Why You Should Start A Blog
You May Have Better Things To Do
This post is dedicated to Corbett Barr, who writes an excellent blog over at Fizzle. Recently, he answered the question "Should I Start a Blog?" and it was insightful. You should definitely follow his advice. Also listen to his podcast and take his courses.
In any case, here's how he starts out his article: By asking us if we ever type the beginning of a sentence into Google, to see how Google finishes it.
Well, okay, yes. I have done this before.
When you type in, "Should I start..." Google finishes your sentence with, among others, "...start a blog." Here's the kicker. The other things you may be thinking about are, actually, quite telling. Let's go through them, shall we? Be patient with me for a minute. I have a point to make.
1. You may want to Start Smoking
The top question we are all asking Google is whether or not we should start smoking. No. No you should not. Actually, if you're over, let's say, 40 years old, maybe you should. If you are over 40 and you think that you might want to start smoking, you may be correct.
If you are under 40, or maybe even 30, try this. Find someone over 40 who smokes, and ask them how much they enjoy it. Listen to them for awhile. They'll probably go on and on about it, giving you really cringe-y details about how they feel.
Take their advice.
Isn't it weird that you cannot find anyone who started smoking when they were young who is still happy about it when they are older?
2. You may want to start drinking again
Well, here again, the answer is probably "No." But who knows? I just finished a year of no drinking (I lost a bet) and I am happily drinking again. Drinking in moderation is a great thing. If you are asking Google whether you should start drinking again, though, I'm guessing the answer is "No."
Now that we have your health taken care of, let's dig in. Should you blog, start a business, or play WOW?
What Are Your Goals?
Now that we have the drinking and smoking out of the way, I can ask you what you want to achieve by starting something.
I think the combination of those three questions is telling. We live in a time and place where many of us (not enough of us, though) have both the free time and the resources to do some pretty amazing s***.
I was listening to a Tim Ferris podcast while running last night, and he said this very thing. That we can all be polymaths now. That the word "dilettante" is outdated. We can be and do anything we want. Want to run a non-profit? Learn a language? Start to code? Hang out in your parents' basement playing WOW?
(I know that WOW is a complicated subject. I know there are people who play professionally. I actually know someone who met his wife through WOW. I also know that it can be shortcode for "time suck" and I am going to use it that way for this post. Sorry if I am offending.)
3. You may want to Start A Business
I recently took a quiz over on Time.com about the fastest way to reach one million dollars. The difference between choosing to invest and choosing to start a business was the difference between whether, if you found one dollar on the street, you would pocket it or buy a bottle of water with it.
Pocket it and you should invest. Buy a bottle of water and you should start a business. Anyone can start a business these days. The takeaway from that (unscientific, silly) quiz might be that the person who starts a business doesn't need to love what they are doing. (Irrelevant, according to the quiz). They need to stay calm (Relevant) and do stuff. Just start.
Perhaps the exact opposite of the person who needs to start playing WOW.
4. Your may Want to Start A Blog
You can blog to make money. You can also find a manufacturer via Alibaba. You could also invest or buy real estate.
If you are considering starting a blog, and you want to make it a business, consider that you really should want to say something interesting and important that other people want to hear or read about.
On top of that, you need to be (or become) a good business person.
I absolutely love reading Corbett's experience with blogging. It is so heartwarming that I just want to hug him. I think there are people like that, who just express themselves on the page and make you feel like you know them. It's a learnable skill, for sure. But before you begin to start blogging, really think about whether it fits your personality. There are many ways to start a business. Blogging is simply one of the best ways to find and nurture an audience who may want to buy stuff you make. But there are other ways, and not all of them are quite so time intensive.
Creating a solid landing page and using targeted Facebook ads to drive your perceived audience to an offer they can't refuse works. So does simply asking real people you know if they'd buy what you want to sell, and then, if you find that there is a potential market, cold calling/emailing people with your offer.
Blogging to Learn and Inspire
You can, of course, blog without a monetary goal in mind. This can be therapeutic and a great idea. There is definitely something to be said, too, for writing a blog rather than keeping these thoughts to yourself. The learning that can come from sharing your thoughts publicly can really propel you to new levels of awesomeness. It can also help build your reputation. Chase Jarvis did this, for example.
5. You may Want Start Playing Wow
Okay. I am ending with this one because I think there is a valid time and place to allow yourself to chill out. The IChing, The Art of War, really most thoughtful texts on how to live a good life, speak about time to move forward, time to move backward, and time to stand still.
I think of the playing WOW option (unless you plan to make a ton of cash from it) as the option of standing still. You need to know when to press the pause button in life, and not do anything.
So, should you start a blog?
What are your thoughts? Is starting a blog a good idea? Have you started a blog and either abandoned it or reached the million dollar mark from your attempt? Somewhere in between? Share what you know, and I'd love to hear from you!