I've been "blogging" in one form or another since 1997. The word "blog" didn't exist then. Nor did Google - it was Yahoo! and Alta Vista then! ;)
People had "personal websites" where they would "showcase" themselves, their interests, their hobbies, their photos, their art, their poetry and lyrics, their favourite websites, whatever.
Almost as an "aside", personal websites would include a journal, that was very much like an online diary. Or the forerunner of the blog. But it was only a part of a personal website, and was by no means the central focus.
We very rarely wrote consistently about a specific topic. We only used the word "niche" when talking about exclusive boutiques!
My reasons for blogging today are exactly the same as my reasons for "journaling" back in the day.
I love to write, express ideas, and reach out and meet other people. I started to met a lot of web designers in Sydney back then, through their personal sites and journals, and together a number of us went on to form the first inception of the Australian INfront, a community of Australian web designers, with the aim of raising the international perception of Australian web creatives.
I am still meeting a lot of cool and interesting people, and blogging for the most part is fun, although it is no longer quite the same "past time" activity it used to be. A lot of people taking blogging too seriously, yet it is those who don't that seem to, that have the most "success" (wish I was one of them...! ;)
Sometimes writing, or blogging, can feel like a chore, or feel downright boring. That's until I look back on a finished piece of writing, or a blog post, and think "I'm glad I wrote that, I feel good now!"