So is it worth it? I mean, it’s a big investment of time, this blogging thing. And seeing as many blogs fail (I read 95% do) the return on investment seems a bit on the small side. Heck, even if you do manage to get a decent blog going, with a swelling readership and a growing voice in your niche, that doesn’t mean you’ll be able to live off it. The monetary windfall might be years down the line. Why even bother?
Just because a blog fails doesn’t mean a blogger fails
The serious bloggers just move on to different projects. Sometimes that happens immediately. Sometimes it takes a few months or years, but they’ll be back. And they’ll be wiser and richer for the experience. After all, blogging is a skill and as they say you need 10,000 hours to master a skill.
None of us can play the piano perfectly when we first start out. We all need lessons. Blogging (and writing in general) are the same. You need to practice for many hours with many revisions. That first blog is a bit like piano lessons. It’s a necessary requirement to get you on your way.
Blogging skills are widely applicable
One way in which blogging skills is not like piano lessons is in the fact that the skills so easily translate to other areas of your life. Writing is something that is immensely important in our day to day working life. Take this USA Today article, they list five skills graduates are lacking:
- People skills
- Problem-solving skills
- Oral communication
- Leadership Skills
- Writing skills
Blogging has a direct impact on three of these:
- First off, as every blogger knows, you need to understand your audience and learn to communicate with them well in order to get your blog to be successful. Blogs, in fact, need to be other-oriented to be successful.
- Secondly, there are tons of problems that will emerge as you blog and you need to solve them as nobody else will. This is a great aid in being proactive and solving problems later on life.
- And finally, obviously blogging helps with writing. That’s a huge part of the process (though hardly the only one).
Writing is good for the brain
In fact, writing isn’t just good for your career. It is good for you, both physically and mentally. It improves physical healing (yes that’s right), reduces anxiety and stress and can really help with achieving mental stability. It helps your memory, improves your problem solving and is fantastic for finding out where there are holes in your arguments (which you’re often liable to jump over if you’re just thinking through things). Add to that that it makes you far more expressive, enhances your vocabulary and makes you an overall better communicator. It is, in fact, probably one of the best choices for extra-curricular activities you can make.
An audience impresses potential employers
Today when you apply for writing jobs at different websites or papers, if you can show that you’ve got an audience, you’re going to have a massive leg up over the competition. Not only can your potential employer tap into this audience (something many magazines and online publications are willing to pay good money for) but you also demonstrate value.
One of the big problems that graduates have when they finish university is that they don’t have what businesses call ‘real world experience’. If you’ve got a successful blog, that suddenly doesn’t play as much of a role anymore. You’ve already demonstrated that you’re capable of cutting it in the real world, without any marketing budget, or massive organization behind you. You did that on your own! So what, they’ll end up thinking, will you be able to do if you’ve got the right tools on your side?
You have an understanding of consumer psychology
Let’s not mince words here, in order to have a successful blog you’ve got to sell yourself. You engage in intensive marketing through social media and other channels. You’ve got a product, namely your content. And thought here might not be any money involved people are still investing resources in getting your product, namely their time and their social status if push your stuff when they like it.
That’s consumer psychology.
And if you’re running a successful blog that you’ve got the basics of that down. That means that if you read the theory you’ll be quicker to understand it, as you’ve already got some intuitive sense of it, and if you want to turn it into your job then you’ll be able to demonstrate your basic skills to potential employers.
You have choices
One thing many graduates struggle with when they just finished is getting a good job. That is a lot less of a problem when you’re doing well with your blog. As I’ve outlined above it gives you a foot in the door with many companies. What’s more, it means you can strike out on your own if you want to. You don’t have to learn the basics of writing anymore – you already went through all that – and so freelancing becomes an option. Also, if your blog is really successful you can decide to make that your job.
Heck you can even use it to go traveling with! People are always interested in traveling blogs and you’ve got the skill set to run a successful one. Then, when you’re done with your months on the road, you’ve actually got something more to show for it than a few pictures of Machu Picchu – something that you can actually translate into something bigger.
Are you convinced yet?
Blogging is an incredibly valuable life skill that gives you both the opportunity to grow internally in that it allows you to become a more thoughtful, engaging and interesting person, as well as externally in terms of career opportunities. I can’t really stress the value enough. So if you’re thinking about starting a blog, do so. Get started and find out if you’ve got what it takes.
You’ve got a blog you’ve neglected? Pick it back up again! It’s worth the effort and the energy. Or would you rather join the line of the run-of-the-mill graduates with only a piece of paper and a few extra-curricular activities to show for their years in school?