Should I Start a Blog? 34 Things to Know (Before You Start)
Each day, about 172,800 blogs are created. That’s two blogs every second. With so many blogs springing up daily, you might be wondering, “Should I start a blog?”
Well, I think yes!
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In my short life, I’ve taken up and dropped a lot of vocations and hobbies.
I’ve done phone engineering and repair. I’ve devoted years to playing football. I’ve been preoccupied with video games. I’ve experimented with drawing and painting. I’ve engaged in moot court practice. I’ve even played with shoe making and other crafts.
But none of them has molded my person, given me as much freedom and fulfillment, and brought me influence and financial stability as blogging.
I’m such a big fan of blogging. Here are 34 compelling reasons to start a blog.
1. It helps you learn new things
Blogging is about sharing what you see, or want to see, in the world. It’s about teaching or sharing what you know and what you, too, are learning. When you start a blog, you’ll find yourself always learning new things about your areas of interest so you can keep sharing without running dry of ideas.
Think of it this way: when you set out to wash clothes, your objective is to clean the clothes, not your hands, but it’s your hands which become clean first.
2. It makes you think clearer
The ability to think clearly and generate ideas is one of life’s most critical skills, yet one of the things you don’t get taught in school. Blogging fills that void, helping you grow your thinking muscles exponentially.
You’ll learn to reflect deeply on your life, your relationships and your society; engage with others intellectually, appreciate the strengths in arguments and point out the flaws in them; appreciate the tiny distinctions between what, why and how; the nexus and disparity between excuses and justifications, and so on.
3. It helps you write better
Many things have boosted my writing proficiency over the years: essay contests, tapping from mentors, reading books, etc. But none of them has challenged me so consistently as blogging.
Here’s why: writing mastery comes with constant practice and blogging is just about that. In his epic book, On Writing, Stephen King discusses how once he didn’t write for several weeks due to an accident, and how when he started to write again, his words weren’t flowing well.
That’s how inconsistency weakens your writing muscle, and that’s why blogging, which keeps you writing regularly, helps you write better.
4. It builds your confidence
I used to be a timid introvert. Until I started blogging.
Blogging helps you learn to voice your opinions, dare to be wrong and stop being so scared to make mistakes. With blogging, you learn to recognize and build your strength, and also admit and improve on your weaknesses. With conversations happening on your blog, you learn to hear flattery without being carried away and take criticisms without losing your cool.
5. It helps you speak more coherently
A great speech starts with a sound script. The more you learn and share ideas about your areas of interests on your blog, the more comfortable you get discussing them verbally.
And over time, you grow confidence to face an audience and manage your nervousness on your subjects of interest. Soon, this diffuses to other verbal conversations.
6. It can make you money
Earning decent incomes from your blog is attainable once you create value with, and grow an audience around, it. Many big blogs make millions of dollars every year.
And me? I’m not a millionaire but I’ve made tens of thousands of dollars from blogging over the years. And I’ve done that while having ample time for my family and other engagements I enjoy.
7. It can help you aid good causes
Whether it’s bringing drinkable water to more people, supporting the education of orphans or building schools for poor communities, blogging can help you lend a helping hand to great causes you believe in.
When some bloggers launch an online course for instance, they pledge a percentage of the income to a charity. Jeff Goins donates 10% of sales from his course, Tribe Writers, to charity. Recently, Pat Flynn raised $26,251 from his blog readers in 24 countries, and added $25,000 to it himself, to build 2 schools in Ghana, in celebration of his 32nd birthday.
8. It requires no prior knowledge
With my step-by-step guide, you can have your blog up and running in just 15 minutes. You don’t need knowledge of HTML or other technical stuff. All you do is click options you want and save it to see the results.
I’ve helped hundreds of people who had no prior knowledge on creating a blog do that already. So, anyone can now start a blog because it’s super easy.
9. It challenges you
Let’s be honest, we all need to do something challenging at some points in life. It’s easy to slide into our comfort zones and stop growing. Not with blogging though!
Although starting a blog is easy, managing it is not. Coming up with interesting ideas, interacting with readers and building a community around the blog are awesome challenges that would force you to keep learning and growing.
10. It is free (or affordable)
Anyone can start a blog for free. And if you want more freedom with your blog, you can self-host, which is affordable for almost anyone.
11. It helps you build an audience
People are attracted towards things and places they get value from. When you start a blog, you can start creating value and building an audience.
By the first half of 2012, I had won 5 writing contests. Consequently, friends started asking me to teach them how to write, and tell them about writing contests they, too, could enter. I would explain the same things to different persons at different times, each day.
The demand became overwhelming and so I thought of turning the problem into a prospect. That’s why I started my first blog, and the value I’ve created over the years has helped me build an audience of over 50,000 monthly readers.
