Table of Contents
- No.1: Blog can help you learn new things
- No.2: Blog can help you think more clearly
- No.3: Blog can help you write better
- No.4: Blog can help you connect with others and inspire them
- No.5: Blog can help you create new opportunities
- No.6: Blog can help you establish a brand
- No.7: Blog can make you money
- Closing thoughts on whether you should start a blog
Designer, Developer, entrepreneur. Everyone should start a blog, right? This is what many people are trying to convince us about. What if blogging is actually not the best choice for everyone? Blogging can have many benefits, but are these benefits real? What is the truth? In this article, you will learn about seven benefits of blogging and the truth about each of them. Hopefully, this article will give you enough information to make the right decision.
No.1: Blog can help you learn new things
Start a blog if you want to learn new things. Wait, what? This is one of the benefits we often hear or read about. For many people, this works as a primary motivation for them to start a blog. Is this a lie? No. This can be true. There is one condition we have to meet. It is necessary that we have to use blog as a tool for learning. Meaning, we have to choose a topic we want learn and then write about it. Here is an example.
Imagine that you want to learn something about design, Gestalt principles for example. In that case, you choose this a topic for your next blog post or article. Since you don’t know anything about this topic, you can’t write about it. Therefore, you start researching it, looking for interesting articles, books, videos, etc. This will help you put together enough material you can learn from. Usually, if we would want to learn about some topic, this would be the end of the journey.
However, now, it is only one step in the process. Another step is summarizing the information we’ve learned and writing it down. Finally, we publish it on our blog and share it with other people. In this way, we are using our blog not only as a medium for communication, but also as a learning tool. This is what people mean when they say that starting a blog can help you learn new things. The decision to start a blog will not help us learn anything by itself, except how to start a blog.
We still have to research the topic, gather information and then use what we found and learn from it. Then, blog gives us the opportunity to share our new knowledge with other people.
No.2: Blog can help you think more clearly
The second frequently mentioned upside of blogging is that it can help you think more clearly. Unfortunately, the decision to start a blog and writing something will not automatically 10x your thinking abilities. There is again one condition we have to meet. We have to think about what we write. Meaning, it is not enough to have an idea and write it down. We have to think about it, consider different perspectives, points of view and think about other options.
Let me tell you about my own experience. Every time I write an article, I am thinking about the topic from multiple perspectives. Usually, I will start the article with one perspective, my own. However, I will soon start thinking about how others may think about that topic. It doesn’t take long before I start to debate and argue with myself. On one side, there is what I think is true, my perspective. Then, there is what others may think is true, their perspective.
Every article is in some sense a result of a debate between at least two different perspectives or points of view. This may sound crazy and often is. However, this is the truth. And, this is also why, I believe, the decision to start a blog can help us think more clearly. Writing our thoughts down gives us space to think about it. And, not only that. It gives us space to put ourselves in shoes of others and see our thoughts from different perspectives.
Many people talk about fear of the blank page. They know how hard it is to start. However, this is only temporary. Writing first few sentences is just enough to switch our brain into almost completely different state. After some time, the lack of words is no longer a problem. Instead, we start to worry about the lack of space where we can put all our thoughts. We are in the zone. It is incredible how quickly we can get from one state to another.
Some people like to say that writing is thinking. I have to agree. Writing gives us space to think about and explore our own thoughts. Also, it gives us the opportunity thinking about them from the perspective of others. In this sense, writing is more like a dialogue instead of monologue. Fortunately, it is not necessary to start a blog to experience this. Blog is just a medium. Writing is the tool that matters and that makes the difference.
So, even if you are not sure if you want to start a blog, try this simple exercise. Write down your thoughts. Don’t be afraid that you have nothing to write about. Write about whatever comes to your mind. Then, you can decide whether you start a blog and share your thoughts or not.
No.3: Blog can help you write better
We will usually get better in what we repeatedly do. In this sense, the decision to start a blog can help us write better. This is true to some extent. Think about how many times did you cook something. Did it make you a master chef? What about coding, design or building a business? The last time you designed or coded something, did it make you a better designer or programmer? We get better in what we do only if we practice in the right way.
As the saying goes, only perfect practice makes perfect. In other words, we can do something every day and still not get better at it at all. Doing on its own is never enough. In order to get better, we have to learn how to do what we do in a better way. We have to challenge ourselves be trying new approaches. We have to look for ways that will help us improve. Otherwise, we will get stuck in the rut and our skills will never improve.
This means one simple thing. When you start a blog, you will not become a better writer. Blogging, and writing in general, can help you become a better writer only if you make it one of your goals. Meaning, you have to start looking for errors you make and learn how to correct them. You have to learn how structure your words more properly and which words and phrases work better. Good writing skills require learning about syntax and semantics.
We need to remember that blog is just a tool, or a medium, we can use. It will do nothing automatically. It is still up to us to do the heavy lifting. It is not necessary to start a blog in order to become a better writer. Anyone who wants to become a better writer has to do two things: learn about writing and then practice what he learned. Blog can only help us with our practice. However, it is still up to us to do the hard work.
No.4: Blog can help you connect with others and inspire them
This is supposed to be another benefit that should motivate people to start a blog. Blog can help you connect with other people and maybe become an inspiration for some of them. Again, this is true, but also not so true. Blog itself will not help you connect with anyone. Neither will it help you become an inspiration for someone. Blog is just a tool you can use to connect with people who share you passions and interests.
