I was recently reminded of a great TED talk from Simon Sinek titled ‘How great leaders inspire action‘ and the companion book ‘Start with Why’. And this got me thinking about why I strongly believe in blogging. Sure I’ve answered the ‘What is a blog‘, and How to start a blog questions but what I sometimes forget is WHY you should start a blog.
For me the answer is simple. I started blogging after many failed attempts of creating a lasting piece of the Internet. Yes, I’ve been creating websites for over 10 years and none had lasted enough to gain the traction for me to stick at it.
The fear of failure persuaded me to pull the plug before I had any real success and then I was off to start the next big thing. Consequently, I missed the real ‘Next Big Thing‘ which was blogging as it reached a conversational peak in 2009 as seen in this Goggle Trend graph.
So why start a blog when the trend is clearly down?
Well, this graph actually represents the conversation around blogs and blogging as they were still relatively new in 2009 so people and news outlets were talking about them a lot. Now there are so many other social media distractions no one talks about blogging as much but there are still millions of bloggers blogging each day.
I didn’t catch the blogging boat in 2009 and those bloggers that understood the potential of blogging back then have already made it. But look closer and you’ll realise these aren’t personal bloggers, they are professional bloggers, who write for their audience and not for themselves.
If you’ve been blogging since 2009 and haven’t made a comfortable living then contact me as I can help you realise that dream.
Yes, this is the direction of blogging. I have a few active blogs and each focus on providing value to my audience and the only one that allows me to indulge on a personal level doesn’t get the attention it deserves.
But that’s ok as that’s the beauty of a blog, it’ll grow even if you water it a little every now and again.
Why Start a Blog Today?
Quite simply because there is another boat leaving and you should be on it. A little while ago I wrote a piece for the Facebook Community urging them to get off their arse and start blogging because I could see the only successful monetization happening on Facebook was by marketers taking advantage of the targetted audience that Facebook provides. And those marketers all had blogs.
Have a look at this Facebook trend chart and see if you can spot the trend similarities to blogging?
Yes, the Facebook conversation is now on the way down, but you probably already knew this. People just aren’t tuning into Facebook as much as they use to, although they continue to report the numbers are growing.
So where’s this boat?
Well went you look at the trends for people wanting to ‘start a blog’ you see an interesting result
Yes, this graph has been heading upwards since the peak of ‘blogging’ 2009 and continues to grow. Perhaps in 5 years time someone will be writing a similar piece to this, and pondering over why they didn’t start a blog when they recognised these strong signals.
Why is blogging more relevant now?
Back in 2005 if you wanted a presence on the Internet you would simply buy a domain and build a 5-6 page website advertising your product or service. Then you would inform your clients you were on the Internet. When they searched for your business terms in your market sector, you stood a good chance of being found and a little organic traffic would flow to your business.
Back then it was easy to rank a for a google search term that you wanted to be found in and life was great.
However, times have changed and unless your business has a unique name it’s much harder to be found. The way to overcome this is to write a lot of good content on your chosen topic and let the long tail search results find you.
Now if you only have a 5-6 page business website, then it acts more like a landing page and needs you to send it direct traffic. Or it’s a place you can send your customers to find more about your products and services or worse still have to pay to get your customers there.
For instance, Facebook only sends your updates to about 16% of your fans, so if you want to reach all of them you need to pay for advertising. Even Google is flooding the first page search results with paid listings and they are currently testing out a new model which adds even more paid listing to the search results.
However, bloggers continue to enjoy organic traffic and are able to promote and sell products without the costly overheads of paid adWords traffic. How long this lasts is anyone’s guess but a blog is still your best bet at getting free organic traffic over a long time.
Yes, blogs are now more relevant than ever, because just by their nature they attract a certain level of Long Tail search traffic even if you never meant it to be that way. However, professional bloggers are still taking the lion’s share of the organic traffic, but it’s not too late to switch from a personal blogger to a professional one. Especially if you’ve already been blogging for some time.
2015 marks the year where I get on this blogging boat and there is a strong wind in my sails. I’m taking on passengers for this journey and invite you along.
It might be a long voyage, but I’m not playing the short game this time and I’d prefer to look back and say ‘Oh, well’ rather than have regrets that I didn’t give it a go.
I recently quit my six-figure day job to be more present in this space and I can honestly say I have no regrets as I’ve been missing out on the creativity that blogging allows.
My old job was grinding me into an early grave, and we only live once. So I’ve decided to live this life on my own terms rather than being just another number in the wheel.
Blogging is my boat, and it’ll take me anywhere I want to go. It’s just a matter of time now. Failure is only another measure of success.
Thanks for listening and I’d like your feedback so please share your thoughts in the comments below. And share with your friends if you think they need to work on their ‘WHY’.