As the holiday season approaches, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I’ve accomplished this year. And I’ve realized that all of these things have happened because years ago I decided to start a blog.
I will save my full year in review post for next month, but highlights of 2019 include having my own column in Birmingham magazine, writing regularly for Good Grit magazine, getting paid to speak at conferences and other events, quitting my teaching job to be a full-time writerpreneur, and developing a partnership with Alabama Media Group that allows me to help women get published and get paid. All of these opportunities came my way because of See Jane Write — the blog, the brand, and the business.
This is why I believe your blog can make you a badass and it’s also why I believe there’s nothing I’ve done that you can’t do, too. I believe this because anybody can start a blog.
But you may be wondering if it’s too late.
“Blogging ain’t dead. People just scared.”
There are over 600 million blogs in the world today, out of over 1.7 billion websites.
Because the blogosphere is so crowded and because many people have such short attention spans and would rather watch a video than read — some folks like to declare that blogging is dead. (Ironically, they’re usually declaring this on a blog. But I digress.)
But as my mentor, Stacey Ferguson says, “Blogging ain’t dead. People just scared.”
Blogging has changed and some people are afraid to change with it. These days you’re probably not going to be able to start a blog that simply recaps your everyday life and have that blog become wildly popular (unless you’re already famous).
But blogging is NOT dead. Research has shown that when searching for in-depth information online, most users still prefer blogs over video for that information. That’s probably why blog posts of about 2,000 words or more get the best results. The average length of a page that ranks on the first page of Google is 1,890 words.
If you’re a business owner, your blog is your form of content marketing, helping you drive more traffic to your site and get more leads. And quite frankly, if you have a business, people expect you to have a blog, too. It’s even considered a bit weird if you don’t.
In fact, 85% of B2C marketers and 91% of B2B marketers say their companies blog or use other content marketing.
Even influencers have found that even in an age where Instagram is the place to be, it’s still valuable to have a blog, too. Though blogging accounts for only 25% of Courtney Quinn’s content she makes 50% of her six-figure income from sponsored blog posts on her site ColorMeCourtney.com.
If you start a blog in 2020, it needs to be a part of a larger plan and serve a larger purpose. You need to consider your goals and how a blog can help you achieve them. You need to consider the people you want to speak to and how blogging can make it easier for you to reach them.
As a writer, you need to think of your blog as a place for you to build your personal brand and establish yourself as an expert or thought leader in a particular niche.
Your blog can also be your practice field where you work on your craft and your consistency. And your blog can be your platform where you write about the causes you care about most.
Beyond the Blog
Start a blog, but be ready to think beyond it. Be ready to learn about search engine optimization (or SEO) so you can drive traffic to your site. But remember that blogging should be about people, not pageviews. You don’t need a huge following to build your brand through blogging. You just need a group of people who are truly invested in the work you’re doing. So be ready to think about how you can effectively use social media to build a community around your blog.
Consider how you can leverage your blog to get writing opportunities, paid speaking gigs and more. Consider how you can turn your blog into a business.
And instead of choosing between blogging and doing video consider how you can do both.
For you, that might look like publishing posts on your blog then going live on Facebook or Instagram or doing an IGTV episode to discuss the post.
Or perhaps you’ll decide to start a YouTube channel to accompany your blog.
My goal is to one day make my blog and my business a thriving media company with a website, YouTube channel, podcast and more. As I’ve been working toward this goal I’ve realized that if you can blog, you can do it all.
Recently, I attended an online masterclass on podcasting and every single tip offered was the exact advice I give my community about blogging! Every single one! It was like she was reading one of my courses on blogging and just replacing the word blog with the word podcast.
For me, this was confirmation that the same best practices I’ve used to build a blog I can use to build anything else. And so can you.
Ready to finally start your blog or use the blog you already have to build a brand and a business? Check out my course, See Jane Blog.