5 Benefits of Blogging as an Entrepreneur
Why Blog as an Entrepreneur?
Taking some time to think about entrepreneurship and how I would approach the subject, my mind kept returning to blogging. This is probably because starting a web log, or blog, is my latest venture that I have been dumping time in, and I believe that it is a good starting point for articles on entrepreneurship. A blog doesn’t have to be an entrepreneurial venture. I remember a decade or so ago when online platforms such as Myspace and Xanga were dominant blog-style social media outlets where a good bit of cultural development happened. From here we were introduced to Facebook and a host of other social media websites that resulted in the people of the earth becoming much more connected.
Fast forward a bit and we can see that blogging has become a multi-faceted tool to get yourself out there, however you want to be out there. Some use blogging as a means of communication and connection with others, while some use it as a tool to publish writing. I have found it particularly interesting that there are those passionate about writing that are using their blog to become entrepreneurs. I am amazed at all the different ways to monetize a blog and impressed with the ingenuity of the generations that take part in this fun activity.
More than just engaging an audience and recording parts of their lives, bloggers are building a brand and starting a business on just about everything. This is where I got hooked, because of the unlimited potential of what you can do with a blog paired with all the powerful tools and techniques you can use while writing about what you love.
1. Create a Brand
Blogging really allows you to create a brand that is you. It allows you to take your passions and interests and turn it into hope. Creating a brand that is you also allows a level of self-expression that is hard to match. When you identify the things that are yourself, you are actively creating your own brand. When you apply yourself to the world via the many social platforms, you are distributing your brand. This is very fulfilling and regardless of whether there exists the topic of monetization, the act of doing it is very rewarding. By creating yourself as a brand, this opens many routes of opportunity and potential that you can tap into in the future as well as the opportunity to deliver the blog into a full-fledged business.
We must understand what we mean when we say, “to create a brand.” A brand is the essence of one’s product or the mark placed upon it by the name. Blogging allows us to define who we are and thus fabricate our brand. We can then use this to pursue many avenues of entrepreneurship that we wouldn’t otherwise be able to without a brand.
2. A Deeper Understanding of Your Content
You can literally choose anything to blog about. The subject that you specialize in will commonly be referred to as a “niche”. You will typically find that even if you choose something that you are very knowledgeable in, to write and deliver rich content that is fully encompassing will require a little bit more research deeper into the topic. This need to research the topic deeper is a great motivator to expand your knowledge. This expanse of knowledge will undoubtedly lead to personal growth. For this reason, I believe that blogging about anything will lead to a deeper understanding of something that you are interested in, and this is intrinsically valuable.
It is commonly recommended that bloggers, much like in other areas of marketing, find a niche to specialize in and focus on that. The more general your topic, the thinner your audience. By selecting one ultra-specific niche or topic and sticking to it, you can focus on the readers that are interested in this subsection or specific area of a subject.
I am potentially breaking the rules here. I homed in on leadership as my primary niche, but then follow it up with the term business, that may encompass many things. I do this on purpose but am constantly evaluating my decision. My reasons for this are twofold. The first is wanting to take advantage of the specific target audience that I am interested in. I want to grow as a leader as well as help others grow as leaders. I am very passionate about leadership specifically and want to direct my content towards this. The other is that I want to explore entrepreneurship as a business student and use this as not only a method of being an entrepreneur, but to explore the entrepreneurial scope of this adventure as well.
3 Expand Your Knowledge and Networks
When you begin blogging, one of the first steps is to get involved with blogging communities in order to be heard. This doesn’t happen accidentally, and it requires effort on the part of the blogger. This requires time reading and absorbing other writing and content. The time spent poring over others’ blogs and reading their articles will increase our own knowledge on topics that we know and enjoy, as well as give us plenty of opportunity to learn about topics that we are unfamiliar with. Getting involved with blogging will directly add value to you by opening you up to reading material that you otherwise would not bother to read and learn things that you otherwise would not bother to learn.
