Why should you start a blog?
It probably seems like everyone and their mama (literally) has a blog these days. There is a lot of talk out in the internet saying that blogging is dead but the fact is, more and more people are starting blogs every day. Blogging has really evolved since I started ten years ago. I won't go into the details of what it used to be because I think that the intention behind blogging has remained the same. It's all about connecting with an audience and sharing one's message. The biggest difference in today's blogging landscape compared to years ago is that people have seen the potential of blogging and are more intentional with their goals when starting a blog.
Unfortunately that very same foresight into realizing the potential of blogging can also turn into overwhelm and stop someone from starting a blog. In those early days of blogging no one was thinking about getting brand deals or making 6 figure incomes. Most people were excited just to connect with like minded people and share their creativity with others. On one hand, this time of ignorant bliss allowed for great freedom and experimentation in content creation. On the other hand, it was very hard to get compensated for your hard work and dedication to building your audience. I'm hoping that you can find the balance in both and that I can help you get over that fear of starting and get started already! The world needs to hear what you have to say!
What is modern blogging?
I like to think of modern day blogging as simply a way to build your platform and share your message with a global or local community. It doesn't matter what the vehicle is that is used to share your message - whether that is audio, video, images or text - what matters it that you have a clear message that brings value to a specific audience that you feel called to communicate with.
Why in the world should a person blog?
There are so many reasons to begin a blog from sharing your art to using it to market your product. However each reason will be specific to each person. There are no rules as to why you should start a blog as long as you desire make it happen.
Here are some reasons people start to blog. I've linked out to example blogs to get you feeling inspired!
And the list goes on and on. Sometimes you might want to start blogging for several of these reasons at once. I started blogging as a way to express myself and the lessons that I felt God was teaching me through motherhood. It eventually evolved into a way I could share my thoughts on life with others as well as my own journey with creating impactful art.
What can blogging provide for you?
1. It can help you build your platform
As I said earlier, blogging/content creation is a way to build your platform. Just like any person in the public eye they started out with something that got them and their talents noticed. Many actors that land TV shows or big movies use that to open doors into other business ventures. For example the actress Jessica Alba acted as a child and an adult. When she became a mother she noticed a gap in the baby product industry and decided to create the Honest Company to provide healthier baby products. Now she has expanded into cosmetics. But she wouldn't have been able to get where she is without her platform of acting that got her noticed. Oprah has used her platform as a TV show host to help produce films, theater, Super Soul Sunday and other outlets to help self awareness and education for children. JK Rowling author of the Harry Potter series has used her platform to encourage other artists and business women to pursue their dreams.
As you create and publish content it helps you to become known in a certain area or for a certain industry. As you build recognition and community you begin to build a platform you can maximize towards whatever your purpose and calling in life is.
2. Blogging can position you for opportunities
Although my platform is still growing, creating a blog and producing online content has gotten me noticed in my local community. I've been able to land writing opportunities for online magazines, garner brand deals, TV appearances, guest podcast appearances, speaking engagements, acting work, opportunities to attend big events such as the Super bowl and interview celebrities.
In my circle of influence I've become the go to person for questions on blogging, getting started acting and creating content around staying inspired. What's even more fulfilling is that I've become someone that others can come to for inspiration in their own creative endeavors! Whenever someone feels they can ask me for advice in the area of staying motivated I feel so SO HAPPY because that is what I'm passionate about! I want what I create and write about to inspire others to get out of their comfort zones and pursue their own dreams.
3. Blogging can help you improve + grow in your skills
Creating online content has most of all allowed me to hone my craft as an artist. When I started creating Youtube videos I was very shy around a camera. Although my background was in theater I've always wanted to expand into film and camera work. Because I learned to create youtube videos, I learned to work on my on camera skills, edit and produce videos. That grew into doing larger and larger projects until I was able to create my own short films and have them premiere around the Midwest. One of my most cherished memories is when I got to see my film premiere in Los Angeles at the 168 Film Festival where we had three award nominations.
Now I have a short film published to Amazon Prime. It's called Moving Still if you want to check it out!
