Do you blog? Why or why not? If you do, what do you get out of it? Is that worth the time you spend? If any of these questions is remotely interesting to you, read on.
I recently had a a baby, and as you other parents know, having child has drastic changes on the amount of free time you have. As such, you begin to evaluate your personal activities. If you were a business, you might dub this evaulation “ROI analysis”. It’s an interesting concept, actually — the ROI of personal activity (PROI!). How much time and effort do I put in, and what do I get back? Surely we all ask these questions subconsciously every day, but how often do we consider them as we consider ROI at work? Probably not that often.
One of the activities I have been evaluating is blogging. I don’t blog for profit, and this isn’t an article in multichannel merchant magazine, so I’m not thinking about cost, profit, ad dollars, or anything like that. I’m comparing the amount of time I spend to the intangible benefits I receive. For non-profit bloggers, the currency of blogging is obviously not money, but it still exists in comments, RSS subscribers, friends who talk about your blog, job inquiries, new people you meet through the blog, etc. And just like a business, if the time spent is not producing enough currency in return, you start to question the value of this activity.
Personally, I started a UX blog because I like talking about UX, and I like writing. If I could stimulate discussion through my blog, that would make me happy. There were also, obviously, career advancement possibilities: I could establish expertise, learn new things, and build a network of contacts, all of which might score job opportunities, promotions, speaking and writing gigs, etc. I’ll admit I had grand illusions that simply putting posts out there would generate all kinds of interest: “Surely I will get dozens of comments on every post, spawning more posts and more comments. I’ll meet new people, and quickly establish my name in the field. Victory shall be mine!”
Yeah, right. It turns out I’m just another one of many similar-minded folks, out there toiling away at a blog, but not getting the PROI I expect. Sure, some people comment, and I have some RSS subscribers, but it isn’t quite the force I hoped it might be.
So what are my options now?
Well, I could quit, and never look back, freeing up time for more important things. I’m not sure I’m quite there yet.
I could try to find the next “blogging” and get out from the masses and ahead of the curve, if I knew what that was. I think I was on to something with my “screen capture videos”, so perhaps my blog should consist soley of those? It might work! It might not.
Option three might be to join forces with other like-minded people. Maybe if we all blogged from the same site, we could bring our measly audiences together to form one audience that is actually kinda big. I like that idea… but I don’t know if anyone else will.
So, I’m interested to hear what other bloggers (or people who have thought about blogging, but haven’t found the PROI yet) think. What do you get out of blogging? What is your “currency”? What does one do to fix PROI? Should we ban together? What will the URL be?