If you are reading this post, you will fall into one of the two categories: You have never started a blog or you may have started one, the blog didn’t get much traffic or comments, and then you lost the motivation to keep working on it. In either case, this post will motivate you to start blogging again.
Blogging is like running a marathon. It is like maintain a fit body. It is like growing a baby, or a tree. It is not a one day task. You have to focus on it every day, in spite of not seeing results immediately. But once it grows to a certain stage, it takes a life of its own and then it keeps growing.
When I started this blog in 2013, it was only a small blog with a few articles, started mainly for the purpose of enhancing my resume. But I kept working on it whenever I had time and eventually it has grown to become one of the top marketing blogs in India. Now the blog has gained a certain momentum that I cannot ignore working on it anymore.
To motivate you to start blogging, I have laid out the top 7 benefits of becoming a blogger. Here you go:
1. You Organize and Document Your Ideas Better
You learn many things you go through your professional life. But the problem is that unless you document it somewhere you are going to forget most of the things you learned.
A lot of people have journals where they have written several pages of notes. But we know what happens to those notes. It gets lost and those words never see the light of the day again.
Such notes are not organized and presented well (the motivation to organize it well doesn’t exist because no one else is going to read it). Even you are not going to read again. It gets lost over time or just buried somewhere digitally or physically.
When it comes to blogging, it solves both the problems. When you know someone else is going to read it, even if it is a very small audience, you will organize and present your ideas in a better way. And while you take the effort to present it in a better way, you also understand the concepts better and organize it better in your brain!
It is very similar to maintaining a library of books. Imagine each book is a piece of knowledge and the library is your brain. If you have a library of books collected over time, you wouldn’t know the location of each book. However, if you are a librarian, renting out these books to other people who want to read, you would know the location of each book and the book library is mapped in your brain, enabling you to retrieve specific information when you need it.
Most of the bloggers who have had massive success in blogging have confessed that they started their blogs with a collection of notes to themselves and a small audience.
When you have an audience you want to make sure that the website doesn’t go down or gets lost in the cyberspace. That way you are preserving them for life. Content management systems like WordPress make it easy to organize the posts by time, categories and tags. Automatic backup applications would take the backup and make sure you never lose the data.
All blogs, beyond a certain stage, has the potential to generate revenue. You will never know how it can grow unless you get started. It could be a side project that gives you additional income or it could become a source of full-time income.
Write, and the Traffic will Come
If you worry about having traffic and readership (which you won’t have initially anyway), then it becomes very hard to motivate yourself to continue blogging consistently.
Those who do not care about traffic and readership are then ones who end up getting it – because they focus on the most important thing: Writing.
Writing is what adds value to a blog. Traffic is a result of that writing. So you need to focus your energy on creating value than the after effects of that value creation. Publish 10 good articles on your blog and if no one reads it, you are allowed to accept defeat and not blog anymore 🙂
Next Action Steps:
2. You Create Something, You Become an Artist
Blogging is the fastest and easiest way to get your hands dirty in creating something that people will admire.
But you may ask, why create something in the first place?
Humans have an inbuilt need to express themselves and be unique. That expression can only come from being an artist.
The wrong way to be unique: Marketers give so many product options to the consumers because we understand that most people do not create. But every human being has the need to be unique in their social circles. Most of the people try to satisfy this need to be unique by choosing things to own and consume.
There are so many choices for automobiles, computers, phones and all the other toys. Say, for example, Bob chooses to buy a Red car, an Apple laptop, only wears jeans and t-shirt, uses an iPhone and has a unique hair style. Bob is trying to differentiate himself from the other humans and is trying to be unique.
But Bob will never feel unique enough no matter how many unique choices he makes because these are predetermined choices made by the marketers just to satisfy the masses who do not create. This need to be unique and different can be satisfied only through creation of something out of thin air.
Building a new business, giving birth to a child, making a painting, creating an architecture or writing a blog post are things which put you under the category of an artist.
That’s why you should Create. That’s how mankind evolves.
Real artists express their uniqueness through creation rather than possession & consumption. When they have felt the rewards of creation and its admiration, they will never fall into the earthly trap of owning more and different things again.
In fact, when you own more things, you get envy and not admiration.
That’s one of the reasons why people never get satisfied with owning more things. You would have experienced this yourself. You bought something really cool, your friends said it was nice… then no one cared.
You can see very successful and wealthy businessmen who keep creating amazing things will not focus much on owning “cool” things like the latest sports car or a fancy home. They are just focused on value creation.
The ‘kick’ that you get from creating is the ultimate kick. We are playing God here. We are bringing things in existence which only existed in our imagination before.
When you write a blog post which has unique ideas, that kind of post spreads, people share it, like it, comment it and it will give you an unmatched sense of satisfaction. You will get admiration and not envy, and that’s the best way to express yourself in this world.
Blogging is the easiest form of creation that you can get started with. That’s why, my friend, you should be blogging!
That’s why, my friend, you should be blogging!
3. Your Writing & Speaking Skills Will Improve
The only way to get better at writing is to write more. I remember the days when I used to write and edit an article several times and I still wouldn’t be satisfied with it. Nowadays most of the blog posts I make are mostly first drafts with just a few edits. I can write better and write faster than ever before.
