the readership, but rather providing a service and discussion forum around a specific issue. I want to share information with others who will benefit from that information but might not have as ready access as me. From a networking perspective, I have met lots of folks through my blog that have allowed me to more fully live into my research interests. It takes me about 2 hours per week from start to finish to create my weekly blog post. So for me, my blog answers the question "How can I best engage and provide information and a platform for discussion to my community of interest?"

    I am the director of a small museum in Memphis Tennessee – the C.H. Nash Museum at Chucalissa. Our social media at this time includes a web page that is in need of upgrade but optimally is meant to be the mainstay or hub of our digital presence; a monthly e-newsletter that is meant to serve as an update on past, present, and future events/developments at the museum; and a FB page to which we post once per day on related events in the region, "did you know" type points, activities of our staff, volunteers, supporters, interesting photos and resources, etc. etc. Of late, we have a number of issues where we would like to provide information that is not practical in any of our other social media tools. For example, we are transferring artifacts from our repository to the states from where they were excavated, we are launching a program to rei-nvision our entire main hall and want visitor/stakeholder input, etc. etc. These are all topics that can be covered in a tight 500 word essay, that we don't want to bury in our website and are too long for our newsletter. Instead, we decided to launch a weekly blog beginning in January. Again, such a blog will answer the question "How do we disseminate information about x, y, and z and provide a platform for feedback and dialogue?"

    I take the approach that before our museum starts a blog we are committed to either keeping it going as a quality outlet on a regularly scheduled basis, or not have a blog at all. That is one of the reasons we are taking a couple of months to discuss the process before launching. Who will be responsible for the weekly posts? How will the blog be maintained? etc. etc.

    My .02

    • PaulSteinbrueck Dec 13, 2011 at 2:59 pm

      Robert, thanks for sharing your perspective and insight regarding blogging. You laid out some very important questions I believe every organization should consider before starting a blog. Some of them you stated overtly, but some of the implied questions include, "How would a blog fit in with our existing communication media (website, newsletter, social media)?" "What content will go on the blog (vs on the website, newsletter, etc)?" Those are all the makings for a good, clear communications strategy.

  7. I agree with what others have said about blogging because you love it. However I'm wanting to professionalise my blog in 2012 and at some point possible generate an income from it. Do people think that's possible still, or have we reached saturation point with blogs? Have the days when we can command huge audiences and therefore mass advertising gone?

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