Most frequently we tend to reflect as one year draws to a close and another one begins. But the truth is, any time is a good time to reflect. I figured it might be interesting to put together a post for would-be bloggers to explain why should you start a blog… whatever time of the year it is.
I’ll also explain my motivations for starting SideGains and hopefully add a little encouragement for you to start blogging today… or very soon at least!
I’ll do this a bit backwards with this post and provide you a summary of some of the reasons why you should start a blog. Beneath this I’ll explain each in more detail.
17 Reasons Why You Should Start a Blog
I’ve split this list into two parts.
The first part (points 1 – 14 in the list below) looks at perhaps the softer skills and benefits to starting a blog.
The second part (points 15 – 17) will probably be the primary reasons why most people might want to understand why you should start a blog, since they deal more with money!
- You can start a blog and run it anywhere.
- Blogging gives you a platform.
- A blog can be your journal.
- Blogging can help others.
- You’ll meet people.
- Blogging leads to unforeseen opportunities.
- You’ll exchange ideas.
- It’s good for self-improvement.
- You’ll improve your writing skills.
- Blogging teaches you valuable transferable skills.
- You’ll develop your creativity.
- Your blog is something you’re in charge of.
- To take a risk.
- There are few barriers to entry when you start a blog.
- You might earn some money.
- Blogging can help to promote yourself or your work.
- Starting a blog might help you find work.
Now I’ve given you the reasons why you should start a blog in a summary list, I’ll elaborate each of them below.
1. You Can Start a Blog & Run It Just About Anywhere
A blog doesn’t require a wired connection and it doesn’t require a fancy computer. Okay it helps to have decent equipment to work with, but it’s entirely possible to start a basic blog with a mobile phone.
A step up is a tablet device, but it doesn’t need to be made by the trendiest brand or have the highest specs. Like mobile phones, a tablet device enables you to work anywhere.
I have an oldish Kindle, on which I have installed a mobile version of WordPress (the software that runs the SideGains blog). My mobile version of WP saves draft posts locally on the Kindle, and I can publish them when I’m able to connect to a network.
This means you can work on your blog anywhere, from prepping posts on public transport when travelling, to working on images in a cafe when taking your lunch break at work.
2. When You Start a Blog You Have a Platform for Your Voice
You can start a blog about any topic you choose… it’s your choice. A blog is a place for you to vocalize your thoughts and experiences. Someone can disagree with you, but they can’t stop you from putting your words online… unless you’re doing something illegal of course!
Many people have found the act of blogging therapeutic: they have a place where they feel they can be heard, even if it’s only by a handful of people.
3. A Blog Can be Your Journal
Who says you have to make your blog public. There are a great deal of advantages to running a public blog as I’ll come onto… but you don’t have to.
Your blog can be your own private journal, documenting what you do day to day, what you think about life and the people you meet. What’s more, you don’t have to wait until the end of the day. With mobile devices, you can capture your thoughts and experiences almost as they occur.
4. Blogging Can Help Others
If you decide you should start a blog and make it public, what you write about can help others. This might take the form of advice about specific issues or it might be something you can teach.
Have you overcome a challenge that others have to face? There will be many in a much earlier phase of their challenge that might be inspired by your experiences or thoughts.
Do you know how to bake the best sourdough bread? I guarantee there are a whole bunch of people who’d like to learn from you.
5. You’ll Meet People
You will meet lots of new people. Okay perhaps not in person, but you will make contact with people through your blog.
It could be people who find your blog content and start engaging with you in comments. Or maybe you’ll start engaging with people on their blogs. Perhaps you’ll connect people with through social media connected to your blog promotion activities.
6. Blogging Leads to Unforeseen Opportunities
The potential for unforeseen opportunities is a major reason why you should start a blog.
When you start a blog you never know what’s going to come of it. A chance encounter with one person can lead to opportunities you could never have imagined. Who knows what that opportunity might be.
The truth is many of the opportunities that present themselves to us come as a result of us actively doing something… doing nothing rarely leads to opportunity. Starting a blog is a positive step towards finding opportunities.
7. You’ll Exchange Ideas
Blogging is a two way process. You’ll share your ideas with people and they’ll shares theirs with you. This type of exchange strengthens learning and inspires innovation
When we exchange ideas with others we refine our understanding, validate it or overturn it. This can only help you to improve and become better at what you do.
8. Blogging is Good for Self-Improvement
As I’ve mentioned above, exchanging ideas leads to self-improvement. But the act of of starting a blog and committing to it helps you to improve yourself in other ways too.
You’ll develop or build upon self-discipline to maintain a blogging and promotion schedule. There are lots of challenges to overcome, not least building an audience. The commitment to a routine and meeting your objectives will help you to become more resilient when things don’t quite go the way you’d like them to.
Blogging can help you develop your time management skills, creative thinking, self-esteem, empathy and self-awareness. It can also help you to define or reshape your life goals.
9. You’ll Improve Your Writing Skills
When you write blog posts regularly your writing skills are only going to go one way… up!
You can’t expect to be the world’s greatest writer on day one but over time the way you write will improve no end. Of course it’s likely you’ll never be the world’s greatest writer, but as with anything, practise makes you better.
Writing skills are still highly valued, whether you want to be a full-time blogger or writer or whether you want to slot into the workplace.
