Friday, February 21, 2014

10 reasons you should be blogging

1. It will make you a better writer. Having the knowledge that you're writing for an audience (yes, your mom counts as an audience) in the back of your head tends to result in a better overall composition.

2. That said, it's a great way to get comfortable with making mistakes somewhat publicly. One of the most wonderful things about blogging platforms is that they are living--and edit-able. Unlike glossy magazines, there's a scrappy, thrown-together quality to blogs, and it's totally OK to fix errors after you post. It's also OK to not fix them.

3. Have an idea, product, company or talent? Creating original, engaging blog content is a great way to make what's yours stand out on the internet. Blog about related topics and what's going on in your field, and people will find their way to you.

4. It's a good way to thicken your skin. When my first book came out, I posted an image of the cover on my blog. This prompted someone in Nebraska to write me a lengthy email about how slutty I look in the photo. This stung for a second, but mostly, it made me laugh. Who has time to call harmless food bloggers out about their cleavage?! Well, this woman did, apparently. I hope it made her very happy to put me in my slutty place. But seriously, it was a great reminder that there will always be haters, trolls and general assholes on the internet who will gleefully tear you apart and call you names, no matter what you do. Pay them no mind--they're mean because they're unhappy.

5. It can lead to bigger things. It led me to newspaper syndication, 2 cookbooks and a sitcom inspired by my life. It's also brought me paid speaking engagements, freelance writing, workshops and teaching opportunities.

6. It's amazing for improving creativity flow. I am often asked if I am afraid I'll run out of ideas. For my first couple of years of blogging, the answer was "Yes. Terrified." But five years later, I show no signs of running out of ideas, and I really believe it's because creativity begets more creativity. The more I write, the more ideas I have. It's like exercising a muscle at the gym: the more reps you do, the stronger you become, and hence, the more reps you are able to do.

7. Reading your blog has the potential to help someone feel less alone. Write honest, genuine posts, and your words really will affect their readers. Blogs foster connection, and that helps make the world a better place.

8. It's not the whole point, but you can make passive income blogging. Work with a great ad company to monetize your posts. Get syndicated by a newspaper or bigger online media source. Set up an Amazon store on your blog. It's hard to make a whole living doing this, but you can make a nice chunk of spending cash without doing anything other than setting it up and continuing to blog.

9. It's like an audition for a book. The publishing world is changing these days, and more and more bloggers are getting book deals after publishers discover them online. If you think about it, it makes sense: A blog is essentially a living record of a) your writing skills, b) your thoughts and ideas, and c) your ability to create an audience for yourself. Publishers want to publish books by people who already have an audience, and successful bloggers are just that.

10. Your thoughts are interesting and deserve to be shared. Just trust me on this one. Even if you don't think it's true, I guarantee there's someone out there (likely a lot of people) who is interested in your thoughts. Think of a blogging platform as your path to finding and connecting with them.


Christine said...

I've been blogging for a few years and have gotten some free books from publishers and entrance into the book-blogging community. Sometimes I ask myself why I do it and feel that it's a bit self-indulgent, but then I remember I don't give a crap because it's something I legitimately enjoy doing.

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