I've been working on this site for the past few weeks, and I was really excited to get it up and going. For some reason though, I was having trouble conveying this excitement to my friends. I kept getting the same 3 questions: what are you going to write about? Who's going to read it? What's the point?
So for my first blog post, I thought it would be a good idea to touch on what I feel are some of the benefits of having a personal blog.
1.) A personal blog provides for a platform to materialize your thoughts.
Woah, what? In simpler terms, we have an infinite number of thoughts running through our head each day. Some of them rich, some of them empty, and some that we should probably never talk about. The point is, the thoughts that really hold any kind of value, the thoughts that could benefit others if they were exposed to them, easily get lost in the foray.
Having a blog allows you to get these thoughts down on paper (assuming you actually jot them down and blog about them). This means that the thought isn't forgotten 10 seconds later, but almost becomes something you can hold on to.
2.) A personal blog allows you to get more out of your thoughts.
The process of writing your thoughts out also forces you to dig so much deeper. The analysis that's required to actually be able to convert your thought into a sentence or paragraph makes it more than just a thought (have I said 'thought' enough yet?), but now a solidified theory or belief.
Ultimately, I think getting more out of your thoughts leads to you becoming 'smarter' as a person. You're allocating more time/effort/brain-power to thoughts that actually have some value, resulting in you becoming more knowledgeable about the subject, and forming stronger opinions.
3.) A personal blog builds your personal brand.
In an era where more and more people are obtaining a college/university degree, and literally thousands of people are competing for the same jobs, it's becoming a necessity to establish a personal brand. Everyone's resume says their proficient in Microsoft Word and are a detail-oriented team player with excellent communication skills. It doesn't cut it anymore. Stand out, or get left behind.
While there are a number of ways to establish a personal brand, a blog is a great place to start. Publishing content helps convey who you are as a person; your passions, your values, your attitudes, your beliefs, your style etc. You are no longer solely represented by the name that appears on your resume; people will be able to make stronger connections with you and your brand on a more emotional level.
4.) A personal blog opens doors you didn't know existed.
Establishing a personal brand through a blog can also go far beyond simply landing you a job; and more likely than not, it will be unexpected. Whether it'd be a business proposition, a partnership opportunity, an interview request, a request for advice, an offer of advice, or simply someone who shares similar passions reaching out to you, there is no limit. All it takes is for the right person to stumble across your page. And while it's not guaranteed that something like this will happen, the odds are slightly higher than if you didn't have a blog at all.
5.) A personal blog improves your communication skills.
The digital age. Everything is done online, and most of it is written. Being able to communicate non-verbally is an acquired skill, and it's one that's become required. You need to be able to write a clear and concise email, and then about 100 of them a day. In my field of marketing, content is king. It's all about communicating a message that is remarkable and that resonates with the reader, and you can't even begin to do that if you don't know how to write.
Everyone posts on Facebook or Twitter, but a 140-character "hey chk dis out, its rly cool" tweet doesn't go too far in terms of flexing your literary muscles. A personal blog allows you consistently practice and fine-tune your skills in a low pressure environment.
For the most part, with a personal blog, you have nothing to lose (as long as you're not stupid about it) and the world to gain. Even if NOBODY ever reads it, you'll have more structured thoughts, a deeper reflection of your experiences, and have improved your communication skills. It's all about commitment, and whether you're willing to put the work in to reap its benefits.
As I mentioned, this is my first blog post, so I'm curious to see where this whole thing will take me. Let me know what your thoughts are in the comment box below.