About a year ago, I started a blog. Why? Honestly, I noticed a trend in job applications asking candidates to submit links to their personal blogs. The logic behind this, I believe, is that if you work in the creative field, having a web presence is always a good idea. Plus, blogs are a wonderful way to show off your skills, passions, and brand identity. So with this thought in mind, I took the plunge.
If you’ve always wanted to start a blog but haven’t done so yet, then consider a few words of advice. Here are five smart reasons to start a blog:
1. Acquire a handy set of skills.
When I started my humble little blog, I had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t know how WordPress worked, I didn’t know how to properly operate a DSLR, and I most certainly didn’t know how to use programs like Photoshop, Lightroom, or InDesign. But after watching endless amounts of online tutorials, learning from more experienced bloggers, and of course, putting in the time and effort, I started to get the hang of snapping pictures (I’m in love with my Canon EOS 6D), posting content, and sharing stories.
The technical details of running a blog are difficult to grasp at first. But with practice and dedication, you can learn an extremely valuable set of creative skills. Plus, the skills you master from blogging suggest a level of technical level of expertise. That’s a benefit for any resume.
2. Become a better storyteller.
Whether you’re a regular wordsmith or a visual media expert, blogging pushes you to become a better storyteller. How? First of all, maintaining a blog requires consistency. You’ve got to give your audience a reason to come back. Deadlines force you to put your skills into practice, and practice as we all know, makes perfect. Second, because a blog is a web-based medium, its content must catch and hold people’s attention. Take cues from audience engagement and you’ll learn how to craft a better story. Third, blogs come in all shapes and sizes. You can tell a story in numerous ways, so choose the method that best suits your unique style. Write about thoughtful anecdotes that relate to your readers, post pictures that tell a narrative, or design your Instagram feed to show off your personal brand.
3. Build friendships.
Blogging is very much a social activity. You grow an audience through social media shares, commenting on other blogs, and joining various online communities. If you put some work into being social online, you’ll gain readers and followers. These readers and followers could turn into friends. And friends you make in the virtual world, could evolve into lasting friendships in the real world. Ask someone to help you with a photo session, join local networking groups, or sign up for learning seminars where you can meet other like-minded people. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there! You could end up making some really special connections.
4. Experience new things.
To keep your blog interesting, you need new material. But, the constant demand for content sometimes requires a little imagination. Well, what better way to get inspired than to try something new? Want to write a one-of-a-kind fashion post? Head to a fashion show, take a trip to your local vintage shop, or rummage through your wardrobe and style an entirely new look out of old clothes. Need to write a fun food post? Try out a cooking class or experiment with a new recipe at home. Interested in travel blogging? Tour your local town or plan a weekend trip for a new outlook on life. Get social with other bloggers and sign up to attend promotional events, meet-ups, and other sponsored celebrations. Blogging really pushes you to share your experiences (both old and new) with a fresh perspective.
5. Inspire others.
A blog offers a convenient space to house your thoughts and feelings. But what you may not realize is that you have the chance to truly inspire others with your content. The more honest and open you are with your readers, the better. People enjoy connecting over experiences and stories. Share a part of your life with them and they’ll appreciate your sincerity. Also, remember that inspiration comes in many forms. Perhaps a recipe encourages someone to get cooking in the kitchen. Perhaps a makeup tutorial gives someone the confidence to try out a new look. Or, perhaps sharing a personal anecdote or voicing your opinion about a challenge you’ve faced provides someone with comfort and solace.
Already have a blog? Share your site and tips for others here!