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Blogging For Broke: The Value of Blogging Outside of Income

03 Jun

empty-pocketsI first began the Bennis Inc blog in July of 2011 and since then I’m proud (and amazed) to say it has earned over 37,000 hits, 1,000 comments, 614 loyal subscribers and many, many more readers and supporters. Thank you! Even if this is your first time stopping by, you’re contributing to something that has grown into my passion among other things. I often get questions from fellow bloggers, entrepreneurs and friends who want to know the best way to monetize a blog. I usually stare at them blankly and respond with, “I never thought of that.” Well, that’s not completely true – I have wished that I could find the magic bullet to turn my blog into a big money maker where all I have to do is write and rake in the dough. However, I know enough to realize that this is not even close to the common scenario for so many blogs out there, and it’s not really my goal for blogging to begin with. Instead, I choose to feed the hungry Bennis Inc blog with weekly ramblings about the unpaved road of entrepreneurship for reasons that are not directly fueled by money. That’s right, I’m blogging for broke and I’m perfectly OK with that. The benefits I do receive from blogging are ones that I couldn’t buy if I tried. And so I find it important to share with you – and all fellow bloggers or aspiring bloggers out there– that blogging brings great value completely separate from the monetary kind.

Complete Control

As a business owner you may be the boss inside your own world, but as soon as you offer a service to a client or customer they become your “boss” to an extent. They have the ultimate say over deadlines, scope of the project and final edits. Frankly, there are some days when I just need that feeling of being in control again! My blog is the place I know I can always turn to satisfy this need. I am the boss here. I have the first and final say in what I write about. I tag, categorize and schedule posts exactly as I see fit and there’s no one there to second guess accuracy or style. I imagine this to be similar to the enjoyment an artist gets out of painting for himself every so often rather than for a specific client. The final masterpiece is all your own and whether you display it to the world or keep it all to yourself – that’s your decision to make.

A Means For Progress – When All Else Stands Still

I can’t be alone when I say that I enjoy progress. I hate hold-ups and stand-stills. In fact, this was one of the main motivating factors as to why I left my former job and ventured out on my own to begin with. While my projects progress at a much quicker rate than they did before I owned Bennis, Inc, I am still at the mercy of my clients if I’m waiting on feedback or critical information to move forward. There are some days when I have a million balls in the air, yet my hands are oddly idle because of clogs in progress. I refer to this state as the calm before the storm or being stuck in the eye of the hurricane. At any moment I could have an inbox full of emails come in fill my day up instantly. So what do I do when I’m waiting on a stand-still? I turn to my blog. It allows me to feel accomplished and to get the immediate gratification of taking something from conception to completion. It’s literally how I keep my hands busy whenever I need something to do.

A Living Portfolio

My blog is my journal and my canvas. It’s where I direct my extra creativity when it’s not fully exhausted on client projects. Every so often I enjoy looking back to some of my first posts, not just to see how far my writing has progressed, but to catch a glimpse into exactly what I was thinking months and years ago. I can remember the most pressing issues in my life at that time and briefly relive them through my writing. It’s a living portfolio not just of my work, but of my life. Better yet is when a client asks to see my writing samples, I can easily direct them to my blog where they have a full array of topics and styles to choose from to really immerse themselves in the level of writing I can produce.

People Really Get To Know You

The final and possibly greatest benefit to my blogging is how many people it reaches without my ever knowing. My day is instantly made when someone mentions a recent post in conversation and I had no idea they ever read my blog before. I have friends and family members also tell me about acquaintances who read my blog on the regular. Many of these are people I have yet to meet! From such experiences I’ve found that my blog allows people to get to know me for more than just my business, but as a person. It’s that “human element” I so often advocate for businesses to tap into. When someone feels like they have insight and understanding as to what makes you tick, they are more likely to trust you – and eventually hire you when your services align with their needs. Social media allows people from all over the world to feel like they really know each other even if they’ve never met or spoken in person. Blogging is a powerful means for creating such peripheral relationships.

If you’re stopping by as a reader, but have been curious about starting your own blog, I hope this gives you some inspiration to take that next step forward (here’s some information you might find helpful). Who knows what passion it could unlock within you? If you’re a fellow blogger, I hope you’ll take just a moment to comment with the benefits you receive from blogging and consider sharing this with your community as well.

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8 responses to “Blogging For Broke: The Value of Blogging Outside of Income

  1. Rory Alexander Photography

    June 3, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    Great post. I agree with all of your points above. I started my first blog when I quit my job to go teach in China ( http://roryinchina.wordpress.com/ ) and two years later I had written 88000 words and had a great journal of my time there. I enjoyed it so much and so continued with Rory in New Zealand, America and South Africa where I am back now.
    I too started thinking that perhaps I could turn it into a money spinner but actually am content to have it as a creative outlet and use it to share my experiences with the world. I enjoy writing about them and even if one person enjoys reading them then that’s enough for me. While it doesn’t earn me any income per se it has opened several doors and that’s more than I expected when I started.

     
    • Stephanie Shirley

      June 9, 2013 at 10:14 am

      I very much have had the same experience. Blogging has opened doors and created a reason for people to reach out who I would otherwise have never crossed paths with. That alone is worth as much or more than a blogging profit.

       
  2. msperfectpatty

    June 3, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    I learn a lot about the perspectives and opinions of other through blogging. The blog community can be so interesting and encouraging. I love to write, I’ve spent some time interning in PR and continue to have interest in both, which is how I landed on your blog and I am glad that I did! 🙂 The benefits of blogging have allowed me to ask for feedback on my blog without feeling the harshness criticism can bring. I have grown as a person and writer and continue to seek out new ideas, inspiration and motivation for my own blogging experience.

     
    • Stephanie Shirley

      June 9, 2013 at 10:11 am

      You’ve definitely found the benefits of blogging outside of income! It’s great that it’s created a way for you to receive feedback on your work in a constructive way. keep it going!

       
  3. terryshen

    June 7, 2013 at 11:09 pm

    Well said, Stephanie, at so many levels. This topic probably crosses most bloggers’ mind at one point in time. And sharing how blogging provides you values, outside of income is inspirational. I particularly appreciate your link to your tips about blogging. They are very helpful and generous and Thank you for sharing.

     
    • Stephanie Shirley

      June 9, 2013 at 10:10 am

      Thank you for the comment – I’m glad you found some of those blogging resources helpful. Blogging has definitely been a creative inspiration for me and I hope others can find some sort of inspiration from theirs as well.

       
  4. msperfectpatty

    June 10, 2013 at 11:21 am

    I’ve nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award!! http://msperfectpatty.com/2013/06/10/and-the-nomination-goes-to/

     

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