Some days ago, before putting this article together, I told someone to visit my blog to read a certain article, and then, she asked, ‘What’s a blog?’ In my myopic mind, I thought every literate person in this digital age understands what a blog is, but I was wrong. So, in this little piece of write-up, I am not going to give any technical definition of a blog – I am going to define it exactly the way I see it.
A blog is a website containing a personal journal which reflects your area of interest – areas of interest differ for different people. For instance, some people’s area of interest is photography, so they blog about photography. For people like me, it is leadership motivation and personal development, and that’s what I blog about. So, a blog is about expressing your opinions, concerns, passion, talent, or interest in whatever field you choose to, on a website. Talking about a website, some people feel because they don’t have a website, they can’t blog or aren’t blogging. That isn’t true, because there are two types of blogs – micro and macro blogs. The micro blog are the updates on the social media, like Facebook and Twitter. If you have a social media account, and you post updates on them, you are a micro blogger. Macro blogging involves the use of your own website, and for some macro bloggers who can’t afford their own websites, there are two free platforms that can be used – Blogger and WordPress. On both platforms, you are allowed to create your own blogging website, but it will bear yourname.blogspot.com or yourname.wordpress.com. If you can afford it, getting your own website is preferable for a whole number of reasons I will explain in another article, but for now, let me tell you the unrivalled reasons for starting your own blog or the benefits of personal blogging.
1. It helps you find your purpose: I am an ardent believer that every man was created or designed for a reason. Your reason of existence can be expressed on a blog. For some, their purpose may be to teach mathematics – they can decide to have a mathematics blog that will help teach young people the easiest ways to solve mathematical problems, especially those that have phobia for it.
2. It gives you inner satisfaction: Doing your own thing always gives you inner satisfaction. When you do your own thing, you have a sense of fulfilment and pride, and derive joy from it. A blog is yours and typifies you – you are proud to refer people to it and brag about it because of the satisfaction you derive from it.
3. It’s a source of inspiration: Besides giving you satisfaction, it also gives other people satisfaction, as it’s a source of inspiration to them. In 2013, before Success Inks was launched, I researched the 100 best blogs in the world, and that research inspired me to launch mine. You might not know how much you mean to people or to a specific person as you continually write those blog articles or release those audio and video podcasts – you mean a lot to those you can’t see, with your blog.
4. You are a problem solver: When I run into problems with doing certain technical stuffs, I go online to see the bloggers that write or do podcasts on those topics, and I always find them. When my boiler is faulty, I first watch some YouTube videos to see if I can DIY the problem, and it’s only when it’s too technical that I get an expert to fix it. Bloggers are problem solvers, and as a blogger, you’re one problem solver, or as an intending blogger, you’ll be one problem solver.
5. It helps you learn some new skills: When I started blogging, my writing skills weren’t as good as they are now, and they are not as good as they will be in the future – the more I blog, the more I improve – that is what happens to a committed blogger – there is a continuous improvement of skills. Another skill you learn is the basics of managing and maintaining a website. You may not be a guru in the technical aspect of things, but you are bound to learn certain little stuffs like website administration, how to post a new article, proofreading and editing, and a few other things. As a blogger with little or no budget, you may not be able to afford paying someone to do some little jobs for you, so you have to DIY, and by attempting to do it yourself, you learn some new skills.
6. It connects you with people: Your blog links you with people you wouldn’t have ever met if you hadn’t been blogging – I have met a lot of good people and will continue to meet more, as I get more committed to blogging. One of the easiest ways to network with people is blogging, and some of these people, you may never meet face to face, but through online, you’re able to assist one another and support each other’s visions without seeing eye to eye.
7. You are a content creator: According to Wikipedia, content creation is the contribution of information to any media and most especially to digital media for an end-user/audience in specific contexts. Your content may be in form of writing, audio, video, infographics, images, e-book, e-courses, newsletters, white papers, and so on. Every blogger should be a content creator – I don’t like the idea of copy and paste blogging – it doesn’t encourage creativity. Try the best you can to create your content if you want to be a respected blogger.
8. You become a brand image: Blogging makes you iconic, and an icon is a brand image. By blogging on a specific subject, you become a reference point in that subject, and you’re looked upon as someone who enhances the value of that subject. You are an image maker of topics you blog about, and because of your consistency, commitment and perfection, people respect your subject of interest.
