1. Express yourself
Despite the many changes that the blog has undergone throughout the years, it still remains true to its primary purpose – its raison d’être – and that is to serve as a platform for self-expression.
So whether you are interested in writing about your stamp collecting hobby; telling stories about your travels; sharing your very own homemade recipes; writing movie and TV show reviews; chronicling your journey towards financial freedom; or advocating for causes you are passionate in, a blog is the perfect online platform to do just that. Your blog, after all, is your very own space, your niche, in the digital world, where what you say matters and where you can do whatever you want (most of the time).
And blogs are well-suited both for extroverts and introverts. You can build your blog into a bustling, thriving community where you can interact and socialize with thousands and hundreds of thousands of people. Or you can turn it into your own quiet, little space where you can find solace after a long day’s work, where you can silently express your creativity when you wish to.
You might be asking: why do I need a blog when I already have an account on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or YouTube?
Well, first off, you need to understand that blogs, too, are social media. Long before there was Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or YouTube, there were already blogs. And blogs will be here to stay long after Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or YouTube are gone.
But blogs and other social media platforms are not exclusive of one another. They actually go hand-in-hand. In fact, bloggers leverage other social media sites to gain further visibility and drive traffic to their websites. That being said, there some benefits to blogging that other social media platforms cannot provide.
One of the chief advantages of blogging – and therefore one of the best reasons why you should start a blog – is the considerable freedom and control you wield. In other social media platforms, you are only opening an account in someone else’s website – someone else’s ‘territory’, so to speak. By doing so, you are subject to their rules and regulations, no matter how illogical or adverse some of those are. And whenever these social media sites decide to rewrite or revise their rules – which at times goes against the interests of their own users – you have little power to do anything.
It is worth noting that only recently, YouTube introduced a set of new (or updated) policies that led to many channels being mistakenly demonetized for months, all without warning beforehand or explanation afterwards, and literally no options for immediate appeal. It was later found out that the creators actually violated no terms or policies, and their channels were remonetized, but not before they had already lost thousands of dollars in potential income.
And therein lies another problem. You virtually have no assurance or guarantee of your stay with these major social media platforms. Even if you have endeavored to follow all their rules and regulations, you might suddenly find yourself expelled for reasons that are not made clear to you. And if you have been earning from said social media sites before you were removed, then so much the worse for you.
And regardless of these social media platforms’ claims to being transparent, ethical, and people-friendly, the truth remains that you have no way of knowing how they collect and handle your sensitive personal – and private – data and information. The recent data privacy scandal Facebook found itself embroiled in is more than enough evidence that social media platforms do not value your privacy as much as they do corporate profit.
Remember, social media sites are facing increasing scrutiny from governments across the world over privacy and security concerns. There might even come a time – unlikely for now – when these social media giants are broken up or even taken down. If that happens, what can you do, really?
Moreover, your blog cannot be easily removed or taken down for reasons unknown to you. Of course, this is not an excuse for you to use your blog to commit illegal acts; you still are bound to the applicable rules and regulations of your own country. However, the fact remains that a blog is far more resilient and guaranteed than a random social media account. And if you are earning from your blog, then you cannot be deprived of a source of income so easily.
Of course, you might argue that opening an account on most social media sites is free, whereas starting a blog involves shelling out money. Well, that really depends on how much you value privacy. Sure, signing up on social media platforms seems ‘free’ upfront, but it is actually unwittingly costing you something, something far more valuable, or rather, invaluable: all of your personal, private data and information.
Besides, starting a blog is not that expensive; it is very affordable, actually. For as low as $6.99 a month, you can have a blog up and running in no time!
2. Connect with people
As has already been mentioned above, blogs are social media. And as with all social media, blogging is an excellent way to connect with people and form meaningful relationships. Whether you simply want to connect with people who share the same things you are passionate in; establish professional contacts and networks to improve your career; or help your business by increasing leads and generating more revenue, a blog is the perfect online platform to do just that.
But unlike other social media platforms, people trust blogs. In fact, blogs have been rated as the 5th most trusted source for accurate online information. This is especially significant and relevant right now, given the prevalence of ‘fake news’ and other wrong and misleading information on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other social media platforms; and the rather slow and lackluster attempts by these social media giants to remove such fallacious and oftentimes dangerous content from their sites.
And unlike other social media sites, you can choose the people you want to connect with. You can craft and distribute content to target a specific audience. You want to interact with people who likes homemade recipes as much as you do? Then write about homemade recipes. You want to bond with other stamp collectors? Then turn your blog into a community for stamp collectors. You want to share your trips and journeys with fellow travelers? Then build a travel blog. The content you create largely determines who turns up at your web address. Of course, other people might stumble upon your blog every now and then, but for the most part, you have considerable control over who visits your blog.
