I have always been an avid lover of blogs – in fact I had created my first one more than 8 years ago. Back then it was a very personal page, not far from being a digital diary which for several reasons I abandoned after a few posts. Now that I am back into blogging in a different context, I love it even more and I do believe that everyone should start a blog.
Why? Because a blog is very simple to setup, extremely diverse, highly personalised and greatly rewarding. It can be a great way to do anything from self-expressing to marketing your business. And it also offers a wide range of rewards – from boosting your self-development in various aspects to reliefing your finances significantly.
It doesn’t really matter whether you have a website or not, or whether you have started a business or not. In this post I will dig into 6 very good reasons to start a blog now, showcasing why it can benefit you regardless your current situation and goals.
1. Online presence
If you don’t exist online, you don’t exist at all
If you don’t already have a website, then I just cannot highlight enough the necessity of having your own online home. In a world where the Internet is so integrated in our lives, not having an online presence is not very different from not having a presence at all. Even if you are all over the place in social media networks, it is not the same as having your own website. In every social media platform you exist as long as the platform exists and in any case you constantly live with their rules, not yours.
A blog is simply the easiest and fastest way to create that personal online space of yours. And if you happen to already have a static website, either personal or commercial, adding a blog will just increase your reach by having a dynamic online presence.
2. No prerequisites
In terms of knowledge
You don’t need any technical or other kind of knowledge. It’s pretty easy and straightforward to get a blog online in literally a couple of minutes. It might take a bit more, maybe a Sunday morning, if you do it the “sophisticated” way, which I would recommend – meaning that you would find a nice and available domain name, you would choose a hosting provider and you would install a platform like wordpress.
It can be totally free. No money. Nada. But since I would recommend the “sophisticated” way, you could invest a maximum of £69 (99$) to have everything sharp and shiny – that roughly breaks down as:
- £8 to buy a domain name per year (probably the first year will be on discount at around £2)
- £11 one-off to map your domain, let’s say, on wordpress
- £30 per year for domain hosting
- £30 to get a professional theme (that’s an average – the best themes out there cost up to 79$/£55 but it is often the case that you will be able to find them on discount)
So instead of going out for dinner and drinks, you could stay in once and use the money and time to setup a nice and professional-looking blog.
3. Content marketing
The days when the main advertisement funnels were TV spots, space on a magazine’s page, billboards and leaflets are long gone. Yes, they do still exist. But the main field has now shifted towards the web. And “content marketing” is the term that is trending among marketers. It is now well justified that blogs are an important source of creating an audience and eventually a customer base.
I don’t feel like making a distinction between a company blog and an individual person’s blog because the function is the same really. If you run a company, a blog will help you reach out to more potential customers and it will boost your website’s traffic and its SEO (for Search Engines Optimization if you are too new to all these).
On the other hand, if you are an individual that intends to run a personal blog about something that you love, then you will start building a personal brand which can potentially be more powerful than any commercial brand. Even if you have no intention for profit and you just want to share ideas, you still need to get these ideas in front of other people’s eyes and a blog is the best place to start.
4. Self-education fast-track
The most fascinating aspect of a blog is that it is highly actionable. It is not a dead page which you set up once and let it be forever. Instead, it is a page for which you need to constantly create new content. In most cases, your content will include, but not necessarily be limited to, writing. And there is a bunch of great things that happen when you start writing. But before exploring these, let me state something very clearly: everyone can write.
As with most things, some people have a natural inclination towards writing and others don’t. But, again as most things, writing is a skill. Thus, it can be learned. If you feel you belong to the people that are just too bad in writing, then there you have an area to improve yourself. And because you will need to try harder, there is a good chance that one day you might become a better writer that naturally talented people who put much less effort precisely due to their talent.
Now that we have sorted this out, let’s take a step further. When you get into the loop of systematic writing, you will inevitably start reading – if you don’t do it already, or read more, if you are a reader. There is this powerful circle of interwoven writing, reading and thinking that is formed very naturally: when you write you often reach the point where you feel like running out of ideas, so you resort to reading in order to source ideas and this is exactly what happens – you do generate ideas and you go back to writing before feeling stuck again and so on.
