With inbound marketing ever growing in popularity (for good reason), you’ve probably noticed that more and more businesses and organisations are publishing content online to engage with their target audience.
However, blogging isn’t limited to just brands. As the concepts of personal brand and online identity become ever more important – particularly in the digital industry – plenty of individuals are starting their own blogs too. Perhaps you’re wondering what all the fuss is about? Well, here are 6 reasons why you should consider blogging.
1. It’s Easy to Get Started
In the modern age of the internet, you don’t have to build your own website from scratch if you want to share your thoughts with the world. There are plenty of quick, easy options that allow you to set up a site and start publishing content in minutes.
I would recommend Blogger or WordPress, depending on whether you want to keep things simple (Blogger or WordPress.com), or want to take advantage of more available customisation options (WordPress.org).
If you’re not fussed about having your own personal (sub)domain, third party sites such as Medium and LinkedIn can be good options for publishing content too. There’s also plenty of editorial sites that offer the opportunity to become a regular contributor. So, there’s really nothing stopping you from sharing your thoughts with the world.
2. Refine Your Writing Skills
From copywriting to producing reports, written communication is always going to be important in digital, and blogging is an ideal opportunity to develop this skill.
If you don’t feel ready to post something straight away, don’t fret: blogging is a useful learning experience even if you don’t press Publish. With a bit of practice, you should eventually feel comfortable with sharing content publicly. When you do come to publishing something, there’s no shame in asking someone to proofread your content before it goes live. As well as helping you to fix any errors, this is also a great way to get some ideas about how to improve your writing style more generally.
Ultimately, by practising your writing skills, you should find that it gets easier to communicate your ideas clearly, and in less time too.
3. Practice Some SEO
If you work in digital marketing, or otherwise want to know more about improving a website’s performance in organic search, blogging is also a great opportunity to practice SEO and other inbound marketing principles. Bear in mind that some more simple publishing platforms (e.g. WordPress.com and third-party sites) might not be suitable if you really want to get hands-on with your SEO.
For example, by creating and publishing a search-optimised blog post, you can practice conducting keyword research, writing well-optimised copy, and creating meta descriptions. More generally, just getting familiar with a commonly used content management system (CMS) such as WordPress can be valuable experience for working on other sites that are built using the same platform.
4. Improve Your Online Presence
If a potential employer types your name into Google, what would you rather they see: Facebook photos from your last night out, or a well-maintained blog?
Of course, there are many things that you can do to develop a good online identity, such as an effective LinkedIn profile and appropriate privacy settings on your other channels. However, having your own blog or website goes that little bit further, helping you to stand out and showcase your (wait for it) personal brand.
5. Demonstrate Expertise
Importantly, a blog allows you to actually demonstrate and share your expertise, beyond just citing your experience. It also helps you to engage with other people in your industry, while contributing to wider discussions. Of course, any knowledge that you share is also likely to be appreciated by whoever is looking for it.
In the long term, this could even help you to be recognised as an industry expert (or “thought leader”), if that’s what you’re aiming for. However, bear in mind that it can be difficult to build up a large audience, particularly when there’s a lot of competition.
6. Develop Your Knowledge
It can be surprising how much you realise you don’t fully understand about any given topic until you start telling someone else about it- and it’s the same when you’re writing a blog post. Often, you’ll need to research something or check a fact- learning new things about a subject and reinforcing your existing knowledge in the process.
So, hopefully that’s inspired you to have a go at blogging- I certainly feel that my own efforts have been worthwhile. Even if you’re not prepared to publish a post every week, just writing 4 articles per year could be beneficial with relatively little time required. Any questions or comments? Just let me know!