Contrary to some of the false, negative information that has been going around lately, blogging is on the up and rising fast. The popular blogging and publishing platform Wordpress.com alone hosts almost 74 million blogs! Blogs hosted on Wordpress are read by 342 million people, and these blogs produce a combined total of 500,000 posts every day, while receiving 400,000 comments (on average) daily.
Blogging is therefore, an ever-expanding field. More and more people are joining the blogosphere. There are thousands of blogs dedicated to every field and subject out there – movies, music, automobiles, web development, sports, food, fashion, technology and a lot more.
And while it is true that money is why most blogger take up this hobby (or profession) in the first place, most of the bloggers you’ll come across would tell you that money was a motivational factor when they decided to take up blogging, there are several factors, apart from the obvious monetary ones, that people blog.
So what are the other reasons, apart from the monetary of course, that would have you jump in on the action? Here are a few advantages of blogging which are not monetary in nature:
1. Platform for Expression: By far, the best reason for blogging is to express your opinions, express your thoughts, have your say, and put what’s on your mind on paper. If you have something to speak about, something to say, and you want your message to go across a large group of people, blogging is the perfect way to do it. Microblogging (think Twitter) also lets you achieve the same purpose, but in a much more concise format. With blogging however, you have the freedom to speak your mind in as many words as you want. You can support your argument using multimedia (images, videos, and infographics), statistics, references from and to other sources… the whole deal!
2. Networking: Blogging is a great way to network and connect with people. It can help you develop all kinds of relationships – including business and professional ones. It could even be a great way for you to make friends, and connect with people who could help you in your careers, for instance. In a similar way, when you comment on other blogs, you network with many different people. Blogging is a great platform to connect with like-minded people as well.
3. Authority Figure: When you blog, people eventually start looking at you as an authority figure in your niche, and you develop a following. You are seen as an expert of matter in your field, you build a good reputation as someone who know what he is talking about. For instance if you dabble in technology, or guitars, as blog would help establish you as an authority in the said fields.
4. Global Reach: You meet people and make friends with people from all across the world, you speak with them, learn about them and share and connect with them. You get your views across, and they get theirs across. There is discussion and debate. And you do this all from the comforts of your living room. Think of the impact you could have through your blog and your words!
5. Branding: When you take up blogging, you’re creating your own identity, you’re crafting a name for yourself, and you’re branding yourself. Having a strong online presence and a well-reputed image is vital. Blogging allows you to achieve just that. Combined with your social networking profiles, your blog is just another powerful tool in your arsenal that helps you brand yourself in a better way. For example, you build an online portfolio for yourself which could help you get freelance work – such as writing, web designing, photography, journalism, etc.
6. Accessibility: Blogging makes you much more accessible to the world, especially on the internet. From potential employers, headhunters, recruiters, even old classmates, you are making it easier for people to find and access you. There are a lot of people on the internet looking for valuable human resource, and these people will search blogs.
7. Bragging Rights: Blogging is ‘cool’; and gives you’re the ability to stand out among your peers. Above all, blogging allows you to showcase your personality and your knowledge, more than any résumé or cover letter would ever be able to. And you can brag about being a ‘blogger’ when you meet up with your friends, family member or colleagues the next time!
8. Raising Awareness: Given its global reach and ease of accessibility that blogging brings, it is a great platform to raise awareness about issues and bring help to people. For instance many NGOs operating around the world have informative blogs which help raise awareness on issues, natural disasters and other problems and how these can be tackled globally.
9. Helping People: In a similar way to point no. 7 above, blogs can also be a good source to provide help to people, in form of advice, tips, counseling, DIYs, assistance, or simply to help people who are going through tough situations that the blogger himself might’ve experienced at some point.
10. Staying Connected: Blogging is a great way to stay connected – be it with family, friends from other parts of the world, old high-school pals, or anyone else. You can easily share stories, photos, videos and more. People will feel connected with you no matter where they might be in the world.
A word of advice: if you still haven’t started blogging or are relatively new to the field, you might think it is easy to make money from blogs. However that is a huge misconception. Despite the fact that AdSense and other tools have made it easy to earn money off blogs, building a profitable blog takes time and dedication. Until you reach that level, it would be best to just enjoy blogging like mentioned in the article: by speaking your mind out, putting your thoughts on paper, helping people, building your brand and connecting with the world!