9. It helps you understand search engine optimisation: Wikipedia defines search engine optimisation as the process of affecting the online visibility of a website or a web page in a web’s search engine unpaid results known as organic. For novices, examples of search engines are Google, Bing, Yahoo, Ask.com, AOL.com, and so on. According to Net Market Share, throughout 2017, Google had 74.54% of search engines’ net market share. So, Google is the search engine giant. And if you have a blog, you must understand how search engine works, otherwise, your blog will be lost in the middle of nowhere in search engines.
If you do a search on Google, for instance, many pages of your search pop up. Usually, you look through, maybe, a few pages before jumping to another search – you hardly, most times, look beyond the first two pages. So, you see, pages three and beyond are ignored. Imagine if your blog was in the tenth page, who would look at it? By understanding search engine optimisation, you learn how to rank your blog high, so that it can appear where it can easily be seen on search engines. If you weren’t a blogger, you would barely have any business with search engine optimisation.
10. You become a social media enthusiast: If you hate the social media, don’t bother being a blogger. If you’re one of those who say, ‘I don’t like Facebook, I dislike Twitter and LinkedIn. I wonder why people waste their time on these social media things,’ don’t even think of blogging because you will fail as a blogger. The social media is one of the biggest channels of getting visitors to your blog, and your ranking on search engine will be abysmal without it. A blogger, by default, is a social media enthusiast.
11. It opens windows of opportunities: Some bloggers have been hired as consultants by companies and governments to do certain jobs for them. Being consistent and committed in blogging gives you the recognition that may help you land some big jobs or get some good contracts. Besides jobs and contracts, there are other massive opportunities out there – you can even become a sought after public or conference speaker in your area of interest.
12. It enhances your resume: To a large extent, your blog increases the strength, value, and perception of your CV. Blogging is part of your work experience even if you haven’t earned anything from it. To be sincere, the experiences you get from blogging are all encompassing – it improves your communication skills, makes you digitally savvy, gives you insight of the minor topics on html if you really want to know, helps you understand proofreading and editing if you don’t want to be embarrassed by noticeable grammatical blunders, and many more. All of these skills add to your work experience which inadvertently enhances the value of your resume.
13. You leave a traceable legacy: When you’re retired or when you finally leave this world, your blog doesn’t retire or die with you – your content remain relevant, and that relevance is a great legacy. You may not be able to write a book, but the little bits and pieces of information you put on your blog regularly, are enough to be a power source to someone when you’re no longer here.
14. You become a creative thinker: Sometimes, coming up with topics to write on or talk about can be a bit challenging, but because you want to regularly update your blog, you will have to brainstorm, research or ponder. By doing this, you are thinking creatively. As someone who wants to treat diverse topics, you will have to learn from every circumstance – you are inspired by everything around you. Some of the topics I write about emanate from observations, as I watch people and situations. Through observations, I congregate my points concisely in a more pragmatic approach – I put them in structures and simplicity where they make common sense. Sometimes, I look at what other people have written, and spin them – you have to be creative to spin.
15. It is a trend: Blogging is part of the factors that define the digital age, and if you aren’t part of it, you aren’t following the trends – that makes you out of touch – it means you belong to the past. To catch up with this present age, you need to go with the flow – if you don’t, you will be confused and lost. The world is moving so quickly, you must also move with time, otherwise, you will be considered archaic.
16. It is part of entrepreneurship: People are beginning to make business out of blogging. There are blogs earning millions of dollars in a year. For instance, Forbes and Huffington Post are two great blogs worth hundreds of millions of dollars. If you are committed to your blog, and you are visionary about it, one day, it will earn beyond your imagination. Your blog eventually gives you money, but you must first give it all the attention it needs – treat it like a business.
17. You become more focused: When you’re committed to something, your focus and keenness become unrivalled. Your determination to see your blog grow increases your focus, and this increased focus becomes useful in other aspects of your life. So, as a committed blogger, there is a cascade effect of the positive characters and attributes you acquire on a wider hemisphere.
18. You can become an author: Most of the topics you write about on your blog can be transformed into chapters of a book, and so, from blogging, you can become a published author. Many experienced bloggers have their own books, and who knows, you could join them someday.
19. You don’t need a degree: To become a blogger, you don’t necessarily need a university degree, and the reality is that your blog can be used as reference in some university researches in spite of you not having a university qualification.
20. You become an influencing factor on public opinions: Bloggers influence public opinions in their areas of interest. If you say an answer is yes, most of your followers will go for yes, and if you think it’s no, expect a no from those who follow you. As a blogger, you change or instil perceptions.