Even if you enjoy reading, there is a good chance that you mostly read fictional books. But when you start blogging, which means that you produce non-fictional content – at least in most cases, you will be introduced in the world of non-fictional literary which you will realize that it is a wonderfully vast area to explore. You will come across books from which you will get incredible value. Some of them have literally shaped the personalities of the world’s top leaders.
5. Mind mapping & mental clarity
The most beneficial function of writing is that it helps you compose your thoughts. You probably have certain thoughts in your mind that you’ve been pondering for a while and you feel they are now crystal clear in your head but you will be astonished how much they deviate from clarity once you try to unravel them in a piece of text.
But you may feel like asking why you have to publish them on a blog. They could just live in your drawer or in your hard disc. The answer is because a blog will create a sense of commitment. It will force you not only start writing your thoughts on a certain topic, but finish them as well – even more, as best as you can since you will expose them to other people.
Gradually you will get into the habit and once you start having a few posts, those will be a map, a kind of matrix, of your mind or at least of a particular side of it, if you choose to narrow its theme down to a very specific niche. A map that you will be able to reflect on and get deeper into the concepts you are more concerned of.
6. Information detox
What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence, a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention and a need to allocate that attention efficiently among the overabundance of information sources that might consume it.
– Herbert Simon
Do this exercise one day: before going to bed try to recall everything you did during the day and estimate roughly how much time you spend on it. How many times you logged in social media and what you did, read or saw on those and how much time they collectively consumed. What websites you visited and what you did on them, again with an estimation of the time these actions consumed. Think of the physical interactions with other people – while working, while relaxing, on the phone and so on. Note what you discussed and for how long.
Then you will have collected all the information you received and the time it consumed to receive it. And then ask yourself a few simple questions. Did you get any value out of that information? Did you learn anything that made you somehow better or smarter? If yes, calculate the valuable information as a percentage against the whole information. If no, well… you are not alone, if that makes you feel better. What feelings did the information make you feel – pleasant, stressful, other? Are you satisfied with the amount of tasks you managed to accomplish during the day?
If you go through this simple exercise, you will probably realize that there is a lot of junk in your daily information flow. At least I hope that not everything is junk! Either way, a blog will start altering this, whether you will be conscious of that or not.
You will want to produce content for your blog, which will be about something that you are interested in, so you will need specific information about the things that you want to write. You will gradually start refining the information you allow to reach you, you will have targeted sources and you will start getting a lot of value on a daily basis. You will get knowledge, you will cut out meaningless information consumption in order to find time to produce content, thus you will be more productive and you will be happier because at the end of the day you will have learned and created something. And mind that the accumulation of small accomplishments can go a long way.
7. Networking, Authority & Opportunities
The world of blogging, above everything else, is a community. The networking that will gradually, and to a certain degree naturally, come with it is not only important but also fascinating. The physical interaction with other people – some of them experts in the area, some particularly interesting people, some both – will be very rewarding also in a human level. The value that you will get and the bonds that will form with some people will have nothing to compare with, although it will probably expand beyond that.
Over time you will start accumulating articles on the topic you are interested about. As this happens, you will soon be considered an expert in the area. And when you reach that point of authority, things can really take off and plenty of opportunities will start coming down your way. Invitations for public speakings, interviews, your articles featured in popular sites and magazines and so on. It is really up to you then how far you want to take this – you may start providing consulting services, write books or even create physical products depending on the area you’ll develop your expertise.
If all that sound a bit over the top or too good to be true, it means that you are focusing your attention to the wrong direction. Because this is just the natural progression of things. So, you need to alter your focus from the end result to the next step. In any case, you don’t have so much time for being idle and dream – you need to be actionable and productive instead. Take the first step. Not tomorrow. Not today. Now.
Thank you for reading! If you have any thoughts on what you just read, either good or bad ones, I would appreciate it if you leave a comment below and let me know. Feedback is invaluable in one’s strive for progress. And if you choose to share this post it would mean the world to me! Until soon!