Posted by Ashleigh Allsopp 27 January 2015
8 reasons you should start a blog
Blogging is one of my favourite hobbies, and starting my blog around three years ago is one of the best things I've ever done. That's why I urge everyone to try it. It doesn't matter if you're not the best writer; if there's something you like talking about then what better place to do so than on your own personal blog?
Here are 8 reasons why blogging is so great. Hopefully this will convince you to give it a try. It's super-easy to start up a blog, too.
1. You'll meet new people
Without a doubt the best thing about blogging is the people you'll meet, whether in person at dedicated events (which I'll talk about in a moment) or virtually via your blog or social media. There are blogging communities out there for pretty much everything you can think of, whether it's books or travel, fashion or beauty, parenting or arts and crafts.
By starting a blog and sharing it, you'll become part of that community, and it's amazing to find out that there are so many people around the world that are as passionate about something as you are. Meeting like-minded people through blogging can really boost your confidence, too.
I've met hundreds of bookish people who all love to discuss reading as much as I do, and have gone on to meet many of them in person. I know many bloggers who've made friends for life through blogging (let's take a moment to say thanks to Tim Berners-Lee for inventing the World Wide Web).
2. You'll get invited to fun events
Once your blog has become established and you've begun making contacts in the industry you're writing about, you'll find yourself being invited to events on a regular basis. Publishers, for example, host regular events just for bloggers, to let them know about new titles coming out in the months ahead. You'll be invited to launches and parties, and if you get really good at blogging, you might even be asked to be part of discussion panels at an event relating to your area of expertise.
3. You'll pay more attention to life
I've found that blogging has opened my eyes a bit wider to the world around me. You'll find that you're paying more attention in life because you'll be constantly thinking about new things to write about, and those ideas are usually inspired by something you see, hear or experience.
This is particularly true for travel bloggers, who'll be taking mental notes about everything they experience ready to write it down later.
4. You'll have something to look back on
Again, this one is particularly true for travel bloggers but also for bloggers in all areas: writing things down gives you something to look back on in years to come. If you've been on a trip of a lifetime, writing a blog about it is a great way to keep those memories alive, allowing you to relive your experiences in the future.
For example, one of my friends has been writing a blog about her time living in New Zealand, which will be an amazing thing to read when she returns home and wants to be reminded of her adventure. It also means her England-based family can find out what she's been up to.
For me, reading back over my earlier reviews reminds me of amazing books that I might want to revisit or recommend to others, and it also helps me relive some of my favourite author events if I'm ever in need of some inspiration.
5. You'll inspire and advise others
Of course, it's not just me that needs a bit of inspiration sometimes, so writing a blog can be a way to help others.
If someone is looking for a new book to read, they might come to my blog for recommendations. If someone is looking for the perfect outfit for a winter wedding, they might find inspiration on a fashion blog. If someone is looking for the perfect places to visit while on holiday, a travel blog is likely to offer up some trips and insight into what to expect. And particularly useful for new mums are pregnancy and parenting blogs, which can offer a friendly support network when it's needed most.
6. You'll improve your writing skills
As I said at the beginning of this article, you don't need to be a good writer to blog. Blogs are personal, and the reader will know that you're probably not a professional writer, so they'll forgive spelling mistakes and shaky grammar without a problem. However, by writing blog posts on a regular basis you're bound to improve your writing skills. You'll pick up on sentence structures that flow nicely, and you'll soon figure out which words you keep spelling incorrectly.
7. You'll improve your CV (it might even lead to a job all on its own)
Blogs are a great thing to have on your CV, particularly if you update it regularly. Employers like to see commitment, and many also like to see that you've built yourself an online brand. Lots of skills acquired through blogging can be put into practice in careers including marketing, sales, journalism, PR, publishing and more.
If you're lucky enough, your blog might even help you attract the attention of an employer looking for someone with your particular area of expertise, and therefore help you get a job offer that you didn't even hunt for.
For students, blogs are a brilliant way to stand out on University applications, and can also help secure internships.
8. It's a very cheap hobby (and might even earn you money)
Blogging is a hobby that will cost you very little. You can set up and run a blog for free, but even if you want to buy your own domain name, you'll be looking at around £20 per year to host it.
What's more, blogging can even help you earn money. You might find that you get the opportunity to run sponsored blog posts, or that you're able to serve adverts on your blog. We're talking pennies for most people, so you really shouldn't start blogging for the money (you'll be disappointed), but it can be a perk if your blog starts to take off.
Once you start making contacts in the relevant industries, you'll also find that you'll get sent free products that companies want you to write about, often before they're available through public release. Again, you shouldn't blog just for the free stuff, and if you do it's likely that your blog won't be successful, as it tends to be quite obvious who's doing it because they love it and who's doing it because they don't want to cough up cash on makeup, for example.
So there you have it: 8 reasons to start a blog. What are you waiting for? Now read: How to start a blog.