By: Hillel Fuld
OK, maybe the title is a little dramatic, not EVERY single human being needs a blog, but if you are reading these words right now, then yes, you need a blog. I’ll explain.
If you are reading this blog, chances are you are someone who works or hangs out on the Web. OK, if you just dialed into the internet with your AOL connection and just happened to stumble upon this post from a Yahoo search, then no, this post is not for you.
If, however, you are part of the other 99% of people between the ages of 15-50 who realize the Web is where all the cool kids are hanging out, then start a blog. Right now.
Your Business Card/Resume
Yes, people still give out business cards and still send CVs, but it won’t be long before that stops. Your blog is going to become who you are very soon, and in my case, it has been years since I gave anyone a business card. If we meet and you are interested in learning more about me, twenty seconds on this blog, or this blog, or this blog, will give you everything you need to know.
I write about technology, but you should write about whatever topic interests you and excites you. Whatever you do, start the blog for the right reason, which is passion. I have heard many people say “But I am not passionate about anything”. I’m sorry, but I refuse to believe that. Every person has some topic that gets them going. Whether it’s tech, fashion, movies, food, gossip, or any other topic, there is something that interests you in the world. Forget how competitive the niche that you choose is, offer your own unique angle on the topic and start writing.
“But I don’t write well!”. Then there is yet another reason to start a blog. There is no need to share it right away. Write for yourself, improve your writing skills and articulate your thoughts. I did that five years ago with absolutely no plans of monetizing the site, branding myself, or driving traffic. I just had thoughts on mobile, so I decided to jot them down.
If you follow me online, you know the result. I now guest post for sites like Mashable, Gigaom, Business Insider, and many more. All my social media activity started five or so years ago when, one day, I just decided to start writing my thoughts down. Do it, you will thank me later.
Whatever topic you choose to write about, as I mentioned, make sure it is something you are passionate about. The number of other sites that write about that topic should not be a concern for you. This blog that you are going to start right after reading this post, is yours. It is your voice, and there can be ten million other sites writing about the same topic, but none of them have your voice.
While the competition out there should not be something you take into consideration when starting your blog, your consistency should. If you are going to do this, and YOU ARE going to do this, you need to go all in. You need to be prepared to take this seriously because again, this is going to be your future home on the worldwide web. So updating your new and awesome blog once a month, or even once a week, ain’t gonna cut it.
I know this sounds scary but it is not. I write two to three blog posts a day for the past three years and I realize not everyone is as passionate about anything as I am about tech, but even if you post a video, which takes 20 seconds, or a 100 word post, which will take you 10 minutes, the key is consistency.
If you want a concrete number, I would say aim for a post a day. Why? Because then people know to come by every day and see what you shared with them today. Because then, your content database will grow so much by the end of one year that your SEO will already start driving you traffic.
I will give you one example. Over a year ago, I wrote this post. Now, a year later, that post is on the first page of Google results for the word “Instagram”. The traffic is astronomical. That is one of many examples of posts I wrote that drive me traffic long after they were written.
Write as many posts as you can and you never know what post will drive you thousands of readers even a whole year later.
At the risk of sounding egotistical, I think my case is important for anyone who is looking to brand themselves online. And by the way, again, if you are anywhere near the internet, you should want to brand yourself online, at least to a minimal level that when someone searches for you, they immediately know who you are.
Like I said, I started blogging one day five years ago, for no apparent reason, besides the fact that I had what to say on topics of mobile technology and the Web. Now, after five years of consistent blogging, I am widely and (ridiculously) considered an expert on topics of mobile and web. I do think I know a thing or two about these topics, this is not false modesty here, but I never had any official training on these highly technical subjects. All I did was write a blog.
Yet, I have been quoted on CNN, TechCrunch, Mashable, TheNextWeb, and many more as an “expert”. I have interviewed industry shakers such as Scoble, Mossberg, Kawasaki, Gary, and so many others. I even have my favorite childhood actress reading my content regularly.
At the end of the day, all this happened from that one ordinary day, in which I just decided to start blogging. It used to take thousands of dollars and a marketing agency who specialized in branding to single-handedly create a brand, now it is free and it takes ten minutes a day.
Just Do it!
As I write this post, I realize I have so much more to say about this topic. I also realize that my point here is somewhat controversial and many will think I am nuts, but I truly believe that a blog is an incredible medium and platform for any human being to build themselves up and communicate with an audience. If you are going to take my advice and start a blog, you can use WordPress to author it if you plan on taking it very seriously. If, however, you want to be able to jot down your thoughts with no bells and whistles, Tumblr might be for you.
The one thing I will say is that you can ignore this entire post if you plan on taking the “Facebook approach” to blogging. What I mean is that many view Twitter and blogging like Facebook, that they go in once in a while, check out what’s up, and leave till the next time. While blogging does not take long, most of the time, it requires a certain level of dedication and consistency, as does Twitter.
If you are going to attack this project with the dedication it deserves, you won’t see the results in a week, month, or even a few months. I would say, for the sake of giving some sort of concrete prediction, that if you go at this for a whole year, every day, or at least 5 times a week, you will start seeing serious traffic and begin bearing the fruit of your labor. Now, go get blogging!