7 Reasons Everyone Needs to Have a Blog

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“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

7 Reasons Everyone Needs to Have a Blog
7 Reasons Everyone Needs to Have a Blog

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

Blogging Your Passion 101
Blogging Your Passion 101

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

Blogging Your Passion 101
Blogging Your Passion 101

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?

( Photo by Olgaberrios )

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20 Responses to 7 Reasons Everyone Needs to Have a Blog

  1. To meet people like Kevin!
    Great post. I just convinced a buddy to start a blog. Does that make me cool? No. I didn’t think so.

  2. Hey Matt! THANKS for the plug. Yes, I think convincing a buddy to start a blog does make you cool. You got him to do something that has real potential to make a positive difference in his life.

    A lot of us need a prod here and there, especially if it’s in regard to something we’re unfamiliar with. He may thank you one day. Or stop speaking with you if it doesn’t go well! 😉

  3. Yes, I have a blog and I wholeheartedly agree with all the reasons listed. I would caveat by saying if you are going to have a blog, then you need to be able to properly express yourself through your writing. While spelling and grammar does not need to be perfect, your content should be “readable” without many errors.

  4. Lakita, good point about writing ability, that’s something that’s getting lost in this age of text messaging!

    You don’t need to be an expert writer, but so true, you do have to know how to express yourself in a way that most people could clearly understand.

  5. I agree with you! However, I don’t think #5 is entirely accurate. There is a potential for money, but with all those blogs on there, it isn’t a realistic to start a blog, imho.

  6. Jen – I agree. Building an income on a blog is a long term process, but you can make some money while you’re busy building your blog and doing other things with it. I made a few dollars from Adsense the first month I put it on, and that was on pitifully low traffic volume! It’s like found money, and that’s always worth going after.

  7. I find that blogs have become quite an advent over the past decade. It’s changed the face of writing in such a manner, and offers a completely new medium for aspiring freelance writers.

    In comparison to print and professional writing, even in the case of self publishing, blogging is nothing like it. At the expense of the professional touch, you become the writer, publisher, and editor, all solo. You contribute to the information superhighway.

    But I also like to think that this particular medium could be saturated with bad quality, due to it’s distinct lack of quality control. Conversely, there’s various types of blogs tailored for menials to downright verbose sophisticated lectures.

    This comment can be best described as bloody pointless, but I think if I WERE pressed to make a point, let me conclude by saying that blogs are certainly an interesting literary medium!

  8. lol I agree voting is not working. Our current president and administration is doing what they want, not what the people want. Can you say Socialized health care? America is heading in the wrong direction

  9. I wouldn’t limit it to the current president, this has been developing for a long time. It’s hard to know if it’s being caused by an oversized bureaucracy that insulates leaders from the voters, or if voters are so consumed with other pursuits that they no longer care.

    Either way, a blog is a solid way to begin affecting change in a world that often buries good ideas in an editors office. If we don’t take an active role in representative government, we’ll lose it; that would be a real tragedy.

  10. So as you know I’m one of those guys that have opinion or observation about most things.
    I always have a lot of fear about writing a blog or article. My spelling is terrible. My sentence structure is terrible.
    I can think of a hundred topics. I think of new ones just through the course of my day.
    Most of my opinions would be gut feelings. I’m not going to spend hours doing research.

    Also their is another reason why. I have a general fear of the government. Once I write things, they are out there. I have seen guys who write things and it has come back to haunt them.

    So I always hold back. I don’t need the hassle.

  11. Believe it or not Tim, spell check or services like Grammerly can help with spelling and sentence structure. And as you go along, you’ll get better at it. Most of my articles are from gut feelings. If I don’t feel something about a topic I can’t write about it.

    Like you, I do consider the potential consequences of running afoul of the government. But I don’t advocate for violent revolution, and consider it to be a step in the wrong direction (though I do sometimes warn that will be the outcome if we don’t start changing things). But I also feel God has blessed me with this platform, and expects me to express my ideas (Isaiah 62:6a: “I have posted watchmen on your walls, Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night”).

    I’m not getting out of this world alive anyway, so I’m not going to live a constrained life. The opportunities I’ve gained from this blog far outweigh the downsides and risks. If I can offer ideas that will help to move readers forward in their own lives, that’s worth doing.

    You’d be amazed at the number of emails I get from people who have situations they’re not comfortable sharing online. But as we bounce ideas back and forth, we both get something out of the exchanges. That’s really what blogs do, they get people discussing important issues in a way that doesn’t happen at work, over the fence, or in the mainstream media. What I’ve learned is that there are a lot more truly brilliant people out there – you included Tim – than we think, and I feel blessed to encounter them.

  12. To be perfectly honest with you Kevin. There are to many people expressing their opinions as it is. There basically isn’t a topic out there that doesn’t have some type of blog.
    People posting there whole lives on facebook just doesn’t sit well with me.
    I’m really an under the radar guy. I don’t express my opinions very much at all. A close circle maybe.
    I’m much better and more comfortable sitting and having coffee and looking someone in the eye. There isn’t enough of that anymore.
    I know I comment a lot on here. I don’t really say everything I would want to. Also I don’t want to hijack the blog where others can’t respond.

    Honestly it’s because you respond. I’ve never been on a blog where the writer actually responds. Because of that I have found that there are a lot in common between us. I would never know that if you never responded. Which is what most these guys do.

