Peter John McLean
Start a Blog, here’s why (Writing)
I started blogging when I was 16 or 17. I wasn’t doing anything of value, I was just writing about my life and whining and being a typical angst ridden teenager with absolutely nothing of value to share. It was awesome. Like all things in life, it had its value though. I spent a lot of afternoons writing longwinded rants about life and venting irrelevant opinions to my six or seven readers. This, as I have learned, is pretty damn common considering how many blogs there are in existence that serve no purpose other than to share a sole author’s views, frequently to about ten people.
Except for the particularly mean spirited or dumb ones I think it’s a pretty cool thing. I mean, if they offer content that is of no value to anyone it’s pretty unlikely that they will end up ranking all that high in Google so it’s safe to say they aren’t going to block readers from content with actual value. And these random blogs give people a chance to write as much as they want and explore different subjects, writing styles, and voices. It is certainly a good way to waste some free time if nothing else.
If you keep at it, however, it can be a lot more than just a casual hobby.
Become a Better Writer
If nothing else, blogging regularly will make you a better writer. I look back at some stories and papers that I wrote when I was in high school and I cannot even believe that I am the same guy that penned all of that drivel. Blogging regularly has helped me to communicate better and to write as I speak. Sure, haters will say – but your writing still sounds weird and confusing. Ah, but that is because when I speak I sound weird and confusing. So that isn’t a problem with my writing style, it’s just a problem with who I am and how I communicate. To fix that I would just have to get dropped on my head again.
Committing to updating a blog once or twice a week for a year will force you to write anywhere from ten thousand to three hundred thousand words that year. Even if you write extremely concise blog posts averaging two to three hundred words per article and only post once a week you will still produce over a thousand words a month, and over ten thousand words in a year (for me, that was incredibly challenging math).
I hate the word networking but I used it anyway because it actually means more than making friends. I wanted to title this part Making Friends but any idiot can make friends (except me), whereas networking is actually something more challenging and more important. A network means people that recognize your skill, can vet you when needed, and can offer you help/favors/work etc.
A friend means someone who borrows your favorite blanket and then never gives it back.
I have a total of maybe one friend. He lives a thousand miles away – but is damn cool. Other than him I have a few good people who I occasionally go out with, but mostly I spend time with my cats, family, and chessboard.
On the other hand, I have some very good clients who give me great assignments that I enjoy doing and pay me what I deserve. I have people who know my work and will recommend me when I need it. And a lot more people. These aren’t people who get a Christmas letter from me (though they should wish they did, my Christmas letters are awesome), they are just people who know me and my work.
Blogging is a powerful way to network with other people.
Boom. Money. Now we’re talking. Making money from blogging is extremely simple – but that doesn’t mean that it is easy. It’s not, it’s really hard. The friends I have that make a living from their websites work hard and most of them have been doing it for many years.
I made a total of three or four hundred dollars a month from a blog at my absolute best. I’ve never received full time passive income from blogging, so I can’t even speak on how to do it. I imagine replicating my three hundred dollar a month system would have led me there eventually, but I didn’t want to do that. Building my coffee blog and earning a few hundred bucks a month in passive income was a great endeavor for me, I learned a lot about blogging and I also learned that the blogging/affiliate income model wasn’t what I wanted to do long-term.
I love writing and working with people that need good writing, so that’s where I ended up. Thanks to my background in blogging, SEO, and making money from blogging it was actually incredibly easy for me to get started freelancing writing and finding clients that desired my skill set.
And it all started from just being one of those opinionated idiots with a personal blog.