9 Reasons You Should Blog
This post originally appeared on Forbes.com.
I think everyone should blog, especially entrepreneurs, so here are my top 9 reasons why you should be blogging if you aren’t already.
1. It’s your new resume. I had a recruiter call me once out of the blue. She said, “Hi Dan, this is Emily from a recruiting firm. I just finished reading your blog and I don’t really have any questions for you. I just wanted to let you know that you are perfect for a job I’m trying to fill and I wanted to see if you would be interested.” Wait, what? I was stunned. I had never met this woman before in my life and she already knew that I was a great fit for the job she was trying to fill. It was actually a very good position at a great firm. Make your resume dynamic. We are no longer in the world of 1 page resumes.
2. It’s your new hiring tool. As an entrepreneur or hiring manager, think about #1 in reverse. If you are trying to hire for certain positions, people will want to know who you are and what you are about. Show people why they should be a part of your endeavor. Why they should be on your team. Blogging is a great way to do this.
3. Network with new people. I tried making music once with some fancy DJ software. I didn’t know what I was doing so I googled, “how to make house music” (that story for later). I was curious. I stumbled upon a few blogs, left a few comments and questions and before I knew it I had a new friend. This was a person I had never met before but it was a person that took special interest in my questions and helped me understand what I was trying to learn. After some back and forth, I was able to create some solid tracks. Now I listen to his tracks whenever they are released. New friend in the music world.
4. Turn messy ideas into neat ones. Ideas are a dime a dozen. They exist as some lofty, grandiose thing that lives in your head and your head alone. When you talk about those ideas they begin to make more sense. When you write about those ideas they make even more sense. This is often the reason why people write business plans. Having a blog is a great outlet to force your brain into a laser-focused state of mind. Sure, you could do this in some private notebook but what fun would that be? Furthermore, it might help you with point #1 or #2. It might even help you find business partners.
5. Reflect on your past to improve your future. When you blog, your thoughts and ideas are documented over time. Sometimes you may take certain stances on topics that may prove to be right or wrong later. By documenting your ideas in sequence, you can look back and reflect on how your ideas and opinions evolve over time. Looking at the past is critically important in understanding how to improve the future. This is why students at Harvard Business School review hundreds of business case studies. Learn from the past.
6. Get some peace of mind. As I write this post I have 15 different tabs open in my web browser, all of which require a different mindset (e.g. music vs. email, Facebook vs. Google docs spreadsheet). However, as I write this post I’m able to momentarily focus my mind on one stream of conscious thought. Doing this can be particularly hard in today’s world considering how many distractions there are. Just like the blinking Gmail tab telling me to check the 9 new emails I have waiting in my inbox. But for now I’ll ignore those and continue on with the post.
7. Create your own PR machine. If I was working on my own project or business my blog would be the first place I’d talk about it. It’s your own Public Relations soapbox. It also helps surface your views on a specific topic or industry. Views that might help you win new business. In the past, we needed radio and TV to get our messages across. Not today.
8. Juice up your writing skills. I suck at writing. I’ve maybe taken 3 writing classes throughout my life. But just like anything else, practice makes perfect and the more I write on my blog the more I find my skills improving slowly but surely. And when you consider that most work and sales today is done over email, you quickly realize that it’s much more critical to have good writing skills than ever before.
9. Produce more, consume less. It’s very easy to get caught up with media consumption. There are many days where I feel as if I’ve achieved nothing because I spent my entire day consuming other people’s content. This is a very dangerous road. I believe that by asserting yourself as a contributor instead of a consumer, you will realize huge payoffs down the road. Be a builder. Be a producer.
So if you are feeling a little motivated to start you’re own blog, I would suggest taking a look at wordpress.com and tumblr. You could be up and running in no time.
And if you already have a blog, I’d love to read it. We can connect on another micro-blogging service like twitter – @danreich.