In 2014, it was estimated that there were over 1 billion websites on the internet. Blogging experts indicate that there were 152 million blogs on the internet as of 2013. Since then that number has only grown. Statista.com reports that as of 2017, the microblogging website and social media platform Tumblr has close to 392 million blog accounts alone.
That’s 392 million blogs on just one platform.
So why start a blog?
Why be one blog in a sea of millions of other blogs?
The answer. There are many reasons. But I like to simplify it into two main perspectives: content and collect.
Content should be at the heart of every blog. Content is key. Content is king. As is the customer or in this case the reader. Blogs need to produce content that is valuable and that people want to read. Here are four reasons why content matters:
1. Build an audience
Bloggers have the ability to reach millions of people around the world. That level of visibility can help people promote themselves and their business. Bloggers also have the ability to build a connection with their audience. As The Huffington Post describes, “blogging works as a method for attracting an audience because it provides something of value to them before asking for anything in return.” Blogging builds trust without acting or appearing as a salesperson. Once you attract the audience they have the future potential of becoming your customers, partners, or friends.
2. Become an influencer
Blogging gives people a platform to write about topics they know. It allows them become an influencer, an expert, and a person of authority in a particular space. It can also help build your professional image. Blogs are the new business cards and resumes. One that’s done well can show just how knowledgeable you are to readers, employers and your network.
3. Tell your story
Everyone has a story. A blog allows you to tell your story your way. You are your own media company. When you’re writing about topics that interest you, you have the ability to share your own experiences. You can also decide how to portray the subject, what specifically you want to talk about and you can be your own fact checker, making sure that the content is accurate and reliable.
4. Write what you know and learn what you don’t
When you’re writing a blog post, you’re forced to teach yourself what you don’t know and to articulate what you do know. There’s a philosophy that states we don’t truly understand something until we teach it to someone else. From my experience, there’s a lot of truth to that. When I was in university, having to explain a topic or concept to someone else before a test actually helped me understand it better myself. When writing a blog post you’ll not only learn something new but you’ll also understand more about what you already know.
I wouldn’t be very good at business if I neglected to talk about the financial opportunities of creating a blog. Our time and our thoughts are valuable. We are creating value and it’s ok to think about how we can get value in return. Below are a few of the many ways to earn money from a blog:
5. Passive income
With a blog you have the ability to earn money while you sleep. Online advertising and affiliate marketing programs are great sources of passive income. Affiliate marketing is when you’re paid a commission for promoting products. If a reader clicks on the affiliate link and makes a purchase then you get paid. But be mindful of promoting products you believe in and that match your brand. The most common way to make money from a blog is through placing ads on your site. With Google AdSense you simply place the banner on your site, Google chooses ads relevant to your content and your viewers click on the ads. That’s money in the bank without doing much work.
6. Sell your own products
A blog is a platform that can allow you to earn additional income from selling digital and non-digital products such as eBooks, Books, online courses/workshops, images, videos, planners, and apps. For example, an eBook allows you to do the work once and then potentially reach thousands of visitors to your site. If your audience is already interested in your content then chances are they may also enjoy your book.
7. New business opportunities
Blogging can create new business opportunities. It can lead to speaking engagements or press. It could even be the driver that propels you to write a book. Blogging allows you to become an expert in your field and that can lead to new career opportunities.
Blogs must walk a delicate line between content and collect. You can have a blog that only focuses on content. You don’t need to make money from your blog. But you can never focus on collecting without the content. If a blog is only focused on making money, it won’t provide the value that readers are looking for. As a result, the readers won’t want to come back and you won’t make as much as money. If you are going to monetize your blog, remember to find the balance between the two. That balance may be different for everyone but once you find it, you’ll have created a blog of value.
There are millions of blogs online. Why be one in a million?
Why not be one in a million. If you think you have valuable content to share, then trust yourself and give your own blog a chance.