And with blogging, there are no annoying lists of ‘People You May Know’ as in Facebook, or unwanted videos and playlists ‘Recommended for You’ by YouTube. On your own blog, you do not get bombarded with random posts from deranged conspiracy theorists, or with toxic political propaganda, or with other exasperating advertisements that no one in their right minds will ever click anyway – not consciously, at least.
3. Learn and improve skills
Blogging is a skill, or rather, it is a combination – a synergy, if you will – of different types of skills. It is more than just writing. It also involves web design (which itself is a combination of skills), graphic design, digital marketing, social media management, and even app development, among others.
If you have little to no expertise in these areas, then you will learn them by starting a blog. And if you already claim to have these skills, then starting a blog will serve as a litmus test for such a claim. Or it can also serve as your very own ego wall and or even a resume where your skills are in evident display for potential customers and clients to see.
In any case, there is a vast range of skills to be learned from blogging. Blogging, after all, encompasses all the skills required by current online and digital technologies. And as technology is always evolving, so, too, is blogging, so that bloggers have the opportunity to continuously pick up new skills and improve existing ones.
4. Promote yourself, your brand, and your business
In this day and age, if you are running a business, then you must have an online presence or risk missing out on a lot of profitable opportunities. Suddenly, it’s not enough to just have a website for your business – you need to continuously create and distribute content for your website, too. In short, you need to start blogging.
A blog provides your business with a wide range of benefits, including increasing visibility and widening your ability to reach out to potential customers in a cost-effective manner. After all, small businesses with blogs generate 126% more leads.
A blog also allows you to better engage and form deeper and more meaningful connections with your clients, since research indicates that 90% of consumers find customer content useful; and 60% of consumers feel a company’s positivity after reading their blog.
The more and higher quality blog content you create, the greater the traffic you drive to your website, which can translate to more sales and therefore more profit. Remember, as many as 61% of U.S. consumers have made a purchase based solely on a blog post.
In fact, if your business website features a blog, you have a 434% higher chance of being ranked highly on search engines. And securing a coveted spot in Google’s page one is very, very crucial, since research shows that 75% of users don’t scroll beyond the first page of search results.
But perhaps one of the best reasons why you should start a blog for your business is that it is a far more cost-effective alternative to traditional advertising. Consider the finding that 82% of consumers learn about a company through articles rather than advertisements. Why squander your money on intrusive display ads when research has already indicated that people are more likely to climb Mount Everest than click a banner ad? Invest on a blog instead: it’s sincere, thoughtful, organic, engaging, and actually effective, and it only costs as low as $6.99 a month!
If the above statistics are not compelling enough reasons why you should start a blog for your business, then this ongoing COVID-19 pandemic should serve as a grim and sobering reminder of its value. While the vast majority of physical shops and face-to-face businesses have been forced to close, a lot of online businesses were not as affected; in fact many have even thrived and flourished, and continue to do so, as customers turn to the Internet to meet their consumer needs.
Many companies have noticed this, and in response have begun to create or update websites, launch new e-commerce channels, and create social media campaigns, so as not to lose relevance or profitability.
But it is not only businesses that stand to gain from blogging. Even if you don’t run a business, but are simply looking for employment – particularly in work involving web design, writing, graphic design, digital marketing, and the like – then your blog can already serve as a supplemental or even a stand-alone resume.
On your blog, potential employers and clients can see your skills in full and proud display, and there decide if they want to hire you or not. A blog, after all, lends additional substance to your CV, and allows you to stand out from competition.
But perhaps more important than helping your business grow or helping your career, your blog can eventually be built into a business in its own right!
5. Earn passive income
Despite all the benefits of blogging listed above, one very important question remains to be answered: can you make money in blogging?
Absolutely. Profitability is certainly among the greatest selling points of blogging, and therefore one of the best reasons why you should start a blog.
Apart from helping you increase the sales of your business by enabling you to reach out to customers and promote your brand; and from helping you find employment by allowing you to promote your skills and services to clients, you can also build your blog into a separate, stand-alone, and full-fledged business in its own right!
As a matter of fact, blogging has become more profitable now more than ever, since there is currently a much larger audience to create and distribute content for, as more and more people – nearly the entire world population – already have access to the Internet. And research has determined that 77% of Internet users actually read blogs, while 80% of Internet users interact with both social media sites and blogs.
And bloggers today have many more means of generating revenue than before. Apart from the traditional display and cost-per-click ads, bloggers can now tap into more modern – and more lucrative – sources of income, such as affiliate marketing and sponsored contents, among others.
