Searchable research repository - Our blogs are our own personal libraries. We reference them to jog our memory and keep us from repeating our research steps and wasting time. Jacqi at A Family Tapestry made a great point: by blogging we create a public, searchable database of family information. Information that will be available to anyone, anywhere in the world. Our research and thoughts can now be found at a single Google click. That thought alone is fuel for creating well-written and researched posts! Many of you mentioned that you also turn your blog into a printed book. Blurb was one source mentioned for this option.
Digging deeper - Not only do our blogs produce better overall research, but they help us to dig down to the interesting stories behind our ancestors. By focusing on creating a better researched post, we often come across stories that put the meat on the bones of our family story.
Finding kin - Our blogs are a great resource for connecting with distant relations. That Google search we mentioned up above? That is leading our information straight to cousins that just learned that we are related and may want to link up. What better way to draw cousins to you than your blog? And like Amanda mentioned below, they may have photographs!
Do it for you - Many of us are little guys in a big genealogy blogging world. We may never reach more than a handful of views for any given post. But for all the reasons above, it is worth the time...even if it is only for you. However, remember that the other little guys read your posts for inspiration or to cheer you along, even if you don't get many comments. We are members of a community that understand the joys and tribulations of finding a hidden uncle in the census or finally stumbling upon an obituary. It takes a community to grow a family tree.
My biggest take away from our discussion is that, for me, blogging and research are now one in the same. I have come to a point in my research where I have found most of the "hard copy" items on my ancestors: names, birth dates, death dates. By blogging I am pulling that information together and creating their story, rather than their facts. Thank you all for such a great discussion. Here's to many more years of blogging. And know that if you ever feel the urge to take a break or quit, there are so many reasons to keep plugging along!
Have I missed anything important to you? Please add it to the discussion!