I’ve grown to love blogging and it’s served me well, but it wasn’t always this way. I started blogging because someone in tech I respected told me “I needed to have a digital presence.”
This rationale for blogging doesn’t sound all that compelling. Maybe that’s why there’s far more cheerleaders on the sidelines than players on the field.
Here’s 10 reasons I advocate starting a blog in no particular order:
1. Crystallize Your Thoughts
Often the best way to master a skill is to try and teach it to someone else. When it comes to mastering your thoughts, I’ve found attempting to communicate them in a concise, convincing manner to be highly effective. When we write, we dwell on our thoughts. And when we dwell we really think things through, especially when we’re accountable to a public forum. Hence, the process of creating a post results in a better understanding of our thoughts, ideas, and selves.
2. Inbound Networking
By publicly displaying our thoughts we create touch points of connectivity. Opening our mental kimonos gives context for who we are, thus context to begin a dialogue or relationship.
I’ve probably met over 20 people through my blog and most have added value to my life. In general, I think its highly effective to keep a transparent blog. You attract people who share passions and interests.
3. Inspire and Help Others
We are each others greatest teachers. By sharing anecdotes, thoughts, and ideas we create assets that can inspire and help others.
In my deepest valleys, it was sometimes a blog post prevented me from camping there. It’s pretty cool to think you have the ability to do the same for someone else.
4. Blogging Scales
There’s 38 networking events a night and 457 people you want to keep in touch with but only 7 days in a week. It’s just physically impossible to be everywhere. It is however possible to let everyone know you’re alive and breathing by blogging. Sharing your thoughts provides a window into what’s going on in your life – it keeps you relevant.
I’ve rekindled old relationships and kept current ones warm through blogging. I believe this is a common experience amongst consistent bloggers.
5. Digital Real Estate and Continuous Returns
A blog is more than just a place to share your thoughts. It’s a piece of real estate you can leverage to compel some form of progress in your life. The larger the audience, the greater chance you have to inspire a positive outcome. Are you hiring? Selling something? Looking for a donor? Trying to get users? An audience and the digital real estate on your blog can help you with all of these things.
Regardless of what I’m doing with my life, the audience has the ability to provide value. There is potential for it to yield continuous returns no matter where my journey make take me. This makes it an excellent investment.
6. A Reference Repository
You know those linked profile descriptions that say things like action oriented, savvy marketer, results driven? In my perfect world, those would all by hyperlinks to blog posts. I want to see what you’ve done and what you’ve learned through your experiences, not empty adjectives. The proof is in the pudding.
A blog full of insights and anecdotes is an excellent library to store these things and pull them off the shelve when necessary. In the follow up email for my SinglePlatform interview I pointed to multiple blog posts that showcased characteristics I believed Kenny Herman, our EVP of BD, was looking for. I’d like to think this helped me land the gig.
People kept asking me how to get into BD, so I wrote 3 posts documenting my journey in detail so I could point people there instead of retell the same story repeatedly. Efficiency baby!
7. Real Context for Who You Are
One thing I hate about the startup scene (and most industries) is people love to pigeon-hole you to your product or job. It’s not that I don’t love what I’m working on, it’s that I consider myself so much more than “the founder of X” or “a BD guy at Y.” A blog is a great place to let people know what you’re really all about.
One thing I think is important for prospective job-seekers is to “be googleable.” Profiles on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook provide some context, but not to the degree that blogging offers especially on a personal level.
8. Subtly Draw Attention to Things
Ever wanted someone to know about something, but you didn’t want to tell them yourself? No one likes the “hey look what I did!” guy.
A blog is a medium of communication where you can explicitly state your thoughts without overtly telling someone them. You can create the effect of someone “coincidentally stumbling on something” when you want them to. Maybe you’re applying for a job and you want to indicate your interest in a certain topic without looking overanxious. Maybe you want someone to know you’re grateful for something, but feel awkward just outright telling them. There are subtle ways you can engineer this effect which can ultimately help you arrive at a desired outcome.
9. Practice Executing/Building Something
Consistently putting out interesting content that attracts an audience is execution. There’s a zillion things to read out there and never enough time in the day to sit down and write a solid post. Churning it out week after week to create a destination where people go to learn is great practice executing something at a smaller scale.
10. Feedback = Growth in Perspective
When we share our thoughts we expose ourselves to feedback. Regardless of whether the result is confirmation bias or criticism, we put ourselves in a better position than if we kept things to ourselves. Just recently I posted about why I stopped learning to code – a guest posted a very thoughtful string of comments opposing my view. Though I still maintain my stance, I have a greater sample size of insights to formulate my opinion and am now more open to the prospect of picking it up again.
Valuable insights like this enrich my perspective and are a product of blogging.
Blogging has been a catalyst for many relationships, opportunities, and personal growth in my life. Above rests my case why it’s a worthy investment of your time. I’d love to see all the amazing insights and anecdotes that lay dormant in our heads made accessible in an enduring format. I think we’d all benefit because again, we are each others greatest teachers.
“For the fields are ripe for harvest, but the laborers are few’