Since the beginning of 2011, I’ve been blogging here at Web Dev Door. I initially started this blog as a way to share some of the things I’ve learnt in addition to building up authority in Google. 3 years later and my blog gets over 40,000 visits a month and growing.
Blogging for me has been incredibly satisfying, so I thought it’s about time to share the reasons why I like to blog and why you might want to start blogging too.
Sometimes it just feels good to get a load of thoughts out your brain and down in writing. Whether it’s a rant post or an opinion piece, expressing your thoughts online can be a cathartic process.
Sharing and writing about some of the things you have learnt can be a rewarding experience, even if only a few people read your content. One of the main reasons I started blogging was because I wanted to help others and give a bit back to the internet community that has been instrumental in helping me get to where I am today.
Improving your knowledge around your chosen subject area is another good reason to blog. When you’re writing articles, you’ll want all the facts and statements you present to the outside world to be correct – even if you already have plenty of knowledge on subject matter. This often involves research, finding references and asking for opinions… all of which can give you some great insights. Even the act of writing itself can help drum facts into the brain.
Having a blog that covers topics related to your field of work demonstrates to potential future employers that a) you have knowledge in that subject area and b) that you take a strong enough interest in your field of work to want to write about it in your free time. A blog could help set you apart from the competition.
I love some of the freedom blogging brings. Whether your at home in front of the TV, in a cafe or travelling. Anywhere you can take a laptop or tablet, you can blog from.
How a site is linked and shared across the web is a huge factor when search engines determine how it will rank. When visitors share your blog’s content by linking to it from other websites or social media, this provides signals to Google that your content is useful to others. The more links you get (quality, diversity etc also important), the higher the authority and ranking of your blog in search engines, which in turn will attract more visitors.
When your blog acquires authority and natural links, this is beneficial to the rankings of your website as a whole as authority passes between pages on your site. If your website also offers services or sells products, especially if they are related to the blogging subject area, then these pages will have a better chance of ranking with a more authoritative blog. Visitors to your blog articles could also be targeted directly, even though conversion rates may be much smaller than people actively looking for your product or service.
If you change the function of your website or the services you offer in the future, having an authoritative blog as part of your website will help transfer authority to any newly created pages.
If you’re not using your blog to promote something, having a blog with strong authority could still give you a good fall-back if you found yourself out of work for whatever reason, as it would allow you to promote yourself to the outside world.
A blog could be your opportunity to champion a subject close to your heart and help promote a subject or cause that you believe in.
Blogging is *usually* a low cost pursuit. If you want to get up and running with a free blog, there are a number of sites that allow you to do this such as www.blogger.com and www.wordpress.com. A free blog however usually requires the use of a sub-domain e.g. myblog.blogspot.com rather than a unique top level domain. If you’re serious about blogging, I would recommend purchasing your own domain which is better for branding purposes and SEO in the long run, along with some decent web hosting.
You could probably find decent enough shared web hosting for $40/year. When I started blogging, I started out with low cost shared hosting, then moved to a VPS (Virtual Private Server) and then to a better VPS as my blog grew and needed more speed and resources.
Platforms like WordPress make blogging incredibly straightforward. All you need to get started is a browser, internet connection and a bit of time to get to grips with your chosen blogging tools.
The more practice you put into something, the better at it you get and this should hold true when it comes to crafting content for your blog posts.
It’s easy to focus your arguments down a narrow path or certain point of view, when people challenge this or put across a different perspective, this can allow you to look at things from a different angle and approach a subject in a way that you may not have done so otherwise.
Your blog can act as a great point of reference when you’ve forgotten how to do something but have previously blogged about it, or if you want to refer someone to an article you’ve written. I’ve done this numerous times myself.
One of the most satisfying things about starting a blog is when people start having conversations, sharing solutions and helping other visitors who have left comments. Creating a sense of community with like-minded people, whether they re-visit your blog or not, can be a great feeling and another good reason to blog.
Blogging can be a great way to meet new people who share similar interests and ideas. I follow and tweet with a number of cool web developers for example that I have found through this blog.
Ahha, my last reason to start blogging! Most bloggers will probably never monetize their blog and building up enough traffic to earn more than a few pennies can be tough. For a small percent of the blogging community however, making money can be the main draw of blogging. A tiny fraction of bloggers will even have success in turning their blog into a decent and main source of income.
I’m currently running a single ad on most blog articles, it doesn’t make much but covers my VPS hosting. For me, this advertising revenue is a nice bonus but I would certainly continue to blog without it.
Are you considering starting a blog or want to give some advice? Share your thoughts below
I’d have to agree with all of these, I’ve experienced them myself – now this is a good point of reference to those who are thinking starting one…
Thanks for sharing your very useful ideas on blogging. I would just add one more, which is perhaps inferred in number 4 but which is manly of relevance to writers of non-fiction. Many publishers nowadays want to see some evidence of ‘authority’ on a subject and/or interaction with an audience by means of a blog or social media. As an adjunct to this, blog posts can also be used to plan or even form the nucleus of, future chapters.
All the very best from Normandie,
Well summed up!