What’s a blog for?

It’s an important question.

Some people will say that a blog exists to harness the power of SEO, to get the message out, to build an audience.

But this is short term thinking. (Yes, even though it takes years to monetise a blog.)

If you write a blog under your actual name, like I do, then there’s a chance that it will outlive you.

There’s a chance that the ideas you put out there will land in someone else’s mind (or a bunch of someones) and percolate in the culture.

This week I tried to game the system. I said timely things that I hoped would catch people’s attention, all in the name of getting more eyeballs.

I said nothing new, I just contributed in my own small way to the worst parts of the internet: rancour, outrage, temporariness.

I regret it now, of course.

Those few days’ entries (which are just below, if you want to scroll) nearly made me quit my daily routine. I nearly abandoned the habit I’ve developed to become a better thinker and a better writer.

Luckily I remembered what a blog is for just in time.

A personal blog is the place to play the long game.

And the long game isn’t tied to whatever you are or whatever you’re working on right now. Like gut reactions, these things are just temporary.

Filling your corner of the web with temporary things is a waste of your space and a waste of your voice.

Do the tactical marketing if you have to, just be sure to put it somewhere else, somewhere less special, and don’t confuse it with the daily work of becoming better.

A blog is a place to improve yourself and the world, one thought at a time.

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