Do You Really Need a Blog?
Of course you do! Everyone has one! (Duh, you might be saying to yourself. This chick’s a web developer? Are you for real?)
I like to ask this question not to make myself sound like I’m straight out of 1997, when I distinctly remember the editor of a film magazine I was interning for saying that she didn’t see the need for a website for the magazine after I offered to build one! I like to ask it because the assumption now is: Yes, we need a website, of course. Everyone has one! It’s like you don’t exist unless you’re on the Internet! The default answer is “yes,” and common knowledge is that NOT having a website is a massive mistake.
But I like to question the assumption of having a website or a blog because, depending on how you answer and how deeply you let the question sit with you, it’s a huge clarifier of your website’s purpose. And most importantly, if you take the question to heart and really let it sit deeply, it can lead you to what your website’s genius could be. Genius is what makes you and your presence on the web memorable. And genius is what distinguishes an ordinary, info-pumping website into something that people flock to and feel passionate about. And that’s something that you can build into something amazing for yourself and your group.
So take a moment to answer the question of why you need a website or a blog. It’s okay if the answer is pragmatic: I need a portfolio of my photographs so I can show in fancy galleries, I need to build a platform for my writing and its audience and become famous, I need to sell baby animal t-shirts to make money to send my six children to college. This level of answer–what I like to call the “brass tacks” of web development–helps you nail down the ultimate strategy of a high-functioning, effective website. It gives you the answer to “What do you want your website to do?” It gives you a highly effective master plan.
But there’s a whole different level to this question as well. Really think about it–why do you need a website? Why do you need a blog? Let me frame it in a slightly tactless way. In an Internet that’s chock-bursting with information, opinions, thoughts, queries, and sheer huge flotillas of words–why does your website need to exist? The blogosphere is a crowded place these days and the sheer amount of information out there is astonishing to contemplate. There’s just so much out there, saying the same thing but maybe packaged in a different way. What is it about your blog and website that will make it stand out?
But I’m not asking the existential question of whether or not you need a website to add to this miasma to discourage you from putting anything out there–instead, I’m telling you to look at it as an opportunity for inquiry. (I LOVE an opportunity for inquiry.) What is it about your website, your blog, your whole internet presence–what will distinguish it from everything else? What can you contribute to the Internet that’s unique, beautiful, cool, interesting, informative and, most importantly, distinctive? What gift, beauty, insight can you contribute via your web presence that will lift it above all others? This is an even bigger question with a bigger answer — and this can lead to bigger payoffs.
Usually it takes time and some pretty heavy thinking and feeling to come up with an organic, true response to this deeper level of this inquiry. And it takes know-how and insight to craft a complementary strategy to get this beauty and genius out there via your online presence. But I invite you right now to sit with the question of why your website needs to exist–and what will it contribute to an web landscape that will lift your site above the horizon to make it genuine, distinctive and unique. Let the answer start to bubble up, and keep your eye on this space for more inquiry that will spark a beautiful answer to a strange question.
Photo by me! If you want to peep more of my art/creative work, head over to KATASHARYA.COM. (Yeah, almost the same name, one-letter difference.)