Although the first blog was created in 1994, blogging is still a thing. However, people keep asking me whether it is still worthwhile to start a blog these days, especially when you are aiming at generating an income. In this article, I want to outline the most important reasons to start a blog in 2018. To support my arguments, I interviewed bloggers from different niches about their reasons to start their blog.
Topics: Blogging, Starting a blog
Starting a blog is a big commitment. Not only are you investing a lot of your time, it is also very likely that you are spending some money on your journey (domain, hosting, templates, tools, etc.). Therefore, most people are quite hesitant to start a blog these days. On top of that, you can read a ton of "expert opinions" (random people with too much time), who say that no one cares about blogs anymore and that the only competitive format is video and not text.
Let me make one thing clear from the beginning: This is wrong. There are plenty of good reasons to start a blog in 2018, and I want to talk about the most important ones in this article. But first, let's investigate the history of blogging a little bit.
A brief discourse on the history of blogging
Links.net is considered to be the first blog ever. It was created in 1994 by Justin Hall, however, the term "weblog" was first used in 1997 by Jorn Barger. In the early 2000s, blogs were growing tremendously. The number of weblogs grew from 23 in 1999 to 50 million in 2006 and there are now almost 2 billion websites! In the early phase, political blogs were very popular, but as the number of blogs grew, people started discussing almost every topic imaginable. For a great and detailed description of the history of blogging, check out this article!
The current state and the future of blogging
Social media changed the way people share their thoughts and opinions online. With the advent of YouTube, bloggers also started to share videos (vlogs) to directly talk to their audience and engage with their viewers on a deeper level.
But are social media, vlogs and podcasts threats for traditional blogging? Yes and no. On the one hand, social media are easier to use and make it more convenient to follow multiple bloggers. Consuming videos might be seen as more convenient too. At least it is less "effort" than actual reading. On the other hand, social media can also support blogs. Not only can you share the link to your blog on social media, you can also include videos, Instagram photos, and other content in your blog posts. Thereby, bloggers can actually benefit from social media and increase their traffic. In other words, blogs and social media are not mutually exclusive. You can use both at the same time and let them reinforce each other. But what are the benefits of traditional blogs? Below I want to discuss the most important reasons to actually start a blog!
If you want to start your own blog, click the button below for a step-by-step guide on how to start a blog.
Reasons to start a blog in 2018
Blogging on platforms like YouTube or Instagram is very convenient, both for the blogger and for the audience. However, with this convenience, there also comes a little downside. All your followers subscribed to your channel on that platform. Let's consider the case of YouTube. Two threats every creator could face are (1) getting three strikes (which leads to the loss of your account) and (2) the platform decides that your videos are not suitable for monetization anymore. As you are 100% dependent on the platform, you cannot get around these issues. With a blog, you are much more independent. Let's say, you monetized your blog with AdSense, but AdSense now cancels your contract. Even though it might not be easy, you can still find other ways to monetize your blog. You could, for example, place banners from other platforms on your website. With platforms like YouTube, this is, in principle, also possible, but it is definitely more difficult. Therefore, not being dependent on social media platforms is a good reason to start a blog.
Self-expression goes hand in hand with independence. On your blog, you are free to do whatever you want to do. You can design your website the way you like, post content in whatever format you like and share whatever opinion you might have. To this end, a blog gives you a great opportunity to express yourself. This is true for every type of blogger, ranging from DIY to book bloggers!
3. Expanding and demonstrating your skill set
Starting a blog requires many different skills. On the on hand, you need to be creative with regard to website design, communication, and writing. On the other hand, you should also be a good business person, by advertising your blog the right way and finding ways to monetize it. On top of that, creating a blog normally requires a solid amount of coding skills! Running a successful blog or website demonstrates that you acquired all of these skills. You can even put it in your CV! With your new skill set, there might even be more jobs available to you in the "offline" business world.
4. Helping others
Do you have certain knowledge or a set of skills that only a few other people have? A blog can be an amazing way to share this knowledge with others! Regardless of whether you offer all your advise for free, or whether you sell ebooks on your blog, helping others is a good reason to start a blog. If your knowledge is valuable, others will most likely also share it with their friends and you will rank high on Google, which generates more traffic to your blog.
5. Starting a business and making money
The final and most important reason to create a blog is the desire to start an online business that makes money. These days, thousands of bloggers make a considerable amount of money online and many of them can work fulltime and from home! Especially young moms find this very tempting! A blog is also a great passive income source. Affiliate marketing and ads are great ways of monetizing your blog.
To verify my research, I "interviewed" a couple of other bloggers I know through a blogger community. Below, you can find a selection of quotes I picked. These quotes confirm the reasons I put forward above!
“I have been cooking all my life and wanted to finally share/pass down all my tried & true recipes. Blogging was a natural choice! So, in 2015, I took the plunge and started Foodie Home Chef which went live in the summer of 2016. I also wanted to make some extra money to supplement my retirement income, which I'm still working on to accomplish!“
Simone from Foodie Home Chef
"I started blogging to get me out of a "funk." My son had just gotten married and when it is your baby you realize the empty nest is permanent. When I told my family I was going to blog they actually laughed. I am so busy working full time they probably thought I couldn't take it on. I joined some groups and had an article I had written featured within a month of me blogging by a large on-line magazine in Arkansas. They aren't laughing now!"
Pat from Sweet Yellow Cornbread
"For me it's the possibility of making money from home doing something I love!"
Pearl from Charm of Gifts
"I am a full-time writer and keep a blog in between projects. Before I started my blog (six years ago) I used to send small pieces to magazines. My blog has replaced that."
A.J. from AJSefton
"I use my blog as a way to express myself and thoughts call it therapeutic if you like lol based on my personal experience in life. you never know who may be dealing with something similar just by showing and giving them a different perspective on life maybe it could help the next person day a bit more better."
Crystal from Christian Disciple
By now, you are familiar with the most important reasons to start a blog in 2018. As you see, blogging is still a thing and there are good reasons to start a blog these days. Blogs and social media can (for now) be seen as reinforcing instead of replacing each other. If you want to start your own blog, click here for a step-by-step guide! If you have any remarks on my selection of reasons to start a blog, contact me here.