To Blog or Not to Blog: That is the Question
I am a big believer that everyone should have a blog.
Lots of really smart people think blogging is a big waste of time (Ramit is one of them).
We are both pretty smart guys, so who is right and why can’t we all just get along?
Why You Should Blog
I’ve mentioned this in as many places as I can: blogging is a great way to stand out as an employee. If an potential employer is looking at two different candidates and one has a blog where he/she has explored issues related to the industry, interacted with other people in the space, and thought a lot about certain issues, then that’s a huge plus.
If the other candidate is just as capable but doesn’t have this “added bonus,” guess which one is going to get hired?
These are the kinds of things that make you a better employee.
Blogging about whatever topic you’re passionate about or the field you work in is going to make you smarter and more interesting on that topic. You try coming up with something relatively interesting on a daily basis for one specific topic.
It ain’t easy.
But getting into that habit is a great way to grow and become a bit of an expert in any field. Blogging is like teaching: once you start doing it you’ll get a different perspective on whatever topic you’re writing about. And you’ll become better versed at said topic.
Added bonus: you’re writing will improve, which is important no matter what industry you’re in. Email is how everyone communicates these days and if you can’t communicate clearly you’re going to irritate a lot of people.
Why You Shouldn’t Blog
If you’re trying to start a business or make some money on the side, then don’t start a blog. When I started this site, I was really looking forward to writing about personal finance on a daily basis. I was inspired by the things Trent and JD had done, as well as some other smaller bloggers.
Way in the back of my head I wondered if I could maybe make some money at it—but that wasn’t my main motivation. If you’re main motivation is to make money, skip the blogging and focus on more important things.
Things like knowing exactly who your target customer is, knowing what appeals to them, and getting that first paying customer.
If you’re in this group, I totally agree with Ramit & Co.—you have no business starting a blog. All you’re doing is killing time on something that’s “easy” compared to the tougher tasks of actually going out there and acquiring your first customer.
Blogging is a great way to improve your writing, expand your knowledge on a given subject, and to meet other people in the field. It can also help you stand out in a job search, although I’m sure this won’t last long as more and more people have something like a blog.
To all the entrepreneurs out there: don’t blog if there are other things you know you should be doing. Like nailing down your product, service, or customer profile. It’s not going to move your business forward in any significant way.
Image by Brian Hillegas