You, too, can have a blog for the low, low price of...free. But would you really want a blog? If you had a blog, what would you do with it? Other than publishing missives for friends and family, that is.
A blog is useful if:
1. You have something to say. The best blogs are the ones where the blogger is opinionated, not necessarily verbose.
2. You have something to market. Whether you are marketing your own expertise or a company or organization, a product or service, a blog is a great communications tool for getting and keeping the word out there.
3. You have or can make time to blog. Unless you can commit to at the very least one blog post per week, blogging isn't really for you because people expect blogs to have current content and to be updated relatively frequently.
4. You would like a wider reach. You can publish globally with a blog but blog locally and still have the potential to reach far more people than if you send out a traditional paper newsletter, for example.
5. You can benefit from building a community. Blogs organically form communities through their comments section so in addition to having a readership, you may also have community members who may not only become loyal to your blog but to you as well.
The downside of a blog:
1. It demands to be fed new content. A blog is like a baby. It cannot survive without your input, and in a blog's case, that means blog posts.
2. It requires additional maintenance. If you allow comments on your blog, you will have to monitor them to make sure nobody posts anything inappropriate. This can be time consuming.
3. It may hurt you. A blog itself cannot hurt you, but comments from readers could. Having a thick skin is a prerequisite for blogging, I think.
4. It may hurt others. At some point, you may end up accidentally offending or hurting someone else if you blog about them. Always blog about others with care and as if you anticipate a lawsuit. (I'm only half-kidding).
Ultimately, a blog is your space to say what is on your mind and to be heard, even if by just a handful of people such as your close friends and family members. Having a successful blog requires a lot more time and effort.
But if you have the time, have I got a blog for you...