I came across this post on linked in and it was too good to not share. The author highlights all the benefits of starting a blog. The key thing he mentions is that you accrue all these benefits even if no one reads your blog. I have found all of this to be true in my personal life. I have very few readers of this blog, but in the end I write this blog for me and not for someone else.
Blogging helps you learn…
The benefits he mention include that blogging helps you learn. This has been true for me, as if I want to talk about something I often find myself doing some research into the topic and digging a little deeper so that I can express my points in writing. His point about helping you learn points to the studies about how teaching others and writing things down sort of solidify ideas in your head, and while this is undoubtedly true, the research aspect alone has also forced me to take a deeper dive into things.
Back when I worked for Infor they had a program called green bean mentoring. This program would pair a recent college graduate with a senior person in the company for one on one mentoring. When my director asked me if I was interested in participating in the program as a mentor. Though I had never mentored anyone before I decided to give it a try. I was required to take some company training on the program and then as a part of that program I was paid a bonus for being a mentor and my mentees got pay raises that didn’t come out of our main budget at various milestones in the program. After taking the company training it was clear that this was designed for general business people and not technical people. So I put together my own milestones for the guys to work on as part of their technical growth and one of the items I had on the list was they needed to start blogs and post to them weekly. At that point I had only been writing on this site myself for maybe 9 or 10 months but I was already seeing the benefits, and so I felt it would really help their growth as well. At the end of the day communication is extremely important in all job roles and writing down your ideas is a great way to improve that skill.
Blogging will help you reach your goals faster…
The next benefit listed is that blogging will help you reach your goals faster. This one isn’t apparent when you start blogging. But I think it has worked out for me. I had various career goals that seemed to align much faster after I started this blog than was happening prior to it. Correlation isn’t causation, but I think it is related. Focusing on trying to get out a weekly post here focused my mind in general about technology, the state of the industry, and what I was working on at my job as well as what I wanted to be doing. Just having those things kicking around my head was unconsciously focusing my attention on things that are important to me in my career resulting in me spending less time on various time sinks that we all waste time with. At the end of the day time is our most precious resource that we have, and anything that improves your focus and pulls you away from time wasters is a huge benefit in your life.
Another career related aspect that I noticed was when I was actually changing jobs last year. Recruiters immediately noticed that I had a blog and it makes you stand out from other candidates. If you are in competition for a position and the company is able to see your writing and get some insights into how you see the world and how you approach problem solving, or what your interests are that can be edge against another candidate that they don’t know anything about. The big risk when hiring anyone is the unknown quantity. Is this person going to be any good? What if they are great at interviewing but they don’t actually perform. You end up wasting a bunch of time both hiring that person and now are in a position of not getting what you had hoped to get when you hired them. This reason alone is why hiring people based on referral is often preferred as they are known quantity.
Blogging will make you a better writer
The final point mentioned is that blogging will make you a better writer. This is definitely true as writing isn’t something that most people practice after they graduate from University. You wrote all those essays for any liberal arts classes that you took and then all of a sudden you don’t do any writing anymore save for the occasional email. Like most skills if you don’t practice it the skill degrades. We are compensated for the value that we can create in our professions and if you have a great idea, the only way that you can bring people along to implementing those ideas in an office environment is by being able to clearly communicate the idea and how it will drive value for the business. If you aren’t good at communicating your ideas this is going to hold you back in life. So when you start blogging and your colleagues don’t you are improving a skill that over time will get you farther ahead.
I needed to share the article as when I applied it to myself I definitely found it to be true for me and something that people should consider. Blogging can also be relaxing, as you have all these ideas kicking around and getting them out is great. I feel it also helps improve your ideas, as you are considering all these ideas and trying to make a case for them when you write them down it forces you to focus on them and scrutinize them and improve those ideas. Give it a shot and I predict after 6 months you still start seeing the benefits that I have seen as well. (Which is also why a consistent Theme of mine every year is regular posts as I don’t want to lose the benefits that I already have).