Updated Dec. 09, 2021
One Sunday afternoon in May 2019, I did something that would change my life. I didn’t really think it through, and it only took a couple of hours.
I started Roostervane.
The kids were downstairs playing, I had to go to work at my government office the next day, and I sat and “wasted” an entire afternoon writing a blog post on what it was like to try to get a job with a useless degree.
I hit publish and forgot about it, and it would be months before anyone ever visited the blog.
I suppose I wasn’t a totally obvious candidate to become a blogger. I worked for the government, in a tall, glass tower, in a job that I didn’t love but that used my degree and had a pension.
But I discovered that I was more interested in writing content than writing policy briefs. Although it took a long time to admit to myself that being a blogger was my dream career, I eventually got there.
And I’m still having fun. So if you want to become a blogger, if you really believe–like I now do–that writing stuff on the internet can change your life, this post is for you.
Here are 7 surprising reasons you should start a blog in 2022!
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1. You love writing
First and foremost, I do.
I get lost in the creative process, pouring my brain onto the screen. The fact that people respond to it is just the icing on the cake. You don’t need to be the next Hemingway. Lord knows I’m not. In fact, I still find really obvious typos that reduce me to a pile of blubbering insecurities… I SHOULD BE BETTER THAN THIS!
But at the end of the day, the sacred art of blogging is movement. It’s influence. It’s putting something onto the internet that will move someone, make them smile, or maybe even change their life.
And if you want to change the world with your words, starting a blog might be for you.
But just a warning. It’s a LOT of writing. I think Roostervane is pushing 100,000 words now–by my count. So do start a blog because you love writing, but also because you think you could write about something A LOT.
2. You will become an authority
Blogs give authority–people believe them.
You know this instinctively from the last time a family member forwarded you that clickbait crap-science they saw on Facebook. They believe it, because the internet says it.
And the internet is all-knowing.
Now, there are societal issues that we need to discuss around credibility and fact-checking. But for the purpose of this post, let’s assume that you know your stuff and have something great to share with the world.
I have a religious studies PhD. I know more about religion than a lot of the people who talk about it. But–surprise, surprise–people who blog about religion are sought out for their views, while I’m not.
That’s my own fault. I haven’t built authority in that space. And I’m totally okay with that.
Whatever your niche is, a blog still creates a sense of authority. The more you write, the more people see you as an expert in your subject.
In fact, blogs can translate into offline authority too, and the right blog can position you as an in-demand speaker or thought leader.
How do I know this?
Well, because Yours Truly fields speaking requests on a pretty regular basis… And there weren’t a whole lot of those–**Read NONE**–before I started this site.
3. You will help people
The world is not short of knowledge, but it’s short of people who can share it in an accessible way.
There are mountains of knowledge about a given subject. Most of it doesn’t get beyond a few people’s brains and the pages of some old books.
I know a lot of smart people, and they complain that the world doesn’t want to know what they know.
I contend that, if they could communicate it better, people would want to know it (at least some of it).
We’re not facing a knowledge deficit. We’re facing a communication deficit.
Good information is drowned out by an avalanche of crap, and the people who know stuff don’t know how to communicate it.
Maybe you have a gift to be a teacher.
Blogs are a great way to teach, and they’re non-threatening and accessible (when done well). Why not make the world your classroom and share your knowledge?
You’ll help people.
4. People still read them
Not sure about stuff you’ve created, but my academic journal articles have been viewed a few dozen times.
Thousands of people read this blog every week.
This actually gets a little intimidating considering that some of what’s on here is my random thoughts about life.
People still engage with blogs in 2022. Video’s big. Images are big. Blogs are not the ONLY way to reach people with your message. But they are still a great way.
5. You’ll build your brand
Yup, a good blog can be great for your personal brand.
This is related to “establishing authority,” of course. But a personal brand isn’t exactly authority in a subject.
It’s a holistic perception that people have about you. It can be your knowledge of something, but it can also be your voice, your competence, and your skills.
People will hire you or pay you for your brand.
Which leads us to…
6. You’ll set yourself up for career changes
Riffing off of the whole “establishing authority” thing again, a blog can be a great way to set you up for a career shift. I know scientists who use blogs to build sci-comm careers, for example.
I started blogging with career advice for grads before I ever anticipated working in this space, but now my blog is cited on career sites.
I also now consult on SEO and content for tech companies.
It’s been an amazing way to shift my own career away from public policy, which is what I was doing before this.
Whatever your transformation will look like, a blog can help you make a career change to a new field.
7. You can make money
Yes, you can make money with a blog.
Some people do this directly by selling coaching, courses, or membership. Some sell offline services like speaking. I’m selling a book. And some people sell advertising or affiliate marketing.
I’ll do a post soon with all the ways you can make money blogging.
Some of the best blogs make over $100k . . . a month.
And Roostervane? Well, as I write this in October 2020, this blog brings in about half of my annual income. That’s a heck of a lot more than most people get paid to write stuff on the internet.
If you’re strategic when you start a blog, and I really do mean strategic–it takes some learning, you can eventually make some or all of your income off of this.
I gotta warn you. It takes a lot of hard work and growth over a LONG period of time. It’s not for the faint of heart.
But some of us wouldn’t live any other way.
Read More: How to Make Money Blogging
What are you waiting for? If you’re ready to start a blog, I wrote a post with a walk-through on how to do it.
And do check out Bluehost, the hosting service I use to start all of my blogs. Bluehost is perfect for beginners, and their customer service is fantastic.