This guest post is by Uttoran Sen of traveltamed.com.
You’ve got it! You’re officially a Have in a world of Have-nots!
What do you have? It’s probably not money, fame, or tax-write-offs disguised as corporate jets. It’s something more powerful.
You have a blog. And a darn fine one at that.
If you’ve said before that you’ll never give up blogging—surprise! You’re probably right!
Giving up a good thing is next-to-impossible. So it’s not a surprise to discover that blogging isn’t the sort of thing you just stop doing. In fact, anyone would be hard-pressed to give up blogging once they’ve discovered just how rewarding it can be.
1. You have freedom of expression. We all claim to want to be able to say our piece, but most of the time we’re just lamenting to our journals or blabbering on to a significant other who probably agrees with everything we’re saying. But with blogging, you can say what you want to say as often as you like without censure. You’ll reach an audience, too.
2. People listen to you. Good or bad, once you start blogging, people start tuning in. It’s amazing to feel like people are paying attention to you and that they consider what you have to say valid.
3. Your thoughts are more developed. People who think their thoughts have fuzzy ideas of what they believe in and why. But bloggers have to fully develop a thought and include support if you’re going to put it on a blog. This helps you formulate concrete ideas and opinions. Skip the fuzzy thoughts forever.
4. Your education continues indefinitely. In your cube-based job, you learn how to do your job and you might catch some gossip on the front page of the paper. Bloggers, on the other hand, are surrounded by news and ideas all of the time. They are constantly growing and learning—if not to keep up with the niche they enjoy, then to ensure that their blog continues to grow.
5. You learn to type more quickly. It’s a small thing, really, but the moment you realize that you type faster than all of your friends, you’ll feel that sort of pride that threatens to overwhelm you with a sheer manic force as you yell, “Ha! I am so much better at this than you!”
6. Your ego can take a beating, and keep on ticking. Putting your thoughts and ideas out there for strangers can be daunting. But as others tear your ideas apart, you get to argue back and strengthen your own viewpoint—or you can change your mind as your knowledge grows. Either way, having someone knock your ideas makes you a better, stronger person.
7. You take risks and see rewards. Being online is risky on a good day. Being a blogger and courting public exposure makes you practically a rebel when it comes to risk-taking. You’re not hiding behind an email address and fuzzy cube walls. You’re out there sharing and growing—building a community. Your risks online pay off, and that’s heady business.
8. You meet new (real) people. We’re in a global community here, but how many of our neighbors still just exist in the block where they live and work? Bloggers are out there in the global environment interacting with other real people who enjoy the same thing we do. No fake profiles and pictures—this isn’t a dating website, after all. We’re the ones who are really doing the work of globalization.
9. Creativity regenerates. It’s sad, but true—creativity is beaten out of us as children. As we grow, we lose almost all of our creativity through standardized tests, college courses and work programs. Blogging is an excellent opportunity to take back your creativity once and for all—to get serious about being original. Of course, you probably are already.
10. You think more clearly. Not only do your thoughts become stronger, the more you blog, the more clearly you begin to think the thoughts that appear in your head every day. It’s as if you mind converts itself to WordPress and you’re able to compact thoughts, provide some bullet points and provide a catchy headline for every mundane thought that passes through your head.
11. You can amuse yourself. There’s nothing more powerful than humor, and bloggers are some of the funniest people around. Perhaps it’s the global exposure or maybe it’s just the type of people who enjoy blogging, but you’ll become so good at finding humor in the world around you for others on the blog that you’ll soon realize just how much there is outside of your homepage as well.
12. Your vocabulary will improve. While blogging is really just a form of internet journaling, the amount of reading you do in your favorite areas will provide you with the newest lingo and as you start to revise your blogs, you’ll catch areas where you can improve your word choice. Often, this is just the opportunity your brain is looking for to start sucking in some new words and phrases.
13. Internet shortcuts become your highways. How long does it take you to update your blog? If you were to line up three of your closest friends and all try to find a picture to go along with an article, who would win? You would, of course! You know all the good photo spots, the best places for graphics, for themes and for videos. You’ve got the inside track.
14. You grow cocky. Being online, being read by others, and knowing that we do a good job with words and phrases turns us into the worst kind of internet animal—we’re cocky. We know what we’re doing and we’re not afraid to let others know it. And, quite honestly, this level of confidence and coolness isn’t something you’ll enjoy losing.
15. You learn how to make money. Growing up, you probably learned the same things we all did. To make money you 1) finish school. 2) Get a good job. 3) Work there as long as possible. And perhaps 4) Change jobs a few times and play some politics to earn a good raise or two along the way. If you were lucky you might get a bonus every so often. Those of us with blogs, however, have learned the ultimate truth—you can make money any time and any way you want. Just write something and throw up some ads.
