1. It’s a personal journal
It’s a timeline of understanding for your personal growth.
It is a digital trail of all the epiphanies, realisations, nuggets of wisdom, and moments of clarity you’ve experienced.
It’s your body of work. A testament to your personality.
2. It will boost your overall level of happiness
In The Happiness Advantage, Shawn Achor suggests reflecting upon your week through a positive lens. This way you scan the week for good memories and slowly contribute to your overall level of happiness.
By having a blog, you scan the week for enriching and valuable experiences that you could share with the world.
Just by doing this you rehearse the interesting reads, valuable nuggets of wisdom and advice, and intellectually stimulating discussions you had over the past week.
3. You build an online presence
What’s one of the best things you can do for yourself before you graduate?
In his free e-book The Recession-Proof Graduate (click here for free download), Charlie Hoehn says you will maximise your chances of getting a job you’ll be happy with once you graduate by building an online presence.
How do you do that?
Charlie’s advice is to build an online presence by starting a blog:
“You can use it to write about what you’re learning, or jot down your ideas, or post travel pictures, or even videos where you talk about the latest project you’re working on.
There are absolutely no rules to what you can put on your blog. You just need to give people something positive to read and look at when they Google your name.
Why? Because it can help establish trust before employers ever talk to you.”
4. It establishes trust before employers even talk to you
By having a blog, you reveal your thought processes to the world. It becomes a reflection of your personality. It gives valuable insight into who you are as a person. It’s a personal journal (see #1).
For these reasons, it can be useful in differentiating you from the faceless résumés and set you on the right track to building trust with potential employers.
“If you want to use your blog as a way to get employers interested in you, I suggest you write about things that they’ll find valuable and relevant.
So you can write about your past experiences in a particular field, things you’re learning about, current projects you’re working on, etc. Just be honest and donʼt over-inflate your accomplishments.”
5. You can circumvent the gatekeepers with ease
If you have a book you want to publish, there really is not much point to selling it on Amazon unless you already have a following. If you don’t have a following – who are you going to sell to?
The best thing you can do is offer your work for free. If your book has 13 chapters – that’s 13 blog posts. One chapter per blog post.
This strategy worked for Tom Reynolds, the London ambulance driver who got a book deal based on his blog writings.
And of course this strategy worked for Hugh MacLeod. His book Ignore Everybody initially started out as a 13,000-word essay on his blog, gapingvoid.com.
“It was downloaded and read about a million times, then the next thing you know publishers started approaching me. Happy Ending.”
-Hugh MacLeod, Ignore Everybody
6. Over time, you will build a community of likeminded individuals with whom you can share awesome stuff
Over the couple of weeks or so I’ve connected with some really cool likeminded folk here on WordPress.
It’s awesome to see that there are others out there that share your passions and interests, and can reciprocate value.
“Who are the stars of today’s Internet world? Bloggers.
Those freewheeling cybernauts who set up sites and online journals to provide information, links, or just empathy to a community of like-minded individuals.
They do it for free, and they’re often rewarded with a devout following of people who, in return, offer as much as they receive. It’s a loop. In connecting, as in blogging, you’re only as good as what you give away.”
– Keith Ferrazzi in Never Eat Alone
7. You become more giving
Writing for this blog has helped me tap into the ‘giving’ part of my personality on a regular basis.
That’s not to say I’m not giving. We all are, but irregularly. I think you can agree with me on that.
As Keith Ferazzi noted in his book, by engaging in a continual effort to provide value to others, by sharing my knowledge and resources, time and energy, empathy and compassion – I coincidentally increase my own value.
8. You work on the irreplaceable skill of writing
Writing well is a valuable life-skill. I go into detail on how to improve it here.
9. You will become more productive
By acquiring this beneficial new habit, you will quickly realise that you’re becoming better at structuring and managing you day-to-day.
You will be able to fit a variety of different projects and things that tend to different areas of your life. You build momentum. You get more things done.
10. You can talk about your ongoing projects, which produces a self-perpetuating and self-reinforcing cycle
Just by talking about the different projects you’ve been working on, you motivate yourself to keep pursuing them. You also commit publicly to your projects.
Having more people know about your pursuits will make it less likely for you to abandon them.
P.S. Thanks for reading! If you liked this, feel free to sign up to my free weekly newsletter for more life-optimising stuff.