Why You Should Blog
Stay connected to family and friends.
I’ve got family in seven states, from California to Washington to Maryland. Blogging allows us to stay up to date on the events of our lives, the growth of our children, our struggles and our triumphs. It’s like the telephone and letters on steroids.
Not only can I speak with them, but I can also share pictures, videos, and audio instantaneously. It’s the next best thing to visiting with them in my living room.
Document your life.
What would you give to have the personal journals of your ancestors? What would it mean to you to get into the mind and heart of your great-great-great-great grandfather/mother?
And nevermind ancient history — what would it mean to read thoughts from your parents about your birth and childhood, about their struggles as young parents? What would it do for your relationships to have that kind of personal insight documented through the years?
Because of blogging, my children will have access to infinitely more information about themselves and their family than I will ever have.
A blog is a multi-faceted diary that will never fade and never get lost. Once you’ve published content it’s available forever, and accessible to whomever you choose. (And yes, you can keep it private.)
Establish trust and credibility.
Since it’s rare that consumers buy anything anymore without researching it on the Internet first, this is a key benefit of blogging for business owners.
Blogging allows you to showcase your expertise on your product and/or service, like Garrett Gunderson and I have done on the blog for our New York Times bestseller Killing Sacred Cows: Overcoming the Financial Myths that are Destroying Your Prosperity.
It gives your customers insights into who you are and why you do what you do. It also gives them the ability to see how you deal with negative publicity or customer complaints.
Since relatively few business owners and professionals understand the power of blogging, it gives you an edge on your competition.
For example, real estate agents compete with hundreds of other agents in their area. If you’re in the market to buy a house, the most likely place for you to start is with a Google search, for both houses and agents.
Which agent are you going to choose: the agent that you know little about because you can’t find any information about them, or the agent with massive amounts of insightful information that you can access on their blog? Are you going to choose the complete stranger, or the agent with whom you have a relative relationship?
Build relationships and community.
Seth Godin’s recent landmark book Tribes articulates this aspect of blogging well. Seth writes,
“People want connection and growth and something new. They want change…You can’t have a tribe without a leader—and you can’t be a leader without a tribe.”
He explains that it takes only two things to turn a group of people into a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate. Increasing the effectiveness of your “tribe” is a product of 1) transforming the shared interest into a passionate goal and desire for change, 2) providing tools to allow members to tighten their communications, and 3) leveraging the tribe to allow it to grow and gain new members.
A blog is one of the most powerful tools on the planet to achieve these goals.
“Blogging has gone from a cutting edge, mostly American phenomenon to a global main-stream activity generating an increasing larger share of the world’s ‘user generated content’ and the sharing economy driving up the value of search and advertising worldwide. In addition to increasing in scale, bloggers continue to become increasingly diverse become both a core economic as well as social driver online.” -Joichi Ito, CEO, Creative Commons, Venture Capitalist
Speak your mind and share your passion.
Blogging communities exist for every topic and purpose imaginable, from art lovers to photography buffs, environmentalists to dog lovers, technology geeks to marketing gurus.
In the past you may have had the excuse that your passion is such a narrow niche that no one is interested. A blog gives you access to millions of people and takes away that excuse.
You’re a human being. By definition this means that you have important things to say and you have things that you care about. Don’t keep them to yourself — create value for others by blogging about them. A blog is your outlet for sharing your gifts and interests.
“Blogging continues to splinter into many different categories, providing an incredibly rich ecosystem of self expression tools and compelling content for readers. And a huge percentage of blogs focus on single topics of interest, from tech news to wine to knitting. Whatever it is you are interested in, it’s likely to have a community of people who share that interest.” -Michael Arrington, Founder, TechCrunch
Steer the conversation.
Have you ever been involved in a conversation where your conversant held all the cards? Have you ever attended a political debate where, in your view, the moderator did a poor job? Isn’t that frustrating?
A blog is the solution to that frustration. You no longer have to cater to existing media outlets, or suffer as you witness incompetence or injustice. All you have to do is start your own blog, then you control the conversation.
A blog is your house. You own it. You decide what gets discussed, and how. You make the rules.
A number of viable options exist for you to monetize your blog. In fact, it’s becoming a common occurrence for people to start a blog as a hobby, then are surprised as it makes enough money for them to quit their job and blog full-time. And it’s possible for you, too.
Make a difference.
Blogging is shaping the world and every aspect of it including culture, business, media, community, family, religion, and politics and government.
In the Industrial Age, almost everything was a top-down model. For example, corporations and the media largely determined our purchasing preferences and habits.
Blogging has opened up a brave new, democratic world. It’s leveled the playing field. Every individual with a computer and Internet access now has a viable voice in the conversations about everything important to us.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the art and science of making your site appear on the first few pages of a Google or other search engine search, based on key words and phrases.
There are hundreds of ways to execute Search Engine Optimization, but blogging is one of the single best ways to do it. Search engines love blogs. Blogging continually adds new, keyword-rich content to your site. It draws visitors and conversations and secures backlinks.
And it does all of this as a natural process, without you having to be very technically savvy — all you have to do is blog on a regular basis.