The Birth of A Blogger
A year ago I was not a blogger. I thought blogs were for people who wanted to keep an online journal about how their day was going and how bad their ex-boyfriend sucked. I knew I needed an online presence, but I thought my needs were more advanced than a blog could provide.
I knew the name blog came from mashing together the words web and log. The idea summoned Captain Kirk’s voice in my head saying the words “star date.” I didn’t need a futuristic MySpace page, I needed a professional website to express my ideas.
I had already spent hundreds of hours trying to learn PHP. All of that time had only produced a primitive framework for what was to become GeniusTypes.com, and I decided to take a break and see what else was out there.
A few Google searches later I about fell out of my chair. The level of design and content available on the web blew my little hacked-together PHP site out of the water. These guys were either all programming geniuses or someone was helping them out.
I quickly learned that a new generation of opensource blogging software, lead by a program called WordPress, was making it possible for the average person to focus on putting their ideas on the internet instead of learning how to code. The software was completely free (hosting not included), and professionally designed templates were available to make these sites look fantastic.
I was clearly wasting my time trying to learn how to code. It certainly wasn’t my strong suit, and the work had already been done by the WordPress elves in the sky. Besides, even if I could get a professional-looking site up, I could never match the ease and simplicity at which WordPress organizes content.
I learned that blogging software can create much more than just a blog. It’s an extremely powerful content management system for just about anyone and any business. Now that I know, I recommend it to just about everyone who needs a website. Why pay for an expensive design when you can just tweak a blog template to suit your needs?
No More Barriers to Entry
Now that the barriers to entry (coding and cost) have been all but eliminated, there’s no excuse not to have a website. The future value of even a lazily-kept blog is too great to pass up.
In today’s world, the chances you’ll stay in the same job for the rest of your career are slim. In fact, the chances you’ll stay in any one job for more than a few years are slim. It’s a rapidly changing world and you have to take steps to secure your future.
Every time you leave one job for the next, you have to start over again; learning a new system, gaining new seniority, and building new skills. You dust off the old resume, add a few experiences, and put it back on the shelf to collect more dust.
A Living Document
What if you could keep a living, breathing resume with you throughout your career, through several jobs, and across several experiences. What if this document could keep track of all the great learning experiences as they happen and archive them so you’ll never forget?
Better yet, what if you could express your ideas to others and build on your expertise in a forum that isn’t limited to your current work environment? Over time, as you meet more and more like-minded people, you can begin to build a powerful network.
What if, over time, this document begins to encompass all that you’re passionate about professionally; so that anyone, including potential clients, employers, and business partners can find and connect with you and your way of thinking? Wouldn’t that be powerful?
Today’s blogs can do all that and more.
Reasons to Blog
There are a lot of good reasons to start a blog today and begin archiving the important bits of information that normally enter and leave your brain.
1. Your Personal Brand
A blog isn’t just an online journal anymore, it’s your own personal brand. As jobs, businesses, and investments come and go; your blog remains a consistent representation off all your skills, talents, and valuable information.
As it builds and connects you with others, your credibility and online stature grows. It becomes a representation of who you are and defines you beyond your current occupation.
If done right, your blog can be the hub for all your professional activities; including job hunting, business prospecting, idea testing, and publicity. In any situation, you can hand someone a business card with one web address that will give them all the information they need about you.
2. A Permanent Archive of Your Thoughts
With all the work we do in our daily lives, there is so little to document the fact that we were ever here. Everyone dreams of leaving a legacy, but few ever do. One of the most exciting aspects of a blog is the ability to capture and permanently archive your thoughts.
Once you write a blog post, it will be available for the world to see for as long as you keep your site online. As you add more and more posts, you’re adding deeper and deeper layers to your work. A year-old blog can be packed with more information than several novels.
3. Web Traffic is The Currency of the Future
Blogs are natural traffic generators. It’s actually quite amazing. The blog software communicates with other blogs, search engines, and traffic sources behind the scenes. You might not even realize it, but your blog is working overtime for you.
Compared to a static website, a blog is much more likely to attract visitors. Search engines are attracted to the organization and structure that blog software gives you. Blogs naturally attract links from other blogs, which is the most powerful way to generate search engine traffic.
All of this means that your blog will begin to generate a stream of traffic, and traffic is the currency of the web. Even if your stream is just at trickle, it’s much more valuable than the non-existent traffic streams of most of the people you know.
If you treat it like an investment by slowly building it over time, your stream might just grow into a river that could potentially make you independently wealthy.
Traffic is valuable in so many ways, we’re just now beginning to scratch the surface. If you already have a traffic stream as new uses are discovered, you’ll be in the perfect position to realize the value.
As of right now, Genius Types traffic is tangibly worth about $10 per 1000 page views when you count all of the income streams. That means that once I get to 100,000 page views a month, I’ll have an income stream of about $1,000 a month.
The great thing is that the $10 CPM (cost per thousand) figure I just gave you will continue to grow over time along with my overall traffic, which will increase my income exponentially.
The main reason it continues to grow is that web advertising rates are set by simple market economics. As more and more advertisers look to the web, the demand for ads increases. As I get more and more traffic, the demand for my particular advertising source increases as well.
If you can get on the leading edge of this new advertising model, you’ll be way ahead of the competition in five or ten years.
4. Your Own Private Market
Selling advertising on your blog is the easy way to make money online, but there are much more valuable ways to harvest the power of traffic. Once you’ve built a reader base, you now control a highly specific target market that trusts your authority on a subject. That’s gold for a marketer!
Your own private market is much more likely to purchase a product that you produce or endorse than the average market. For example, you could write an e-book and sell it directly to your own market.
If you own a consulting business, you’ll be sure to find a few new clients amongst your private market. Almost anything that you create can be introduced to your market.
5. Your Affiliate Network
The advertising world is moving towards a network marketing style model. More and more businesses are offering a commission for referring someone to their product or service. As TV advertising becomes less relevant, and the world becomes more interconnected; companies are increasingly reliant on personal recommendations.
It’s very likely that much of your individual income in the future will be produced by your affiliate network. What if most of our purchasing decisions in the future are made on personal referrals, and each referral is worth something? People with authority in large networks will make a lot of money.
You can already see it happening. Many of the biggest internet money-makers are doing it with affiliate marketing.
To be a part of the marketing revolution, just keep track of the products you use that really impress you. See if the producer has an affiliate program and recommend it on your blog. Over time, you’ll build a base of affiliate links that might start generating an income stream. Ten years down the line, that might be all you need to do to pay your way.
6. Page Rank Power
Google and other search engines have a ranking system for every website on their catalog. Having a decent page rank is valuable, and will become increasingly valuable in the future.
In addition to bringing you more search engine traffic, having a high page rank means that other sites want to associate with you. People will pay money for you to link to their site, hoping for some of your rank to rub off on them.
In the future, more and more value will become of page rank.
Types of Blogs
You don’t have to be a writer to start a blog. A blog can hold any type of information that you can think of. Many of the most popular sites on the web are just collections of links. By linking to information, you provide a service to information seekers by saving them the time it took to find the information.
A blog can be a collection of pictures, or movies, or songs. No matter what it is, it’s important that you just get started with something.
Begin to carve out a tiny little corner of the internet. Plant the seed and slowly nurture it by adding information to it over time. Before long, it will grow and blossom into a tree that might shelter and protect you.
Read How to Blog :: The Manual to get started.