So, I recently listed off five reasons not to start a blog. I realize this may have sounded completely out of whack, seeing as it was published on a blog that’s meant to make money. And it was a list coming from a person who makes a good part of his living from blogging. Why would the blogger say that you shouldn’t be blogging?
True, while all five of the reasons I listed in that post are perfectly valid, truth be told, I still believe that opportunities are available for people who wish to start a brand new blog today. From scratch. There are certainly challenges to be overcome, perhaps even more so than starting a blog ten years ago, but that doesn’t mean blogs should be completely discarded.
Indeed, there are many reasons why you SHOULD start blogging. Let’s explore five of them.
1. You Wholly Own the Content
On some level, it’s true that you “own” the content that you post on platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. On another level, you really don’t. You have no control over the algorithm, how that content is displayed, or how it can be shared. Not really. Let’s be perfectly honest here; no one actually reads the terms and conditions, so short of turning to your lawyer, you really have no real idea for what Instagram can do with your photos and captions. Not really.
Remember what happened to Flickr? You thought that you had unlimited photo storage, but then Flickr was acquired by SmugMug and they changed all the rules. If you want to keep more than 1,000 photos, you have to open up your wallet. You might “own” the photos, but you don’t “own” how they’re stored.
When you have your own blog, on your own website, on your own domain, with your own web hosting, it’s all yours. It truly is your home on the web and you are wholly (or at least mostly) in control.
2. You Control the Branding
Continuing with this line of thinking, you also completely control what the branding of your blog looks like. You have total control over color schemes and logos and layouts. You control what you what your blog brand to represent, what it stands for, and what it offers. It’s all yours.
That’s not the case when it comes to any of these other platforms. YouTube, Facebook and Twitter have all changed their layouts considerably over the years. You have to work within the limitations of what they offer you, like the character limit on Twitter, or how longer text posts on Facebook are shown. They say a logo must be no larger than this, or a video upload can be no longer than that.
With your blog, that’s all completely up to you. You control the branding.
3. You Enjoy Writing
All of these other platforms on the web have their own respective approaches to online content. You can’t be on YouTube if you’re not interested in producing video content. You can’t be on Instagram if you have no interest in posting images and photos, particularly in formats and dimensions that are conducive to the best user experience.
And while you can write lengthy video descriptions on YouTube or extra long captions on Instagram, the text is not the focus of either. If you actually enjoy writing, but you don’t want to write a book (or you want to write shorter form in addition to books), then blogging could be the way to go.
4. You Can Learn So Much
They say that if you want to keep the mind fresh and if you want to keep life interesting, then you should strive to learn at least one new thing every day. When it comes to blogging, since you’ve got your own website on your own domain with your own web hosting, there are bountiful opportunities to learn about just about every aspect that goes into a blog.
This is a good thing! While you may certainly choose to outsource many of these tasks, particularly since the professionals can probably do it better than you can, it’s good to gain at least a basic understanding of the various moving parts. Dive into SEO. Pick apart some PHP. Learn about taking good photos and how to edit them. Dabble in social media management.
All of these skills will serve you well as you expand your online business throughout the web and into other endeavors too.
5. You Can Start Making Money Today
I’ve said so many times before that if you want to make money online and you want to have an online presence, you need to have your own website. This may not necessarily be true if you want to operate under the cloak of darkness as a stealthy arbitrageur or affiliate marketer, but if you have any interest in being an influencer or gaining opportunities as an established expert in your field, then you need a website that’s your own.
Even all of that aside, you can’t really make money on YouTube from day one. You need to meet minimum requirements to gain entry into the YouTube Partner Program. You can’t make money from day one on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram either, as you need to establish your presence before you can seek out brand deals and sponsored post opportunities.
But a blog? You can start making money right away by signing up with a variety of ad networks, inserting Amazon affiliate ads, Google AdSense blocks, or any number of other opportunities. You won’t make much in the beginning — let’s not fool ourselves — but it can be a nonzero amount. That’s how you build positive momentum.
And you do want to make money online, don’t you? Then, if you haven’t already, go ahead and start a blog. It could be the best decision you make all year!