“I've been getting a lot out of this in a matter of days!”, a reader told me over Twitter that made me decide to get really serious about blogging.
“I'm going to have to go back through and read all your other posts, because this was exactly what I needed.”
That was it. Right there. The time I started to take blogging seriously.
In a year, I doubled my social media following, increased my blog traffic by over 300% and created a community of determined, inspirational bloggers. More than any of this though, I found my path.
I discovered that no matter how hard things got, I was meant to be a blogger and I got great satisfaction from inspiring my readers.
And that, my friend, is where valuable content comes from.
Looking back over the years though, I realised that none of it would be possible without my determination.
HOW BLOGGING CAN ENRICH YOUR LIFE
As a blogger, the thing we’re hearing the most about lately is creating high-quality content. We hear that creating valuable content helps build trust in your readers, and those readers then become subscribers and eventually customers.
This formula is totally possible - but instead of hearing about how this helps people reach six figures, why aren't we hearing more about how it's enriching their lives?
Because that's what it's done for me.
I love being able to create content for you on a regular basis and talk to you every single day to find out more about you. And even though this is just a hobby, the truth is, if you fall out of love with it then you should stop doing it. Period.
Blogging really has changed my life. It has helped grow my confidence in myself as a person, it's helped me understand that I am on the right path (when I wasn't sure I had one), and it helped me come out of a really dark place in my life, all the way back to those three years ago.
So today, I wanted to give you three benefits of blogging that you may not have thought of, plus an action step you can take to become the best blogger you want to be.
#1 | BLOGGING HELPS YOU SEE
I write to gain clarity. I write to better myself. And in that moment of gaining clarity, I discover what I want to say to YOU. How you choose to communicate that my friend, is called your voice and it's the most important tool you have as a blogger.
It can take bloggers a LONG time to find their voice. It doesn't just come to you the moment you decide to start a blog.
Don't wait for your voice to come. Write your way to finding it.
I did this by blogging and creating content that I felt passionate about. For three years, I wrote and wrote and wrote, whenever I could. I published content on my blog, promoted it and carried on the circle.
It's not easy - some periods of time can be tougher than others. But a lot of the time it comes naturally to me. This has come down to practice.
When I started out three years ago, my purpose wasn't clear and a year later, it still wasn't clear. It's only been during 2016 that I've been able to find what I truly wanted to say.
So what should you do?
Write every single day. A blog post, a tweet, in your journal - anything. Your goal isn't quality. It's just to write something.
#2 | BLOGGING HELPS YOU GROW A COMMUNITY
When I started my blog three years ago, my last thought was that people would actually be interested in reading it. I just wanted a place to document my life.
Deep down, I hoped I'd get some loyal readers. We all do, right? But I had no idea where this community of readers would take me.
After a while, I started to realise that people weren't just reading my content - they were also sharing it too. It was only a few people at first. Then in my third year as a blogger, I hit 10,000 readers.
But can you imagine if I had the aim of reaching all of those people when I first started out?
If you can get one person to read your blog, you can get a HUGE group of people to read your blog.
I started blogging as a way to document my life. Maybe just for my family and a couple of people who could relate to me as a person. That's it. I had no plans for world domination. No plans for becoming the world's biggest blogger. Just to connect with one person. Just one.
Use your blog. Use your voice. Use your personality. Grow, improve and your audience will come.
#3 | BLOGGING HELPS YOU LEARN
Humans aren't meant to be solitary. They're meant to be with another person. That's the mindset your want to take with your blog.
We all want to connect with people. We want to be seen and heard. We want to stand out. We want to know that what we do matters and counts for at least something.
At first, I thought blogging was just going to be a way for me to document my thoughts. And that's true - but it's so much more than that. It's a way to inspire and help other people like you.
The way to do this? Share what's helped you so others can learn from your experiences. Hidden in your lessons is a piece of life advice someone needs to read.
Here's a quick example.
In my Masters course one day, me and a friend were both on computers. He was on Twitter and I was on InDesign. All of a sudden he said,
Holly, you've just tweeted.
No I've not.
Yeah you have, it's just come up at the top of my feed.
I've been on InDesign all this time!
How the hell did you do that then?
I then had to explain the process of scheduling tweets. And it turned out that no one else knew you could schedule tweets either.
So I started writing blog posts about social media, and some of those posts have been shared by thousands of people. Why?
Because I shared what I’d learnt with others.
Using my experiences to help others made me grow as a person and within my expertise too.
As you continue as a blogger, listen to your readers. Read comments, notice tweets - you might be sparked with an idea.
So how can this help you?
You might've noticed one thing here - I haven't once talked about making money.
I guess you could use these three things and apply them with a business perspective with the aim of making your blog a monetisation tool.
- Find your voice and use that to communicate why your readers need to buy what you have to offer - why they won't get it anywhere else.
- Practice building your community by hosting webinars or starting a YouTube channel - these people will want to hear what you've got to say.
- Learn what your audience wants the most then sell them things that they actually need - as if you're reading their mind.
If you do that (and if you do it well), you might have something much more satisfying than a blog.
You might've found your way of life.
At least, that's what blogging has helped me discover.
I'd absolutely LOVE to know your thoughts about this - how has blogging helped your life?