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I've been writing online for years, and about a year ago, I discovered that you can actually make money from writing online. The thought instantly captivated me. Doing something you love and getting paid for it? Where do I sign up?! So if you would like to start your own blog, but aren't yet totally convinced, let me explain a little about what it's like.
Writing About Your Interests
A blog, by definition, is "A regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style."
Which means you don't have to have a professional writing degree just to start a blog. You can start a blog right now. Of course it helps it you have some writing experience, but even a little can be enough. The key is picking a topic that you are passionate about.
Let's say you love cooking, but you know that there are thousands of websites out there on cooking. Why would anyone come to yours when they can just use Betty Crooker or something? And what if it isn't a popular topic?
Here's the thing... Who cares?! Someone is bound to come across your blog (with your help, of course). Someone is going to love the way you write, and love your topic. Because it's yours.
Creating, and keeping up with, a blog is hard work. Writing is hard. Coming up with new ideas every week, actually finding the time and motivation to sit down and write them, getting people to come to your blog and the whole other beast... actually making money from it!
I know, that paragraph probably has you running for the hills and I haven't (so far) done a good job at convincing you why you should start a blog. But before you completely click away, let me say: It is a challenge, but aren't challenges good? Don't they help you grow as a person? So, if you really think about it, blogging could help you grow and learn as a person.
Honing in Your Craft
Let's say you have a passion for baking, or crafting, or cars. Anything really. Start with baking. You love it, right? You do it a lot? And crafting? You're always making something new. Cars? You're always looking up the newest cars, cars you'd like to drive, or have driven, going to car shows... you get the point.
If you're already spending a lot of time working on those things, starting a blog about them can actually make you more informed about them. It forces you to research your craft more, and think about it in other ways. Write recipes of things you've made, try things you never have just to get a blog post. Create better crafts, and more of them. Think about crafts differently, because now you have to write out a pattern to show how to make something, or learn how to record and edit videos to show your process. Get out of your comfort zone. Learn how to tell stories and take pictures of your experience at the recent car show. Learn how cars work better, which cars are trending, what cars are coming up. You get the picture. Hone your craft! Learn more!
Making a Difference in Someone's Life
It may sound silly. How can I make a difference in someone's life? All I'm doing is showing them how to crochet? I couldn't possibly be changing someones life, I'm just giving them a recipe to try.
Think about it like this, you're teaching someone how to do something. Something that could turn not only into a hobby for them, but a passion. You're obviously passionate about it. Otherwise you wouldn't have started this blog about it! And someone had to teach you how to do whatever it is you blog about. A pattern, a person, a video, a cookbook. Why is it so far of a stretch that you could change someone else's life by teaching them the same thing you love?
A Vast Audience
The internet is a big place. If you have a business, getting it online is pretty much essential. Starting a blog, or website, about it can lead to many more eyes on your business, whatever that business may be. You're missing out on an entire market of people when you don't have your business online!
Creating New Opportunities
Going off of the last point, getting a blog leaves you with so many more options—options you may never even know were possible before. Like with crafts, start a blog about them, start making your own patterns, start a youtube channel, start making your own products, opening up your own online store, sell your crafts... The options are endless. Cars. Start blogging, maybe you start doing reviews, then maybe you get invited to take some brand new cars out for a test drive, do a review on them, get invited to watch Indy 500—or better yet—become a part of it!
What do you think you could do with your topic? Dream big—who's to tell you that you can't?
Creating New Experiences
Blogging can put you into situations you never thought you'd be in otherwise. It can be something as crazy as becoming part of the Indy 500, or something as simple as going to try a new restaurant that you normally didn't know existed for a blog post. Think about the Food Network Channel—how many shows on there include people just going around to restaurants and stuffing their face as much as they can? Anything is possible at that point!
Meeting New People
It can be as simple as talking to a follower in the comments section of your blog, or going out to talk to other bloggers or even interviewing someone for your blog! Going to new places and talking to new people, you get the picture here I think.
Blogging can be scary. Putting yourself out there to the world-wide-universe. All the trolls *Shudders* The hate that you could possibly ensue? Now I doubt you'll get too many trolls when you first start out—hell, you could really never run into problems with angry internet people. But the fact that you're even trying—the fact that you know people could read your stuff and judge you—and you still put your content out there? That's a good way to conquer your fears.
Of course, there is always the monetary reason for staring a blog. But this shouldn't be the main goal for why you start a blog—this comes much later. This is more like an end goal reason for why you start a blog. No one hops onto the scene of the internet and becomes a 6-figure blogger overnight. It takes time. So, while this could be a motivator, it should never be your sole purpose for staring a blog. Because you'll get discouraged very, very fast.