Obviously, I love blogging. Those who know me know that two years after launching A Mummy Too, I quit my day job to run the site full time.
Blogging is, of course, a seemingly ever increasingly popular publishing medium. It’s a way to express ourselves, and a way to contribute our own slant on everything from family and food, to current affairs and popular culture. Work hard enough at it, and blogging can even provide you with a whole new career route and source of income.
But as well as the obvious benefits offered by blogging, there are many more ways that finding your voice online can prove to be a really positive force in your life.
After running this blog for almost five years, my relationship with my own role as a blogger has evolved hugely, but some things remain constant.
Here are ten ways blogging has changed me for the better, and could do the same for you.
Boost your creativity
Blogging gives you an outlet for your creativity that you just don’t get in a typical day job. Why? Because (client work excepted) there are almost no limitations, no sign-off procedure, no management-imposed style guide, no board meetings. You write for you and build an audience who love the way you write.
You can use your blog to find new ways to express yourself through words and images, or to indulge your love of a particular hobby.
However you choose to use it, blogging is a great way to get those creative juices flowing.
Build your self-esteem
Spending too much time listening to your inner critic? Start blogging.
Running your own blog is a fantastic way to prove to yourself just what you’re capable of, without any of the pressure of someone else’s agenda.
It’s particularly brilliant if you’re naturally shy and retiring, as you don’t ever have to stand up in front of a room full of people, and you can even write anonymously if you wish.
Share your passion
Sharing your enthusiasm for something feels good, right? Well blogging lets you do this on a global scale. It’s a fantastic way to connect with like-minded people, and as you’re not constrained by geography, your audience is potentially enormous. You get to take part in and enhance a global community, which feels pretty amazing.
Learn new skills
Blogging allows you to develop all sorts of technical skills – copy writing, photo editing, website design and social media management, to name a few.
These are all valuable, transferable skills that could enhance an existing job, or provide you with the ability to offer your services on a freelance basis.
And the beauty is, it doesn’t feel like work or study. You simply do something you love, naturally honing your skills and expanding your knowledge in the process.
Share your skills
Blogging is a great way to teach your skills to others, and it allows you to share your knowledge with an international audience.
You may even want to expand on this sharing of skills by creating online courses or educational products.
Trust me. Whether it’s getting a better night’s sleep, arranging flowers or baking a quiche, when someone comes back to your blog to let you know how your advice helped them, it feels great.
Be your own boss
Blogging allows you to work at your own pace, and to your own agenda and wherever you like. You can flex it to fit around family life and other commitments, and you can choose exactly which direction you take it in.
This level of autonomy is incredibly liberating, but do bear in mind that you’ll need some discipline in order to stay productive.
Having a creative outlet via your blog is a brilliant stress-buster. You can step away from daily life and immerse yourself in writing, which works wonders for your ability to cope when you return to the real world.
The flexibility offered by blogging is also perfect if you’re looking to move away from the pressures associated with a traditional nine-to-five working pattern.
Do some good
Blogging doesn’t have to be groundbreaking to be worthwhile, but if you choose to use it to change the world, you just might succeed.
If you’re passionate about a particular cause or charity, it’s a great way to spread the word and build support. The blogging community is huge and resourceful enough to affect real change.
Become a role model
As parents, we’re the most important role models our kids have. If you’re passionate about your blog, work hard on it, take pride in it, and fit it in with your other commitments, I think you’re providing a pretty great role model for your kids.
Kicking ass at something and sharing that journey can also prove inspirational for your readers and other bloggers too – no pressure!
In an era where many of us don’t know our neighbours and operate in increasingly isolated environments, blogging can help us to regain that feeling of connection. Yes, you’re connected virtually, but you’re very much part of a community of readers and fellow bloggers, with shared knowledge, experiences and support. And that feels good.
Interacting with other bloggers naturally creates a gang of virtual mates, who you can then catch up with in real life at blogging conferences and get-togethers. Hurrah!
Are you a writer? Do you blog? How has blogging changed you for the better?