“Be A Blogger” Series (part 1 of 10): Why You Need A Blog

When I decided to be a blogger in 2009, it took me a further 8 months to get my ass motivated enough to begin. And I still had no idea what I was about to get myself into. 4 years later, I do. I’ve met incredible people, began a career as a freelance writer, started my own company and, as luck would have it, I found out people find me rather funny. Go figure.

It didn’t happen over night, of course. It took a lot of planning, hard work, countless hours planted behind my computer screen, and some pretty incredible people providing me the right opportunities at the right moments. I’ve discovered a lot about myself through blogging, but a lot more about how business works these days. Whether you’re a consumer or merchant, or even just someone who wants to brand themselves as an iconic a figure as Steve Jobs or any of the Kardashian sisters, starting a blog is the first step to becoming known and respected. Of course, there are a lot of other reasons to start a blog other than becoming famous for a whole lot of nothing. Here are my top 10 reasons why you need a blog.

1.  Connect with your audience. Having a blog allows you to connect with your audience (read: potential sales or employers) & build buzz around your brand. The world is a mighty big place and there’s something for everything out there. Multiple somethings, actually. Which is why you need an outlet to connect with your audience. Luckily the internet has made us all much closer. By starting a blog, your voice can create a cause worth following and build trust between you and your readers. If utilized correctly, you can write in ways that allow you to receive feedback from your audience and engage them in discussion that are relevant to them – thereby establishing a relationship, solutions for their questions and a level of trust that wouldn’t have existed otherwise.

2. Your business depends on word of mouth. Well, guess what? It’s online now. From Google to individual customers, referrals spread online now. From bloggers, to tripadvisor, to Yelp to Google Reviews, to Angie’s List to live social media like Twitter or LinkedIn, people are spreading the word all over the internet. If you want your brand to grow, you’ve gotta get your paint on the wall. Deal with it. Embrace it. Use it. If you’re smart about it, you can even target your core market and (in case you aren’t sure) discover and track who exactly your core market is (thank YOU very much search analytics).

3. Industry Leadership. Nobody knows your industry, business or brand like you do. Having a blog can showcase that knowledge as well as how you do business and why yours is the brand to invest in. You’re the expert. Being a blogger can display that in your own words and place you in the front of customers or potential employers minds next time they’re looking for someone with your expertise. And you’re pretty darn likeable too!

4. Make real connections with other interesting people in your field you wouldn’t meet otherwise. It’s astounding how genuine relationships can open doors for you in ways you’d never dreamed. Using your blog as a tool to instigate these bonds can facilitate new opportunities.

5. Improve your communication & writing skills. It’s true – when you write a blog, you find yourself writing. A lot. Sometimes more than you might wish. Over a period of time, you’ll be able to track your progression from start to finish, hear how your voice evolves and grow as a writer through habit and feedback. You’ll discover talents you never knew you had – and so will new customers and employers.

6. Inspire others. If you write a blog and reach out to people – they’ll reach back. In a good way. Using your blog to promote productivity, action and knowledge creates a space not only for connection, but also inspiration and ingenuity. And when people feel inspired, they feel good; When they feel good, they come back; When they come back, you’ve established yourself as “the guy”. Or “gal”. Or “person”.

7. Goal oriented? Abso-freaking-lutely! You can’t run a successful blog without planning and achieving goals. It’s not easy to post consistently and intelligently – show your audience that you’ve got the stuff to get the job done (even if you do hire someone to do it for you).

8. It’s fun. Yes, it’s a lot of work, but man alive! It feels pretty great when you meet someone new and exciting, you get a cheerful and well thought out response on your posts or features you on their website!

9. Your competition are doing it and they’re doing it well. I’m not saying if they jumped off a moving train that you should too – but they are making themselves available to a greater public and those who are visible become familiar; those who are familiar become well liked; those who are well liked, make the sale. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – people are highly emotional and they connect with what feels good – they connect with other people. Be people.

10. It’s the 21st(?) century. If you aren’t online, you’re in trouble. Having a website is bog standard now – having a blog is fast on its heels. If nothing else, it gives your business a “home base” in the social world. Have a Facebook account? Great! But without a blog, you’re merely floating in social space. Give your audience a place to dock at and keep updated with your brand and you’ll come across as knowledgeable, reliable and hopefully, a little amusing.

Being a blogger is something we can all do with the right tools – hopefully these reasons help make it clear as to why you need a blog. The next steps:

  • How to start a blog.
  • How to create a schedule for your blog posts.
  • How to write great shit and own it.
  • How to build your blogs audience.
  • 10 things your blog should definitely have.
  • How to keep your blog fresh.
  • What not to do to your blog.
  • Beyond Blogging: What to do moving forward.
  • ….A surprise (what?? I can’t give away all my secrets!)

Come back next Tuesday for post 2 in my “Be A Blogger” series:

How to Start a Blog.

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Comments

  1. 1

    Ok, so #5 (and #8) reminded me of a nice quote I pulled out of Michael Pollan’s new book COOKED: To try your hand at doing something new is to find out a few new things about yourself, too.

    Question related to #6–I have in mind an article for October about planting harvesting, and putting up 2 crops in one raised garden bed over the course of one year (garlic and basil) complete with photos and recipes. How would I go about shopping this article to a website?

    Thanks!

    • 2
      kristygardner@gmail.com says:

      first of all – I’ve had that book beside my bed since it’s come out. i’m glad to hear it’s quotable (as are all his other books)…

      second of all – absolutely.

      last of all – it all depends on the website. if you have a specific website in mind (or if you don’t, google them and find a couple) and then review their submission requirements (often in the “about us” or “contact” or “submissions”) section and as much of their previously published content as possible.

      Then follow the directions to a tee. Seriously. Give them what they ask for, how they ask for it and you’ll see results.

      If they don’t have a “submission criteria” section, write them a brief email outlining what you’d like to write about, why it suits their (e)publication and why their readers would be interested. Again, keep it brief and to the point. Then explain (again, briefly) why you’re the person to write that piece for them. Try to provide an estimate word count and include that there will be photos. Submit. Give it 6 weeks – if you hear nothing by then, email again to follow up.

      …excellent question, btw. I’ll write an article on this exact question that gets into more detail within the next few weeks.

      Good luck to you!!

  2. 3

    It’s amazing that the business world still needs to be told, but alas it is true. They need to blog, do case studies, offer value for free to win customers etc. Unfortunately many people are still living in the world of old media and it is killing them. At least you have provided them with a path to follow :>

    • 4
      kristygardner@gmail.com says:

      Absolutely Ashley!

      I was having this conversation with a friend a few days ago – old media is a thing of the past – as evidenced by the tragic loss of the music industry (as an example). Records, radio, music videos, tapes, CDs.. they’re a thing of the past. So sad. Musicians (and the rest of us) need to get on with new media – YouTube, added value, blogging, etc… Or be lost like the 8-track.

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