In fact, in 2019, for a single sponsored blog post alone, an average blogger with a fairly sizeable audience could expect to earn around $1,442! In comparison, a sponsored blog post in 2014 earned, on average, only $407; in 2006, it netted a measly $7.39! If that is not proof of profitability, then nothing is!
But more important than knowing you could actually earn money from blogging, is knowing what type of income you will be earning. From blogging, you can expect to generate passive income, the most ideal type of income there is.
At this point, with the term now widely used as a buzzword across the Internet, you should already be familiar with passive income, or at the very least have a notion of it. If not, then passive income is income that requires little to no effort to earn and maintain – it’s money you earn ‘while you sleep’, so to speak.
You can earn passive income from stocks, from interest, or from renting out your properties. But you can also earn passive income from blogging, which, to be fair, requires much less financial investment, and entails far less risk, than buying shares of stock or properties. With as little as $6.99 a month, you can already start a blog!
Indeed, affiliate marketing via blogging is one of the best ways to earn passive income. By now, you should also be familiar with affiliate marketing, it being, after all, a very trendy term in current Internet parlance. If you still aren’t, then affiliate marketing is a form of advertising whereby you earn a commission (or some other compensation) from endorsing other individuals’ or companies’ products.
Affiliate marketing is a massive global industry worth well over $12 billion, and it is projected to grow by 10% in the next few years. Numerous companies, as well as individuals, are now turning to affiliate marketing as a core strategy to promote and sell their products and services. In fact, 81% of brands now rely on affiliate marketing, and merchants see an average of 23% of their revenues coming from affiliate marketing.
And for affiliates (endorsers), affiliate marketing pays good money. Around 35% of affiliate marketers earn over $20,000 on a yearly basis, while the top affiliate marketers are known to make six figures a year! Not bad!
Affiliate marketing is especially suited to – and very profitable for – people who have blogs and active websites. The increasing focus on content quality has pushed bloggers and other content marketers to the forefront of affiliate marketing – yet another one of the reasons why you should start a blog!
Apart from affiliate marketing, bloggers can also expect to earn passive income from traditional display and cost-per-click advertisements, selling their own products, and other methods besides. They can also earn non-passive income by creating sponsored content, and by hiring out their skills and services to a wide range of clients.
These all sound very attractive, of course. But the truth is, earning passive income from blogging is not as easy as it sounds. It takes time and it takes a lot of effort. Very few bloggers have made big money right from the start. Some take a few weeks to a few months before they start making an income. Others never earn at all.
Blogging, after all, and for the most part, is not a get-rich-quick scheme; it is a long-term investment that requires long-term commitment. And like all businesses – and yes, if you want to make money from blogging as you would from a business, then you need to treat your blog like a business – you need to put in the time and the effort. You can build your blog into a very profitable business that can earn you passive income even up to your retirement and beyond, but only if you have the patience and dedication.
6. Work from home
Another one of the reasons why you should start a blog is that it allows you to work from the comfort and safety of your home. This last reason is especially significant and relevant given the dreadful situation we are mired in right now.
With the COVID-19 pandemic still raging, most of us are confined within our homes under some form of lockdown. The disease, fortunately, has begun to slow down in other countries. In many others, however, the pandemic is raging at its fiercest, with no signs of abating any time soon.
In countries where the infection has finally been contained, or at the very least slowed down, there has been an easing of restrictions: citizens are now being allowed to leave their homes for the first time in a long time, and some businesses are now permitted to resume operations.
However – and let’s be honest here – despite all this gradual loosening of lockdown measures, most of us are still cautious about going outside, partly in fear of catching the virus and triggering the so-called ‘second wave’ of infections.
As long as we can afford it, we would still opt to stay indoors. But we cannot do that forever; at some point, we would run out of money. Unless, of course, we are being paid to work from home. And therein lies one of the benefits of blogging.
Blogging is a very viable work-from-home option. Not only is it profitable, it also only needs minimal resources to get started, which is incredibly important, since, at this time, we might likely have already run out of savings and so can no longer afford to shell out big bucks – even if we could, we would still be very hesitant in doing so. Fortunately, to start blogging, you only need a laptop, an Internet connection, and as little as $6.99 a month to pay for web hosting.
Of course, that is just for getting started. Remember, maintaining your blog and devoting the necessary resources to it until it begins to earn is an entirely different matter. But if you are prepared to put in the work, then you can build yourself a very lucrative business that generates you passive income – all from the comfort and safety of your own home.
There is no telling when this COVID-19 pandemic truly and finally ends; at the time of this writing, most of the possible vaccines or cures are still in clinical trial, and it could take many more months before one is finally proven to be completely effective and so approved for global use. In this dire backdrop, most of us are searching for options – viable and affordable options, I might add – to minimize our need to go outside, and work from home instead. Why not consider blogging?