“Everyone” is one of those absolute words we should generally stay clear of. But I’m violating conventional wisdom, sticking my neck out, and saying everyone needs to have a blog! You can beat me up for violating protocol, but before you do, consider the seven reasons why I’m making such a bold declaration…
1. To Connect with the Rest of the World, 21st Century Style
There are 7.7 billion people in the world and most of us connect with only a tiny handful who we’ll reach in any meaningful way. With a blog, you can add hundreds or thousands more – do you think there might be some value in that?
A blog is as strategy for finding like-minded people in a world that seems to be pulling apart socially even as it gets more crowded. Though it often seems that people are the nexus of our troubles, we can’t overlook that they’re usually the source of our solutions as well. After all, who couldn’t use a few more friends, a few more intelligent opinions or a few more business contacts?
Through interaction with hundreds of people through OutOfYourRut.com I learn so many things I never knew. And it gives me hope there are far more intelligent people out there than we ever hear or see in the mainstream media.
Most of the people we’ll meet through blogs live in another part of the country, or another part of the world. And that’s pretty stinking exciting, wouldn’t you say? Blogging enables you to reach across national borders, and even continents. It’s a true modern miracle.
2. To be Ready to Market Any Product, Service or Business You can Conceive Of
Do you know with certainty what you’ll be doing to earn a living in five or ten years? With the job market being so unpredictable, it’s best to be prepared for anything. One of the best ways to do this is with some form of self-employment, even if it’s only as a side business right now.
You can test business ideas with a blog and add new ones. Or you can drop old ones as circumstances warrant. But you’ll have that all-important flexibility that every entrepreneur needs. Even if you’re not thinking in this direction right now, you can be ready for a change of either heart or circumstances.
In a real way, a blog is a built-in launching pad for what ever business idea you can think of. By having a blog up and running, you’ll be ready when that money-making lightbulb goes off in your head.
3. To Create an Additional Income
Even if you don’t know what product or service you might want to market, there are opportunities to start earning some money almost immediately. Google Adsense, as well as various affiliate marketing programs, can enable you to generate a small revenue stream even without having any business ideas of your own.
Your site doesn’t need to be a business site for these programs to work either. Any site topic that draws in a steady stream of visitors can make ad programs work for you. Obviously however, certain topics do work better than others. And sometimes a small income stream is all it takes to motivate you to take things to a higher level.
Ultimately, the solution to career, income, retirement or debt problems may lie not so much in a new, higher paying career. It may depend more on the development of multiple income streams. Those not only increase your income but also provide diversified sources for greater stability.
4. To Have a Voice and Advance your Ideas in the World
A blog is an opportunity to get your voice and your ideas out on the information superhighway. Express your opinions at work – to the degree you’re even allowed to anymore – and a few people will hear what you have to say. But put it out on a blog and potentially thousands will read it. Some will forward it to others. It may even go viral.
We all have good ideas – ideas that could potentially benefit a lot people. With a blog, you have the venue to express those ideas. Unlike the traditional print media, your ideas don’t need to make it past the editing bureau where they may be modified or even killed. And you can put your ideas out there in real time, enabling you to weigh in on events as they happen. You can think of it as becoming part of the grass roots media.
I’ve been pleasantly surprised when I put out what I think might be radical ideas, only to find that dozens of people believe something similar. This isn’t a minor development either. Many times we have ideas that we think will be rejected by the masses. But when we find out others are thinking the same way, we reinforce one another. That can start the beginning of meaningful changes, in a way casual conversation can’t.
5. To Build a National and Global Network for Any Future Purpose
We can’t possibly know what the future holds, but we can prepare for it in a very general way. That can reap big dividends later. By building connections now – with hundreds or even thousands of people – we’re setting up a built-in stage for whatever we decide to launch, whenever we’re ready to launch it.
A blog gives you a foothold on the information superhighway, a springboard for all that you might do. Even if you don’t have message or a business idea right now, with a blog you can begin building the contacts that will have a marketing niche in place from the get-go. And best of all, it doesn’t have to cost a thing!
6. To Draw Opportunities to You
As you broadcast your ideas and peddle your wares on your blog, and people begin visiting your site, it will open the doors for others to contact you about what it is they’re working on that might be a good fit with what you’re offering. Business and marketing ideas, job opportunities and advertising arrangements are all possibilities. And they’ll come about without any special effort on your part.
Create a compelling blog, and people and opportunities will find their way to your email. Think of your blog as your own personal billboard, take it seriously, and put out the best you have to offer. Work into a niche where you have above average knowledge and skills and have at least some passion about. People who are interested in the same things you are will find you, and good things will happen from there.
Though OutOfYourRut does generate an income, my primary income source is freelance blog writing. I stumbled into it as a result of this blog. Within a year of launching the blog, another blogger asked me to write articles for his site. Another followed just a couple of months later, and then a third.
I realized – late in life – that writing was my highest and best talent. But had I not started OutOfYourRut.com, I’d never have discovered it.
It really is true – you never know where blogging will take you, and that’s the single biggest reason everyone needs to have a blog.
7. To Take Part in the Democratic Process, Since that Voting Thing Really Isn’t Working
Whenever we vote, we’re accepting a given platform. It’s a package of ideas we can either vote up or down on based on our vote for or against a candidate or party. That system usually leaves us with just two choices. And we can’t remove certain items from a platform and replace them with others we feel are more important. Charles Hugh Smith often refers to this as a “simulacrum of democracy”. It has much to do with why the political system is often so unresponsive to changes in world or national circumstances, or even to public will.
The internet is the new place for the exchange of free ideas. It’s where the average citizen can come forward with small ideas that may have no other way of becoming big ideas except that we put them in a public place for others to see. In the absence of the public square or of an objective media, a blog may be the single best place to present those ideas. You can launch ideas and concepts that will start on your blog, then crawl their way into national policy. Can you do that with your vote? Or by getting your thoughts published in the mainstream media?
How Do You Create a Blog?
I’m not the best person to help you do this. In my case, OutOfYourRut.com has mostly been a divining rod of opportunities. I think of it as an income-earning billboard for my other activities, like freelance blog writing. It literally solved my mid-life career crisis in the middle of the Financial Meltdown, when there was no other career path for me. That’s why I’m so enthusiastic about it, nearly ten years later.
If you want to know how to get in to blogging – and especially to turn it into a standalone income generating source – I recommend you check out Bogging Your Passion 101 from two longtime blogging superstars, Jonathan Milligan and Bob Lotich. They’ll walk you through the whole process, from start up to monetizing your blog.
Once you get your blog up and running, you’ll be amazed at the opportunities that will come your way. If you’ve been a “glass half empty” type up to this point, starting a blog may be the metamorphosis you’ve been waiting for. I know it has been for me.
Do you have a blog? Do you agree that having one is well worth the time invested? Can you offer any other advantages to having a blog?