If you are reading this post then you have, probably, already considered the idea of starting a blog.
I’m going to give you 5 reasons to start a blog, and explain some of the benefits of blogging and some of the opportunities it may open up if you do it correctly.
I’ll already written a post called Why Blog? – where I talk more at length about my story and my personal reasons for starting a blog. But in this post I’ll try to break it down a bit more clearly.
I’d like to point out before I start that I’ve just started blogging – so this isn’t a post on “how blogging changed my life”, “how I got filthy rich online” or anything like that.
It’s more to outline some of the things I have noticed so far about blogging; to share some things I’ve learned from pro-bloggers, podcasters, entrepreneurs etc; and to explain what I hope to gain from blogging. And what you can too.
I’m hoping to look back on this post in a year’s time and reminisce about the times when I could barely get 20 visitors per day and I was struggling to make £10 a week online.
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Reasons To Start A Blog
There are hundreds of reasons to start a blog, depending on your vocation and what you are trying to achieve from blogging. But I’ll try to condense the most important reasons in to 5 points.
1.) Become an expert in your field
If you are like me, then you will often be reading articles or watching videos thinking – “I could do that”, or even “I could do that better”.
Maybe it’s an article on a music blog you like, or maybe it’s some brain-dead journalist talking about some political event. A lot of the time they offer no unique insight and, often, the posts they are writing aren’t exceptionally good or interesting. The main reason they get a lot of views is because they have built up a following of fans, and are likely viewed as an “expert” in their field.
That poses the question – “If I were to write about music, or politics – could I become an expert?”
Well, probably, yes – if what you are writing is interesting, accurate and you offer a unique insight.
The hardest part is to sit down and write those posts – to create enough content so that your blog starts to gain momentum and attract subscribers. But if you are committed to sharing your opinions, spreading your message and engaging people in a certain topic, then it is not unlikely that you could be regarded as an “expert”. At least someone worth listening to.
If you can clearly communicate your ideas and have conducted research in to your chosen field(s) – then you could become a valuable resource for information. And this can open up a lot of opportunities.
2.) Improve your writing, thinking and more
I’m sure everyone has been in a debate or an argument where they have a hundred things they want to say but are unable to articulate their ideas properly – most of us, at this point, just admit defeat and move on.
The main problem here is that most people are unable to explain themselves clearly – to articulate their thoughts in an understandable manner. Blogging can help with that.
If you are sharing your ideas and your opinions; researching topics to blog about and seeing how other people explain those issues – then you will become a lot more effective in explaining your own opinions, whether it’s through writing or talking.
If you are trying to create content that is credible then you will be constantly finding the flaws in what you are doing and finding ways to overcome those flaws. Whether your main weakness is that it takes you a long time to write a blog post, or if it’s that the quality is not up to scratch – the only way to improve that is by practice.
By starting a blog now, and pushing yourself to create good content then you will dramatically improve your writing skills; you will improve your ability to think clearly and communicate effectively, which is important in every walk of life, not just writing/blogging.
3.) Share your opinions/ spread your message
Thanks to the internet; blogs, social-media, YouTube etc. – the way we consume information is changing. The power no longer lies with newspaper editors, journalists or TV executives – but with anyone who is willing to share their opinion online.
People are no longer believing everything they are told and they are actually looking for new sources of information, rather than “mainstream” sources. This means there is a big opportunity for ordinary people to make a change in the world if they are willing to speak out.
To influence a lot of people and make a substantial change in the world then, of course, it will take time. But if you are committed to doing so, and you start now – then it’s not out of the realms of possibility.
If you are passionate about spreading a positive message, and you are able to express your ideas in a concise way – then people will recognise you as a trusted source of information. And if you create interesting articles that offer valauble insight (and are consistent in doing so) – then your blog will only go from srength to strength.
To quote Dave Chapelle – “The truth is permanent and everything else will fall by the wayside.”
