With the rise of social media I often hear: but why do I need a blog? or even worse, why do I need a website? I thought by now everyone on the planet would understand why a blog and a website are very important. Heck, I'd even call them essential. And I live by that, I have this blog and 2 other websites, My daughter has a website, my wife has a website (she'd rather me not link to it), and even my sister has a blog. I encourage all my friends, colleagues and clients to get online. It is so cheap anyway that you might as well do it. I'll even set you up for free. But if my expert advice and the free WordPress site service I have available aren't enough to convince you, maybe this list will.
You can do anything.
Not like zombo com, but really. Once you have a website, you can share anything you want regardless of what the social network says you can or cannot do. It is the ultimate freedom of speech tool. Often times, Facebook or Twitter and other networks censor your content or downplay it in favor of something else. On your website, you are the master of your domain, literally. If you want to talk about puppies, rainbows and unicorns you can. Normally nice little topics like this aren't in danger of getting scruitinized or deleted by the networks, but if you want to write controversial essays, or even promote product or sell something, chances are you can't do it on a hosted network or website.
You have control and ownership.
If you are a creative type or simply would like to maintain control over what you write, the photos you create, videos you produce or any creative endeavor, but you still want to share these with the world, a website you own is the best channel. Nobody else can claim ownership to your content or pictures like FB and Instagram have done in the past.
It isn't that difficult.
Lucy recently went off on an ad she saw about 9 year olds doing wordpress websites, and while maintaining your website or blog isn't as easy as chewing bubble gum, it isn't difficult either. It is very similar to using a text editor like microsoft word. But your friends and family will be impressed when you show them the latest viral video, or showcase your photography or videos.
You owe it to Gutenberg.
A long time ago, Johannes Gutenberg came up with the printing press and changed the world. With the printing press, we could preserve our history, tell stories, teach and generally disseminate information better, faster and more effectively than ever before. A blog and a website are the new printing press, but better. You can just type away what you want to say and hit publish, then your content and ideas are available for millions of people to read. Instantly. No editors, no gate-keepers, no expensive prints and re-prints. Just hit publish.
Find a community, or build a community.
It is the best way to meet other like-minded individuals. When you start a blog, you tend to write about a central topic, or a group of topics, as you write and share more information about the topic, you'll meet other people that have similar interests. This is a phenomenon that doesn't happen in the physical world. If you are into carpentry for example, you could go out to your garage, open the door and start building stuff... You could do this for a year or two and never ever meet another carpenter that shares the passion for woodworking like you do, because you are limited by your geography. But put your work on your website, share your build plans and showcase your finished products and you'll attract carpenters and woodworking aficionados from all over the world.
Your ideas matter. Many people say that ideas are a dime a dozen, and as our population grows, people throw around the notion that there are no new ideas. That may be true, but your perspective on a concept could inspire a breakthrough. I often get this response: "Who would want to read what I have to say?" and after I'm done rolling my eyes I explain...
You may be looking at things from your own angle and by sharing this perspective, you are adding to a global conversation that wouldn't happen anywhere else but online and can't catch fire without that perspective being on your website first. Plus there's that thing about finding and building the community I just covered.
Earn a living.
With a website or a blog, you have the opportunity to make money. Yes, you can start a real business just with a website. You can turn your expertise into a valuable service or product that people can buy directly from you, no middle man. You could write educational or how-to books, you could develop a product that saves people time or solves a problem and then sell this online. Having a business from your website, is the best way to work from home while giving you a chance to spend more time with kids and away from the tedious 9
But it doesn't stop there, if you can't come up with a product or service that you would like to build from scratch, you can always re-sell other people's products and services. This works much like a retail store that sells many different brands, or a franchise that borrows an already established brand and sells a product that people like and recognize.
Find a new job.
You can use a website as your living, interactive resume. A traditional resume is boring and one-dimensional. When you put your skills abilities and desires into a well structured website, you give a potential employer a great insight into you. Show a video of your work, write an essay of how you acomplished all that great stuff at your last position. Include testimonials and references from people.
Let people find you!
When you need something, you often have to go out and find it. Like if you need money you need to go out and work for it. If you need a job, you need to find it and apply for it. But with a website you can attract money and people that you need in your life. When you have a website, particularly a wordpress website, your chances of being found via the search engines increases tremendously. Let the internet, your website and search engines bring what you need to your doorstep instead of you having to go chase it.
Learn a skill for the future.
I know that sounds cliche and more like it belongs in a mid-day tv commercial for a technical vocational school, but really, let me explain. Running a blog helps you develop valuable skills. Marketing, writing, and media distribution, search engine optimization, photo editing, video publishing, and the list goes on. Not to mention that you'll learn one more piece of software to add to your resume or personal abilities list. If you want to make money, or get a better job, sometimes knowing how to work WordPress can make the difference between you and the next person. People charge $35 - $750 USD to write blogposts, and anywhere from $50 to $500 per month or more to maintain a blog.