I write a post like this every year and it never becomes old. If you are serious about making money online, having a blog is probably the most important thing you can do!
Over the last couple of years, social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and TikTok have seen such a massive boom that it probably made people think that blogging was no longer relevant. These platforms had all become mini-blogs where everyone could get their quick fix, whether that be fashion, home décor or parenting.
I wrote about how you can grow your Instagram account here!
But that’s where blogs come in. There is a limit as to what you can tell your audience on Instagram or TikTok. You can write amazing captions that might send your followers to the “link in bio” but let’s be serious, how often do you actually click on that link?
There is a lot of inspiration to be found via social media channels. However, in all honesty, if I am searching for DIY advice or blogging tips, I will rarely search for them on Instagram or TikTok. I will head straight to Google or Pinterest which will inevitably lead me to someone’s blog!
So, why should you start a blog?
I’ve probably already answered this above. If you are serious about quitting your day job and carving out a career for yourself online through starting your own business or becoming an Influencer like myself, I would say having a one is essential!
1. It’s Yours!
You have found a niche or have created your own business, you’ve come up with a unique name and have your website and hosting up and running. The rest is all down to you. There is no bowing down to the Instagram algorithm, no panicking when a social media site goes down or even worse, disables or deletes your account.
There has been a lot of talk about hackers recently on Instagram and several Instagram accounts have found themselves locked out of their account with the perpetrator asking for a ransom to let them back in. This can easily be prevented by turning on your 2-factor authentication but it does make you realise how vulnerable we all are on social media and how very little control we have over it.
You do not have control over any of these social media channels or your followers.
And this is THE most important reason as to why you should have your own website. You own this space; you make the decisions when it comes to the content. You can change your branding, theme and setup at any time. Social media channels come and go, your blog could be around forever…
2. It is more consistent
Although Instagram became my main earner after a year or two, it has been extremely hard going in the last 12 months. The Home Décor niche was quite small and unique to begin with and it was easy to secure brand deals and collaborations. It is now completely saturated and brand deals and sponsorships are becoming increasingly scarce.
It has become fiercely competitive and you are at the mercy of the Instagram algorithm. My @melaniejadedesign account really has slowed down over the last 12 months to the point of being static when it comes to my follower account and I feel Instagram may have reached its peak for me.
However, my blog is still growing with an ever-increasing email subscription list. Social media apps will come and go (remember Bebo anyone?), but your blog will always stick around and be yours.
3. It helps with creativity and provides your audience with more value
Ever felt like you have so much more to say than what you put in your caption on Instagram. That is what your blog is for. You can expand on your DIY project or go into more detail about why you chose a certain colour of paint or how you renovated your kitchen.
I find that on Instagram people have a very short attention span and think about it, when you are scrolling, you only get to see the first 2 lines of someone’s caption. How often do you actually stop on their post and read what they have to say in full? Not many of you, judging by my engagement rate. Although I have a lot of followers, not many people will stop to say hello or comment on my post. Instagram is first and foremost a visual platform.
Your blog lets you write about whatever you wish, you have creative freedom over your content and no “editor” to curb your enthusiasm. You can be as informative as you like, building trust with your audience and becoming an authority in your chosen subject.
4. It helps you improve your writing skills
I wasn’t very good to begin with when I started out with my blog. It would consist of several paragraphs and a few accompanying photos and my page views were rightly woeful. The thing is, I love writing my blog so I persevered. I researched heavily into how I could build up my page views and how I could make my blog better and after 4 years, I am hitting over 70,000 page views a month.
I decided I needed to write a blog post once a week and by doing this, it has had a huge effect on my writing skills. As with anything, the more you do it, the better you get. I am now constantly being asked to contribute my thoughts to magazines, newspapers and interior websites and I hope to get lots more opportunities in 2022.
5. Which leads me onto… opportunities!
Writing a blog post once a week has definitely seen my knowledge in all things interiors (and social media) increase exponentially. I talk a lot about colour and trends in my blog which in turn has seen my email inbox filling up with people asking for a contribution towards their magazine, or a Q&A on their website.
The more your name is seen in print, the more people will come to see you as an expert in your niche which can lead onto many things such as brand partnerships, sponsored posts and if you’re lucky, a book deal!
6. Generate a good income
Probably the most important reason why people work hard on a blog, it can lead to generating a good income. In the past, I made the majority of my income from being a content creator on Instagram but this is slowly changing. In the last 2 years, I have started to take monetising my blog seriously and this has resulted in me making a regular income, which is increasing every month.
There are many ways you can generate a good income from your blog, but the one that works best for me is advertising space. I am a member of Mediavine Home, they place relevant ads to my niche on my website and I get a percentage of ad revenue from link clicks.
You can also make money through sponsored posts with brands, affiliate marketing, providing a service like coaching, consulting services or online courses or sell products.
7. Evergreen content
One of the most important reasons why you should have a blog is that it is evergreen content. They say the average Instagram post has about 48 hours, the first few hours are crucial to your post being seen and after that, the engagement dwindles.
Your blog posts, however, are always there for everyone to see. You can direct people to it regardless of whether you’ve just written it or wrote it 2 years ago. It doesn’t matter. People will always search for answers to their problems via Google and Pinterest and your blog post could pop up in their searches for years to come.
8. Blogs help build your online brand and business
Building a brand online needs one important thing, an audience. This applies to bloggers, influencers and all businesses. If you want to be noticed in your industry, having a recognisable brand will put you streets ahead of your competitors. Having a blog is perfect for advertising your products or services and helps your audience get a feel for what you are really about.
I pin all my blog content to Pinterest and this drives a huge amount of traffic to my blog. If people like what they see, they will start following me on Instagram, it is all interlinked!
In fact, I think a huge amount of my followers found me via Pinterest. I make sure all my social media channels have the same branding throughout for consistency and in the hope that my work becomes instantly recognisable, building trust throughout my audience.
9. It makes you more credible
Amongst the millions of large Instagram accounts, how many of them actually have a successful blog? A blog is a great way to show your knowledge and expertise on a subject and put you in front of an audience that you won’t find on Instagram or other social media apps.
You don’t have to be an expert to start a blog either. I love interiors but, in all honesty, I didn’t know much about the trends or how to wallpaper.
Over the years, as my blog has grown and I have looked at ways to expand, I have taught myself how to DIY, how to look out for trends and how to become a better blogger. This in turn has helped me to teach others how to do it via my blog – www.melaniejadedesign.com.
I often get asked by big brands and publications to provide a quote or write a blog post for them, something I probably wouldn’t get asked to do as much if I didn’t have a blog.
10. It teaches you to be self-motivated and become your own boss
I have never worked as hard as I have since becoming a blogger! I take great pride in my blog and can spend anything from 6 to 15 hours writing, editing and publishing a blog.
When everyone is talking about the latest box set on Netflix and what they are watching in the evening, I spend it writing and researching. It’s a good job I love it! There is a direct link from how much effort I put into my blog to how much I get paid so that certainly is a good motivator. And there’s nothing like being your own boss to keep that motivation up!
Having your own blog takes real commitment and I think the hardest thing to do when creating a blog is actually starting it! It took me nearly a year to get my Melanie Jade Design blog up and running and almost 2 years to get this website published.
I spent a long time procrastinating, playing around with branding and generally putting it off until I thought it was good enough to publish. However, I have learnt that it is just best to get it up and running and the rest will come. Your blog will never look perfect until you have written a lot of blog posts and you learn on the job.
It will all fall into place once you have a few blog posts under your belt. The best thing you can do is write, keep to a writing schedule and post consistently.
So, not to dissimilar from social media after all!