free debate

June 19, 2010

Write a Blog for Yourself!

This is the one year anniversary of this blog. We made it a full year! Over the course of this year we published 181 posts, changed the site design at least three times, and learned a ton. This has been a really fun project that has become more than I would have ever hoped for it. So, my advice to everyone considering starting a blog is just do it, and do it for yourself.

One of my mottos in life is, "If you want to learn something, try to teach it." I have found few things truer then this simple statement. Teaching pushes you to really understand concepts. In order to explain a concept coherently, you often need to have a deeper understanding of the subject. Trying to teach something can reveal to yourself where there are gaps in your knowledge. By filling those gaps, you gain a more complete understanding of issues and subjects your interested in. That understanding is hugely rewarding and fulfilling.

The other reason I would recommend starting your own blog is to learn more about yourself. I have had a passion for astronomy for years now, but in writing I found something else.  I always found science exciting. I was interested in pseudoscience, fringe science, and the limits of science. One of my favorite types of articles to write quickly became about answering the question, What is Science? I loved the broadness and the intricacy of the topic. I wanted to share the methods of science with more people and in doing so found a interest in the philosophy of science. This was a field I was really unaware of before I started the blog and now I find myself studying it in my free time.

In this last year we have attracted 14,375 people to this blog. Our post on Glymetrol was a huge success and maybe, just maybe, deterred someone from taking it. To me, this is astounding. What started as a late night idea is now something I am really proud of. If you are thinking of starting a your own blog though, do it for yourself. You are probably never going to get a huge following of readers or a super high placement in search engines. By starting your own blog, however, you do two things. First is you put more good material out there on the web for someone to stumble upon. Maybe there will be a specific topic that you can become the top search result for. The more good, informative material is on the web, the better. Second, you can learn about yourself. Explore your interests and maybe find new ones. Write about what's exciting to you. If nothing else, do it for fun.