There are many reasons to write a blog. This list below highlights more than 14 of these reasons. If you think of another one, please leave a comment, and I’ll add it (and link back to you of course).
Prior to writing about Chubby FIRE, and I used to have a number of other sites and blogs. Some I still have and others I retired. The below post is from a site that no longer exists, but it’s still good advice.
I imagine that as this site grows, more and more FIRE bloggers will be stopping by to read and comment. This post is for them.
1. A blog is a creative space
Everyone should allocate time though out the day to be creative. This site allows me to do just that.
Some people paint or draw in their spare time. Like those activities, blogging is a good way to be creative and create something new.
I don’t write every day. Fortunately, I’m able to be creative at work too. (Yes, this site is about Financial Independence, but I’m still in the accumulation phase.) If you don’t have an occupation that allows for creativity in your role (like accountants who can go to jail for being too creative), a blog is a great outlet.
2. Personal growth
Personal growth happens in many ways. Some of my favorite methods include study, self-reflection and writing. Blogging requires all three of these!
3. Learn something new while you write
Every post starts with a topic. When writing, I usually dive right in. Sometimes I realize that I don’t know enough about a topic to write a post about it. Other times I can write pages, but realize that I want to learn more.
Blogging has led me to a number of learnings more about specific topics. I’ve even bought a few books on some of the things I’ve written about.
4. Learn through engagement
Most blogs have a comments section under each post. This one does. Here people can ask questions, add an opinion or point, and even disagree with you.
Engagement with readers is great. While this site is relativity new and small, I’ve had a few comments that taught me something and really made me think.
5. Getting comfortable in public
Similar to public speaking, blogging takes guts. You’re creating something and putting it out there in the world for others to enjoy and possibly judge.
In today’s world, people Google everyone. Friends, family, and hiring managers search for people for different reasons. I could apply for a new job 5 years from now (although I plan to be retired by then), and someone reading this site and this post will decide whether or not to hire me. That can be a little nerve racking.
6. Practice writing
This blog has helped me become a better writer (and a faster typer).
I was an accounting major in college. As an accounting major, I only took one English class. From what I remember it was mostly centered around practicing proper grammar.
While I write a lot for work, it’s mostly emails, minutes, etc. I rarely have a chance to sit down and write over 500 words on anything (literally anything). This website gives me a place to do this.
7. Personal branding
When someone Google’s you, what do they find? A Twitter account (typical), maybe your LinkedIn, and possibly Facebook (time to change your privacy settings). If you have your own website, they find something a lot more interesting. They find you. Not just your social media.
8. Personal blog vs social media
If you don’t have your own website, you don’t own anything online. Sure you might have a LinkedIn profile, but you don’t own it. LinkedIn can delete your profile tomorrow. (Would you be able to stop them?) Or society can decide that LinkedIn in no longer relevant, and you’re left with a profile that no one cares about.
The only true way to control your online identity is to own a website you control.
9. Personal blog vs blogging platforms
You can write for other websites, but then you’re giving away control. Now I have written for other sites for various reasons, but I don’t make a habit of it.
Look at Medium. Medium is “social media” platform that many people and companies use. It was touted as the best way to write and share long form posts (aka blog). But in January, Medium announced it would lay off 1/3 of its staff.
Users were shocked. Medium gave no one advanced notice. Even its corporate partners like HBO and other media companies were left in the dark.
If Medium’s partners were not aware of this company’s struggles, how could the average person be? This company could go bankrupt tomorrow, and everything its users published could disappear.
10. Personal blog vs guest spots
There are ways to write for branded sites like the Forbes or Huffington Post, but yet again, you’re giving away control of your content.
The worst offer I received was when I was invited to join the Forbes Finance Council. The main benefit of joining this council was that I got to publish 1 article a month on the Forbes website (after it went through their editorial process). It sounds like an interesting offer until you read the fine print. Turns out this council has a yearly membership fee of $1,400. I told them thanks, but no thanks.
I may write a couple of times a year for other sites, but not dozen times for just one site. Also paying $1,400, so that someone else can control my articles is just crazy!
11. Have a voice
If you’re really passionate about something and you want to spread your message, a blog is good way to do it. Mr. Money Mustache is a good example of this. He started with a simple blog in 2008 and now has his own cult following.
12. Connect with customers
A number of CEOs blog publicly. This allows them to connect directly with customers and build brand loyalty. I’ve been reading Mark Cuban’s blog for over 10 years.
13. Search engine optimization
Without getting into too much detail on SEO (as there are already a ton written on this), blogs can help businesses rank higher in Google and Bing. If I was a small business owner, I would make blogging a habit.
14. Earn money
Some people make a lot of money blogging. Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income makes over $1 million a year most from blogging. He’s very open about it, and even creates monthly income reports that he shares on his site.
15. Word of mouth
Blogging can give you the opportunity to be part of the “word of mouth” that gives exposure to new ideas, new thinkers, and new voices. – Contributed by Dave Gordon, The Practicing IT Project Manager
There are many reasons to blog. Many are listed above, but I’m sure I missed a few.
Please leave a comment below to add you own. If I like it, I’ll update this post and give you full credit.