As a blogger for my business (this site) and for 'fun' (my food blog) I've learnt an incredible amount over the past 8 years. Blogging has helped me win awards, gain new clients, write for magazines and meet some amazing people. So today I wanted to share one of the key questions to consider if you're unsure whether you should start a blog, or if you're struggling with your blog and need some clarity on whether to carry on!
The key is in really understanding WHY your blog will or does exist?
It's important not only for blogging but in business too. If you don't have compelling reasons for what you're doing then of course it's likely that you'll loose interest, get frustrated and maybe even grind to a halt!
Can you dig deep right now and write down 3 things you want to get out of blogging? I know it's not easy so don't worry about it being perfect. It will probably also evolve over time but to help get you started here's a few reasons why you might want to blog.
GROWING YOUR BUSINESS
Done well (i.e. through being intentional and providing lots of value) blogging can be a very effective way of attracting new customers to your website, building relationships with loyal fans and establishing your credibility within your industry. The blog itself could even be your business, but I'll be honest with you the days of earning via advertising are more or less done! Nowadays to make money from blogging you need to develop products or services you can sell from your blog.
TO BUILD RELATIONSHIPS
Bloggers and blog readers are a very creative, inspiring and friendly bunch. I've mentioned building relationships with your current or potential customers / readers above already but there's a lot to be said for connecting with your peers, industry experts and business or bloggers in complimentary fields. I've met so many lovely people and therefore had amazing opportunities through my blogs that I'd never have even been aware of otherwise!
Blogging is an amazing opportunity to help and connect with people, if you have useful skills, interesting insights, a unique perspective or inspiring things to share I'm sure you'll find reader comments, support and questions a wonderful source of inspiration and confidence.
Do you have ambitions of writing a book one day? Would you love to get into a creative industry or challenge yourself to get better at photography? Blogging is the perfect way to develop really useful skills and pro-actively get yourself a step (or several steps) closer to achieve goals like these. Honesty, I've learnt more about online marketing from running a blog than I did from working in marketing for 10 years!
Through committing to practising skills through blogging, whether it's writing, web development, branding, photography, social media, networking or SEO, you can learn and improve in a creative and enjoyable way. Don't worry if you can't do some of any of those things right now though, the beauty of a blog is that you can make it as simple as you need it to be.
The other thing I've found is that blogging helps you to focus and think deeper on the topics you're writing about. As you strive to share more about it or write in a meaningful way you'll actually be improving your understanding of your subject area too.
Are you craving a creative outlet and a place to explore ideas? Blogging can give you freedom and space all of your own to play and record all of your favourite things, recipes, places, etc. You'll find yourself noticing + appreciating the little things in life too as everything becomes an opportunity for a blog post once you start capturing and sharing your world with others.
The 'new project' excitement also sticks around for a long time as you change things up, evolve and get more involved in the community!
I hope this post has helped you get clear on the purpose of your blog and exactly who it is for? These are the first steps I took when putting together this site and I look forward to sharing more of this journey with you in the coming months.
Why do you blog, or want to start? Leave a comment below and let me know!