Part 1 – Why Should You Blog?
I started blogging in the spring of 2015. Considering how long blogging has been around – that’s a pretty late start.
Why would anyone want to blog? There are plenty of reasons. And it’s still a great time to get started. Check out this list and see some of the reasons why.
1. It’s fun and rewarding
Blogging is fun. I get to write about things I enjoy and I meet people online who share similar interests.
I spent most of my career sitting behind a computer. At one of my jobs we worked in a room with no windows that we called the cave. Don’t get me wrong – I love being behind a computer. But there isn’t much social interaction.
When I decided in 2015 I was going to flip my life on its head and do exactly the opposite of everything I’ve ever done:
• help people with their problems
• go to conferences and meet people
• talk to people (you don’t do that much as a programmer)
my entire outlook on life changed. I get to help people with their finances. I’m making a difference.
2. You’ll make new friends
I have made so many new friends I wouldn’t have met otherwise. It’s amazing! Relationships might start out as comments on a post, replying to a Tweet, or an email.
My virtual friends end up becoming people I hang out with who live close by, or people I see at conferences. I have a whole bunch of new people I’ve met that I consider friends.
Often you might feel alone –
Am I the only person out there that likes Tonkinese cats?
But if you start blogging about Tonkinese cats, suddenly other Tonkinese cat lovers find you. And because of your common interest, you quickly form a common bond.
Blogging is a great way to meet like-minded people that share your hobbies, beliefs, values, and goals.
3. You’ll learn new things
I am a life-long learner. When I lived in Atlanta, I would visit the library once a week, check out the new releases, and pick up any book that looked interesting.
The reason I love writing about personal finance is that there is so much to learn. From extreme couponing to 403(b) annuities to tax deductions through conservation easements (haven’t heard of that one, have you?)
No matter what subject you pick to write about – even if it’s you – there are new things to discover. Writing is just putting your thoughts to paper. You can have an opinion, observation, or just ask questions.
There is no need to become a research specialist when it comes to learning. Everything you could want to know is available online.
4. You’ll challenge yourself
I am an introvert. What was surprising to me at the last conference I attended were how many people stood up in front of a room full of people and said:
• I am an introvert.
• I am shy.
Blogging is a way to break through the limiting beliefs that are holding you back from experiencing your best life.
If you want to remain behind the scenes and write for the pure joy of it – that’s ok too! Nothing says you have to do a road tour and meet all of your readers.
But everyone I’ve heard from and talk to say the same thing:
Getting out of my comfort zone and putting myself out there was the best decision I ever made.
5. You can grow a business
In just 18 months of blogging here is a list of the amazing opportunities I’ve had:
• Speaking at a big financial conference
• Being interviewed on the radio
• Being interviewed on dozens of podcasts with a reach of hundreds of thousands of listeners
• I’ve been quoted countless times in online publications, including Forbes and U.S. News & World Report
All of these help build my brand and grow my business.
6. You can save on taxes
You won’t find this reason mentioned except on a personal finance blog.
Blogging is a business. When you make money from it, you become a business owner.
There is a different tax code for business owners, and the benefits are HUGE.
Now I do not claim to be a tax expert (I am probably compared to you, but I’m not going to do your taxes). I’ve been a small business owner since 2000. The number of deductions you can take if you own a business compared to a non-business owner is incredible.
If I find a relevant business conference in Orlando (Disneyworld!) I can write-off all my travel expenses (not for my kids, but my food, plane ticket, lodging, etc.).
Because I have a home office, I deduct 10% of all my utilities as a business expense (my office makes up 10% of the size of my house).
If you run your business expenses through a credit card, you can accumulate points for free benefits. My wife and I have flown to Hawaii and stayed one week at the Four Seasons – for free. It was paid for with credit card points we accumulated from legitimate business expenses.
You can end up with thousands of dollars in deductions.
I do want to point out there are IRS rules for having a legitimate business. I won’t get into them here. Bottom line – if you start a blog, and your blog starts making money – you have a business.
Seek out a tax expert so you can take advantage of the tax benefits of being a small business owner.
7. You have something to say
That’s right – you have something to say! Everyone does.
Right now you might be wondering – what should I blog about?
Tomorrow I’ll give you a sure-fire way to find the one thing you’ll love to write about.
8. To have financial freedom
While this guide is about how to make money blogging, money is just a tool to achieve your goals in life.
People can tell in your writing if you are passionate about something. You could make a lot of money blogging about fashion for example. But if you aren’t fashionable or don’t care much for fashion, you’re much less likely to succeed. And you want to succeed, right?
There are dozens of things I could have blogged about and made a lot more money, but I like helping people with their money. One guy put it appropriately –
You’re going to start a business that helps broke people who don’t have any money to pay you?
Yes. Because for me, the opportunities to build a profitable business extend beyond helping those who may be broke.
Blogging is a path to financial freedom. Like any other job, it will take time and effort. However being a blogger, you’re in the driver’s seat. You’re the boss. You work as much or as little as you want.
Every part in this series includes one small, manageable step. So are you ready to get started?
All I want you to do is write down the reasons you want to blog. You can certainly pick more than one!
Writing for writing’s sake (journaling) is great to record your life and events. But if you want to be a successful blogger and achieve some of those things in the list I mentioned, you need to know your Big Why.
Knowing your Big Why is what’s going to motivate you to follow through and take each daily action.