There are lots of blogs out there. 50 million or something like that. I’ve started freelance designing blogs, leading some of my friends to wonder if they should start blogs of their own (knowing they would get a massive friend-discount).
But is there a point to starting a blog when there are 50 million other blogs out there?
Is there any way to possibly break through the clutter of 50 MILLION blogs? First of all, that’s a silly question. Not all blogs are about the same topic, and I’d venture to guess that 40 million have been abandoned after a month or two. But even if you never rise to the likes of Mashable, or become a bald head of wisdom like Seth Godin, there are many personal benefits to starting your own blog.
1. Become an expert.
If you blog consistently on any topic, you’ll be an expert on that topic within a year. Sure, there might be some exceptions. Like organic chemistry or astrophysics. Or Latin. You might actually have to go to school for that.
But generally speaking, you will become more of an expert than the majority of individuals interested in that topic, and at the same time you’ll be learning yourself. There’s no better way to learn than to teach.
2. Let others know you’re an expert.
After a while, you will establish yourself as an expert. U Stand Out has definitely opened doors for me; my current employer was impressed with my blog during the interview process, so who knows where I’d be now without it? It’s also giving me the opportunity to start a freelance blog design business, and people email me, Twitter DM me, etc. to ask me questions about social media and blogging. Having your own blog will make others perceive you as an expert in your field.
3. Fuel your passion.
It’s so important to blog about something that you’re passionate about. Otherwise it simply won’t be fun. Blogging can be quite a chore, especially if you’re writing about something you don’t love 3+ days a week. But if you’re passionate about your topic, not only will you learn more about what you love, but your passion will resonate with your readers and your blog will be more successful.
4. Build your online presence.
These days, if you work in marketing having a blog is pretty necessary to establishing your personal brand if you really want to make it big. So why not in other niches? If your blog is search engine optimized, when people search for your topic in Google they will come across your content. Add an author box to the bottom of each of your posts to let readers know who you are, and you’ll gain loyal readers faster than you’d think.
5. Network in your industry or niche.
Once you build your online presence and establish yourself as an expert with your blog, it will be easier to network on sites like LinkedIn and Twitter. Prominently display your blog URL, RSS feed, etc. on your profiles, so that when you reach out to industry peers, they will look at your profile and see that you’re someone worth replying to.
6. Learn how to write
Blogging will help you learn how to write. For me, this is one of the most valuable benefits, since I’d like to write books someday (ebooks, novels, you name it). Writing is an important part of any career path, whether you’re an engineer, historian, marketer, chemist. Blogging will help hone your blogging skills, and can also help you find your unique voice.
7. Have fun.
Sorry to disappoint, but “making money” is not on this list. Such a small percentage of bloggers actually make money from blogging that I honestly didn’t want to get anyone’s hopes up. You shouldn’t start a blog with the sole purpose of making money (though blogging certainly helps to market a company or product you’ve already launched). The point is to have fun and learn more about what you’re passionate about.
I recently came across a blog post about how bloggers should stop blogging about blogging. (Did you have to read that twice?) They have a good point in that social media is still under-utilized by the mainstream, so there’s so much opportunity for people who know how to blog to succeed in other niches. But if you’re passionate about blogging about blogging, then blog about blogging! Don’t let anyone tell you not to blog about a certain topic just because other people are doing it; who’s to say you can’t do it better?
If you choose a niche like blogging that has a lot of competition, pursue it anyway. What’s important is that you’re passionate about what you blog about. Just because other people are blogging about the same thing doesn’t mean that you can’t do it better, or that your presence in that niche community wouldn’t be appreciated. And you’d be learning more about what you’re passionate about.
What’s your top reason for blogging? Let me know in the comments below!