Another amazing discovery I made is that my speaking skills also improved when I got better at writing! Writing and speaking are not much different because both are about having a consistent flow of thoughts that can get converted into words on a screen or audible words in front of an audience.
When you keep writing a lot of content, you learn to organize the thoughts in your mind better and bring it out in a consistent flow. The improvement reflects in speaking. I can talk for hours on marketing without preparation in front of an audience if required, that skill has been gained from writing extensively. That’s why most published authors are almost always good speakers. They speak naturally and effortlessly even in front of large audiences.
When you become a great author, you become a good speaker. When you become a great speaker, you become a good trainer. When you become a great trainer you become a thought leader in your field.
Isn’t thought leadership something that we all want? So write!
4. Your Brand and Network Expands
There are people who just have phone numbers and email IDs. Then some people have a few social media profiles like Facebook and Twitter. Some have media coverage in several news publications. I guess you would agree that wider their digital footprint – higher is their brand value.
Having a blog with good readership trumps all this. When you write and people visit your blog to read, share and comment you have the opportunity to expand your network. As your network expands, your brand value increases.
Blogging is not just about publishing. It is more of a conversation – a one-to-many conversation channel. Since blogging happens in real time, the comments you get on your blog is a discussion. You are not writing a column in a newspaper where you don’t get any responses at all.
When you have a good readership base, your readers will feel that they know you personally. I have been blogging for more than a 4 years now and I haven’t met many of my readers yet. (Maybe you are one of them). But when I meet one of my blog readers in person, we connect instantly because they know me better.
That’s a great way to make new friends. If blogging existed in the times of Dale Carnegie, he would have definitely included Blogging as a chapter in his book – ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’. I have won and influenced more people in my life with blogging than any other method 🙂
5. You Become an Expert, Organically
The human mind makes connections in mysterious ways. Our brain finds short cuts to make associations.
For example, it is easy for the mind to think: If all experts are teachers, then we perceive that those who teach must be experts.
And it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. You teach people listen, they perceive you as an expert and you actually become an expert.
I was not an expert when I got started. If you rate knowledge on a scale of 1-10 and if expert means having a knowledge level of 7 or more, I was only 3/10.
However, with the little knowledge I got, I taught other people who were in the 1st or 2nd level. Then when my knowledge became 4/10, I taught people with the knowledge level of 3/10 or below. As I teach, I learn more, and my expertise level goes up, organically, naturally.
As time went on, I learned more and people started calling me an expert than the other way round. I didn’t need to tout my own horn. There could be marketers who are better than me. But I help more people than the other marketers do. Because I help my audience, they reciprocate by calling me an expert. Then I start believing it that it is true. So I do become an Expert.
That’s how you become an expert – organically. Without the need to have an impressive work profile or fancy degrees. I am a Civil Engineer, have not done an MBA and I do not hold any certificates of course completions. I just teach, teach, teach.
You may not know digital marketing as much as me, but if you know more than someone who is willing to learn from you then you are an expert in his/her eyes. And you can teach what you know with blogging.
6. Your Personal Brand Helps Your Company
I talk about blogging as a personal branding tool, mostly. But blogging also helps in marketing your products and services. Your personal brand helps get the audience, they find out about your companies and their offering, they may buy them!
Many of the top companies in the world today have a strong personal brand behind it. Steve Jobs of Apple, Elon Musk of Tesla and so on. People feel more connected to these brands than other brands with just logos. For example, not many people know the person behind Audi or BMW. However, everyone knows the man behind Tesla Motors.
Another example from my experience: I recently launched OptinChat.com – a tool to collect email IDs via an automated chat interface. Most of the initial customers came from my own blog readership and I did not have to invest a lot on advertising and branding to get the initial traction.
Content marketing doesn’t really work in the long term if you do not establish a connection with your audience. Usually, the connection is made by a human and rarely by a “brand”. People want to connect to the authors behind the content and not the logo/brand identity.
If you think about the most successful corporate blogs, you will see that there is a strong human element to it. For example, Rand from Moz.com & his whiteboard Fridays. Brian Clark from CopyBlogger.com and so on.
7. Your Blog Becomes a Source of Additional Income
There are many entrepreneurs who have adopted blogging as a business model. Many blogs today are less of blogs and more of online publications with newspaper or magazine style publishing. I am not talking about blogging as a business model here. This post is mostly about personal blogging. It is not about making your blog as a primary source of income. That’s why it is last on the list.
Though your blog can be an additional source of income, it need not be small. I know people who work at full-time jobs but make more income from their blog in a semi-passive way.
Apart from all the benefits of blogging mentioned above, your blog can be a source of direct and indirect income when it reaches the critical mass of readership.
Direct Income Sources:
- Selling display advertising
- Letting someone sponsor your rich media content
- Promotion of products through Affiliate Links
- Generate and sell leads for other’s products/services
- YouTube/Video channel advertising
Indirect Income Sources:
- Opportunity to land on a book deal
- Invitation to become a writer for another blog/magazine
- Getting hired for seminar, training or guest lecture
- Getting a new job or consultancy offer
- Promotion of your company’s products & services
The above list is not exhaustive. But it definitely gives you an idea about what kind of opportunities blogging can give you.
I hope this post motivated you to start blogging. Even if you got a small feeling that you should get started with this soon, I believe the post has served its purpose. 🙂
Would like to hear your feedback.
#Blogging for Kicks