Blogging has a lot of rewards. But blogging is not easy and it is definitely not something that will give you quick results. Blogging is like running a marathon. It is like raising a baby, or growing a tree. It is not a one day task.
You have to do something to grow your blog everyday, in spite of not seeing results immediately. But once it grows to a certain stage, it takes a life of its own and then it keeps growing. I am a living proof of that. And there are many such successful bloggers in the world.
When I started this blog in 2013, it was only a small blog with a few articles, started mainly for the purpose of enhancing my digital marketing resume. But I kept working on it whenever I had time and eventually it has grown to become one of the top marketing blogs in India.
This blog DigitalDeepak has given rise to two 1Cr+ a year businesses. One is the digital marketing training company and the other one is the digital marketing agency PixelTrack. I have spoken about my blogging journey on my TEDx talk. In fact, the TEDx opportunity also came because of my blogging efforts.
No matter who you are and what you do in your life, you have a unique experience and skill that you need to share with the world via blogging. If you still aren’t motivated enough to start a blog right away, may be these 7 points will help you understand why it is important for you to start blogging.
1. You Organize and Document Your Ideas Better
You learn many things you go through your professional life. But the problem is that unless you document it somewhere you are going to forget most of the things you learned. How do you remember all of them? Do you think you can write it down in some place and refer it later?
A lot of people have journals where they have written several pages of notes. They spend so much time and focus during workshops and seminars. But we know what happens to those notes. It gets lost and those words never see the light of the day again.
Such notes are not organized and presented well (the motivation to organize it well doesn’t exist because no one else is going to read it). Even you are not going to read again. It gets lost over time or just buried somewhere digitally or physically.
Blogging, solves both the problems. When you know someone else is going to read it, even if it is a very small audience, you will organize and present your ideas in a better way. And while you take the effort to present it in a better way, you also understand the concepts better and organize it better in your brain! Teaching is the best way to learn.
Organizing your learning within your mind is very similar to maintaining a library of books. Imagine each book is a piece of knowledge and the library is your brain. If you have a library of books collected over time, you wouldn’t know the location of each book. However, if you are a librarian, renting out these books to other people who want to read, you would know the location of each book and the book library is mapped in your brain, enabling you to retrieve specific information when you need it.
Most of the bloggers who have had massive success in blogging have confessed that they started their blogs with a collection of notes to themselves and they had a very small audience in the beginning. As people liked the content, it was shared and more people came to their blogs.
When you have an audience you want to make sure that the website doesn’t go down or gets lost in the cyberspace. That way you are preserving them for life. Content management systems like WordPress make it easy to organize the posts by time, categories and tags. Automatic backup applications would take the backup and make sure you never lose the data.
Every blogger would make at least a small amount of revenue from their blogs, which makes it possible to invest money in domains, hosting, and backup systems.
All blogs, beyond a certain stage, has the potential to generate revenue. You will never know how it can grow unless you get started. It could be a side project that gives you additional income or it could become a source of full-time income. For many, it has changed their lives.
Write, and the Traffic will Come
If you worry about having traffic and readership (which you won’t have initially anyway), then it becomes very hard to motivate yourself to continue blogging consistently.
Those who do not care about traffic and readership are then ones who end up getting it – because they focus on the most important thing: Writing.
Writing is what adds value to a blog. Traffic is a result of that writing. So you need to focus your energy on creating value than the after effects of that value creation. Publish 10 good articles on your blog and if no one reads it, you are allowed to accept defeat and not blog anymore 🙂
[June 2018 Update: I have recently published a very long blog post on how to write blog articles effectively. If you need help in writing, you should check it out.]
Next Action Steps to get Started:
2. You Create Something, You Become an Artist
Blogging is the fastest and easiest way to get your hands dirty in creating something that people will admire.
But you may ask, why create something in the first place?
Humans have an inbuilt need to express themselves and be unique. That expression can only come from being an artist.
Consumer brands give so many product options to the masses because they understand that most people do not create. But every human being has the need to be unique in their social circles. Most of the people try to satisfy this need to be unique by choosing things to own and consume. Marketers and advertisers do the work of presenting so many options to consumers from a brand.
You might have been a victim of this yourself as you grew up. There are so many choices for automobiles, computers, phones and all the other toys. Say, for example, a guy called Bob chooses to buy a Red car, an Apple laptop, only wears jeans and t-shirt, uses an iPhone and has a unique hair style. Bob is trying to differentiate himself from the other humans and is trying to be unique.
But Bob will never feel unique enough no matter how many unique choices he makes because these are predetermined choices made by the marketers just to satisfy the masses who do not create. This need to be unique and different can be satisfied only through creation of something out of thin air.
Building a new business, giving birth to a child, making a painting, creating an architecture or writing a blog post are things which put you under the category of an artist. Real artists express their uniqueness through creation rather than possession & consumption. When they have felt the rewards of creation and its admiration, they will never fall into the earthly trap of owning more and different things again.
