Maybe you don’t have a small creative business. Maybe you’re just plugging along at your job (not ‘career’) and like reading blogs and making stuff at home.
Totally fine with me.
I still think you need a blog (and actually, so does Gary Vaynerchuk in his book Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion).
Granted – if you are fully and completely satisfied in your current job and cannot possibly ever lose that position, you may not need a blog.
But if you have a job you moderately enjoy but it doesn’t fulfill your passion. Or if you have a job you don’t really like and are looking for the next thing. Or if you have a job you detest and can’t remember why you still work there. Or if you don’t have a job at all and are looking for away to turn your passion into something.
A blog can help you.
For real, read Crush It! I’ve already returned it to the library, so I can’t quote specific text, but Vaynerchuk outlines something like 12-15 steps from starting a blog to making it into a career. Easy to explain. Heckuva lot of work to implement.
Your blog and your social media strategy can leverage you into social opportunities, financial opportunities or even your dream job.
Let’s say you have a job that you don’t hate, but also can’t see yourself being there forever (ahem. me.) …. Figure out what your passion is (photography, blogging, learning about SEO and marketing, teaching and helping people) …. start a blog around that passion (lemonandraspberry.com) …. blog regularly for months and months, utilize twitter, flicker, facebook, etc (but your blog remains your anchor). Maybe you catch the eye of a conference planner and you’re invited to speak. Maybe you establish a solid audience so your book proposal gets taken seriously. Maybe your popularity hooks you up with a business partner for some lucrative projects.
All of a sudden (over months and years of hard work), you have an income based on WHAT YOU LOVE …
Just in case you get laid off …. or want to quit.
Here’s why you need a blog just for yourself:
- Blog to establish your expertise: Maybe you really know about gardening, or sewing. Maybe you’ve had a lifelong fascination with baking or beer-making (ok, maybe not LIFElong). If you have an intense interest in, passion for, or expert knowledge of a subject you can turn that into a blog. And posting regularly (consistently, on a schedule or close to it) solidifies your position in the field. If you blog EVERY SINGLE DAY about comic books for 9 months, don’t you think that when someone needs to consult with a comic book expert for their new store opening they’ll think of you?
- Blog to connect with your readers: I’ve been blogging for 4.5 years, and it wasn’t until I started Lemon and Raspberry that I really connected with readers. And maybe that’s because this is the first time I’ve really had a focused topic about something I feel strongly about. Yes, my mom and sister-in-law read Those Crazy Schuberts. And yes, I do love blogging about my childhood stories and my cute husband’s craziness. But it’s not the same thing as finding a common experience with someone across the country in feeling neglected by blog authors. It’s really an amazing difference.
- Blog for fun: Kam mentioned this in the comments yesterday. Sometimes a blog is JUST FUN. For me, blogging started out long ago (4.5 years) as kind of an online scrapbook. It still is. I don’t want to say that I go to fun places and do fun things just to have content to put on my blog, but having a blog with an audience that is expecting near-daily posts certainly reminds me to take my camera, encourages me to remember details, helps me work on my storytelling technique.
I just started reading Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. I’m only on page 30 or so, but so far I’ve learned that humans have many things that motivate us (rewards, biological urges, etc), but one of them is the sheer enjoyment of the project or activity.
So, blog for yourself. Because you love it and because you love your chosen topic. No apologies. If you are blogging about something you feel passionate about your readers will see that and love you for it.