I was reviewing the research diary I wrote to the “Logics of Social Research” course I took last year with Professor Gareth Morgan when I found a list of questions one should ask herself before deciding to create a blog. I got it from ProBlogger, a blog (of course, but there’s also a book) owned and written by Darren Rowse, a full-time blogger. He dedicates the blog to “to helping other bloggers learn the skills of blogging, share their own experiences and promote the blogging medium.”
I analyzed the list for my Philosophy of science exercise hoping it could help me uncovering some of the many reasons why people create and maintain blogs. I must say I still don’t have the answer to this question – I’m constructing it slowly, in pieces (or posts), and the more blogs I read, the more it seems to me that each blogger adds a new and particular reason to my collections of bloggers’ motivations.
I’ve been telling my PhD. colleagues and friends (hey, are you still there?) that I started to blog. Many of them have reacted enthusiastically and some are also thinking about blogging. So, for you and for myself (because I still have to learn everything about this), here are the first 7 of Rowse’s 23 questions that summarize what it takes for someone to be a successful blogger:
1. Do you enjoy writing? - Blogs are predominantly a written medium. If you do not enjoy writing then the chances are you might not enjoy blogging.
2. What’s your Message? - While there are many applications for blogging, underlying most (if not all) of them is the aim of communicating some sort of message. Do you need/want to communicate something? Do you have a message? Starting a blog just because you want one might be fun, but it might also be a waste of time.
3. Are you a good communicator? - I don’t believe that only good communicators should have blogs - (they can be a tool for people learning communication skills to improve) but it can be an advantage to have some basic communication skills.
4. Are you better at writing or speaking? - Most communicators have a preference (or at least have better skills in one form or another). If speaking is more your thing you might want to consider Podcasting or even a Video based web site.
5. Do you want to be the central voice on your website? - While blogs are good at building community - they generally feature one person (or a smaller group of people) as the central voices in a conversation. Other people have to respond to the voice of others. If you’re after something where anyone can start a conversation then a Forum might be a better medium.
6. Are you a self starter? - Starting a blog takes a little initiative. While blog software these days makes it simple to start them, they don’t run themselves and take a motivated person to both getting them off the ground.
7. Are you disciplined? - Similarly blogs require regular attention over time. While daily posting is not essential, it’s probably a good level to aim for. Will you be able to motivate yourself to write something new every day?
Calculate your score! Let’s say you can score from 0 to 10 on each question. Adding your points for all the 7 questions will result in your Successful Blogger Potential Part I.
I will start: 7 (love to write, though struggling with doing this in a second language) – 4 (still unclear message) – 6 (I do have basic communication skills!) – 9 (definitely prefer writing than podcasting or appearing in video) – 7 (I’m fine with monologues, though they can feel lonely sometimes) – 7 (With a little push from a professor) – 6 (I can be disciplined, in the Brazilian way, you know).
Daiane’s total score on Successful Blogger Potential Part I = 46
PS: I will post the other questions this week, on a daily basis.
PS 2: Although my blogging endeavours are not aimed to achieving a six-figure income, I will definitely keep reading ProBlogger.