In this weeks podcast (and post) I am going to share with you 21 reasons I think you should be a blogger.
You might be surprised by most of them considering that I do spend a vast part of my life helping my clients make more money from their blogs… because most of the benefits fall outside of that.
To say that blogging has changed my life feels like an understatement. It feels too small, considering how it changed pretty much everything in my life.
At the time, I was completely ignorant to the world of blogging. I only saw it from my own laptop bubble at the time, which was just me, a tutorial and then a page that said ‘Write your first blog post’.
I was on a ‘company-issued’ laptop at the time working for a U.S software company. I was 23 floors up in a corporate office working for professional social media giant LinkedIn.com. It was a Monday. It was in the afternoon. I will never forget it.
Becoming a blogger flipped the world as I knew it on its head.
Blogging changed the way I studied, the way I learned, the way I cared about myself, my mothering style, my ideas and ideals for the future and it changed the way I looked at my life and the world.
Only sliding doors might help me see what may have occurred had I not opened that new post those years ago, however suffice to say that there hasn’t been a standout process/event/thing (besides my two children being born of course) which has swung my life in such a wildly amazing and different trajectory than that which becoming a blogger did.
I’m sharing 21 reasons (+ one more bonus reason) I think you should become a blogger today because I feel like within this list, there is at least one thing for everybody and for most of you, more than one thing that will really hit home about why I think you should become a blogger.
21 Reasons I think you should become a blogger
#1. If you don’t know what you want to be when you grow up. I shared a post and podcast recently which described my advice for those of you who do not know what you’re passionate about, or what your ‘THING’ is or what you want to be or do or share with the world. The biggest message is that nothing changes if nothing changes… if you’re stuck ‘not knowing what you want to be when you grow up’ then making the decision to change one thing or do something differently, regularly, will change your life.
Blogging can involve small changes or big changes regularly and can give you a platform to find new passions you didn’t know you had.
#2. It requires no prior education or knowledge. I suppose this is relative, but you most probably have the prior knowledge you need already… especially if you’re reading this or listening to this podcast. Want to start a blog? All you need to know is how to type. Knowing how to read and write (type) is probably your only pre-requisites for becoming a blogger.
#3. You want to sell something online. I don’t mind whether what you want to sell are physical products like belts or jewellery or jeans or hats, or squatty potty’s, or digital products like eBooks, eCourses or online programs, blogging with help you sell.
If you have a ‘blog’ attached to your online shop (a growing number of posts to be found on the same website as your shop) then you will sell more.
From a purely mathematical perspective, the more traffic or visitors you get to your online shop, the more you sell, and one of the best ways to get traffic to your online store is to have content that brings them there.
#4. It will improve your communication skills. Nearly everything we do in life is a form of communicating. Blogging helps to strengthen so many areas of your communication style. Not only are you able to spread an entire story out on the table in whatever format you want to, you are then able to get direct feedback on how that is received.
The communication then between you and your readers, or your social media followers (if you go down that route) or the multiple ways in which you can share your message will help you communicate better in so many different situations in life. A blog is often described as having the platform or microphone; an opportunity for you to voice your opinion or share knowledge. Your moment in the sun.
Like any form of communication, your blog is a two-way street. You may initiate the dialogue with a post, and then you can invite others to participate and be engaged.
#5. Blogging will improve your writing skills. Writing skills are an important part of communication. Good writing skills allow you to communicate your message with clarity and ease to a far larger audience. Your writing may help you get rid of your typical unnecessary conversation fillers like ‘aaahh’ and ‘ummm’.
You may need to become persuasive in your writing, may want to prove a point or argue a point in a gracious and diplomatic manner or you may need to be able to be open about how you feel on paper. Effective writing improves with practice so the more you blog, the more opportunity you have to improve on your writing skills.
#6. Personal + professional development. I don’t know a blogger who hasn’t put either hard cash or hard-time (not the jail kind) or both, into educating themselves personally or professionally for the direct or indirect sake of their blogging.
