Traditional folk music can be great cross-over material: it can allow you to reach a larger and more-diverse audience than you might otherwise get. Folk music, because it is traditional, is uniquely able to engage different generations at once. It can gain the attention of people who might never seek out your original work. Once they hear you perform some folk songs they recognize, they may give your other work a shot. It’s the same reason that many new bands begin by covering previous hits. Traditional folk music allows you to do the same, but without having to pay for licensing a copyrighted song. If you want your music to reach beyond your own generation and region, then traditional folk music can help you achieve that.