12. It lets you help other people
You want to inspire young people to discover and explore their true potentials? Start a blog. You want to spread the virtues of your faith? Start a blog. You wish people would make better choices in relationships and want to help them achieve that? Start a blog.
It’s happening. Ordinary people everywhere are choosing themselves to do extraordinary things in other people’s lives via a blog. You can do it too, and now’s the best time ever to start.
13. It can help you influence public policy
Here’s a story you’ll love about how two girls, aged 9 and 13, and respectively in Scotland and Brazil, started their respective blogs to expose poor learning conditions in their schools. The first blog (which inspired the second) attracted almost 8 million readers in four months, while the second attracted over 200,000 readers in less than four weeks.
Expectedly, local authorities took notice and swiftly improved the schools’ conditions. The first blog even went ahead to raise £114,000 to feed school children in Malawi. How inspiring!
Whatever your age, you, too, can do so.
14. It disciplines you
Showing up at regular intervals is hard. Blogging helps you cultivate that discipline.
Personally, I’m lazy at connecting with people and keeping schedules. But with my blog, I have an incentive to show up, to write and publish often, to get the job done and eschew excuses. I’m grateful for it because it’s made me a better me.
15. It helps you build credibility
Certificates are fast losing their standing as the acceptable way to prove you have skills or knowledge on a subject. Whether you’re a job seeker, an entrepreneur seeking investors, an NGO representative seeking connections, or a professional seeking clients, starting and running a blog is the best way to build credibility.
By regularly sharing helpful information about a subject, and openly sharing bits about your life, your struggles and glories, you build trust and position yourself as an expert, and reaching your other goals becomes much easier.
16. It helps you get published
If you’re still waiting for a publisher to come pick you – who have no readers yet – you might wait till… forever. The way out? Pick yourself. The easiest way to get published today is to first get a blog and build a loyal readership.
She’s not alone. From Hugh Howey to James Altucher, today’s smartest authors are razing the entry barrier set by traditional publishers and self-publishing their ways to bestsellers, thanks to their blog audience.
17. It can land you speaking engagements
Your blog opens you up to a world of opportunities, including speaking engagements. The feeling is amazing. I know this because it’s happened to me. I’ve been invited to speak at events and keynote at conferences, thanks to thoughts I’ve shared on my blog.
James Altucher in his amazing book, Choose Yourself, discusses how he landed well over 100 speaking engagements in 9 years thanks to his blog and books. He made over $1 million from the speaking engagements and impacted hundreds of thousands of lives.
18. It can get you consulting deals
Thanks to his blog, Neil Patel has landed juicy consulting deals with companies like Amazon, Microsoft, Yahoo!, Ebay, NBC, GM, HP, TechCrunch and Viacom. He’s been paid as high as $5,000 per hour for some of the consulting deals.
If there’s a subject you know much about, you should start a blog about it and it can land you consulting deals. If you think you don’t know enough about anything to be an expert at it, don’t worry. Just start a blog about a subject you love and you’ll learn much it and become an expert at it soon.
With the consulting deals, you can make a lot of money for yourself and help your clients reach their goals. Everybody wins.
19. It can get you freelance writing gigs
Carol Tice is a Seattle-based freelance writer killing it. With the help of her blog, she’s built a thriving freelance writing career that makes 6 figures annually, while teaching others and having quality time for her family. If you love writing, start a blog because there’s no better feeling than getting paid doing what you would gladly do for free.
And before you think this is only possible in the U.S., meet Bamidele Onibalusi, a Nigerian, resident in Nigeria, and making thousands of dollars monthly from freelance writing. There are tens of thousands of other such writers.
20. It can promote your art or hobby
We all have things that make us tick. Whether yours is writing, bead making, drawing, painting or singing, a blog can help you promote it.
Enter Hugh MacLeod who draws on the backs of business cards, and everyday on his blog, he posts one drawing. Thanks to that, he’s inspired hundreds of thousands of artists and helped them live their dreams without going hungry.
This inspiring piece by Leanne Regalla provides an in-depth examination of how 49 creative people use blogging to promote their art.
21. It sharpens your observation
Blogging challenges you to look beyond the obvious, to ask questions where everyone else simply nods, and to set the status quo on its head. The more you blog, the better you see and appreciate tiny details others take for granted. This translates to a better memory and improved performance in other stuff you do.
For instance, I’ve had excellent grades in my academic works without burning out, and I can honestly attribute this feat to my now keen observation skills, thanks to blogging.
22. It helps you stay in touch with distant friends and family
One of the most important concerns everyone should have in life are his family and friends… Family members who love and care. And true friends always ready to help and support your dreams.
But sometimes, dear people aren’t near. When the adventures and challenges of life come calling, we get too far, too busy or too distracted and forget these important people in our lives.
