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3 Reasons Why You Should Blog

Monetize your audience is not one of them


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Tealfeed Guest Blog

3 years ago | 5 min read

When I hear the phrase audience monetization, I feel sick to my stomach. To me, audience equals people.

My audience equals my people.

My friends.

And I would never sell my friends.

I’ve always been interested in writing and blogging, but I’ve only started practicing recently. For far too long, I’ve lived the shadow life and helped other people create blogs. I understood the value of blogging but hadn’t done anything about it.

I started blogging and everything changed. I embody the Freddie Mercury lyric from Bohemian Rhapsody, “I am exactly the man I was supposed to become.”

That’s the feeling you should aspire to if you want to start a blog.

That’s the feeling you should aspire to when doing anything.

Too many people do things because they’re practical, make money, look good on their resumes, etc.

Since it’s the six month anniversary of me writing on Medium, here are three reasons why you — yeah, you — should start a blog.

And trust me, audience monetization is not one of them.

Build a Platform for Your Life

To become successful in life, you have to build a foundation for it. — James Altucher

I started writing on Medium for a single reason: to build a platform for my future.

I want to become an international best-selling author one day (yes, I just said it out loud). In today’s world, you can’t just wake up, write a novel, and find a publisher. Whether you go the traditional or self-publishing indie route — you’ll need an author’s platform. Otherwise, publishers won’t be interested and no one will buy books from you.

That’s why so many nonfiction books are written by famous people nowadays— they sell. (Even if they’re not a writer.)

Even if you want to become an entrepreneur, work as a freelance graphic designer, or simply find a well-paying full-time job, blogging can do this for you. It can be your platform.

Imagine two people are applying for the same marketing position. Both resumes look great. Both are go-getters. You, as the hiring manager, notice one candidate has a marketing blog with a few thousand subscribers. You go to the blog and see that the candidate isn’t afraid to share their knowledge and work with the world. Suddenly, the right decision becomes a no-brainer.

The opportunities are limitless!

Let’s imagine you’re building a business in 2020. What’s your first step?

Business schools tell you to conduct focus groups, build a beta version of the product, etc. (all of that nonsense). The right first step is to create a media-first company — a blog so insightful that your potential customers can’t help but subscribe. Then you’ll be able to test all of your hypotheses, understand your audience, and have customers lined up once you’re ready to launch.

Building an audience is the best investment you can make for your brand. It’s better than saving money and buying stocks. According to Naval Ravikant, content is “the leverage of the 21st century and the secret behind the new rich.”

Your blog is an investment in your future. View it that way, and it’ll be just that.

Learn How to Write and Communicate Effectively

I saw this at business school — people from the U.S. have no fear of public speaking and usually write the best essays.

But people in the U.S. have it better than most countries. Where I’m from (Russia), people can’t talk or write. Seriously. I mean, we all know the alphabet but when it comes to communication, presentation, or selling skills, Russians suck.

It’s as if we’re afraid of other people (maybe that’s why people think Russians are generally cruel).

People say that coding is the language of the 21st century. I disagree. Knowing how to communicate in plain English, being heard and understood, is still, by far, the most critical skill.

And like most things, you don’t acquire the skill by reading about it (although, if you do, I recommend starting with Strunk’s Elements of Style). To learn to walk, you need to get up, walk, and fall a few times. It’s the same with writing: to learn how to write, you need to write.

Neil Gaiman gives the best advice to writers, which I’ve quoted a million times already, but it’s worth repeating a million more:

You learn to write by writing. So just write. Assume you have one million words inside of you that are all rubbish. Just get them all out as quickly as possible. And then the good stuff will start popping up.

Blogging helps you learn how to write and communicate effectively. But you have to do the work: write every single day. No listicles, fiction, or thought pieces, but analysis.

And the best part is that by having something to write about every single day, your brain will rewire itself. Soon, you’ll be unstoppable. You’ll see lessons, takeaways, and content everywhere. It will make you a better human being.

Learn and Educate Others

For my generation, not knowing about something and documenting our journey publicly is natural. There are countless stories of people who have started newsletters and blogs about topics they knew nothing about and figured it out along the way by teaching others.

In many ways, blogging makes use of the Feynman Learning Technique: you learn best when you teach others, and explain what you’ve just learned in the simplest terms.

When I started a video production business a few years ago, I didn’t know how to find clients. I knew nothing about video production (my partner, a professional movie director, was in charge of it all).

So I did what any reasonable entrepreneur would do, I blogged about it. I blogged about our journey, content marketing, why videos are important, etc. and shared it all with my audience.

A few months passed and I received a call. Someone recommended my blog and we secured a major client as a result. It felt like a joke. Here I was, documenting my journey and sharing what I learned, and people thought of me as an expert.

That’s the funny thing about blogging: people assume you’re an expert if you have the guts to write about it.

I’m not saying you should lie and pretend like you know it all. Readers are smarter than you think and can sniff bullcrap a mile away. It’s always good to be honest — especially about things you know nothing about.

You can use blogging as a platform for your education; you can learn and educate others as you go.

You don’t have to be an expert about things you want to blog about. People have Wikipedia for facts. It’s enough to be passionate about your topic and to document your journey. In the world of clickbait marketing, readers long for honest human connection.

This article was originally published by Sergey faldin on medium.

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