20 years ago, blogs didn’t exist. Today, there are over 150 million of them.
Still, I get a lot of puzzled looks when I tell people that having a blog is the single most important thing a business, cause, or person can do to advance online. Even though ‘blogging’ has hit it big, most people don’t get what makes blogging so powerful, helpful, and beneficial.
To put an end to that, I’ve compile a list of the 20 biggest benefits of having a blog below. If you’re among the uninitiated, prepare to be enlightened. If you’ve already started a blog of your own (as I assume many of you Income Diary readers do) then you can consider this an affirmation of why you do what you — and a good place to direct people who still think that a blog is just a pointless public diary. There are many perks of having a blog as you will see.
The 20 Biggest Benefits of Blogging
#1 Get a Better Job
According to MediaBistro, nine in ten companies mine online profiles before making a new hire. Employers want to hire people who have a strong online influence:
“Determining influence is so critical to brands because this is what drives word of mouth validation – typically the most powerful and cost-effective marketing method available.”
Mark Schaefer, from an interview on Inc.com
Put simply, employers prefer to hire people with a positive online influence and blogging is the single best way to achieve that.
#2 Start a New Business
That’s what happened to Pat Flynn, who created a blog called Green Exam Academy simply to share his thoughts and insights on architecture. When Flynn was laid off from his job, he decided to take his blog a little bit more seriously and about one year later the blog had become a $100,000 per year business.
That type of growth isn’t typical. But Flynn’s story is a great example of how a simple blog can be the foundation for a thriving business if you’re willing to commit to it.
#3 Get More Clients to Your Existing Business
Static websites don’t attract many new clients or customers. But a regularly updated blog can produce a constant stream of good leads from all around the world.
When you publish in-depth blog posts that help potential clients/customers solve their problems, they come to trust you and respect you as an expert in the field. If they want more help than a blog post can offer, then they’re likely to be interested in hiring your business.
I know that this is Neil Patel’s primary revenue model for Quicksprout and I’ve also used it to good effect for my video business.
#4 Become a Better Writer
The only way to become a better writer is to write – pages and pages, day after day.
Of course, that’s exactly what an active blogger spends his or her time doing. The more you blog, the more you write – and the better writer you become.
#5 Become a Published Author
The publishing business isn’t what it used to be and publishers are less likely than ever before to take a chance on an unknown author.
They would much rather give a contract to an author with a built-in audience of readers – and that’s where having a blog comes in. So keeping a blog isn’t just a good way to become a better writer, it may be your fastest path to becoming a published writer.
#6 Get Immediate Feedback
An author has to wait months between finishing his/her book and reading the reviews, but bloggers get to read their readers’ comments the same day they click ‘publish’.
This makes blogging a great way to get feedback on an idea that you want to develop further. Having an outside perspective and a little bit of constructive criticism is invaluable.
#7 Learn More About a Group of People
Bloggers spend most of their time sharing their ideas and insights with their readers. But if you listen, you’ll find that your readers share a lot with you too.
I learn a lot about the readers on Income Diary from your comments, your tweets, and your posts on the forums. That information helps me to know what type of posts to write and I know that it also helps Michael determine what products to develop that will help his readers the most.
Knowing about your audience is invaluable (this is why companies spend so much time and money testing out their products in focus groups). As a blogger, achieving this type of insight is a natural byproduct of your day-to-day routine.
#8 Gain Influence
What’s the best way to change the world? You could become a politican, activist, or volunteer.
Or you could become a blogger. A successful blogger gains a wide audience of people who trust and respect them.
#9 Establish Yourself as an Expert in Your Field
Anybody can start a blog on any subject they like. So you don’t get a lot of respect just for saying, “I have a website about that.”
But over time, as you write more posts and share more of your expertise, you’re website will change from ‘just another blog’ into a powerful demonstration of your knowledge in a field. When somebody visits your site and sees the insights you’ve shared on a subject, along with the community of people who respect and seek that insight, it will be clear that you’re genuinely an expert in the field.
Being an expert is a good thing. You may get consideration for careers, awards, or consulting opportunities.
