Thursday, March 26, 2015

Why blog? Reasons #3 and #2: To sell books, or to mobilize people for a noble cause

This is the sixth post in a new series I'm calling "Why blog?" In each post in this series, I examine one or more of the top 10 reasons people (including me) blog ... and what I have learned as a professional blogger and a corporate liaison to bloggers.

Tuesday's post looked at Reason #4: To practice writing. But in answer to the question "Why blog?" today's post examines, David Letterman countdown-style ...

Reason #3: To sell books.

This is akin to reason #4. It may not really deserve to be here, but the reason I included it is because of my boss. She has convinced me to write my autobiography. I tell a lot of stories, some of them more or less true, and she always tells me: "You have THE most interesting stories! You definitely need to write your autobiography. I bet a lot of people would love it."

She may just be buttering me up and trying to get me to work harder (which is something some good bosses do, while others try instead to motivate by yelling and screaming), but I've chosen to take her at her word because that's just how vain a person I am. But then, once I decided that yes, I was going to write my autobiography, the next question was, "How?" And it occurred to me, I was already writing it, sort of, in my blog, which is where I tell a lot of my stories. Because my memory is basically about as holy as swiss cheese, I frequently have to consult my blog to help me remember all the great stories I have told. (Which might explain why some of them seem to grow in wonder the more time elapses between the event and the telling!) And so it seems natural I should use this blog as the basis for my autobiography.

So, if you are reading this, here's one thing you can feel good about today ... you are now reading something for free that someone may someday be foolish enough to pay money for, once it's been published in book form. Congratulations.

Reason #2: To mobilize people for a noble cause.

This really is probably the most admirable reason of all to blog, so I'm going to try for a moment to be serious. In my digital media role with World Vision, I run across a lot of cause-related bloggers. They pick the topic that most concerns them, for whatever reason, and they dedicate their blog to trying to make a difference in the world by motivating people to do something about that topic.

That topic can be fairly narrow. You probably wouldn't write an entire blog focused solely on human trafficking, but I know a number of individuals who have done just that. I admire them for it, and don't doubt that they are moving the needle in some way to change the world for the better by helping eliminate the horror of human trafficking. (By the way, did you know there are more human slaves of all sorts, now, than there were during the height of the West's slave trade in Africa? Appalling. I really hope more people will become human trafficking bloggers.)

In tomorrow's blog, we'll look at the final reason people blog, reason #1 ... Why blog? To connect.

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