A reader added a comment that got me to thinking about why I blog. It's something that has become an important part of my life. I blog at Coldfusion Muse and I blog on another site as well. On the 10th anniversary of the word "weblog" that morphed into "blog" I thought I might answer the burning question (that no one is probably asking) "Why do you Blog?"
I Like to Write
Regular readers of my blog will know I enjoy writing. I even attempt to entertain from time to time. In fact, if you click on the Humor and Life category you will find more than 40 entries that are not technology related at all. They range from attempts at satire to commentary on my life, fatherhood, family and faith. I really enjoy letting readers get to know me from time to time. I am well aware that most of my readers who are not related to me (Hi Mom!) find my blog interesting because I write about Coldfusion and web programming. Still, I enjoy taking little side journeys into life with you. All work and no play make Jack (or Ben or Ray or Sean or even the Muse) a dull boy.
I Blog to Remember
Have you ever found yourself solving a problem that you were sure you had solved before but you just couldn't remember how you did it? I have this problem every year when it's time to put Christmas lights on my house. I try to put them up the same way every year. The lights are supposed to be strung together in a certain order but every year I'm at a loss to remember how I did it the year before. I suppose if I got them out in March and again in September and practiced putting them up it would help me recall the steps. The same problem crops up in Coldfusion or SQL programming from time to time. For example, I know there is a way to programmatically restart the print spooler - but this issue has only come up once or twice before, so I can't remember how to do it. But if I blog about it, I have a knowledge base to mine for the information. In fact (and I know this might be immodest to say) I find myself returning to my own blog almost daily to look something up. I'm famous for referring my own developers (developers who work for me at CF Webtools) to my blog with the famous words, "Check my blog - I think I have a post about that." So blogging regularly about fixes and tips is an important part of keeping my own knowledge current and in view.
I Blog for Business
CF Webtools has no marketing budget. We spend about 1200 dollars per year on Google ads - that's it. That's the whole enchilada. In spite of this lack of marketing we have grown from 2 employees to 12 employees in the span of about 3 years. About 30 percent of our leads come from word of mouth - but about 50 to 60 percent of our leads come as a direct result of this blog and the other CF Webtools blogs. Companies looking for a high level of expertise in Coldfusion stumble onto our blogs and contact us directly. Please understand that while blogging benefits our business, the tone and purpose of our blogs is not "Hire Us". Rather, it is an attempt to add to the compendium of knowledge available on the web and cut through the noise with a message about Coldfusion's benefits and uses. Like many areas of life, when you do something nice and try to be helpful you are rewarded.
I'm sure there are other reasons why I blog. Perhaps it allows me to vent occasionally. Perhaps I enjoy the comments or discussions - or perhaps it feels smug to post your own links into CF-Talk in answer to a question (ha). Anyway, perhaps this post will inspire you to "pick up the pen". Don't be shy - there's plenty of room on the net for all of us.