  13. If I don’t respond, there’s no purpose for this blog. I’m an “over coffee” guy too, and I’ve done a lot of that in my life. But a blog is the next best thing. It’s the online version of having coffee with people you’ll probably never meet. But then I’m one of those (possible) dopes who likes to talk to strangers, and I do it frequently in real life. By contrast, I put very little in the way of conversation on the social media. That seems to be more a place for people to grandstand about themselves than to share anything close to reality. I have zero interest in that, even though I know some people have become social media stars in their own right. I respect it, but it isn’t me.

  14. I want to keep going here for a minute. In my opinion life there is already to much noise chatter as it is.
    The issue I have with 95 percent of the blogs out there is that they do nothing but point out problem. I read them and walk away saying, so? I already knew that. What can I do or how can I point myself in a direction to help myself in light of this doomsday info. That is a good blog in my opinion.

    I actually get more out of your comments than the actual article.
    Please don’t get me wrong. Yours is one of the only blogs I read all the time. Most don’t hold my interest. The ones that do offer solutions but it involves paying out a ton of money for their insights. The articles they write are teasers to sell there products.

    Your comments are free.

    Sorry I got off topic. I’ll stop

  15. I get what you’re saying, but here’s my thinking…things are getting worse and we have to acknowledge that as a foundation. A couple of nights ago I was listening to Ann Graham Lotz on the radio, and she was going on about the environmental issues, fiscal problems, serial violence, addictions to porn, alcohol and drugs, pandemics, the rise in suicide, and a whole bunch of other badisms. What I liked about her approach is that she isn’t looking at any of these as standalone issues. She’s connecting the dots, and showing how it’s really all the same problem, but manifesting in different ways. I fully agree, and have made the same claim on this site many times.

    That’s the backdrop we’re dealing with. Some are relatively insulated from it. But for the majority of us who aren’t, we’ve got to think outside the box. Along the way, we can’t live in fear. We’ve got to try new things, even if they’re uncomfortable. That’s usually the solution. We start with the problem(s) then hash out where we go from here. If the answers are easy, they aren’t valid. If they challenge us to step out of our comfort zones, we’re usually heading in the right direction.

    I agree that most blogs leave me cold. But some are damned good, and an inspiration to me. If I get a couple of workable ideas, or at least encouragement, it’s well worth my time to check in. Anybody can create a blog like that. And I think more people need to because my own opinion is that the economy is rapidly decentralizing, and in time a lot more of us are going to be self-employed as a means of survival. Having a blog helps to get you ready for that. A small income can grow over time into something significant. Ironically, just the fact that having it might make you uncomfortable helps to prepare you for an uncertain future.

    You already have a business up and running, so starting a blog may not be something of much interest to you. But to the person who might be afraid of becoming self-employed, or of making a public stand, a blog is a perfect way to start. It opens up doors you might not ever come across otherwise. That’s certainly how it worked for me. Magical things can happen when you start interacting with people, and you can certainly do that with a blog, even if you’re not comfortable doing it face to face (and a lot of people aren’t).

    Oh, and as to comments vs the original article, when I’m writing the articles I have to keep them on a certain path/structure. In the comments we’re free to discuss specific nuances. The comments are the essence of blogging anyway. The articles are just to get the comments started. (See what you just learned about blogging, just for showing up?)

  16. Yep, I understand what your saying.
    The noise thing has to do with me more than anything.
    I found that 25 years of noise and madness took it’s toll.
    I can’t be anywhere anymore where’s there’s alot of noise.
    Parties, concerts, sporting events or where there is a lot if chatter going on a once.
    I can’t even watch the news anymore at all.
    I understand what your saying.

  17. The title to this post, in particular, caught my eye. Good work!

    Because I have a blog and I think it’s a good niche but I kind of lost interest because so far I have been talking to myself. I have recently been considering taking it up again.

    I have taken all sorts of courses about how to market my blog, how to create offers to acquire email addresses, ie: subscriptions. I guess I’ve gotten too far into learning and not enough writing.

    My biggest block, is I’m not sure my niche is one I can monetize because it’s a little scattered since I have been writing about what interests me and being newly retired, I would really like to earn a little for my time, yu know?

    This article HAS given me hope. Thank!!

  18. Hi Deborah – If you’re newly retired, and that’s your niche, you have plenty to write about. In fact, that’s a very popular topic. You can write about how to lower your expenses, how to invest your money, how to earn extra money, how to maintain purpose in life, how to set new goals, volunteering, maintaining health, navigating the healthcare system, travel, other recreational opportunities, nutrition for older folks – and that’s just a few suggestions. Maybe you can start becoming a regular reader and commentor on related blogs. I’d also suggest writing articles on those other blogs on specific topic areas they haven’t covered. Or you can use their blogs to come up with article ideas for your own blog. You should never run out of content or connections with that topic. Consistently posting is the key. Plus getting out to other blogs, and linking your articles on the social media. From there, it’s just a matter of time.

  19. Kevin. What a help you are to so many people. Your encouragement is never-ending…another reason I enjoy your blog. As for me writing one, it’s crossed my mind but always seems to keep going and go out the other side somewhere. I like to write, but I’m still too busy at work. I liked all of the comments here, and, you’re right, the comments are some of the best reading. Happy blogging!

  20. Hi Bev – Maybe when the day comes that you and your husband pack it in for good you can revisit the blog idea. A blog takes a certain amount of work, especially at the beginning, so you need to have time to do it. If you think you might, it would be a good idea to get a domain name (spend some serious time coming up with a good one – it matters!), then get a site up and running. You don’t have to put content on the site, but get it up and running so the search engines will begin “crawling” the site. It takes months for that to happen.

    In the meantime, any time you get inspiration, you can write and publish an article. It’s incredibly easy to do with WordPress, which is also free.

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