I find it interesting to look back to the hundreds of thousands of dollars that my previous corporate employers invested into weeks of sales and marketing training with us ground staff where the majority of people in the room didn’t give a stuff about it (some of it was really cool btw), to now being surrounded by bloggers who would hock their furniture to go to a business conference ON THE WEEKEND!
If the ‘me’ of 5 years ago looked at the time and money I have now invested into my personal and professional development that ‘me’ would be shocked. ‘What, you mean you spent your whole weekend learning how to write code or about SEO or advertising… for your blog?’.
There is really nothing quite like being bitten though, and once you do, you want to learn everything you can to help you improve.
#7. Unlocking ‘caged’ creativity. When you blog, you begin to open up a part of the mind that you may not have accessed since you were a child. Your creative right brain. Many of us get up each day and do the same thing over and over again. Also most of us do not incorporate our playful, creative mind into our lives anymore.
Writing a blog post? Creative.
Drafting a paragraph, a sentence or choosing the right word? Creative.
Also, when you realise the topic or the niche or the genre that you are blogging in, you’re probably going to think of another 30 ideas of things to create or write about that all involve you working like an artist on your blog.
Creativity literally holds no bounds in blogging, the tech world is also the world of design and creative opportunity and the rainbow palette of creative opportunity is waiting for you right now.
#8. Gaining confidence. If you blog, you’re probably sharing your work in the public eye. PUBLIC.
Regardless of if only 5 people read your blog post or 50,000, throwing yourself essentially out there for the world to judge can be incredibly nerve-wracking. However, like any muscle, when you keep doing it, you eventually find yourself in power of doing so. Also this works with any specific ‘segment’ of the blogging process too.
For example, say you want to reach out to another blogger and ask for a favour. The first time can be hard with a capital H. The 100th? Not so much.
Because most of us have an inner belief that we are not that worthy of greatness, it can be hugely rewarding to find that others think the work you put out into the world is pretty darn cool too. It’s not egotistical to realise that we are, capable, expert, intelligent and plain amazing, but sometimes it can take us actually showing up to help us get over our self-consciousness and move to a place of empowering confidence in what we are achieving or working on with our blogs.
#9. Emotional growth and health. This is a big one. For a few reasons. There is nothing quite like writing things down to ‘get them out of your head’. Joan Didion famously said: ‘I don’t know what to think until I write it down’.
There have been many studies which prove that thinking a thought is not as powerful as writing that thought down and committing it to paper. In a digital sense, when you blog, you’re not only putting your thoughts or musings or opinions down on paper, but you’re also sharing them with the public.
A lot of bloggers begin to blog (or keep an online diary of sorts) because they’re hurting, they’re angry about something, they’re passionate about a topic or because they simply cannot… not write.
So many personal bloggers I know opened and wrote their first post thinking nothing would come from it and then felt such a sense of being lightened, of being free of the thoughts or of just feeling better getting ‘it off my chest’ that they wrote a second post, and a third and so on.
#10. Opportunity to cultivate a ‘growth mindset’. A growth mindset does not believe that they are the sum of their current state or that success depends on luck, intelligence or winning. They believe that with dedication, effort, constant self-improvement and education they will be able to create success by improving how they approach something.
They will not view setbacks as failures, rather as learning experiences. You will find that nearly every great business-person, athlete or entrepreneur harbours a growth mindset.
A fixed mindset is one where the person believes that their ability to succeed is based on what they feel they already have – their intelligence and aptitude and ability today. They believe that it is talent alone that creates success and not hard work or effort. For those with a fixed mindset, they feel they are defined and classed by who and what they are capable of now, not by their potential.
Bloggers also make mistakes, like everybody, and some of these are done in a very public forum. I’ve been there, multiple times. (Only last week I sent off an email to 11,700 subscribers which was meant for a personal friend. I must have accidentally pasted into my newsletter template when I had too many tabs open.)
Blogging is going to give us multiple opportunities to cultivate the growth mindset.
