Of late, I’ve spoken to a couple of friends and colleagues who have been debating whether or not they should start a blog. And while it’s all too easy to list off a long line of reasons why *not* to start blogging – you have neither the time, the energy, nor the desire to sacrifice untold hours towards what is essentially a hobby with little or no reward – I’m here to give you some reasons why you *should*. Whether you’re about to embark on a round-the-world trip of a life-time and want a way of documenting your experience, have a penchant for all things fashion, or are an aspiring foodie with a keen eye for detail there’s room and reason for you in the ever-expanding blogosphere and with more and more people turning to blogs for inspiration, never has there been a more apt time to get online. And so, without further ado, here are my five favourite reasons why you, too, should start a blog:
- To stand out from the crowd: I first started my book blog on the advice of my ex-boss Edwina, director of Amazing PR. She knew of my hunger to work with books and encouraged me to start a book blog as proof to future potential employers of both my passion for all things literary and my writing ability in the ever competitive publishing industry. It also offered the perfect opportunity for me to keep track of my reading and to record the BBC Top 100 Challenge that I had just begun. And, so, while your blog may have little – if anything – to do with your profession, it certainly offers you a point of difference when it comes to career progression and job opportunities.
- To learn the art of discipline: Post university, it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of long working hours and a busy social life, leaving you little time to indulge in any extra curricular activities, per se. Blogging – whether about travel or technology – gives you the perfect excuse to indulge in some me-time, and to set yourself some personal goals. Whether it’s writing a certain amount of blogs per month, generating a specific following or simply to explore your field of expertise further, it’s a sure-fire way to keep your brain ticking outside of the office.
- To make new friends and expand your network: For me, one of the very best things about blogging has been meeting people who share my passion for books and travel the world over. And while the vast majority of these friendships stay online, from Margot at Project Lectito to Annabel at Londoner in Sydney and Jayne at Girl Tweets World it’s comforting to know that wherever I am and whatever the time, there’s an online network of fellow bloggers who are always happy to share reading recommendations and travel tips alike. Whatever your choice of blogging field, there are bound to be many other like-minded people willing and able to indulge in some online chatter about your favourite past-time, and you never quite know where said friendships may lead.
- To hone your talent: When I look back on the earliest posts of this blog, it’s fair to say that my writing has improved drastically since starting this book blog many moons ago. And thus, the more I continue to blog, the more I am able to hone and finesse my writing skills. And if writing ain’t your thang – and for many, many bloggers it isn’t – there’s still ample opportunity to upskill yourself through blogging. Whether you want to perfect the ultimate sunset shot, or master your recipe repertoire; as the saying goes, practise really does make perfect.
- To have fun: Ultimately, the best part of blogging is the fun I have doing it. While receiving more free books than I could fill a library with, being featured in Stylist Magazine, and landing my dream job with the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction have been highlights of my blogging career, the primary reason I continue to blog is simply because it’s one of my biggest passions. The freebies may fall away, my reading pace may falter; my desire to travel may flounder, but my love for blogging and the blogosphere as a whole will always be one of my biggest sources of pleasure – and it could very well become yours, too.
Still after some more reasons to start a blog? Check out this great article from Annabel at Londoner in Sydney.