Note: For infographic head straight to the end of the post!
Since 1997 when John Barger first coined the term “blog” by calling his site a “weblog”, blogging has gone from being the newest form of self-expression to a whole new industry. The practice of using your blog as an online journal for sharing thoughts, interest and hobbies has largely remained; the difference is in the fact that blogging has gone from being a hobby to becoming a powerful tool of advancing one’s career, and finally transforming into a full-blown career.
Blogging has become an indispensable part of companies’ web presence and is not longer a prerogative of lone enthusiasts. Through blog, companies are informing users of values they stand for, leading them through the sales funnel, offering post-sale support and displaying their thought leadership and expertise.
Why should you care? Because blogging is a great opportunity to grow your career, expand your network and earn some additional income if you decide to pursue blogging as a career!
On the one hand not many people have a blog, and on the other people that blog report positive effects of blogging on their professional and personal lives. Our recent survey that included 15 072 people, showed that only 4% of them have personal websites, out of which 65% of respondents have a blog.
There proved to be several distinct goals our respondents are using their personal blogs for:
– 88% of respondents are writing about personal interests and hobbies. Blogging about your interests challenges you to learn more, to grow with your blog in ways and direction you cannot imagine and to interact with likeminded individuals, to form friendships;
– 62% of respondents are using their personal blog to grow their career. Blogging about things that are related to your industry can set you apart and position you as a thought leader, or at least signal that you are following latest news and trends and that you know how to express yourself in written form;
– 35% of respondents are using their personal blog for promoting their company. A large number of people are using blogs to promote their businesses, which is not surprising considering that people will always put more trust in people than in impersonal companies. As a matter of fact, another survey showed that 61% of consumers have made a purchase based on a blog post they read and that even larger number of consumers (70%) learn about the company through articles rather than ads.
As if that is not enough, blogging is also a lucrative business – our survey showed that 61% of bloggers have received job offers as a result of their blog while 60% of them said that they have found new clients.
And blogging is a business! Our Sales and Marketing Manager, Natasa Djukanovic stated in her blog post, that “many people and many companies fail to see that bloggers are actually small business owners. They are a one-(wo)man-show, yes, but they progress and learn all the time, they grow, they have their own fan clubs, communities and they earn money from it.”
As a more drastic example, once “humble blogs” led by one or two key people have evolved into major publishing businesses, with Huffington Post earning more than two million dollars per month, Mashable earning more than half a million and Perez Hilton earning almost half a million dollars per month.
Maybe you won’t grow you blog to that proportions (although, why not?) but blogging has too many perks attached to it to not even try. Successful bloggers make income not only from advertising, but from branding opportunities, design opportunities, book deals, TV shows, products lines, speaking gigs, etc.
Of course, like with many things in life, if you want to blog right, it will not be easy. When asked if they found maintaining their blog challenging, the majority of respondents (63%) said yes. Challenges they are facing are lack of time for writing (73%), lack of readers and response (58%) and lack of topic ideas (55%). But those are not insurmountable obstacles and you should not give up. In the end, it is more than worth it.
Blogging will get you out there, give you a new form of self-expression, open doors for you and challenge you. Blogging will allow you to build your personal brand. In fact, 79% percent of respondents in our survey consider their blog important for their personal brand. Blogging will demand you to stay on top of the things, continuously learn new skills, and most importantly, learn how to listen for the need, deliver the solution and engage you consumers – something that is very useful no matter what industry you are working in.
If you are interested, try and see what happens. There are many platforms you can host your blog on for free, most popular of them being WordPress and Blogger, and if you need any guidelines on how to start, we are always here for you!
BONUS: We made an amazing infographic that graphically presents key findings from our research. Don’t feel shy to share it if you like it! 😉
The goal of this blog post is to spread the values of self-appreciation and importance of taking care of ourselves, and give you a place where you can feature who you are and celebrate your achievements. All of these values are going to be embodied in “ME Day” celebration on March 16th, 2015.