Very few bloggers have just one blog these days. I’m one who has a primary blog, a few other “projects” that I’m continually working on, and several other blogs that I freelance for. While it’s tempting to focus your blogging time into those endeavors that truly pay the bills, I’ll share why it’s even more important to pay yourself first – by blogging on your own properties above everything else.
1. It’s a super warm-up.
Waking up in the morning, my first thought is “what will I write on my own blog today?” While I usually have 3-4 client projects percolating in the back of my brain, my focus remains on any of my personal/business sites before I start thinking about the others. Why? The brainstorming, drafting, and polishing that goes on with my own blog post each morning sets the stage for a day of ever-increasing quality and originality. I am free to make a few mistakes on my own blogs, without fear of losing a client, and I can safely get those morning “doh’s” out of the way.
2. It builds your platform.
What’s a platform, you may ask? It’s only one of the most important tools that any aspiring writer, blogger, public speaker, movie star, or future president will ever have. It’s your online presence, your body of work, and your experience tied into one. If you blog regularly on your own sites, you will keep putting equity into that brand that is all “you” – not someone else. That equity will pay big dividends when you finally land your first book deal, or whatever professional dream you have lingering on your bucket list.
3. It is a continuing education.
How do I learn how to edit HTML, incorporate new widgets, test new social media tools, or tweak my email newsletters? I learn all of my new skills by practicing first on my own blog. The safety net that comes with taking a risk on your own online properties makes the peril more appealing. Using your blog as a guinea pig for the daring things you would like to do for others someday is not only a smart use of your time, it is crazy fun and highly recommended.
4. It fuels a passion.
After ghostwriting 15 blog posts on event planning, for example, I may never care to see or read about mini pastries or environmentally-friendly A/V equipment again in my lifetime. Heading to my blogs each day, on the other hand, allows me to explore the topics that turn me on, keep me wanting to write, and get me excited for new and challenging topics. Blogging for myself ensures that I’ll never have to cover those niches that have bored me in exchange for a paycheck, and I’ll keep that fire that allows me to keep “blogger” on my business card, year after year.
5. It is an outward expression of an inward evolution.
Sure, it sounds cheesy, but a blog that you own and write on regularly can be an accurate way to document the changes that are going on inside you. And while I don’t mean anything physiological or supernatural, I do admit that just the act of discovering a new management style or reaching a new level of awareness as a spouse or a parent can come out in your blog (even if you don’t refer to it directly.) When you look back on a past post and recognize how far you’ve come, it’s a beautiful and motivating thing. The reflection on that amazing, literary time capsule you call “April 2007”, for example, is one of the very best reasons to blog for yourself first.
Every word you write comes at a cost of time, imagination, and skill. Isn’t it time you made the commitment to give yourself the “first fruits” of your blogging talent and pay yourself before anyone else?