When I started my blog, I was clueless. In fact, when I started my whole website, I was kind of directionless. Honestly, the only reason I created it at all was because I had just become a regular expert on a TV show. My day job is being a professor, and I never really thought I needed a website for anything. But when I started doing television appearances, I suddenly thought, "Maybe I should have a website just in case anyone wants to get in touch with me!" So, I gave it as shot.
I have to be honest again -- my website was bad. I'm not even saying I have a stellar one now, but it is light years better than my original. For the first 18 months or so, it was just sort of floating out there in cyberspace and I never paid any attention to it at all. Why? I don't really know! It just never occurred to me to do so because I had never had a website before.
But then I thought I should at least do something with it. So once I learned how to manage it myself, I realized it had the capability to have a blog. And that seemed like a great place to start. Even so, I still had questions in my mind like: "Why bother? No one will read it" or "No one even knows my website exists" and "It might be a waste of time." But I did it anyway. And let me tell you, it was one of the best professional things I've ever done. Hey, look where it lead me ... writing for the Huffington Post!
I learned several things along the way from writing my blog. These are things I didn't know or even think about before I started it. So I want to share some of the positive things that happened to me since I started writing, and they can happen to you too:
1. You can express yourself.
Do you have a lot to say? I know I do! So why keep all of it to yourself? You have worldviews, opinions, and advice that you can share with the world. You can even explore yourself more because you have to think more deeply when you write.
2. You can make money.
People don't generally believe this. Or even if they do believe it's possible to make money blogging, they think it's only something that other people do, not them. But there are plenty of people in the world who actually make a living from their blog. Once you build up an audience, you can start selling advertising
3. You can help others.
The topics that I write about vary a lot, but they are all centered around one basic thing: motivating people to be happier and have better lives. So it doesn't matter whether you are blogging about cooking or pets, your experiences can help other people.
4. You can feel emotionally satisfied and challenged.
Let's face it, sometimes we feel stuck or stagnant in life. We have our jobs, our routines, and sometimes it feels like nothing new is happening. But starting a blog will bring something positive into your life that mentally challenges you. And if we're not moving forward with aliveness, we are not growing.
5. You can network and meet new people online.
I can't tell you how many people I have "met" online through networking. I used to laugh at people who said they had "virtual friends," because I thought it was silly to think anyone who lives halfway across the world (that you've never met in person) could actually be a friend or business partner. But it's true! In fact, I think I connect deeper with my virtual friends sometimes than I do the ones here at home.
6. You can build an audience.
After I started writing my blog, I started writing for some other motivational websites too, and I had some considerable success. Actually, it's because of this that I am now writing for the Huffington Post. So if I hadn't started writing, I would have no online audience.
7. You can become a more critical thinker.
When you blog, you automatically develop an eye for more meaningful things in life. I constantly find myself observing people, and the world in general, a lot more closely. I'm constantly having "Ah Ha!" moments and think, "That's a great topic to write about!"
8. You can establish your credibility, knowledge, and authority.
The more you write, the more you will grow your audience. And the more you grow your audience, the more you can gain credibility and ultimately be seen as an authority in your chosen field. And who doesn't want that?
9. You can find other opportunities like speaking, consulting, or book deals.
Many of the "virtual friends" I have made are also business colleagues. I've also had people contact me for many other opportunities like speaking, being on radio shows, and collaborating on business projects. So, as you can see, blogging can lead to endless opportunities.
Blogging is fun, but it takes commitment. You can't have one foot in and one foot out. In order to be successful, you have to stick with it. But don't get discouraged, because in the long run you will definitely be happy you did it!