Having a blog where you document your life adventures, ideas and struggles (and maybe even receive comments) is a great way to stay connected with family and friends who might be thousands of kilometers away.
23. It advances your resume
Seth Godin argues that “if you’re remarkable, amazing or just plain spectacular, you probably shouldn’t have a resume at all.” He says a sophisticated project, or an insightful blog can sell you better than a resume.
You may not agree with Seth on not having a resume at all, but a blog can surely make your resume stand out from the pack. Feel free to see this inspiring story of a blogger whose blog made an employer come hunting for her and hand her a job she’s very excited about.
24. It boosts your offline business
According to a 2010 study by the Kelsey Group, 97% of all consumers use online media to shop locally. Also, another online study conducted by Intelius shows that 78% of consumers consider it important to look up information about businesses online before deciding to interact with them.
The conclusion is this: blogs help to influence customers’ buying decisions and if your business doesn’t take advantage of this, your competition will.
25. It boosts your creativity
Blogging pushes you to be resourceful, to envision and try to create the beautiful things you want to see in the world. You imagine better, create ideas that challenge norms and share your genius with others.
That’s how to become an idea machine. And you can go ahead to give the world something essential it doesn’t know it lacks.
26. It helps you make better choices
Many things happen in your life, relationships and environment every day. You read, see, feel and hear many things every day. You won’t be able to blog about them all. That means you’ll develop an eye for meaningful things.
By selectively blogging on only the most important things to you and your blog readers, you’ll improve your filter, and become more skilled at making better choices in your life.
27. It makes you happy
Personally, I’ve found that the feeling of having inspired, helped or saved someone is what gives me the greatest joy. I’ve heard many other people say the same thing.
And since I’ve embraced blogging, it has helped me become more generous with my knowledge. There’s an amazing bliss I feel with every positive comment, email, tweet and Facebook share I get from readers whose worlds my words have impacted.
It’s a great feeling and money cannot buy it.
28. It gives you freedom
Blogging can give you the freedom to work from anywhere, at any time of the day and on things you actually enjoy doing. It can give you the freedom to finally have ample time for your family and your hobbies.
And it can afford you the freedom to travel the world as you please while making a modest living from your blog.
29. It helps you acquire valuable new skills
When I started blogging, I didn’t know a thing about domain names, hosting servers, HTML, social media, link building, SEO, blog design, etc. Now I do.
With your blog, you instinctively start learning about these stuff and more. Within a short time, you’ll have amassed a ton of valuable new skills that you’ll be proud of. These skills alone can make you thousands of dollars. I know it because that has been the case for me.
30. It eases your personal problems
Everyone has problems. Whether it’s your health, family or finances you have challenges with, blogging can be an avenue to get listening ears and maybe seek help for your personal problems. And isn’t a problem shared halved?
A great example is Alice’s Bucket List, a blog started by 17-year-old Alice who has cancer. She shares her dreams, her experience of cancer and the things she’ll like to accomplish before she passes away.
Not only does she immensely inspire her readers, she also gets support and encouragement from them, which I believe she really needs.
31. It allows you document your life
With a blog, you can tell your stories in form of an online diary. And if you don’t tell your stories, no one else will. And if they do, they might be biased. Or innocently wrong.
I love how that awesome novelist, Chinua Achebe, put it in an interview with The Paris Review:
…I was introduced to the danger of not having your own stories. There is that great proverb — that until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter… Once I realized that, I had to be a writer. I had to be that historian… so that the story of the hunt will also reflect the agony, the travail — the bravery, even, of the lions.
32. It makes you stand out
I believe only 1 percent of Internet users produce the content online. The remaining 99 percent? They just consume. They’re just onlookers watching as humanity progresses and history unfolds.
Don’t just consume, or you might consume anything. Also produce valuable content. By blogging, you stand out from the pack of content consumers who live on others’ ideas online without contributing theirs.
33. It builds your network
Blogging helps you connect with and make friends with people from all walks of life. Thanks to blogging, I’ve come to make friends with people I admire… people everyone else consider as “gurus,” influencers and geniuses.
Again, I’ve met and made friends with many ordinary people making extraordinary impacts. Many of them have helped me grow and maybe one or two of them have got some benefits from me. And I’ve gone ahead to meet many awesome folks who take me as mentors. That feels great.
34. It helps you live forever
You’ve heard it before… that writing can make you live for many centuries after your death. But that’s true only if you publish your words to the world. You won’t live for long after your death if you don’t write at all, or, if you only write and file it.
A blog can help you build a legacy that would outlive you.
Go start something awesome
If one or more of these reasons resonate with you, it’s time to start your own blog.
I leave you with the words of Oprah Winfrey:
Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time. The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire. This is your moment. Own it.
Go start your own blog now.