Metaphysical Rationales: Why Do You Blog?

A friend at started me thinking this morning. She asked about timing on starting a blog, and about how to gain a following.
It is without doubt a long, tedious process to gain a following online. That’s why you have to start long before you are ready to send your novel to an agent. So how do you find these folks?
1. Choose a point for your blog. Mine is to promote Asian-themed literature. Do I get off point? Sure. More often than I’m on. However, if there’s ever someone who needs my sort of site to post something on or raise a question, I am so there!
You may have noticed I’ve reviewed a few Asian Themed books: “Silver Phoenix,” “The Wandering Monk” and “A Robe of Feathers.” I intend to continue with this, as I think it serves the general community of writes/readers and fits well with my theme. Early next year, I look forward to posting my first author interview and hope (and pray) to do more.
I’ve also started a Yahoo group for Authors of Asian Novels and promoted it on this blog. I started the group so that we could build a database of research materials, novels to read, music to enjoy while writing and anything else we can think of. It can also serve as a critique group, though no one has asked thus far. I wish I’d had access to that database and support while writing “Mourn Their Courage.” I hope to share and add to these resources as I continue in my career.
2. Build a following by becoming a follower. Post notes on other blogger’s sites, be kind and thoughtful and make sure your blog allows followers and gives your email. You will find followers doing this. Also, contact individuals when surfing. Most of my followers have come by to say hello because I said it first. BTW, I’m a zero on the introversion/extroversion scale. What excuse do you have?
3. Google news topics of interest to you, then contact those individuals whose names pop up. I’ve found more than a few followers and people to follow by doing that.
4. Offer information on contests and heck; even offer prizes for your own contest if you have an idea for one! Nothing sparks interest more than competition and generosity. (A lesson I’ve learned, but not incorporated, I know!)

I’m sure there are other methods I haven’t tried/thought of, so feel free to suggest them. I’d love to know what I’m doing wrong! LOL.

Back to why you want to start now:
By the time you’ve blogged for a year, you may feel like there’s little point. You have twenty to fifty followers. Big whoop, right? Don’t get discourage if you follow more than you’re followed. I think that’s the norm. I know there are followers of mine who never selected “Follow This Blog.” They follow by RSS feed, which I have no idea how to track. (Anyone?)You have more of a following than you know even with ten people signed up.

When an agent googles you or selects the url address that you DID include in your cover letter, they’ll see what you’ve got and be impressed, which is the whole point. Right?

Here comes the reason for my title. This morning, I got to the above question and stumbled. It made me think about this process.
Some folks blog everyday, write their novels and probably work as clowns for kids or bake for a local charity. I respect these individuals more than I can say. I blog when I have an idea and time to express it. My fiction comes first. Yet I still find myself wondering: why BLOG. I have a bazillion and one writer friends through online forums and my critique groups. I have their support and they have mine. So the obvious answer is, I’m marketing for my upcoming novel. That’s also too simple an answer and I would not continue if that were my sole response to this question. I’m going to take a leap here and paraphrase a favorite quote from “Shadowlands.” “We read (write/blog) to know we’re not alone.” That is why I continue to blog. Though Facebook says I have close to 200 friends and I have many others who don’t know what a computer keyboard looks like, let alone how to Facebook or blog-surf, I still want MORE.

Am I alone in that?

Why do you blog?