Why you should start a blog.
Sitting there in front of your screen. Scrolling through the interwebs. Looking at all the different ways that people are using the internet to tell their story, sell their product, or even earn a living.
And wondering if maybe you should start a blog.
No, I haven't hacked into your webcam. We'll leave that to the NSA and Russian spies.
It's just that I've been there. I know what it's like to wonder if blogging is for you.
You see, almost a decade ago I was in that very same boat. And I decided that I was going to start blogging. Obvi...
Over the next decade, I tried all kinds of different platforms and software and approaches and plugins and themes and all those other geeky things that bloggers do. I blogged to make money, I blogged to promote businesses, and I even blogged a book. And I've loved pretty much every minute of it.
But mostly, I blog because I love it!
So if you're thinking about taking the plunge, pressing enter on the keyboard, signing up for that account... here are a few reasons why you should start a blog. From someone who's been there.
Oh. My. Gosh. There is no way I could not make this number one as this is the most important reason why you should start a blog. Or to keep on blogging if you already are.
When you get seriously into it, there will be times when you have committed to a schedule or a post and you just don't feel like it... that's no bueno.
But if you're doing it right, 99% of the time you will find that blogging is just plain, good old-fashioned fun. (ok, so it's not old-fashioned; it's still fun!)
** Disclaimer: If it ever stops being fun, it's time to find a different hobby/job/addiction. Life is too short to do things you don't enjoy. Especially if you don't have to.
Yeah, that's right. You don't have to.
Oh, I get it. I'm a rebel. I sometimes exceed the speed limit and have been known to run with scissors on occasion... just because I can.
Blogging is a decision only you can make.
It's entirely your decision. Nobody is going to hold a gun to your head and make your fingers float across the keys. It's a personal decision. And that makes it very empowering!
When you have a blog, every aspect of it is up to you. Where else do you have that kind of control???
Here are just a few things that you have complete control over when you have a blog:
Are you a really artistic person? Love designing things? You will love blogging! Using custom themes, you can make your site look just the way you want!
Not really that creative and just want to get the words out there? There are literally thousands of themes and layouts that will make it easy to find a look you like and just drop it on your blog.
Either way, bringing ideas to life can be very therapeutic.
I used my blog DeeHathaway.com to help me get through an extremely important and volatile time of my life. I was going through some major life changes and at times felt really alone. (Don't cry for me... I'm all good)
My blog became a way for me to get my thoughts and feelings out of my head and heart where I could deal with them rationally.
And it's WAY cheaper than therapy!
When I first started my personal blog, it was very much like a diary, and also very much like I was writing to my best friend. I could pour my heart out, experiment with different thoughts, or just write what I was feeling. It helped me sort through a ton of different emotions during some very tough times. And I learned a lot about who I really am.
One of the great things about blogging is that it can be done, and done well, no matter how technical/geeky you are.
Don't know your HTML from a hole in the ground? No problem! Pick a great platform like WordPress, and you've chosen one of the most widely-used, and therefore best supported, platforms on the internet! Help is just a Google search away! There are also a plethora of groups on Facebook, Google, Yahoo, etc that can help you do whatever you need!
If you don't care to learn about the technical aspects of blogging, there are plenty of services available to handle that for you. Many of them are very inexpensive, and some are free.
There are training courses and youtube videos for pretty much anything you need/want to learn.
You will have the opportunity to learn about marketing, advertising, social media, formatting, writing, editing and time management. Oh yeah. If you get serious about this you will learn a ton about time management.
No matter what you're good at or what you suck at, there are so many reasons why you should start a blog.
Blogging doesn't care if you are an introvert or an extrovert. It doesn't care if you are a geek or a goddess.
Need the company of others? Join a Facebook blogging group and start exchanging ideas and guest posts!
Just want people to stay off your lawn and leave you to your blogging? Google is full of everything you need to help tell the world that you just want to sleep and watch Netflix. And to tell the world what they should be watching if that's your style.
I can guarantee you that whatever you are into, there are plenty of people out there who would love to hear you talk (write, whatever) about it!
As I sit here typing this, it's way past my bedtime and I've missed my favorite show on TV (love me some Hulu!) and I don't care.
Once you get in "the zone", you'll find that you just want to keep creating, keep typing, keep on keeping on.
And, compared to most other addictions, it's really cheap.
You can start blogging for FREE!
You can set up a blog on wordpress.com for absolutely nothing. This is a great way to start if you aren't really sure blogging is for you, or if you really can't afford a few bucks a month for hosting.
Going that route gives you a website/blog that you own, rather than one that is hosted on someone else's site.
We won't get into the difference between wordpress.org and wordpress.com here (cuz that's a whole different discussion), but if you have a website that you self-host... it's your site.
And you can do with it whatever you want. (within reason, don't be an animal)
You own your domain, your content, and your success.
It's true. You can make money blogging. If you do it right, you can make a really good living blogging.
First things first: if you think you should start a blog just so you can make money... do me a favor and just don't.
The internet is full of blogs where people are obviously following the advice of a "how I made a million dollars in my first month blogging" idiot and have no idea what they're blogging about.
But if you are really passionate about something and/or feel that you can really contribute something through what you have to say, then yes. You can make money blogging.
Whether you're looking for a little extra income or looking to make a full-time living, blogging is a viable source of income.
If you're doing it for the right reasons.
So if you're still sitting on the fence, I encourage you to take the plunge and get started. Blogging changed my life, and it can change yours too!