Is blog the best tool for connecting with people, or trying to inspire them? I don’t think so. If we take into account the time required to write, publish and distribute one article, we will come to conclusion that blogging is definitely not the most effective. We could be much more effective if we share our thoughts in 140 characters on twitter or Facebook or by posting a nice photo with a few words on Instagram.
Another thing we have to consider is the audience. When we start a blog, completely from scratch, we have no audience. There are no people we can connect with or inspire. It is up to us to use social media and build this audience. This takes a lot of time and effort. And, nothing is granted. It is possible that we will not find the right group of people interested in the type of content we want to write.
Sure, we have to build our “audience” on social media as well. However, there are already at least some people on these media channels and they can discover our posts. So, yes, there is still a lot of work for us to do, but I think this work is easier to do then if we start a blog. It is good to remember that social media have advantages blog cannot offer, at least not in the beginning. We should consider them as well.
No.5: Blog can help you create new opportunities
Start a blog and it can help you create opportunities for yourself, or your business. This may sound too good to be true. Well, it is, partially. Blogging can help us create new opportunities. Someone might read our blog post, find it interesting and offer us a job a project. The question is, is this the only way we can create new opportunities for ourselves? Or, is this the most effective way to do it?
The answer on both these questions is no. If you want to start a blog only because you want to create opportunities for yourself, you should do something else. If you are a designer, a better thing to do is creating new designs and publishing them on dribbble, Behance, social media. This will give you a higher chance that someone will find your work and hire you. The same for developers. Write code and publish it.
Platforms such as dribbble and Behance and social media have two advantages: large user base and reputation. When people need a good designer, they are more likely to go to dribbble or Behance, not search for a blog. Also, when someone needs a web design, she will not look for “how to” articles. She doesn’t want to know how to design a website. She wants to hire someone who already knows it.
This is a problem with “Everyone should start a blog” advice. When a designer, developer or anyone else starts a blog, it is usually blog about their area of expertise or interest. The problem is that clients don’t care about tutorials on how to design or code. They want people who know this stuff and then hire them. Imagine your car is broken. Will you look for tutorials or the nearest repair shop? I think so.
Lastly, we have to consider the time and effort. Writing a blog post will take some time just like creating new design or building a website or app. Sure, you can do one and then the other. However, you can’t do both at the same time. Ask yourself, which activity can bring you better outcomes and create more opportunities? There is a chance that blogging is not the answer. That’s okay, you don’t have to start a blog.
No.6: Blog can help you establish a brand
Another reason why some people want to start a blog is because they want to build a brand for themselves. Yes, blogging can help you build a brand for yourself and your business. However, we should ask a different question, a question we asked in the previous section. Is blogging the best and most effective way to build a brand for ourselves and our business? I am afraid that the answer is again no.
Let’s say we have two options. First, we can start a blog and write about our work, experiences and area of expertise. Second, we can create more work and so we have more material to show. Both options require some time. Since the time we have in a day is limited, we should choose only one option, the one that is better. So, which option will be better and more beneficial choice in the long term view?
If all you want is to build a brand, don’t start a blog. Spend your time in working on your craft. Create examples of your work you can then show on your portfolio, share on social media and around the web. Showing your work will help you build a brand more than writing about it. On the other hand, if you want to share your thoughts and knowledge with like-minded people, then go ahead and start a blog.
No.7: Blog can make you money
Let’s be clear. If you want to make more money, starting a blog will not help you. If you consider the time it takes to start a blog and build an audience, it is actually a bad idea. As Building a blog with large audience takes years. Building a blog that is profitable is another level. If money is your main motivation, don’t start a blog. You will make more by creating and selling templates or themes.
Internet is full of stories about blogs making thousands of dollars every month. Two things. First, these blogs are established and have a lot of readers. As a result, they can make money on ads and affiliate marketing. Second, many of these blogs don’t make money on their own. These blogs make money by promoting and selling products or services. There would be no, or almost no, profit without these products.
Conclusion? If you want to make more money, don’t start a blog. Create products and services people will want to buy. Remember, that many blogs actually make money only by promoting and selling products. However, you don’t have to start a blog in order to sell something. Other idea? Work on your skills. As you get better in your craft, you can increase the amount you charge. Or, find viable idea and start a business.
Closing thoughts on whether you should start a blog
Now you know about some benefits of blogging and also the truth about them. The question is, should you start a blog? My suggestion is this: stop listening to the tips and advice others want to give you. Think about what you’ve just read. Then, think for yourself. Ask yourself, do you really want to start a blog? If so, why? You should understand your own reasons and motivations before you make final decision.
Also, remember that starting and building a blog is commitment. And, it is a commitment for a long time. It is not possible to start a blog and transform it into something bigger over one night. Building a blog takes years of hard work. Think about this before you decide to start a blog. Are you willing to work on it for the next couple years, consistently? Remember that blogging is a marathon, not a sprint.
There is one more thing I want to say. If you want to start a blog because you want to share your thoughts and knowledge, inspire, connect, or help others learn about your craft, don’t let this article discourage you. If your motivation and determination are strong enough, you should at least try it. In the end, you may find out that you like blogging and writing. So, give it a shot and start a blog.
Do you have any questions, recommendations, thoughts, advice or tip you would like to share with other readers of this blog, and me? Great! Please share it in a comment. Or, if you want to keep things more "private", feel free to contact me on twitter or send me a mail. I would love to hear from you.
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