Note: this is an aggregation of the key points that I've learnt from various sources. I cannot guarantee your success myself.
insert_linkShould You Be Blogging?There are many great benefits of blogging, but that can be said of many other practices, such as eating your vegetables. So, what is it that separates blogging from the rest, making it significant for you and less dismissible than your least favourite sport?
While eating vegetables is hugely important for your health, blogging will revolutionise your life, steering you in the direction of success. In my opinion, anything that can bring you success should be treated with the same urgency as health and fitness campaigns.
The specific benefits of blogging will inevitably vary depending on you: your attitude, your chosen career path, your interests, your hobbies, the type of blog you choose to create, and so on. Despite this, there is no reason for you not to partake in blogging, since anyone can experience satisfying results.
In fact, given that you go about this the right way, starting a blog could be the most valuable thing you do for your career.
insert_linkBoost Your CareerYou might be wondering how exactly a blog could boost your career. As a matter of fact, there are several ways your blog can do this; some ways can directly influence your career, whereas other ways can indirectly boost your career. This is especially true if you know how to take full advantage of your blog.
Having said that, how do you take full advantage of your blog? Well, as simply owning your blog is not enough, it is essential to learn techniques to maximise your blogging success. If you stay tuned until the end of this blog, I will by then have shown you precisely how to do that—effectively.
Unfortunately, blogging is not a ‘quick and easy’ solution to your life problems. Blogging can, in truth, be difficult and laborious at times. However, do not let that deter you, because the benefits of blogging can be more than well worth your while in the long-term.
Blogging is something to take seriously if you do decide to jump in on the fun. Therefore, you will need to have commitment and perseverance. This is because initially (perhaps for the first year) you will not see much traffic. Push through the pain, though, and you will see results, guaranteed.
insert_linkBacking Up My ClaimsLuckily, I am not saying these things out of instinct. I began blogging for the very reasons discussed in this post. If you want evidence of the benefits of blogging, visit Simple Programmer and Smart Passive Income.
insert_linkEnhance Employability—Get Your Dream JobWhy does blogging increase employability? As a result of maintaining a blog and growing an audience, you will spread your online awareness; people will recognise who you are because they read your blog.
This is called marketing yourself, and rather appropriately too. If you are clever with your blog, you can use it to market your skills—advertise your abilities. Additionally, you will build a positive reputation as long as you know what you are talking about.
insert_linkGet Employers to Chase YouWriting CVs—seeking the company—is not the ideal method of attaining an ambitious, well-paid job. On the contrary, the better position to be in is where the company seeks you.
When your audience grows, you might have some readers associated with a company of which you would want to work for. These readers could be employees of the company, including—if you’re lucky—somebody with an elevated position within it.
Subsequently, these people could refer you to a hiring manager, since you have demonstrated your capability. As a result, there might not even be any need for a CV or interview as the company is seeking you out.
In this example, you borrow the reputation of the company’s current employees. Hence, you are already more employable than the rest of the competition because you are not exactly an absolute stranger—people like and know about you for your quality content.
Of course, in order to make the most use of this effect, you must write about a topic relating to the field of work you are most interested in. For example, if you wish to obtain a superior software development job, write about software development. Likewise, if you desire a job as a chef, why not write on the topic of cooking?
insert_linkAdd Shine to Your CV
An alternative, yet similar, way in which your blog can enhance your employability is by increasing your reputation. Indeed, this is how you can get companies potentially proactively hunting you down, but what if that does not happen?
Blogging remains to be a vital weapon when you seek to be employed. Mention that you have a blog (bonus points if it’s successful) in your CV or interview, and the employer may perceive you to be more reputable than other candidates, thus more employable.
Perhaps you could strike gold by using your blog’s reputation if employers at the company read your blog and recognise you. Again, you will be placed even further ahead in the race since the employers have evidence of your skills and respect you. They will say, “Hey! I know you! I love to read your blog!”
insert_linkYou’re a BusinessThink of yourself as a business, with skills to offer to your client. In this case, your employer is your client. Like all clients, they want to know that they are getting a great return on their investment (your salary).
Companies are more likely to hire you if they know you are worth their money.
To illustrate, Bob has exceptional expertise in knitting, albeit he does a poor job of marketing himself; he undervalues his skill in job applications as well as makes no effort to publicly advertise his abilities.
By contrast, Alice has slightly less expertise in the field of knitting than Bob, though she makes exceptional efforts to market herself; she maintains an informative blog about knitting meanwhile boasting her skills in CVs (but not exaggerating).
Who do you think an employer for a knitting job is more likely to employ? Obviously, in the employer’s eyes, Alice is the more employable candidate.
If you’re a software developer, you could benefit from reading Soft Skills to help market yourself. (I also recommend The Complete Software Developer's Career Guide.)
insert_linkGrow Your Income—Pay Off Your MortgageThere are at least two ways in which you can gain increased income using your blog. That is, by directly profiting from your blog itself, and using it to increase your salary.
insert_linkSkyrocket Your Salary
For similar reasons as described above, blogging can elevate your salary, just like a stool. Not only will you have increased freedom to acquire your dream job, but to acquire a well-paid one.