If you are largely introverted as I am, you simply do not communicate with people regularly. Getting involved in the blogging community gives us an excuse to actively engage others with the same interests in us in a very direct and positive way. In my short time blogging I have had the opportunity to become a part of circles that I otherwise would not be a part of and reach out to several people that I would have otherwise not. This has provided opportunity for connection to other real people that I would have neglected, and the connection itself has proven healthy and beneficial to me.
4. Present Entrepreneurial Opportunities
Perhaps my favorite, starting and committing to a blog will open opportunities to expand your entrepreneurial horizons. It is no secret that there are many successful internet marketers out there that make a handsome full-time income from presenting themselves as bloggers and dealers in e-commerce. Starting and maintaining a blog is a hobby for some, and a full-time job for others. Regardless of why you begin blogging, maintaining your blog will present opportunities to expanding it into a business.
By getting involved in blogging and engaging the community surrounding blogging, we will make connections that we wouldn’t otherwise make that are involved in industries that we wouldn’t otherwise experience. We can easily see where others have gained success and seek to mimic them, as well as try our own strategies on an internet platform with relatively low monetary investment.
The discipline of maintaining a blog in and of itself allows us the opportunity to see a business in full swing. Peering in at other businesses and studying their models, I saw a lot of operations, but little of the other activities involved. It wasn’t until I began blogging that I realized how much went into marketing and marketing strategies. Running your blog as a business is highly beneficial in helping to understand the input required for becoming an entrepreneur. From here, the sky is the limit, and you may take the blog anywhere you wish.
5. Grow as a Writer
It is no secret that being a writer takes both discipline and skill. Blogging regularly exercises the muscles of your mind that correspond to writing. This builds our creative muscle as well as technical skills. If being an author and reaching an audience is a goal, then growing as a writer will only help us achieve that. Despite thinking that blogging is just sloppily recording some content and posting it on a message board, it is much more than that. We may get as much or as little as we want from regularly blogging. With just two months into blogging, I already feel its benefits on my mind. The downside to this is the discipline it takes to regularly create and submit content for others.
The goal of growing as a writer should be rooted in personal development, however, there is nothing wrong with seeking the benefits associated with it as it relates to being an entrepreneur. There are many career writers that survive on the income that they generate from writing. There are many more that wish that they could make a survivable income from their writing. Blogging would be a good place for these individuals to start to develop their skills and build their brand.
The Take Away
An entrepreneur is someone who organizes and operates a business or businesses and assumes the risk. A blog is frequently treated as a business and relatively easy to monetize. If you are interested in entrepreneurship, I would recommend exploring blogging as a possible avenue to begin your entrepreneurial ventures. There are many more reasons for this, and taking this route really requires you to open your brain to begin solving some of the most basic entrepreneurial dilemmas that you will face in any industry, such as; how to make money, what you are going to do, and how you are going to do it. We can further use our blogs to grow as individuals and explore ourselves.
When I had decided that I wanted to start a blog, I was really aiming for a few certain things. I wanted a potential avenue to make additional income, I wanted to do something that would leave me feeling accomplished, I wanted to do something that my family would be proud of and could readily see, and I wanted to grow myself as an individual. All these things are what has set me on my journey with my chosen niche. After exploring the culture of bloggers, I noticed that there were a lot of people that were blogging about blogging and were successful at it. I did not want to be a niche blogger about blogging, because it just didn’t mesh within me. I still want to avoid this, and this bit of content wasn’t intended to redirect my interests away from leadership and business principles and toward blogging, however, I wanted this to be a lever of entrepreneurial exploration.
The more I explored the culture of blogging the more that I discovered that there were blogs tied to a lot of industries. I searched and researched many topics and industries and found that many of them had a blog or some sort of modern media associated with them as a part of their marketing strategy. While I personally haven't begun an entrepreneurial journey and then created a blog in order to support and drive it, I like to think that I have done this backwards, and created a blog that is now looking to drive an entrepreneurial journey, and this is exactly what this is about. I do not discredit the path of creating a business and then using a blog to support it, however, this is just not the path that I am travelling.