You may have never started a blog. Or you may have started one, the blog didn’t get much traffic or comments – and you forgot about it. To manage a blog and its audience is no simple task. But the benefits of blogging far outweighs the trouble that goes into maintaining it. If you have not been motivated enough to start a new blog or resurrect your old blog, this post will give you enough reasons to do so. Here are 7 major benefits of being a blogger…
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.
The problem with taking notes:
- They are not organized and presented well (the motivation to organize it well doesn’t exist because no one else is going to read it).
- It gets lost over time or just buried somewhere digitally or physically.
In learning arenas like training and seminars, you would have seen a lot of people take notes sincerely. Even I have done that, but more often than not such notes get lost and we never take a look at it again.
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.
Most of the bloggers who have had massive success in blogging have confessed that they started their blogs with 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.
Also the blog will generate at least a little revenue and you would never lose something that pays you.
This blog DigitalDeepak.com started as a place to organize my thoughts, learning and experiences. I didn’t worry or think too much about having traffic and readership initially. After a while people found my content and they discovered that it was extremely useful, shared it, came back to my newly published posts and started leaving comments. Now I have more than 2,000 readers!
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. Its ironic. 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.
2. Your Writing & Speaking Skills 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.
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. 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. Nowdays when I speak in a seminar / training program, the words flow more smoothly and there is less of Uhms and Ahs. Almost no broken sentences. 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?
3. 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 people have 10+ social profiles and may be a profile page in their company website. 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. Since blogging happens in real time, the comments you get on your blog is like a forum discussion.
When you have a good readership base, your readers will feel that they they know you personally. I have been blogging for more than a year now and I haven’t met many of my readers. (May be 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 accessible to me!
4. 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.
When I started with my Digital Marketing career I was not an expert. I was not the top in my field. But I definitely knew more than most people knew about digital marketing. I shared it without hesitation. Whenever someone asked for help, I helped them.
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 would any day choose a human to call me an expert than trust a piece of attractive well printed paper with my name on it. (a.k.a. Certificate).
5. You Create Something, You Become an Artist
Blogging is the fastest and easiest way to get your hands dirty is actually creating something that people will admire.
But you may ask, why create something in the first place?
Because humans have an inbuilt need to express themselves and be unique. That expression can only come from being an artist.
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 apparel, automobiles, computers, phones and all the other toys. Say for example, Bob chooses to buy a Red car, a Dell 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 rich 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. Because 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 start experiencing creation and admiration in a minimum viable way without sacrificing anything else… like having to quit your job to start doing something.
6. Your Personal Brand Rubs Off On Your Company’s Brand
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!
One solid example of a person who is leveraging his personal brand big time is Neil Patel. He owns the companies Kissmetrics and Crazy Egg. Both the companies have their own marketing and customer acquisition channels – but his personal blog QuickSprout.com is so famous that it acts as a marketing tool for his companies.
Even for brands, it is better to connect with an audience through people than their ‘Official Brand Identity’.
There is no doubt that content marketing works. It is the talk of the town and everyone is trying to publish content, attract audience and use that attention to market their products. But most of the content marketers fail.
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.
For example, Moz.com does great content marketing. But they also make sure that the people behind those content are showcased properly so that the readers can connect with them and become their followers. I do not read all the posts published on Moz blog but I definitely pay attention to it if it is posted by Rand Fishkin, the man behind Moz. I don’t use their software but I follow Rand.
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. I have not yet monetized my blog directly, but I will when the time is right. The direct sources of income from blogging can include the following.
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