#11. Blogging builds commitment. Commitment, dedication and method is something that goes hand in hand with a blogger who blogs regularly. I remember in my corporate job, myself and the rest of the team always being ready to sneak out of the office… then when I began blogging, I began to sneak IN to my home office.
That’s a huge change in behaviour. You may find that you make different decisions towards external areas of your life so as to better support your dedication or discipline to your blog, such as choosing not to hit the pub late on a Friday because you know your head needs to be fresh for writing on a Saturday morning.
You may take or steal your blogging moments when you can where you might otherwise have been dilly-dallying about, because you adore what you do or because you have a compelling event or post you’re creating. Most bloggers blog while maintaining a full-time job. These bloggers find the time where you don’t see it to be. I adore that Liz Gilbert calls this type of creative behaviour ‘Having an affair with yourself’.
#12. You might inspire somebody else. Since I began blogging and sharing my messages of health and wealth, I have lost count of the amount of times I have received an email, or a Facebook message and even cards and letters which include the words ‘You inspire me’.
Technology has offered us the ability to take our own ‘special-sauce’ to every corner of the globe at the click of a button. That amazing ‘thing’ that you offer to the world may well inspire somebody else in their life. Or your blogging itself may inspire somebody else to start blogging.
I’ve also lost count of the amount of people who come to me and say some part of ‘so…this blogging that you do… tell me a little bit more about that.’ When you get ‘it’, other people see that and they want some too!
#13. YOU might just become inspired. Just as The Whole Daily (my health website) led me to become a full-time blogger earning money from my blog, the work also inspired my entire business here at AliceNicholls.com and this was of course inspired by you, my audience, continuing to ask me ‘how to’.
I was inspired not only personally through my blogging journey, but also by my readers. Doors are always looking for somebody to open them.
#14. You are looking after your brain health and cognitive health. Thinking is healthy. Becoming a robot who does the same thing every day and who believes that after high-school or Uni, the learning is done is stalling their health.
Using your noggin’ has been a classical way of remaining sharp, staying smart or getting smart and remaining that way through your life. I like the saying: ‘Those who think they know everything don’t learn anything new. Therefore they know nothing’. I can’t remember who this is by.
#15. You will begin to look at ‘things’ in a new way. When you begin to create for yourself the world begins to look differently and sound differently. Not only do I feel more perceptive in general, my mind sees transactions in daily life take on a whole new meaning. For me, getting a great promo card in the post can have me thinking, how can I share the value of this with my audience.
When I get good, or terrible, or epic customer service I wonder what can I learn from this that will help me serve my own audience or how I can share that with my audience to help them help their audience.
When I see kids losing time and being free and feeling great, I wonder how I can bring some of that to my digital work and courses for my audience.
Also for me, as a full-time blogger, I get to stroll in the park at lunchtime, walk my kids to school, be with them at 3pm or 9.30am which allows me to view the world I am building very differently than I used to. And this is a big one for me, when I unlocked the fact that we are all truly capable of achieving something off our own creativity and for ourselves under our own names, I began to become a pusher…(?).
I SEE unlimited potential in everybody now, including you. You want to create something? Here I am, telling you that ‘You can, you can start now, here… let me show you.’ And most often times, I do.
You tell me an idea you have, I create a whole business plan in my head for you on the spot. I get excited… THE WORLD IS YOURS. (if only you could see that!).
#16. It’s so cheap and simple to start a blog. You can literally begin blogging for under $10.
You need a web host to host your blog. I use and recommend Bluehost as I have used them for over three years and they are truly amazing. They can grow with you and you can join for as little as $3.95. The best thing about Bluehost for new bloggers? Their 24/7 chat support is the best I have come across. You then purchase a domain name (the name of your blog such as www.________.com), which you can easily do through Bluehost as well. Then you install a free WordPress account (also a one-click install through the Bluehost dashboard) and you are literally ready to post your first blog post in under 30mins (if you’re a newbie) or less than 7 mins if you’re more versed.
