There are many benefits of blogging – even if you don’t yet have a business up and running. This approach is often recommended by online marketing mentors – including Dean Holland who makes it the foundation of his Quick Start Challenge program (QSC). (I mentioned the QSC in this post.)
I also very strongly recommend this approach because there are actually more benefits of blogging right from the start than Dean mentions.
His approach is that you should create your blog and document your journey, including your past struggles, your failures and your successes. No matter what type of business you plan to set up, provided it include online marketing, I think this makes sense.
It may seem like a very odd thing to do if you analyse it in one way. After all, who would want to bother following a blog that’s little more than the story of someone struggling, and often failing, to get anywhere – and who has nothing specific to offer? It goes against the grain of what everyone advises: mix with and learn from successful people.
But the reasons for going through this process are a lot more subtle than just getting some folk to register on your list – which is the goal Dean has in mind – and you may feel is unlikely to happen much anyway.
These are the seven benefits of blogging that I have identified:
1. Basic Training
If you’re very new to online marketing, it gets you familiar with the basics (domain registration, hosting, WordPress etc.).
If I were running a similar program, I would include setting up basic social media accounts and linking them your blog – as I describe in How to Auto-Tweet New Blog Posts.
2. Online Presence
You’re starting to build an online presence at the earliest opportunity: no matter what business model you finally decide on, establishing an online presence is absolutely essential. The idea that you can build a successful online business whilst remaining anonymous and not interacting with people (albeit virtually) is a myth. It’s a useful myth to propagate of you’re selling a money-making system and don’t want to exclude introverts from your target market. But it’s still a myth. People buy from people – or from the recommendations of people.
3. Publishing habit
The goal is not just to create a blog: it is to publish to it regularly. This strategy gets you into the habit of regularly posting content – an absolutely essential habit for an online marketer.
4. Learning to be imperfect
It’s important to have a fixed deadline for setting up your blog. The reason is, you need to learn the art of getting something done rather than getting something perfect. Perfection is the enemy of success – and this is another essential skill/mindset to be learned.
5. Self-reflection and learning
In the early days, at least, what you’ll be publishing on your blog will be your actions, your successes and your failures. This will require you to self-reflect on your actions and their outcomes. In its most general form, this is a hugely important skill in personal development (this is the premise behind a subject area called Action Inquiry). This is an invaluable life skill.
6. Documenting your self-reflection
Of course, the point is to actually document that self-reflection. But this isn’t a personal Journal (Journaling is another personal development technique): it’s a document for public consumption as well. So, I would limit the amount of emotional content and personal circumstances referenced: some is good to make you real, but this is mainly about your business journey, not your personal transformation journey – although some of that is likely to happen and hopefully, that will come through naturally.
7. Developing your Voice
The more your write, the more you’ll develop a particular style and approach and focus – and then you’ll begin to stand out. Unless you’ve done a lot of writing before, that won’t happen overnight: so the sooner you start, the better.
So those are the seven benefits of blogging that I have identified. But that leaves open the question of what to write about. So…
Ideas of what to write about
I would recommend writing things such as
- What set you on this journey
- What tools you use, and why
- What problems you find and how you overcome them.
- What training and learning you go through
- How you are trying (with your successes and failures) to manage your business-development time alongside your life commitments; how you are trying to avoid distraction etc.
- What your longer term aims are – and how they change and evolve as you gain experience and understand what’s involved.
- A weekly/monthy/6 monthly review: what you had hoped to achieve, what you actually achieved, and the reasons.
There is a possibility that your posts will be a catalogue of missed deadlines, distractions, periods of inactivity etc. etc. But that isn’t important – provided you keep getting back up and carrying on!.
The vast majority of people will read your posts and think – “Yes! That’s exactly like me. I can relate 100% to this person.” Unlike the stories of “$1,321 per day after 3 weeks” which no-one relates to. No-one will be able to read your blog and not admire you for getting something done (which puts you ahead of the vast majority of folk) and for honestly and persistently posting your story.
I think that would be really interesting to anyone who is a few steps behind (which covers most people!). They will see YOU putting in the effort (perhaps not that consistently) making progress (perhaps not that quickly) and think “I want to follow along and see how they get on – if they can muddle through like that and keep going, perhaps I can too. It’s inspiring – I’ll sign up and keep in touch. ”
Wouldn’t YOU be interested in someone like that?
And the great thing about it is that you’re building your audience and presence even while you’re still building your “proper” business at the same time.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below – especially if you can think of any other benefits of blogging.