#10 Build a Network
“The richest people in the world build networks.
Everyone else looks for work.”
– Robert Kiyosaki
Starting a blog is a guaranteed way to expand your network.
First of all, valuable and interesting blog posts attract readers who will then comment on your site and send you personal messages through your contact page. Many of your readers will be asking for help, but others will be looking to help you.
A blog is also a good platform for reaching out to others. Many of the first posts on Income Diary were interviews with experts in the ‘make money online’ community. With every interview, Michael gained a personal relationship with an influential person.
#11 Learn In-Demand Skills
Easy-to-use blogging platforms like WordPress have made it so that a person doesn’t need to have a grasp of computer programming in order to start a blog.
But through the process of blogging, most people learn some HTML and CSS simply because it’s easier to make minor improvements to your site by yourself than it is to hire somebody each time. That’s good news because fluency in web design, HTML, and CSS are highly valued skills in this day and age.
The same can be said for a whole slew of other blog-related skills, such as graphic design, search engine optimization, content marketing, and social media marketing.
#12 Improve Your SEO
Ultimately, search engines want to deliver results that are helpful to their users. When you write a series of in-depth, valuable articles around a topic, Google takes notice.
Each high-quality blog post that you publish is another opportunity to get traffic from search.
#13 Collect Emails
There’s a lot of talk about social media today, but email is still the most reliable way to communicate online. People check their email regularly and they’re used to receiving important updates.
Getting somebody to give you their primary email isn’t easy, but once you have it you have a direct connection with that person. You’ll then be able to get their attention whenever you find something that you think will benefit them or if there’s something important regarding your business or blog that you want to inform them about.
#14 Stay Knowledgeable in Your Field
If you’re looking for an incentive to keep up to date on all of the latest information on a certain subject, starting a blog is a great start. Your weekly quest to put up new content will lead you to always be searching for new information and sharing it with your readers.
#15 Sell a Product
A blog can make for a great virtual store. Michael has made a small fortune selling Pop-Up Domination on Income Diary and other bloggers have found success selling everything from e-books to membership sites.
#16 Talk to Your Idols
One of the entrepreneurs we wanted to interview was Joe Penna, AKA Mystery Guitar Man. Like me, he was a musician and producer of creative online videos. Getting to sit down and talk with him was an inspiring experience that I’ll always remember.
If we hadn’t had a blog, I truly doubt we would have had the online credibility for Joe to take the time and sit down and talk with me.
#17 Express Yourself
This one’s pretty simple: a blog is an expressive medium that can contain words, images, and sounds. Whether your blog is formal business affair or a personal “what-I-ate-for-breakfast-this-morning” diary, blogging is powerful form of self-expression.
#18 Help Others
Every good blog helps its readers. Income Diary does this by offering free information about how to make money online. Other blogs help people lose weight, raise their kids, and come to terms with life-threatening disease. Yet others mobilize groups of people to take action and raise money for important causes.
The power of a blog to educate, inspire, and bring like-minded people together makes blogging a great way to help people.
#19 Build Trust Online
Trust is a rare and valuable commodity online. You can’t buy trust. It has to be earned by demonstrating your commitment to your readers, time and time again.
As it turns out, that’s exactly what good bloggers do by regularly posting valuable, honest articles on their blogs. The more people whose trust you’ve earned, the easier it will be to accomplish your goals online.
#20 Take Control of Your Online Identity
Whether you’re a person or business, there’s probably lots of information about you online. When somebody searches for you online, you want to make sure that they get an accurate and complete picture of who you are and what you’re all about.
Starting a blog that covers all the bases is a great way to control your online identity and make sure that the top result on Google makes a the right first impression.
The Last Word:
After listing the 20 biggest benefits of starting and maintaining a blog, I still feel like I’ve left a lot unsaid. A blog can be more than just a way of advancing your online presence; it can be a way of advancing your life… a platform you create that can propel you forward in the direction of your choice.
If you can think of a big benefit to blogging that I’ve missed, please share it in the comment section below. Otherwise, please share this post through your social networks so that people will stop giving me those confused looks when I talk about the huge importance of blogging.