#17. You will meet amazing people. The blogging community are passionate, wonderful, caring and supportive people. Not all bloggers are of the same tribe, as in any community, but if you’re out there sharing yourself through your blog, you will eventually find those right people for you! Some of these relationships will stay online forever and be just as wonderful as when you get to hook-up with a blogging buddy IRL (in real life!).
There’s so many opportunities for conferences, meet-ups, events, training and workshops where you will get to meet a whole ‘underground’ 😉 world that you never knew existed. And trust me when I say that someone who doesn’t blog at all will struggle to understand what it is you even do, even while you rave about it. So it’s wonderful to have a group of people around you (probably globally) who ‘get it!’.
#18. You may join the 5% of people who love what they do. Imagine going to work every day (or working from home) and LOVING what you do. This is currently the state of only 5% of the working population. But it’s growing. We live in a time where if you have a creative idea, some chutzpah, some discipline and dedication and a growth mindset, you have all the tools to live life and make money on your terms.
Blogging can also help you fall in love with the work you currently do, which you don’t like. I know a woman, Stacey, who hated her job. Then she started blogging and began to be more thankful that her work afforded her the opportunity for a free laptop, overseas travel she could meet other bloggers, a nice desk and community that should could be friends with outside of her blog.
Her blogging helped her relax in her current job, it became an outlet. And at her job she stays to this day.
#19. You can make some extra cash on the side if you want. I coach people how to make money from their blogs, but it’s not always about $1M bucks. It is as special and important and empowering for someone to make $100k per year from their blog, as it is making $50k, 30k, 10k or an extra $1k per year from a blog they run for free.
Making any amount of money off your own idea, work, product, service or solution is a powerful indication that you can look after yourself and truly, your opportunity and potential is uncapped! The world is your ‘shopping cart’.
#20. Face your anxiety or fear. Few things are as scary as going out there and shouting YOU from the rooftops. Without a doubt the biggest block that any person I coach faces is getting themselves over the ledge… of any part of the process. From even choosing a blog name, or host, to pressing ‘publish’. The fear and anxiety here of being SEEN is great.
If you want to sell something – anxiety can be crushing, because you have to ask for the sale. Every day you have to ask.
Learning to face these fears and move through the anxiety is liberating. I have a client (from the last graduating class of Blog to Profit – The Premium eCourse for creating, promoting, or profiting from your blog) who had dreams of being on a specific website and partnering with a particular dream organisation through her blogging. When we first met, she was held back by the perception of whether or not she or her work was worthy enough to be paired with this platform.
Then she began to face the anxiety of ‘asking’ for what she wanted. Again and again she asked for what she wanted and got hit with ‘yes’s’ nearly every time. This week she became a feature writer for her favourite site. Anxiety smashed. Fear replaced by the empowerment of self-worth and knowing that the worst than can happen is not that bad.
Which is the opposite of what most of us feel today.
#21. Find out who you really are. When you first begin blogging you will probably have self-consciousness attached to every post you share. You may only share ‘edited’ versions of yourself. Versions that you think are either safe from judgement, or that present you in a way that isn’t quite ‘authentic’. This same version may be close to the person you present to the world either through social media or in person.
The more you BLOG though, the more comfortable you feel being you, the more authentic version of ‘you’ you share with the world. A lot of this comes from a bit of ‘f*ck it’, it’s not as big a deal as I thought it was to be me.
This comes from the fact that blogging makes you realise how small a fish you really are (though super-impressive you do doubt are). In general, we can put ourselves in small fish-bowls of our company, or community, or town, or state etc… the world is much, much bigger than that.
Less people care about what you do than you are worried about. This is not harsh, this is freeing.
#22. It may change your entire life for the better. Oh man, there are so many ways that blogging can change your life for the better. The biggest one I can think of and because it was how I experienced the process, is that blogging has given me a platform to work through all the ‘stuff’ in my head and that I didn’t even know was in my head, so that I could find MY THINGS that make me crazy happy.
Then I have a platform in which to do them on a daily basis. I could list the ways blogging has changed my life for the better, but we would then be here for days and I didn’t bring any more undies with me.
I want to see how it changes your life for the better though… more the point!