Start Blogging This Year

I’m a big believer in Blogging both as a hobby and for some as a profession.

Here is my list of the top 11 reasons why I think everyone should start or revive their Blog:

1. Speak Your Voice

Creating a Blog gives you a voice where you can express yourself and your ideas freely and connect with people who will appreciate the message.

Often times the ideas and things that we go through in life may not be something of value or interest to our small social circles. For example, if I get a new puppy and learn something very interesting about puppies I can write a Blog post about that and that may connect / interest a lot more people than my close social circle of friends. They may not be interested in things related to puppies when I get one because they might not have a puppy at the same time.

We all have something to say. We all have wisdom to share. Often times I see people getting on the phone and desperately trying to phone one of their friends to listen to something new they have discovered. Of course if their friends are interested in this, a wonderful process of sharing can happen, but your close friends aren’t always going to be interested in the same things you are at the same time.

A Blog gives you a place to share your new ideas with people who are actually interested in reading about them. Meaning, a Blog reader specifically searching for information on a specific topic will be much more interested in reading about that topic than a friend who’s just listening to you talk out of politeness.

Blogging is an outlet for your inner voice. Your immediate circle of friends may not always be interested in the specific things you’re going through in your life. If you don’t have a Blog, you can either bore your friends by talking to them about things that are important to you but not important to them, or you can bottle up what you have to say inside. Bottling up your voice is not healthy. This is why I strongly believe Blogging is an awesome place to finally speak your voice and share your story / wisdom / message with the world.

2. Own Your Voice / Message

Very often now I find people using services such as Twitter and Facebook to start expressing their voice and sharing their life with others. Twitter and Facebook make it very easy to do this.

However, I personally think that these kinds of services rob you of your voice.

Firstly, they limit you to the amount of information you can say. They don’t really want to hear what you have to say – they want a “Snippet”. They don’t allow you fully express yourself, they want you to summarize everything into little snippets that other people might find interesting.

Everything in our society is moving towards this trend of just skimming the surface of issues. There is no depth to communication anymore. These types of services want you to say what you have to say in one sentence or don’t say it at all.

Also, they rob you of owning your own voice. When I write a Blog post on this Blog, I own the rights to all of this content. I can keep this Blog running indefinitely and the content here can some day be available to my great grandchildren, or people who might read it generations from now. When you write something on Facebook or Twitter, it doesn’t belong to you and it disappears after a while. These types of services might be here today, but they might disappear tomorrow. There is no way of knowing if they’ll be around ten years from now, let alone available for your grandchildren to read.

All the photos and all the content you create for these services is just there for them to make them money and to do with as they please.

I find it very difficult to understand why people say that they don’t have their own Blog because they don’t think they have any content to share with others, yet they’re spending 80% of their spare time on Facebook or Twitter posting dozens of updates and uploading dozens of pictures every day!

If you went on a trip and have something to say about it and have some pictures to share with people, why not put those up on your Blog instead of giving them away to Facebook!?

You can always put a link on Facebook back to your Blog post afterwords.

3. Earn Some Money From Your Voice

As a Blogger for almost 5 years I’ll be the first to admit that it is not easy to make a six-figure income Blogging like some of the top Bloggers are making.

However, even if your Blog doesn’t make you rich or replace your full time income, it really isn’t that hard to make some extra spending money by Blogging.

Instead of spending two hours on the phone talking to your friend about something interesting you’ve discovered, why not Blog about it and share it with the world?

Instead of spending two hours on Facebook or Twitter posting updates and uploading pictures, why not write a Blog post and put the pictures up on your Blog?

You can always then share the link to that Blog post and those pictures on Facebook where your friends can click on the content and be sent back to your Blog, but at the same time you’re also opening up your content to be seen by the rest of the world, not just your friends.

In this way you can build an audience of people who are interested in your content and then you can monetize your Blog and earn some extra money.

Even if you only make $50/month or $100/month from your Blog, that can add up to $600 – $1,200/year! If nothing else, you can use that money for Christmas gifts. 🙂

Also, who knows, maybe what you have to say will connect with a lot of people and perhaps you will be able to make a full time income from your Blog.

4. Connect With Awesome People

I just came back from a trip to Canada where I met up with a friend of mine, James, who I met a year ago from his Blog. Meeting him through his Blog opened me up to a whole new level of awareness in the energy healing arts and intuitive development.

He also introduced me to one of his mentors, Barry, and I learned a lot from him as well. My wife has learned a lot from both of them as well, and it has helped her tremendously with her Readings business. She has also met other awesome friends while on her trip there as well.

None of this would have happened if I hadn’t met James a year ago from his Blog. It also wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t been a Blogger who seeks out and reads other people’s Blogs.

Blogging connects like-minded people together from all around the world.

This is just one example. I have met probably close to one hundred really cool people since launching my Blog. There are too many to mention here, but some of whom I have become really good friends with.

What’s awesome about this is that unlike most of the friends you make through geographic proximity (friends from school, or work, or the people your parents knew), the friends you typically make from Blogging are usually like-minded people who are interested in the same things you are.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t have “real life” friends who you grew up with or who you met at school or at work. I’m just saying that Blogging opens you up to meeting even more great people and typically they are much more interested in the same things you are because that is what attracted them to your Blog in the first place.

