11 Reasons to Start a Blog
I feel like since it's still the first month of the new year, it's a great time to try and convince people to do something new - not for my benefit, of course, but for theirs. I've gained so much from starting this blog only four months ago and I just want to share why I think others should do the same. Here's an inconclusive list of reasons to start a blog:
1. Feeling a sense of accomplishment
I used to be one of those people who was bustling with ideas, and would start something and never complete it. I'd be left feeling useless and incompetent - especially because I was the one who assigned myself the tasks. Probably two years ago I started to pace myself with my projects and really strive to complete them, no matter the upcoming obstacle I might face. When I started nkemistry.love, I was a little scared I would fall into my old ways but decided to move forward with this ongoing project - and I'm so glad I did. I don't have enough space here to describe the sense of accomplishment I feel when I finally post an article or share some of my work on this blog. All I can say is that having a non-pushy method accountability for my goals/aspirations is only serving to help a sista out long term.
2. Controlling the narrative you want to express to the world
How many times have you wanted to share an opinion about something happening in pop culture, your local community, your home, or even your head? Managing a blog provides the flexibility for one to share their thoughts, ideas, and creativity in a way that both represents them and is most comfortable to them. We live in an era where everyone is highly interconnected and one person's thoughts and feelings can quickly spread through society so as to be seen as a gospel of sorts; it's hard to carve out your own voice and expound on your thoughts articulately. I think having your own corner of the internet allows you to do that in your chosen way. Also, your voice does matter and people want to hear it!
3. Personal growth, growth, growth!
Maybe you have thoughts that you want to share, but never considered blogging. "It's too time-consuming; no one will care about what I have to say; I can't keep up with it..." The good thing is that you can start small and slow, which gives you all the time you need to adapt as well as quell those gnawing feelings of self-doubt. And you know what the ultimate result of surpassing your comfort zone is, right class? Growth! Whether we sense it or not, each time we make ourselves uncomfortable, we are then able to access a deeper part of ourselves. Naturally, this idea applies to starting something new (in this case, a blog). I never anticipated that having this blog would change the way I view the world and interact with people, however subtly. I want for as many people to feel that positive shift as possible.
4. Inspiring others without even realizing it
Here and there, I'll receive comments from strangers and friends alike on either the content of my blog posts or the fact that I have a blog in general. Some of the articles I've posted, which I felt were rather personal and people wouldn't relate to much, garnered the most messages and offline comments from people feeling motivated and inspired. One person - I constantly think - if I can inspire or relate to one person, then I'm moving in the right direction.
5. Keeping your thoughts relevant and creative
Because consistency is everything, after posting an article, it's not long before I'm thinking what to write about next. Before I started this blog, I had a queue of so many topics I wanted to write about, but four months later, those topics don't seem so relevant. Managing something about which you must be consistent leaves you thinking outside the box, opening your eyes a bit more to the world around you, and acting as a target for unsolicited (but welcome) inspiration coming from all angles.
6. An opening of opportunities
Though this is the first blog I've managed, it's not the first time I've written for an online publication. I used to keep a study abroad blog as well as write for Applause Africa Magazine and can remember gaining free attendance to conferences, fashion shows, music events, and more due to the exposure I would bring. If you're someone interested in journalism and/or media communications but don't know where to start, having a blog is a good way to give you an internet presence. And who knows, perhaps your personal blog will grow into an opportunity of a lifetime for you.
7. Writing samples at the ready
More often than not, companies hiring look for candidates with adequate (if not superb) speaking and writing skills. Even if you're applying/interviewing for a job and the company doesn't ask for a writing sample, you can go above and beyond by providing a link to what you believe is your most well-written article, just blowing their minds and causing them to hire you on the spot. Right there. No questions asked. Just kidding, but how much easier would it be to just shoot over a blog post that displays both your writing acumen and your interests to a potential employer. Hobby turned useful!
8. Honing digital and writing skills
I'm sure this was already implied (because of my clearly arbitrary sequence of tips here), but when you manage anything online - whether an email account, social media page, or blog - there are going to be a slew of options and tools to help you optimize your work. Hooray for that, yes, but learning how to use them isn't always easy. The good thing is, once you've mastered a particular tool, you can add it to your growing list of hard skills to pull out for future use. Also, the more you write, the better you get at it: iterate, iterate, iterate.
9. Bettering your work, yourself, and finding a like-minded community
It's one thing to post your work and a whole other to share it. I once received a comment from a former boss that though I thought my work was so good but because I was reluctant to share it with her, I was living in a vacuum. Then, I had no idea what that meant (didn't even care to Google it, lol), but now I fully understand the importance of sharing your work/thoughts/ideas both to expose yourself and amass a following (if that's your jush(sp?)), and to receive positive and negative feedback so you can better yourself. It's also important to remember you're never the only one! Zillions of people all over the world are doing the same thing, and there's comfort in those communities.
10. Showcasing your talent!
How many people do you know who are sitting on some real talent, who want to show it to the world, but who are a bit apprehensive? I know a lot. Having a blog, or a site, or a podcast, or a YT channel, or any space to hold your work for people to be amazed or inspired by makes it easier to exhibit your story and perspective. To me, talent is anything that moves the artist and/or the spectator. It can be physical talent that speaks to your vivid senses like photography (some of my favorites are www.obedobwoge.com and @boybloom) or words that make you think or speak to your soul (some of the women who inspired me to start this blog: Ev'Yan Whitney, Jamila Reddy, Trill Yoga, and Alex Elle). Whatever it is, let your voice be heard!
11. Having an outlet
Sometimes that's all it is. You just need a place to put your words, and maybe a journal doesn't cut it. Whether anyone sees it or not, holding your precious thoughts, ideas, and moments somewhere can be beneficial therapeutically and otherwise.
Again, this is my inconclusive list of (very compelling, I think ;)) reasons to start a blog. I just believe there is everything to gain and nothing to lose - coming from a woman who had a hard time committing to projects I assigned for myself. Oh, if and when you do start your blog (or expose your content anywhere) do share it with me so I can help support and encourage you. Happy creation!