Firstly, due to your increased reputation and proof of ability, employers are more likely to give you a higher wage. As I said earlier, they want to ensure that they get value for their investment, so knowing that you are capable of a job means you are more deserving of their money.
Furthermore, a situation is created when the company wants you, rather than when you want a job in the company. This gives you more power when negotiating, especially in cases where you can freely afford leave without the job. The best position for you is when the company is desperate for the deal, and you less so.
Although that may be a powerful position to be in, it is not as ideal as the company proactively asking for your services. In this case, your negotiating power is heavily increased as it is evident that they want you. You are therefore likely to be offered a generous salary, but if not, you can hope to raise that offer.
insert_linkCreate Sources of Passive IncomeThe other way to profit from your blog is to profit from your blog. Yes, it is possible to make noteworthy income from maintaining a quality blog.
Do not be fooled, however, this income is passive income; you do not actively trade your time for money. Instead, you won’t even need to be on Earth to have money be produced for you.
The process of creating a passive income source consists of investing your time in hope of future payments. What’s more, once you have created one source, you can create another one, further building your income.
I will not go in depth into this topic today, though. Here are some ways to make money using your influence:
- Sell a product, such as a book or online course.
- Make some of your content paid (but not all).
- Use advertising and affiliates.
- Allow people to donate to your blog.
Consistently grow your blog, and, eventually, it will pay for itself. Continue to do this, and it will pay your bills. Who wouldn’t want to use their skills to pay the bills?
Moreover, if you are strategic, you could use your money to invest in your blog, making it expand like a balloon. Alas, you are limited with time when working at a job in the meantime, but there is a solution. If you are successful, perhaps you could pay your way out of employment, relying on your blog for income.
This is the next level to which you can take your blog.
insert_linkBuild a Business—How to Retire EarlyYour blog could be the foundation of your business. It is a remarkable way to build a brand with as minor risk as possible, since you are not sacrificing your current job. To exemplify, you could use every fraction of your spare time to build passive income with your blog.
However, don’t expect a blog alone to more than fulfil your living expenses alone—at least easily. You will have to use it as a platform to promote your products.
Once you are receiving a substantial amount of income, you are free to quit your job. From that point onwards, your efforts should be focused on growing your brand as much as possible; increase the number of passive income source as well as the returns of each.
Persevere. Don’t give up. By relentlessly investing in your business you will see results.
There may be a point where you will need to hire others to help manage your business. After all, you don’t want to make life pain for yourself. In addition, you will be able to work on more important things to develop your business.
Done properly, you might have the opportunity to effectively ‘retire’ early, living off passive income. To avoid confusion, I say retire in the sense that you will not be obliged to work. Rather, you could have a fairly relaxed position managing the company while people work for you.
For more tips and tricks for managing your business, read this book.
insert_linkAlready Own a Business?You too can benefit from starting a blog if you already own a business. Why not use your blog to promote your brand?
For example, if you have a small business as a florist, you should write a blog about flowers. After building an audience, you could increase sales by promoting your shop. Unfortunately, this is less effective as your audience needs to be in your area.
On the other hand, an online business can benefit massively from a blog since your audience does not have to be in a given location. Conversely, your audience could be anywhere.
Finally, a blog can benefit your brand because it provides a personal level of interaction. To explain, your customers will not feel like you are trying to sell them something (unless you only write promotional material). They subsequently connect with the company, being more likely to give you their money.
insert_linkGet Started NowBefore you leave, I have a few tips to share with you to get started. Even though I will, in the future, create my own course to get you started with blogging, here are two I have used and recommend:
insert_linkUse a Great Hosting ProviderHow are you going to host your website for your blog? While you could use a free service to host your blog, this is not a clever idea, unfortunately. Free services lack customisation options and, crucially, a custom domain.
Therefore, I use a brilliant hosting provider called InMotion Hosting. Here, there are two plans that may be of interest: shared business hosting and WordPress hosting. For beginners, I recommend the WordPress hosting plan because of the features it offers to make blogging a seamless experience.
What I love about this service is the superior support, fast website speed, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited email accounts, and security features. If you ever need a quality hosting provider, visit InMotion Hosting. Additionally, if you decide to go with a cheaper plan, it is always easy to upgrade later.
What’s more, with InMotion Hosting you can get a free domain when you sign up for one of their plans.
insert_linkFinal Bits of AdviceYou will not be successful if you do not follow these tips:
- Be consistent: try to post at least once per week. You can post more frequently but make sure you can maintain that and think of new post ideas at the same rate.
- Make quality content: ensure your posts are of high quality—something you would want to read yourself.
- Always seek to add value: make sure your readers can benefit from what you have to say, even if what they are getting is purely entertainment. Also, you don’t blog to make money; you blog to help others.
- Recommend products you actually recommend: avoid being a ‘sell-out.’
- Stick to a specific, single theme: don’t blog about garden gnomes one day and coke ovens the next. In order to accelerate the growth of your blog, make sure to pick a specific topic people will be interested in and stick to it.
- Don’t give up: success might just be around the corner.