Even if I hadn’t made a single penny from my Blog in the five years I’ve been Blogging, I would still say that just the friends I’ve met while Blogging have been worth the investment it takes to run a Blog. And of course I have made money on top of that so that’s awesome too. 🙂

5. Learn Something New

Sharing something you’ve learned or experienced with the world is an awesome part of Blogging, but you can also learn a lot too!

When you share your ideas, often times people will leave comments, suggestions and links to other resources you may not have even heard about.

You may receive emails from individuals or even companies who you had no idea even existed.

There is a lot of really cool stuff you can learn by running a Blog, because Blogs open up a two-way communication with you and your readers. It’s not just a one-way communication between you and your readers. It’s a two-way conversation from which you can learn a lot.

6. Get Free Stuff

As your Blog grows in popularity you can start to get free stuff from individuals and companies looking to promote their products to your audience.

I get emails from people releasing new products and offering me free stuff all the time. It really isn’t that hard to start getting free stuff as a Blogger.

Companies are learning that online marketing is the place to be and Bloggers are starting to carry a lot of weight because the statistics show that the majority of buying decisions are now made online.

Meaning, even if people walk into a physical store to buy a product, the actual decision to buy that specific product over other products was actually made prior to walking into the store, most likely from reading a Blog post, online review, or recommendation from a friend or trusted source.

Very few buying decisions are made after speaking to a “sales guy” at a store anymore. Companies are starting to wake up to this fact and they love Bloggers. As long as you’re honest in your reviews, your audience will love you for it as well because people want to know what products are good and which ones are crap!

7. Leverage Your Blog to Accomplish Goals

One of the other things that I’ve used my Blog for has been to keep me accountable to the goals that I set.

There is nothing more motivating than a little social pressure to help you achieve your goals. For example, when I did my weight loss challenges, I blogged all about them on my Blog. This helped me to stay on track and to hit my targets.

Blogging about a specific goal or journey you’re on can help you stay on track and garner support from other readers, not to mention the fact that it can also help you to meet people who will help you on your journey as well.

For example, during my weight loss challenge, I met Jenna who has been helping me to get my body into shape. If I hadn’t Blogged about my weight loss challenge, I probably would have never met her.

8. Build Your Business

Blogging can help you to grow your business. Small business owners can develop a personal connection with their prospects and customers.

Brand new businesses can use Blogging to establish their initial client base. With other offline marketing strategies such as advertising in the Yellow Pages becoming less and less effective in the online world we live in, it’s not easy for new businesses to establish themselves. By running a Blog you can establish that initial seed client base that could be critical to the success of your business long term.

For larger businesses, the personal connection a Blog provides can help to differentiate your business from the others. Some of the largest companies in the world like Microsoft and Google use Blogs to connect with their customers and to establish a more personal touch for their brands.

9. Develop Your Writing Skills

For anyone who wants to become a writer, Blogs are an awesome place to start. Blogging gives you the freedom to start small and to work your way up to larger and larger writing projects.

It also helps you to develop your voice and writing style, offering you feedback from your readers.

What’s more, by building a Blog you also build an audience for your writing. That way, once you are ready to write your first book you already have an audience for it. It also makes it much easier to get a publishing deal if you can show the publisher that you already have an active audience for your book. Or if you wish, you can just self-publish and promote it to your existing Blog audience.

For any aspiring authors I highly recommend Blogging as the first step to becoming a published author.

10. Build Your Online Resume

A Blog can be an awesome online resume. Any successful businessman/businesswoman will tell you that personality and who a person is, is more important than just your skill set.

Of course you have to possess the skills to perform a specific job, but when business owners are faced with a decision to choose an applicant from a stack of resumes with similar skill-sets – they almost always choose the candidate they like the most personally.

Blogging can help you to put your personality out there on the Internet. Most employers will Google your name anyways, so would you prefer for them to find your Blog where you have 100% control over the content you see on there or would you prefer for them to find outdated or unrelated content that doesn’t really express who you really are?

Not only that, but since Blogging can connect you to a lot of really cool like-minded people, you might be able to connect with people who can help your career by getting in on the inside of a company.

For example, if I posted a Blog post here saying that I’m looking for a job (which I’m not 🙂 ), I would most likely get contacted by people who would either be interested in hiring me themselves or know someone who would.

What’s even cooler about using your Blog as a resume is that when potential employers read your Blog they will be able to see who you are from a personal point of view, and decide if you’ll fit in with their company’s culture.

If they don’t like your personality, why would you ever want to work for them?

11. Blogging is Fun!

The last reason you should build a Blog in 2011 is because Blogging is a lot of fun! I love Blogging. It’s one of the most fun and rewarding things I’ve done in the last five years.

I love the people I connect with, the ideas I get to share, and the growth I’ve experienced as a result of running a Blog.

Honestly, I don’t understand why anyone would NOT have a Blog.

I’m not saying that professional Blogging is for everyone, but at least as a hobby I think everyone should give Blogging a try.

Hopefully this post might inspire some of you to try this rich and rewarding hobby/profession.

Also, do you know someone who you wish had a Blog? You know that person who always has something positive, inspiring or interesting to say. Why not suggest that they start a Blog. They might not realize that there is an audience for their message.

Send them a link to this post. It just might inspire them to start Blogging.