It’s very easy for me, as a social media trainer, to talk about the advantages of blogging, to tell businesses they should be blogging, to talk to other authors and try to convince them of the value of blogging.
However, it’s not necessarily always easy to convince businesses that they SHOULD be blogging. Yes, I can quote statistics and I can share my success stories. I can share how my blog inspired my first book, how my first blog gained journalist interest and I secured my first piece of national print coverage only two months after starting the blog, how my blog has help to grow a community and yes, how it secures sales and press coverage.
Without focusing on monetizing your blog through advertising (which is what many people focus on in terms of making money from blogging), I asked Irish bloggers (within a Facebook group) what blogging has done for them. Here’s a selection of their answers:
From Blog to Book
Mona Wise of Wise Words blogs about family and food, she used her blog as a portfolio when going back to college and she went on to do a MA in Creative Writing too. She firmly believes that her blog helped her to secure her first columnist position at the Sunday Times and has acted as her portfolio as employers and editors do check it out. Mona has grown a strong following of her blog and of course, many of her blog readers purchased her cookery book.
Caitriona Redmond started blogging at Wholesome Ireland after being made redundant, deciding to use it to keep her IT skills up-to-date and to write about feeding a family with wholesome food on a tight budget. She was commissioned to write a cookbook and numerous articles. Caitriona has also had numerous TV appearances and radio interviews.
Imen McDonnell married an Irish farmer and left her American city life, donning wellies and an apron instead of high heels. She’s now appearing everywhere. It all started with her Farmette blog, she was asked to write a column for the weekly Irish Country Living supplement. From there she has been featured in the New York Times, been shortlisted for various awards and has her recipe book The Farmette Cookbook: Stories and Recipes from My Life on an Irish Farm coming out in March.
Your Blog As Your Portfolio
For many people, their blog is a creative space where they can write about their passions and share them with the world. It also provides them with discipline to focus on communicating with that audience, the blogging platform offers two-way conversation so is ideal for connecting with supporters and buyers all over the world. Catherine Drea of Foxglove Lane says her blog is an exhibition space to showcase her magnificent photography and reach buyers.
Dee Sewell writes a lifestyle blog, mostly about producing food and gardening. It helped her grow her start-up business and she now delivers tutoring and talks all around the South East as well as leading many community garden projects. As a result of her Greenside Up blog, her business was featured in Irish Country Magazine with Dee on the front cover.
Growing Your Business
Some of the bloggers stated they are now freelancing and gaining more work in their business as a result of their blog. Others got work in marketing departments in bigger companies.
Claire McCarthy of Clare With The Hair now manages a Digital Marketing department due to the visibility provided by her blog. Caitriona Foley is now ghost writing for other businesses due to her True Romance Weddings blog.
Amanda of Spiderworking mentioned that many of her clients comment on how they checked her out on her blog or came across her blog and were impressed by her depth of knowledge. Your blog is your curriculum vitae, your portfolio, a space for you to share your knowledge, show people ‘you know what you are talking about’ and yes, get bookings. Some business owners are nervous of giving away too much knowledge but there is a limit to what you can share in a blog post. Yes, some people will take the information and run, and good luck to them, but they may recommend you or come back for training or to buy your product.
Susan Jordan mentioned that her blog meant she could pay for her son’s university costs completely. An extremely popular blog, Cherry Sue in the Do has brought in a good income through sponsored posts, Adsense, affiliate links & most importantly using the blog as a springboard to pitch as a freelance writer. Susan has achieved public speaking engagements and various ongoing projects too.
Friends and Connections
The benefits aren’t just monetary or for career progression. Many bloggers comment on how the writing is therapeutic, sharing their story with the world has helped them to come to terms with something happening in their lives. Friendships are forged all over the world, travel is arranged and the globe has become a much smaller place.
Improve Your Blog
If you’re thinking your blog could do with a revamp, you need more inspiration and motivation, you’ve lost your blogging mojo or you’d like some help with the technical aspects of your blog, and you’d like to get it all sorted by Christmas, we can help you do just that in three short weeks.
Our eLearning Blogging for Improvers course starts on Monday (booking closes Sunday 12 noon). You’ll receive a lesson by email each weekday. You’ll get feedback on completed assignments too.
My new website for my book was launched a couple of weeks ago but I still need to add widgets, plugins and more to the blog. Amongst plenty of other content, I’ll be sharing the reasons why I choose particular ones so you can make the educated decisions for your own blog.