Blogging used to be something that teenage girls did as a modern day version of a diary… except completely open to the public.
Since then, it’s come a long way with over 150 million of them live online today.
But there’s so much more to blogging than a lot of people seem to realize. It has far surpassed it’s initial phase as being solely for individuals updating about their lives. Blogs are no longer just an empty public diary.
If you’re a business owner, online or off; if you’re trying to build a brand or already have an establishes brand; if you’re a regular Joe looking to earn some income online, you have to have a blog.
1. Build a Business
I have two kids. They say funny things. Just on a whim I decided to start a blog just to write down and keep track of all the funny things they say. Children Speak Funny is now my #1 source of passive income.
A great blog that I really love reading is Pinch of Yum. It’s a simple food/photography blog that started in 2008 and now rakes in over $20,000 a month. What I love about this blog, aside from the delicious recipes and yummy photography, is that it states income reports on a monthly basis and serves as great inspiration and motivation for those looking to monetize blogs.
2. Establish Your Brand
Blogging on a regular basis is a great way to establish your brand and turn you into an authority in your niche. From gardening to dog training, parenting to yoga… the sky’s the limit. And the best part about keeping a blog is that you don’t have to have a PhD or be an “expert.”
You only have to do you. And that’s enough.
In fact, the blogs that I follow and love are the the ones that reflect the personality of the individual writing it. If you blog for yourself, and not for others, you’ll find that people are naturally attracted to your site and are reading to find out what you, as an average Joe, have to say… rather than some certified expert.
Ironically, the more you write and share your insight, the more people in your niche will come to view you as an expert!
When you reach that level of people coming to you for your advice and opinion, it becomes easier to monetize.
Probably the most famous blogger on how to make money online is John Chow, who blatantly states that he makes money online from teaching other people how to make money online.
3. Get Free Organic Traffic
The goal of every search engine is to provide their users with the best solutions to their searches.
The more you write quality articles about a certain topic or subject, the more search engines take notice. So when someone searches for your topic or subject, the chances are much MUCH higher that Google will show them one of your articles.
In contrast, if you set up a static site with no running blog, it’s very difficult to get free organic traffic through search engines, because while you may be the exact solution to the person’s problem, if there’s no volume of quality content to back up your claims, search engines are unlikely to think you are the best solution for the user.
One of my all-time favorite parenting websites is Scary Mommy, which I found organically through Google by searching “funny blogs for moms.”
4. Stay Relevant
By keeping up to date on the latest in your niche, you become a source of valuable information to your potential customers.
It’s also a great way for you to stay on top of things in your industry.
Think Perez Hilton.
It started as a personal blog about celebrity gossip. Something that has to be updated regularly. Suddenly he becomes a celebrity himself and is seen as an authority and expert on… celebrities! Ridiculous. His site is now the 4th highest earning blog around and he rakes in around $450,000 a month on advertising.
5. Build Trust
Trust is hard to build in person. A million times more so in the online space.
By consistently posting great articles that people can consume and use for free, you are building a channel of trust with your potential customers.
Remember that people only do business with people they like, know and trust.
Be that person by writing honest articles packed with value and focused on quality.
6. Get More Clients
Static sites don’t tell people much about the value that your business will add to a person’s life. That’s why blogs are a great way to display not only your wealth of knowledge, but also case studies of success stories and advice that readers can take to improve whatever it is that needs improving.
A great example is the Kissmetrics blog about online marketing.
Kissmetrics tracks and analyzes the data on your website through thorough reporting. With this knowledge you can tweak and optimize your site thus improving conversions and boosting sales.
It’s quite high level stuff.
Not something I need, right now.
But their blog is so good that I am constantly on their site. I know and trust them at what they do. I recommend their blog to other people in the industry. When I do feel a need to have in-depth analysis of my marketing campaigns, I will more than likely sign up for Kissmetrics.
7. Sell Products Online
Blogs are a great way to sell products online simply by writing a product review.
I have friends who make 5-figure passive incomes by setting up authority sites in a certain niche and keeping an updated blog that consists solely of product reviews.
The key it to be honest and transparent in your reviews and not say that everything is God’s gift to man.
Personally, I’m not a fan of having a blog that’s only affiliate product reviews (so very the scammy bleurgh!) but for sure, if there is an awesome product that you use and like and would definitely help the people in your niche, then write a blog post about it.
Be personal. Be honest. Be a case study of success.
8. Help Others
Whether through knowledge or experience, you have something of value that can genuinely help another person.
My first blog was a personal one where I pretty much wrote about whatever I felt like and whatever was going on in my life. One of the most visited posts I had was about looking after an infant with stomach flu.
I wrote from experience after my then 2-year old was seriously ill with stomach flu. I wrote about how the doctor prescribed him a ridiculous amount of medication, how I refused to give him any of it, how I cured his stomach flu within 12 hours by giving him specific foods in small amounts throughout short intervals.
Based on the comments I received from that post, I know that I helped other parents care for their child in the same situation.
Help others. Not because you expect something in return. But just because you have the knowledge and experience to do so.
9. Get Free Viral Traffic
Write a good post. Share it on social media. Watch others share it too. Get clicks. Get more visitors. Get more readers. Get free viral traffic.
Not much to say about this.
Just scroll through your Facebook timeline and I’m sure you’ll see a Huffington Post or Buzzfeed article or two.
10.Build your Writing Portfolio
If you’re looking to be a freelance writer like me, keeping a blog is great way to not only build your writing porfolio, but to also improve your writing overall.
One of the dumbest, most newbie mistakes I made when I first started out was not having a writing portfolio.
I’d bid for jobs and apply for writing positions. The editor would ask for samples of my work. And I’d be like “I don’t have any but I can write anything!”
So these are my personal benefits of blogging. Also, it’s fun. That’s another benefit. If you can think of any that I missed (there are tons I’m sure), add a comment below and lemme hear you!