In fact, when you own more things, you get envy and not admiration. That’s one of the reasons why people never get satisfied with owning more things. You would have experienced this yourself. You bought something really cool, your friends said it was nice… then no one cared.
You can see very successful and wealthy businessmen who keep creating amazing things will not focus much on owning “cool” things like the latest sports car or a fancy home. They are just focused on value creation.
God is the ultimate creator. If you create, you are playing God. That’s why you should Create. That’s how mankind evolves. The happiness that comes from creating your own work of art can never come from anything else. Aim to create things in life, not consume it.
If given two options and if I have to choose only one, I’d rather have the power to create something of my own, than just be a consumer of what others are creating. The ‘kick’ that you get from creating is the ultimate kick. We are bringing things in existence which only existed in our imagination before. Seeing something go from a concept in your mind, that you just made up out of thin air, and letting it manifest in the real world is the best feeling I’ve come to known.
For example, HighTraffic Summit event is something that I imagined and visualized. And then we actually made it happen. It was real, and it added value to people’s lives. As we convert more things from idea to reality, the confidence that develops in us about our power to convert more of those ideas goes up. And then we become more powerful creators.
When you write a blog post which has unique ideas, that kind of post spreads, people share it, like it, comment it and it will give you an unmatched sense of satisfaction. You will get admiration and not envy, and that’s the best way to express yourself in this world.
Can you afford to take the risk of not letting big things happen your life because you are too lazy to start a blog?
Blogging is the easiest form of creation that you can get started with. That’s why, my friend, you should be blogging! Something that starts with a simple website, could grow to something big tomorrow.
3. Your Writing & Speaking Skills Will Improve
The only way to get better at writing is to write more. I remember the days when I used to write and edit an article several times and I still wouldn’t be satisfied with it. Now, after 10 years of blogging, I can write better and write faster than ever before. It is not about typing faster, but thinking clearly and letting the words flow, and not having the need to edit it too many times.
Another amazing discovery I made is that my speaking skills also improved when I got better at writing! And my writing skills improved even more after I got better at speaking on stage. How’s that possible?
Writing and speaking are not much different because both are about having a consistent flow of thoughts that can get converted into words on a screen (or) audible words in front of an audience.
With writing you have the luxury of editing it, but with speaking, you need to be careful. There is no backspace for your words on a stage when you are talking to 1000s of people.
Once you are capable of sharing your thoughts clearly on stage with a live audience, you can start writing like you speak, without edits, like I am doing now. Who doesn’t want to become an author, speaker and trainer? It’s wisdom, fame and wealth coming to you at the same time.
I can talk for hours on marketing without preparation in front of an audience if required, that skill has been gained from writing extensively. That’s why most published authors are almost always good speakers. They speak naturally and effortlessly even in front of large audiences. They have their neurons together for this purpose.
When you become a great author, you become a good speaker. When you become a great speaker, you become a good trainer. When you become a great trainer you become a thought leader in your field.
No one becomes a thought leader on a topic over night. Starts with writing blog posts, then books, then public speaking, then interviews. And before you know it, you are the No.1 expert on your chosen topic in your country, if not the world.
4. Your Brand and Network Expands
There are people who just have phone numbers and email IDs. Then some people have a few social media profiles like Facebook and Twitter. Some have media coverage in several news publications. I guess you would agree that wider their digital footprint – higher is their brand value.
Having a blog with good readership trumps all this. When you write and people visit your blog to read, share and comment you have the opportunity to expand your network. As your network expands, your brand value increases. Apart from getting higher reach, you are also getting better depth with your audience. Brand engagement, not just brand impressions.
And you are engaging your audience on a deeper level, which strengthens the brand. Instead of just being on their face with your logo all the time, you are going to have a conversation with them through blogging. Like I am doing right now.
If you are reading this post right now, you have spent at least 10 minutes or more reading the words above. And that is as good as me having a conversation with you over a cup of coffee.
When I am impacting your life with my conversation, you are going to remember me, and when you do, you will feel good. Brand recall (remember me) and perception (feel good when you remember me). That’s all there is to branding, right?
Recall & good perception. That’s what every business craves for. Every big brand that is successful has done the same. And what better way to do it than blogging?
Blogging is a Two Way Conversation
Blogging is not just about publishing. It is more of a conversation; a one-to-many conversation channel. Since blogging happens in real time, the comments you get on your blog is a discussion. You are not writing a column in a newspaper where you don’t get any responses at all.
Publishing articles on newspapers, magazines and trade journals was a great personal branding method already. People used to send hand written letters to the author and post it via the postal system. Now people can respond with a comment, and if the writer acknowledges it and responds, it would make the readers very happy. This core group of readers who are the brand evangelists will help the brand grow.
Through blogging, your readers will feel that they know you personally. I have been blogging for more than 10 years now and I haven’t met many of my readers yet. (Maybe you are one of them). But when I meet one of my blog readers in person, we connect instantly because they know me better.