Lastly, I'll say one of my proudest moments (other than having my three children) was when I completed my first book. Writing a book is a LOT of work but because I had written hundreds of blog posts over the years I had built the discipline to write into my bones. Writing a book was like writing a lot of blog posts over several months.
4. Blogging can help you showcase your talent
Don't think that blogging is just about writing. Blogging is content creation and that can consist of videos, audio, images and text. It's really whatever you would like to create. A blog can become a sort of portfolio where people you meet can find out more about what you do and possibly hire you for your services or even support you in your goals.
Artists especially can benefit from blogging (creating content) by showcasing their modeling, styling, photography, acting, dancing, musical, writing, etc. through whatever they post. Imagine being able to send someone you meet straight to your online platform so they can see your demo reel of your amazing video production work. You will be seen as prepared and professional because most people don't have what you have!
5. Blogging can grow into brand building
Building a brand has many components such as your story, what you bring to the table and what you stand for. Creating content is only one component of building a brand but it can really be the gateway for it as well. The content that you publish helps others to really get to know you and what your mission is. As your body of work grows, your recognition and community grows and when people start to think of you when a certain need or question come to mind - you are growing a brand.
Knowing why you are starting a blog is really important to help you stay centered. The world of online content creation can be very intimidating and even cause you to want to compare yourself to others. It's very easy to lose yourself and think that someone else's image of success should be yours as well. You can even think that the WAY in which someone is building their brand is the way you should go about yours. Following what everyone else is doing can cause distraction, discourage you and keep you from your goals. I know this from personal experience. I really REALLY want you to be crystal clear on why you want to blog so you can always come back to that when things get hard.
Most of all I want you to START. By starting you will be ahead of the many others who spend months and even YEARS thinking about starting their blogs. There is so much more than you can imagine on the other side of all the reasons why you shouldn't start your blog or brand. In fact, all those wonderful things that you are dreaming about happening to you in your life is actually waiting for you on the other side of your fear. I never imagined that I would get a chance to do the things I've done since I started creating content but I know that I wouldn't have gotten to where I was without taking those first shaky (and I mean shaky) steps to share myself through blogging.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that creating online content is the only way to start a brand but it's a great way to get your feet wet and grow.
6. Earn some moolah (money)
Yes, blogging can earn you some money. It will take a lot of patience and hard work but if you decide to build a platform and community of your own you can attract opportunities to make money. When you are ready to turn your blog into a business know that however you decide to monetize your blog is up to you. Here are a few different ways that people monetize their blogs.
- Offer services like coaching or virtual assistance
- Offer products like clothing or books
- Offer digital products like ebooks or online courses
- Provide sponsored content
- Leverage your blog to land a traditional job
- Build and monetize a blog to sell to someone else
- Affiliate sales through content marketing
This is NOT an exhaustive list. There are many ways to earn money because of blogging. It all depends on what your personal goals are in life as to which way you choose to monetize your blog. Some people actually use several of these ways to earn money with their blogs. I have done sponsored content, sold books and tried affiliate marketing. I have leveraged my blog to land a job with a marketing company in the past as well as sold services doing social media for events. I'm moving towards a model of offering digital products and coaching because I feel that it is more in line with what I feel called to do.
It's also TOTALLY okay to start with one mode of monetization and move on to others. Like with any other business it takes time, patience and constant focusing to find out what works for you as an individual. We are all different and desire different things in life for success.
7. (BONUS) Personal Development and Self-Growth
For me, starting a blog was the beginning of a journey into entrepreneurship and self development. I've become more confident where I used to feel shy and uncertain. Because I've had to research topics and write about them I've had to process the information so much that I've been pushed in my area of learning. Learning skills of consistency, productivity and pushing past fear to publish has also helped me develop personally.
This might be a leap but I feel like I've become a better mother and wife because I decided to have a healthy outlet which allowed me to pour into myself and into others. I began to value myself in a more well rounded manner, which in turn made me happier. I can say that being a happy and more confident woman has made me a better mom - which to me, is the most important job in the world.