Now is still a great time to start a blog.
Blogging started to gain attention in the mid to late ’90s and people went online to share their thoughts. It was thought of something of a diary in those days. In many ways it was. Specifically, blogging, like a diary or journal, is usually dated with each new post being the most recent in the blog feed or at the top of the feed. Kind of a backwards journal.
That part is still very much the same. And social networks often use the same last created/first to appear model for their feeds.
Blogging can still be a great way to share your thoughts. But others have used blogging to provide answers to the questions a target audience is asking. Individuals have done this. Businesses and marketers have done this. It’s a great strategy.
Another item that has changed, or at least become more well known, is the fact that blogging often brings benefits other than traditional monetization with ads and affiliate links. For some time you could create a blog, add a variety of ads to it, gain traffic and profit. While that’s still possible, it’s important to look at other ways you can benefit. Often with much higher monetary gains.
1. Personal Development
Humans are designed for growth. It seems that once somebody stops seeking to better themselves they begin to decay. Think of other things that live on this planet, a flower for example. Every year flowers bloom, grow and then decay. Often, though, the flower will grow back in the next growing season.
Blogging is one way to continue growing as a person. The more you write, the more you discover…about life, about business, about yourself and much more. You think. You research. You observe. Even if nobody reads your blog posts you still benefit from the exercise.
Many of the most successful people in history kept journals and notes. Blogging can be a modern day version of this.
2. Personal Branding
Many people talk about personal branding on social media. Presenting yourself in a certain way. Reaching more and more people with your content. It’s powerful to have people that follow you for what you have to say. It’s positive to have more people that know about you.
Blogging gives you a platform for personal branding.
3. More Appealing Job Candidate
When I got my first job I wasn’t any different than any of the other candidates. In fact, I probably looked worse on paper in the traditional sense. Lower grades. Few extra curricular activities. That type of thing.
But for my final year in college I had been blogging regularly. The website never led to anything in terms of money, but I learned a lot. And when I applied for that first job my future boss said it stood out to him and was part of the reason he hired me.
Odd things make you stand out in the job world. Hiring managers often look for little clues that tell them whether a person will be successful for them or not. Writing regular blog posts for a long time shows many great traits including discipline, confidence, problem solving and more.
4. More Appealing B2B Business
Let’s say you’re a sales professional. Blogging can help show that you’re valuable to potential clients. It can help show your expertise. It can also show the type of person you are. It’s a way for people to get to know you before they work with you.
In this way, blogging can indirectly lead to new business or even to new partners.
5. More Appealing B2C Business
The same is true in a B2C setting. Many large consumer brands have blogs and also use other platforms like social media for this reason. Not to get direct sales where someone reads a blog and buys a product. They do it to show what their brand is about and to provide additional value to target customers. Over the long-term, that can help lead to increases sales.
6. Professional Networking
In one example of blogging think of LinkedIn. You can join. You can connect with people. That’s fine. But LinkedIn Publishing offers users the chance to blog. Those users typically reach more people. Why? Because these writers are different. Some are trying to provide value by answering questions their network is asking. Others do it by writing about their experiences as a way to show their history and character.
There was a time when a person could start a blog and make some pretty good money with ads and affiliate links. That’s still possible. But you need a lot of traffic and a lot of content. A lot. If you’re looking to benefit from a blog in this way or with direct sales, you’re in for a struggle. The good news, though, is there are still many ways to benefit including the ways we just looked at.