If you have opinions that you think are important, and a message which you think needs to be heard – then it’s probaby worth sharing. As long as there is truth in what you are saying then there will be somebody out there who can relate to it.
That’s not to say that your blog must be deeply profound or political – you can blog about anything. But it always helps to include your honest opinion in order to build trust with your readers.
4.) Attract an audience/ market yourself
In my post Why Blog? I talk about “Building A Platform” – and how having a lot of views and subscribers is a great way to market your ideas and to market any products you are trying to sell.
Having a strong online presence can also lead to many unforeseen opportunities.
For example, if you write good blog posts that get a lot of attention then bigger websites may contact you to do a guest article; you may even get job offers or opportunities to do freelance work; if you are a vlogger or podcaster then you may get offers to star in TV shows, Youtube videos, or to feature on other podcasts; if you are a scientist then you may be invited to do lectures, you might even get a book deal or something…
Of course this depends on how good your content is, but having an online presence (putting yourself out there) can lead to some great things.
Look at KSI for example; KSI started off by making videos of him playing FIFA, now he is making music and getting offers to star in movies. Not because he is a fantastic actor or a talented musician – mainly because he has a bit of personality and he wasn’t afraid to broadcast himself. By doing that, he gained a lot of fans and has recently attracted a lot of attention.
A blog can be treated like a CV, in a way – it shows what you are capable of, what you are interested in and what you are trying to do with your life. If people relate to your blog then they will, more than likely, pay attention to other things you do.
Maybe you want to write a book in the future, or write music or something. Maybe you have a business that you want to promote.
Whatever it is, building a platform to promote that is never a bad thing.
5.) Make money!
Okay, so this is the part you’ve all been waiting for.
Please Scott. Please tell me that if I start a blog I’m gonna be rich.
Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way. But if you think more in terms of what I said in the first 4 points (about connecting with people, creating valuable content and building a list of subscribers who like what you do), rather than just trying to make money from day 1 – then you can make money from your blog.
As author, entrepreneur and successful blogger, Seth Godin says – “The two scarce elements of our economy are trust and attention”.
Meaning that to grow a successful blog, and therefore make money, you must;
- Stand out (capture people’s attention) in a world where there are millions of blogs and millions of websites fighting for just one minute of our time
- Develop a connection (gain their trust) or else they won’t pay attention to what you are saying, and they definitely won’t buy anything from you – they will just find someone who they do trust, and buy something from them.
What I am saying is; it is very possible to make money online, if you do everything properly with good intentions. If you do this then it can be tremendously liberating – if you can make a substantial passive income through a blog (or any website) then you have freedom to travel the world, quit your job, do whatever you want to do, almost.
But you must be smart about how to make money, as you don’t want to scam people and you don’t want to bombard your precious viewers with adverts – as they will lose trust in you and, probably, never come back to your website.
I will write a full post on “How To Make Money Online” once I have made a decent amount of money online. But at the moment I have made very little so I don’t feel qualified to give any advice on that topic.
One thing I have learned is that the main focus for any blogger should be to create good content, if you have a website full of good content then it is relatively easy to make money online.
The easiest way to do so is to recommend products which are related to the post you are writing – products which you think your viewers will like. You can do this by joining a number of affiliate networks such as Amazon Affiliates or Commission Junction.
The best affiliate network I have found is actually MagicLinks, which allows you to sell products from hundreds of different retailers (including Amazon) where you’ll earn a commission of anywhere between 5% – 20%.
If you are a blogger or content creator you can sign up to MagicLinks by clicking the image below.
As I mentioned, I am fairly new to blogging – hopefully in a few months I will be writing posts like “How To Make £50,000 In 6 Months” or “How I Became GQ’s Man of the Year”.
But until then, I’ll be writing posts like this one; I’ll be talking about my interests; things which I think are important; things that have inspired me and people I look up to.
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Also, check out Seth Godin’s article: Trust and attention, the endless dance