If you want to develop your writing skills read my blogging and content writing tips.
10. Blogging Teaches You Valuable Transferable Skills
You should start a blog if you’re looking to learn practical transferable skills that are always in demand.
Of course I’ve referenced writing already. However, when you start your own blog you’ll learn so many new things that are valuable to people.
It might be that your learn how to run a Content Management System (CMS) such as WordPress, the most widely used CMS on the planet. You’ll develop analytical skills if you start looking into and practising SEO techniques to promote your blog.
As time passes you’ll encounter different software tools to create images or to start a podcast. Maybe you’ll end up publishing to YouTube and become familiar with video editing.
These types of skills have a value to someone, be they visitors to your blog who you can teach what you know, potential employers or clients for freelance gigs.
11. You’ll Develop Your Creativity
If you want to get creative… start a blog!
You’ll get to be creative in the way you approach writing. Over time you’ll possibly write hundreds of posts and some of them may overlap. You’ll need to be creative in the way you approach these posts, so you’re not churning out the same old ideas in the same tired format.
Much of your content will change depending upon its purpose. Persuading, informing, entertaining, explaining: each requires a different approach and each will push you to become more creative in the way you write.
As a blogger you’ll encounter a number of problems that require creativity to solve them. It might be you have a technical issue that needs fixing or perhaps you’ll need to find a way to build your audience. Either way you’ll exercise your creativity to figure out solutions.
12. Your Blog is Something You’re in Charge Of
Your blog is yours to do with as you will. Of course there are some rules to follow in order to grow a readership, but within the confines of this framework, no one can tell you what you can or can’t write about.
Having the responsibility for the direction your blog takes can be a liberating experience. It’s yours and you can do with it what you’d like.
If you want to say something contentious that you believe in, you can say it. Alternatively you can write to disagree with ideas or opinions you don’t share. The choice is your.
13. To Take a Risk
There’s rarely any reward for avoiding risk in life. Of course I’m not recommending walking on tightropes over Niagara Falls without safety equipment, even if that floats your boat! I’m talking about taking risks that challenge you as a person.
Some people find the idea of blogging terrifying. What if people don’t agree with what I say? Maybe people will think I’m stupid? What will I do if people laugh at me?
The thought of putting your thoughts into the public space can be daunting for sure, and of course there’s no guarantee that people will think much of what you do.
However, at the same time taking the risk to start a blog is most often liberating… a challenge taken and overcome helps to build greater confidence.
14. There are Few Barriers to Entry
You’ll need to invest time and money if you want to start a “bricks and mortar” business. Many business ideas require capital to startup and involve financial risk. They might also require specialist skills you have to learn to get started.
Starting a blog has none of these barriers.
You can start a blog for free and not risk a dime of your own money. Neither do you need to be an expert to get going (though of course it helps!), but you can become one as your blog grows.
You don’t need to be a great writer because your skills will develop with practise and you don’t need to be very technical either.
Blogging has to be one of the only things you can start that offers real potential to grow a business with a tiny investment.
15. You Might Start a Blog that Earns Money
This is of course the biggie! Most people believe you should start a blog to make money… and this is fine by me!
Making money with a blog does not happen overnight and it probably won’t make you a millionaire, like some bloggers suggest. Of course it’s possible but it requires a monumental effort and heap of good fortune to make it happen.
For many people it’s completely possible to make a full-time income. Most others might expect an income to supplement a main income, which is more likely. It all depends upon:
- Your reason for starting a blog.
- How hard you are prepared to work.
- Your motivation.
- How long you are prepared to wait.
- Your commitment.
You should not start a blog and expect to make a fortune. Equally you should not expect anything in the short term. It takes time to build the kind of visitor numbers that can generate revenues for you… but work hard, stay focused and put in the hours over time will yield something.
In my experience, blogging is an excellent way to earn money on the side, and this is completely achievable. Read my article about how bloggers get paid to find out more about making money with a blog.
16. Blogging Can Promote Your Work
A blog is ideal way to promote your work or your business. If you are an artist, photographer, craftsperson, electrician, plumber… starting a blog can be a great way to increase your local exposure and make it more likely that potential buyers or clients will find you.
The more blog posts you make, the more chance there is that you’ll appear in local search engine results. More exposure means more potential business.
17. Starting a Blog Might Help You Find Work
As with promoting your work, should you start a blog it may increase your opportunities of finding work. If you’re looking for full-time employment or freelancing gigs, a blog might be the perfect showcase of your talents. Who knows, you could and up blogging as a career!
Since most people start a blog as a side hustle, your blog can be something you include on your resumé. You may feel a little reticent about talking about side hustles in a resume or interview, but as this article shows, there is a right way to talk about your blogging hustle when you’re seeking employment.
I feel that everyone should start a blog since the barriers to entry are practically non-existent. Blogging offers a number of ways to develop yourself, learn new skills and meet intersting people.
Of course it’s not an easy ride: you’ll get out what you put in! One thing I know above anything else is your sweat investment, your time and your commitment can make a huge difference.
If you can appreciate the content of this post, asking why should you start a blog is perhaps the wrong question. The right question then is why SHOULDN’t you start a blog?
That’s it for now.
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Can you think of more reasons why you should start a blog? Leave a comment below with your thoughts.