16. You are your own boss. This is a biggie—it’s hard to become a humble servant to another boss when you know that at home your blog is generating some nice revenue and gathering up a few good visitors. Being your own boss, even if it’s just in the evenings, is confidence boosting and might be just the outlet you need to go back and live in your window-less office again in the morning.
17. You can monetize anything. If you can make decent money with a blog, you can make money with anything. Once you figure out the perfect combination of traffic, visitors, ads, and upsells to turn a profit on your blog, you’re on your way up.
18. The cutting edge comes to you. It only takes a few weeks of blogging to realize that being online in a meaningful way—not watching videos or just tweeting with your best college buddies—makes you a leader in the ways of trends. You know the trends before they ever arrive. You see the blog posts and the conversations between those in the know, and it amuses you when suddenly the public is wild for Snuggies, ShamWow, Pillow Pets, and Acai berries a few months later.
19. You’re brandable. Blogs are definitive and you develop a certain style over the months and years through which you add material. As your blog grows and becomes more branded by you, you become more branded yourself. It’s nice to be able to explain yourself in what amounts to a slogan (perhaps even the same slogan you have on the site right now).
20. Change is constant. Every so often you just know it’s time for your theme to change. And with that constant change and improvement online, you’re more comfortable making changes to your personal life as well. Blogs are never stagnant and neither are bloggers. Ask someone who’s retiring after 35 years in the same job if he can say the same.
21. You get freebies. It may be beta invitations or perhaps some new products to try for a review. Whatever it is, blog long enough and the freebies start coming your way. And who doesn’t love free stuff?
22. You feel productive. We know productivity is a good thing, but most of us turn off the productivity engine as we step away from our desk at five or six in the evening. Not so with dedicated bloggers. We’re productive almost every waking hour—adding to the blog, finding new features for the blog, or just reading up on other blogs to stay current.
23. The blogging network is deep. There may be millions of blogs out there, but there are only a handful of dedicated bloggers in a particular niche or area. Once you’ve been around for a while, you’ll be impressed with how knowledgeable and approachable these bloggers are. Your network is not only wide, but deep as well.
24. You can justify cool stuff. When you blog online, you need to be connected. Being connected means you need important things like new computers, tablets, iPads, and plenty of accessories for all of the goodies. Even if you don’t actually need every single gadget and gizmo you bought last year, you can put them all to use and even write the cost off if your blogging is part of a business or even remotely profitable.
25. You’re never lonely. Bloggers have friends in every time zone, and when you feel like reaching out to someone, you can—no matter where you’re located.
26. Your passion is worthy of notice. We all have passions and things we enjoy, but many people don’t have the opportunity to really dig into an area of interest and allow it to enrich life in a meaningful way. Bloggers are able to indulge in passions every day—even if just by reading and reporting on new areas of development.
27. You’re motivated. How often do you drag your feet going to your office or trying to figure out how you’re going to make it through another Monday? Start your day with a quick blog post and you’ll be off and running in no time.
28. You can build up from a blog. A blog is an easy way to get started with a new idea. Then, if you like your new idea, you can build out from your blog to develop a more comprehensive business or just continue to use the blog as a marketing home base.
29. You can flesh out a real resume. Jobs can be tricky right now, and if you happen to be an expert in a particular field, you stand a far better chance of finding a job that is well suited to you. Additionally, having a long-running blog is a sign that you’re all the things employers look for—dedicated, knowledgeable, hard-working, and passionate.
30. You have a useful following. Those who have subscribed to your blog or who are faithful readers often can be counted on for many other things. They can help you win contests. They can help you find new jobs or interview subjects. They suggest topics. Those same followers can often be convinced to try new things—especially if it’s something you’ve made and are considering selling.
31. You can scratch what itches. Everyone needs to vent from time to time, and having a blog and a bunch of willing readers is a great place to do it. What’s the fun of complaining about terrible service at your favorite store if nobody cares? Your dedicated readers will care and they might even take action on your behalf. On the other hand, if you’re just dying to get feedback for your stab at song lyrics, scratch the itch and let others check them out amongst your other posts.
Blogs and bloggers are understandably varied—some are in it for the money, some for the entertainment and others just because it feels good. But whatever the reason you’re blogging, if you’ve been doing it long enough, you’re probably in it for good. It’s just too hard to walk away from something this rewarding.
Uttoran Sen is a travel blogger who likes to travel places from around the world, and write about his journeys on his travel blog. Follow him on Twitter or join his Facebook page and stay connected.