Lots of people are given the advice to start a blog whether it’s to promote a business, a book or something else because it can be an effective way to reach out to people, keep them engaged around what you’re doing and sell more. But is it right for you? To help you decide, here are eight great reasons blogging could be a worthwhile investment of your time:
1. Sharpen your thinking and creativity
Writing is thinking. To begin creating a blog post, you have to organise your research, your ideas and your thoughts. As you write and edit each post, you’ll tighten it up and make it better. Do this repeatedly over a period of time and you could become a sharper thinker.
You’ll also have to keep generating inspiration for content which will stimulate your creativity. Be sure to carry a notebook around with you to capture all those great ideas on the go.
2. Find your voice and become a better writer
One of the most important things, if you want to grow an audience over time, is to produce great quality content. To do this, you don’t need to have a PhD in English or be a professional novelist, but you will want to be the best writer you can be.
Great writing isn’t necessarily fancy but should be clear and authentic. This can be achieved through practice and the best way to get this is to blog on a regular basis. When you do, your unique voice will begin to shine. This experience can help grow your confidence and help you establish your own space in the online world.
3. Build your brand and stand out
Branding isn’t just about logos and brochures. It’s about getting across what matters to you and what you stand for. Blogging is a great way to do this because, by writing frequently on particular topics, you’ll become known for them. Only you will write the way you do so, in conjunction with the look and feel of your brand, blogging can help you stand out.
4. Learn and embrace new experiences
Blogging won’t become a drag if you build it around your life and make it fun. It’s a great opportunity to learn, go on adventures and embrace new experiences in your quest for fresh content. Think of the things you’ve always wanted to do, the challenges you’ve fancied tackling and consider how you could cover them in a way that fits with the style of your blog, enhances your brand and inspires your audience.
5. Grow an audience and build a rapport
Blogging enables you to reach out to more and more people and attract them to your website. You’ll be providing something of value to them before asking for anything in return. The trick is to focus on creating great content rather than vast quantities although you should blog at least once every month or fortnight to maintain momentum. If your blogposts are valued, your existing readers are more likely to share them, increasing the numbers you reach. Be sure to respond to comments on your website and on social media. People are more likely to return to a blog when the author takes the time to interact with them.
You can extend your reach further by guest posting on other websites which already have an established readership but make sure you build a meaningful relationship with whoever runs it before making a proposal for an article that you think their audience will value. For example, could you write to them first or comment on a number of their posts to let them know how much you appreciate their blog and which articles you’ve found helpful?
6. Establish a reputation as an expert
If you’re already an expert in your field, blogging will give you a platform to demonstrate this to your readers. Alternatively, blogging can be a way to become an expert in a topic that interests you over time. The more you blog, the more you’ll learn and you’ll soon be developing your own ideas on the subject. Showcasing your expertise is important if you would like to eventually sell books, products or services based on your knowledge, skills and experience as people are more likely to buy from sources they know, like, respect and trust.
7. Create opportunities and make money
Blogging can open so many doors. Off the back of your writing, you could be asked to speak about your topic at a conference, be featured in the press or invited to attend an exciting event where you may meet people who could become important connections. As you become known for your topic, you may begin to be picked up by search engines and new people may reach out to you. This could lead to even more opportunities.
You may decide just to blog for pleasure or for the satisfaction of developing your knowledge on a subject, but blogging can help you make money too. For example, if people are impressed by your blogposts, they may be more likely to take an interest in any books or courses you may be offering or they may be drawn in by a blogpost they discover on social media then come and take a look around your online shop.
It’s important, however to get the balance between promotion and engagement right, If too many of your posts sound like sales pitches, people are less likely to read them. You should also try to build up a rapport with your audience before trying to sell to them. Always offer value first. Goodwill can go a long way.
8. Help and inspire others
Finally, one of the most rewarding things about blogging is knowing you could be helping and inspiring others. It can mean so much to get a Tweet thanking you for posting a useful article or a comment on your blog saying how much it meant to someone.
Don’t be afraid to ask your audience what they’d most like to hear from you and what sort of posts they find most useful. It’ll enable you to focus on generating content that’ll make the greatest difference all round.
If this article has inspired you to give blogging a go or you’d like to learn more and get your questions answered, why not come along to the Just About Writing event on 6th June where I’ll be talking more about how to make a success out of your blog? I’ll be joined by Shelley Wilson who’ll be sharing some great publishing advice and Ria Gor who will help you develop your brand story which is so important if you want your blog to stand out. You can discover more about the event and book tickets here.
Loretta Milan is the founder of Literary Lightbox which is dedicated to inspiring writers and sharing great writing opportunities. She also runs a marketing consultancy, is as a professional writer and is working on her debut novel.