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The other week, I shared the reasons why I’m starting a website. This week, it’s your turn! That’s right, I’m talking about why I believe everyone should be blogging. And that includes you.
Blogging has become a mainstay of today’s society, yet a lot of us still struggle to figure out whether it’s something worth our time. I’ve heard it all, and I’ll be the first to tell you that I’ve been there myself. What will people think? What if it affects my career? What if no one reads my posts? I don’t have the time. It just doesn’t fit with my industry…
I’m here to tell you why you should do away with that logic and hop on over to the blogosphere asap. Not because the cool kids are doing it, but because it’s one of the best things you can do for yourself (and your business).
The feedback I’ve received from many of you after the launch of my site has been incredible. So much so that I felt the need to spread the cheer and encourage you on your online journey too (if you haven’t already!). Whether you’d have a personal blog or one for your business, I’m here to tell you why this is something you need to be doing.
“Everyone should write a blog, every day, even if no one reads it. There’s countless reasons why it’s a good idea and I can’t think of one reason it’s a bad idea.” – Seth Godin
We’re in a digital era, and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Our online presence is becoming part of our humanity. We sense it intuitively. And that goes for businesses and brands as much as it goes for individuals.
So no matter what it is you do. No matter where you are. No matter how much time or money you have. There’s a way to approach every situation, and while finding the angle might take some thought, it’s totally doable. No, scratch that. It’s a must. No. Matter. What.
1. You find your voice
“It took me a long time to develop a voice, and now that I have it, I am not going to be silent.” – Madeleine Albright
If you’re hesitating because you’re not sure what to write about, what niche you want to focus on, whatever it is making you hesitate — let me say this: just start. It’ll take some time to find your voice. To figure out what you want to write about and how you want to do it. But you’ll figure it out as you go along. You’ll learn, you’ll make improvements and eventually, it’ll come more naturally.
We all start somewhere, and if I didn’t get going, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I built this thing with my own two hands and now, I’m here to help you do the same.
And goodness, do we ever want to hear you sing.
2. You challenge yourself
They say practice makes perfect, but it should really say practice makes progress. Figuring out what you want to write about is tough on its own. Then you have to research your work, present your ideas and stand by your convictions. Oh, and not to mention getting past the fear of putting yourself out there.
When you blog, everything is challenged, right down to your belief system and how you view things. You learn to write better, which in turn, helps you think better. You learn to put yourself out there and believe in yourself. And I mean, really, truly, deeply believe in yourself.
That, too, goes for your business. Still not sure? Keep on reading.
3. Your business will benefit (“content is king”)
If I could tell you the number of times I’ve spoken with business owners who have said that this whole online thing is just “not for my business”. I’ve put a lot of thought into it and I’m here to tell you that blogging + being online is one of the BEST things you can do for your business.
And listen, I take business seriously. It’s people’s livelihoods, you know? You just don’t mess with that. But having an online presence is more than pretty words and pictures. It goes deep. What do you stand for? What do you believe in? How do you connect with your clients?
You see, people are caring less and less about long list of achievements and qualifications (so long as you’re capable of doing the job). What they do care about however is whether you care. Why you do what you do. How you think and what beliefs guide your decision making. They want to know that you in fact have their best interests at heart (even when the goal is profit).
That’s not even getting into the cost of customer acquisition (i.e.: how much investment, time or money it takes to land a client). The right digital strategy can help reduce that cost by attracting people to you (imagine the possibilities…!).
Don’t underestimate the power of this, especially in the future. Today, some kids are born with a following. Think about it.
4. It’s an iterative process and that in itself is an incredibly rewarding experience
Everyone starts somewhere. Progress > perfection. That’s the real deal. You can’t expect your blog, your website, your brand to be so perfect out of the gate and that you’ll never need to revisit it, evolve or improve.
Mark Twain… “Write what you know.” William Wordsworth… “Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.” Everyone knows something. Everyone is good at something. And don’t you worry about the haters. As Cheryl Strayed said in her latest interview “Here’s my best, world. Take it or leave it.”
When you start online, you might find yourself scattered. But in time, you’ll develop your style. You’ll learn what works for you and what doesn’t. The only way to discover this is by trying. Not by dreaming, but doing.
It’s all part of the process, and it’s one of the best parts about it.
5. You learn stuff that they don’t teach in school (yet)
The process of creating a blog, no matter how simple, is absolutely wonderful. It’s an exercise in personal development as much as it is professional, a lesson you won’t find in any classroom or office.
Who knows where the world will be in 20 years? How much of it will be automated? What business will look like? If there’s one thing you can’t automate, it’s complexity. It’s creativity. It’s humanity. Knowing how to navigate the new world and adapt will only help you (+ your business) in the long run.
“What an individual does day to day on the job now must stretch across functional boundaries. Designers analyze. Analysts design. Marketers create. Creators market.” ― Daniel H. Pink, To Sell Is Human
As a younger and younger generation takes over, social media could replace traditional resumes and references in many cases. It’s already starting.
And in case you didn’t realize, your followers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram — on any form social media — aren’t actually yours. You don’t own them. If something were to happen to your account, or the platform itself, all your work is gone. Look what happened to Vine. Now, look what’s happening to Snapchat (more on that here). Technology comes and goes. But your blog is yours forever.
6. You find your tribe
Many people think that because we’re digital, we lose connection. But digital doesn’t equal disconnection — in fact, it’s quite the opposite.
The community I’ve found here online — and especially Instagram — has been nothing but amazing. I’ve gotten to know so many of you, and I’m impressed every single day with your kindness, your passion and your creativity.
Being online makes the expression “the world is your oyster” come to life. Forget geographic boundaries, blogging opens up a world of possible friendships & connections. Yes, literally a whole world of 8 billion people. And guess what, there’s a lot of amazing people waiting to get to know you if you just say hi.
But you have to have your heart in it. And don’t underestimate people, they’re very intuitive and they can tell when you don’t.
7. You can make a real impact
Spark a discussion. Inspire someone. Leave a comment. Say hello. Introduce yourself. You’d be surprised to see what happens when you do. And you never know, you might just change someone’s life.
Sure, there are over 150 million blogs out there…
Yes, attention spans are getting shorter by the minute (latest has it at 8 seconds).
But that’s all noise. Ignore it. Don’t pay it any attention. Give. Give. Give. And give again. Do it for the love.
When you do, when you speak your truth, when you care, magical things can happen.
And, that my friends, makes the entire venture oh-so-worthwhile.
If you have any questions about getting started or how to approach blogging for your business, you can get in touch with me here. And don’t forget to sign up to the newsletter below for more like this!