That’s a great way to make new friends. If blogging existed in the times of Dale Carnegie, he would have definitely included Blogging as a chapter in his book – ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’.
I have won and influenced more people in my life with blogging than any other method 🙂
5. You Become an Expert, Organically
The human mind makes connections in mysterious ways. Our brain finds short cuts to make associations.
For example, it is easy for the mind to think: If all experts are teachers, then we perceive that those who teach must be experts.
And it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. You teach people listen, they perceive you as an expert and you actually become an expert. You also learn better as you teach.
I was not an expert when I got started. If you rate knowledge on a scale of 1-10 and if expert means having a knowledge level of 7 or more, I was only 3/10.
However, with the little knowledge I got, I taught other people who were in the 1st or 2nd level. Then when my knowledge became 4/10, I taught people with the knowledge level of 3/10 or below. As I teach, I learn more, and my expertise level goes up, organically, naturally. You cannot become an expert overnight, no matter how hard you try.
As time went on, I learned more and people started calling me an expert than the other way round. I didn’t need to tout my own horn. There could be marketers who are better than me. But I help more people than the other marketers do. Because I help my audience, they reciprocate by calling me an expert. Then I start believing it that it is true. So I do become an Expert.
If you have made it up to this part of the article, you probably believe that I know my stuff about blogging and digital marketing. You perceive that I am an expert. That’s part of my personal branding.
That’s how you become an expert – organically. Without the need to have an impressive work profile or fancy degrees. I am a Civil Engineer, have not done an MBA and I do not hold any certificates of course completions. I just teach, teach, teach.
You may not know digital marketing as much as me, but if you know more than someone who is willing to learn from you then you are an expert in his/her eyes. And you can teach what you know with blogging.
6. Your Personal Brand Helps Your Company
I talk about blogging as a personal branding tool, mostly. But blogging also helps in marketing your products and services. Your personal brand helps get the audience, they find out about your companies and their offering, they may buy them!
Many of the top companies in the world today have a strong personal brand behind it. The company raises money because of the personal brand of the CEO. They attract customers because of personal brand. And they attract employees because of their personal brand. Steve Jobs of Apple & Elon Musk of Tesla are great examples.
People feel more connected to these brands than other brands with just logos. For example, not many people know the person behind Audi or BMW. However, everyone knows the man behind Tesla Motors. We might not get a lot of TV interviews like Elon and Steve, but we can get people to pay attention to us by sharing our thoughts and visions for the world with blogging.
Content marketing doesn’t really work in the long term if you do not establish a connection with your audience. Usually, the connection is made by a human and rarely by a “brand”. People want to connect to the authors behind the content and not the logo/brand identity.
If you think about the most successful corporate blogs, you will see that there is a strong human element to it. For example, Rand from Moz.com & his whiteboard Fridays. Brian Clark from CopyBlogger.com and so on.
I recently launched OptinChat.com – a tool to collect email IDs via an automated chat interface. Most of the initial customers came from my own blog readership and I did not have to invest a lot on advertising and branding to get the initial traction. So, Yes. Personal branding works without a doubt.
You can take your personal brand beyond blogging as well. Through blogging, you pave the way to becoming a published author. If you write 30 blog posts where each of the posts are 1000-1500 words long. It could be published as a book with 30 chapters. A typical book is made of 25,000 words and churning out words in an organized manner will not be difficult when you practice as a blogger.
Read more about how to publish a book for personal branding. It is relatively easy to publish a print book these days. You need not wait for a big publisher to pick you and turn your fortunes. You can self publish it, get an ISBN number and market the book yourself.
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” – Chinese Proverb
It might take a long time for you to become a published author, but if you want become a published author someday, become a blogger today.
7. Your Blog Becomes a Source of Additional Income
There are many entrepreneurs who have adopted blogging as a business model. Many blogs today are less of blogs and more of online publications with newspaper or magazine style publishing.
One person blogs have grown into 10 people publishing companies and people have quit their full time jobs to become entrepreneurs. My blog is a typical case study of a small blog growing into a training company and a digital marketing agency.
Here are some of the different income sources you might be able to get from your blog.
Direct Income Sources:
- Selling display advertising
- Letting someone sponsor your rich media content
- Promotion of products through Affiliate Links
- Generate and sell leads for other’s products/services
- YouTube/Video channel advertising
Indirect Income Sources:
- Opportunity to land on a book deal
- Invitation to become a writer for another blog/magazine
- Getting hired for seminar, training or guest lecture
- Getting a new job or consultancy offer
- Promotion of your company’s products & services
The above list is not exhaustive. But it definitely gives you an idea about what kind of opportunities blogging can give you.
I hope this post motivated you to start blogging. Even if you got a small feeling that you should get started with this soon, I believe the post has served its purpose. 🙂
Would like to hear your feedback.
#Blogging for Kicks