Starting a blog can change your life.
It’s changed my life and I know it’s changed thousands of other’s lives.
When I was working at my previous employer I knew I wanted to start something on my own. I knew that I wanted to build a business and a business that was linked to what I was passionate about.
I didn’t know exactly what that business would look like (and I’m still evolving it greatly as we speak). But I knew I just had to do something.
The Best Advice I Ever Received.
Just quickly, I want to share the best advice I ever received.
I attended a local workshop that was an introduction on how to meditate. The facilitator is a well-known personal development speaker here in Australia and I had previously attended a couple of his other workshops.
I love facilitating workshops and training others and what he was doing was inspirational to me. He had built a million-dollar business by speaking and running workshops on personal development.
Back to the meditation workshop… at the end I went up to him and asked “Hey Ben, I love what you do! I would love to do something similar to what you’re doing. How do I do it?”
I stood there waiting for his answer eagerly like this was going to be the golden words of wisdom that would completely change my life.
He looked at me and said casually “It’s simple. Just get started.”
I was a little confused.
I had already started… I was reading personal development books every day. I was focusing on my goals. I was doing stuff! I had already started!
I remember leaving and thinking to myself how lame that advice was… that’s what any Tom, Dick and Harry would say.
But over the following week I was reflecting on that advice and the more and more I thought about it the more and more it started to hit me.
It really was true.
There aren’t any barriers except the ones that I create for myself.
I just needed to get started.
I needed to start building a platform and building my expertise in an area that I was passionate about and on a topic that I would love to facilitate training on and help others.
So, it was born.
My blog – The Start of Happiness.
And since I got started, my life has changed and continues to change.
I now have 2 online businesses that have started as a blog and I am able to help over 20,000 people from all parts of the world live a more fulfilling, successful life.
It’s pretty amazing.
And it all started to happen because I started a blog.
But there are other benefits too.
Top 10 Benefits of Starting a Blog
Below, I share with you my Top 10 Benefits of Starting a Blog.
1) Clearing Your Mind
Something special happens when you express your thoughts on paper (or through a blog).
All those jumbled thoughts that are running through your head start to become streamlined. You can start to add some structure to your thoughts.
Feeling overwhelmed? Have a million and one ideas running through your head? Or not sure about how to deal with a specific situation?
The art of writing down your thoughts will give you a sense of “cleansing” of the mind.
A blog is a perfect way of doing this and the power of writing and it’s benefits have been proven in numerous psychological studies.
2) You Become Vulnerable
One of the biggest things we fear in life is being vulnerable.
That’s why public speaking is up there with death as one of the biggest fears in life. It makes you vulnerable.
It’s natural for us as humans to do everything we can to protect ourselves, our image and our reputation.
However, one of the most attractive qualities of another human is… wait for it… vulnerability!
When someone is 100% true to themselves and they express 100% who they are, you are attracted to it.
Starting a blog will help you become more vulnerable and put yourself out there more.
Even if no one reads your blog… the fact that it is on the internet and that potentially someone might read it you start to feel that vulnerability.
Vulnerability helps you grow as a person. It’s about being outside of your comfort zone.
3) Creative Expression
Blogs are a great way creatively expressing yourself.
We all need some kind of creative outlet. And the benefits of creative expression are huge.
There are a number of ways you can creatively express yourself through blogging. Obviously, writing is the most visible way. But things like designing your website and or producing videos are further ways you can express yourself creatively.
4) Develop Your Expertise
No matter what you are doing in your life, you can always learn more.
Starting a blog enables you to think about things in greater detail and enables you to structure your thoughts and what you learn (see point 1 above).
By focusing on a particular topic for your blog you will notice that you start to develop a deeper understanding of that topic. You will start exploring other blogs in your niche and you will consciously (and subconsciously) become better and more knowledgeable.
Not only that, but people will start to recognise you as an expert on that topic.
I started my journey by reading personal development books and attending personal development seminars. Now people come to me for advice on productivity, happiness and business… and this is just because I have developed my expertise (and showcased this) through blogging.
5) Develop Productive Habits
This is one of my favourite things about starting a blog.
I’m a nutter for high-performance. I love doing anything and everything possible to help me perform at my best. And blogging is one of those things that will help you develop productive habits.
Blogging will create discipline in you.
Whether you decide to stick to a regular blog schedule or not, it doesn’t matter. The art of writing and knowing that you have the blog and committing to it being updated will create all-round discipline and this will have positive flow on effects to other areas of your life.
6) Develop Relationships With People You Admire
One of the most amazing things I have experienced since I started my blog is just how easy it is to get in contact with and how willing to help all other bloggers are.
It’s like this great, big, community feel of people making a difference in the world.
But it’s not even just bloggers. Its entrepreneurs. Its speakers. It’s anyone trying to build their brand, expertise or business. It’s anyone trying to better themselves.
When I first started focusing on happiness it was amazingly easy to setup a coffee conversation with Dr Tim Sharp, Australia’s leading happiness guru and a Skype conversation with Alexander Kjerulf, one of the world’s leading happiness experts. This is before I even had any kind of brand or influence. This is just one example of many I’ve had over the last few years.
7) Become a Better Communicator
Now that I have been blogging for some time, I have noticed that I’m much more aware of how I structure my sentences and my language.
This is not just with the written word, but with my spoken word as well.
Writing emails and writing articles has helped me focus on how I can get my teaching point across while also keeping you engaged as a reader.
It’s all about engagement and influencing others and blogging has certainly helped me here.
8) Build a Business
When I first started The Start of Happiness I knew that I wanted to make an income from the blog but I wasn’t sure exactly how I was going to go about it.
Four months after starting I added a link to one of my blog posts to another bloggers product (see point 6 above) for a product on making friendships. It was for an ebook that he was selling for $34. Someone purchased his ebook after clicking through from my link and I was paid a 50% commission.
I made $17!
This was just the start. From this point onwards I knew it was possible to make an income from a blog.
Since then, I have grown The Start of Happiness to have 4 streams of income (Launch Your Life Academy, First 1000 Subscribers, Google AdSense and Affiliate Promotions) all while focusing on providing massive value to you as part of my community.
I was also inspired to build a more traditional business and used a blog as the primary driver behind this. I launched Gradrecruit – a graduate recruitment business and this is another area of life that has developed because of starting a blog.
Having a blog will help you start and grow a business, create leads, give you a platform to promote products to and generate an income.
9) Live a More Intentional Life
When you have a blog, you have a sense of purpose.
As you start to put yourself “out-there” more (see vulnerability in point 2 above) you will notice that you start to live more intentional.
You will start to focus on how you can provide more value to those that are reading your blog.
You will start to reflect more on your own life and how you are living and demonstrating the things that you are teaching through your blog.
Ultimately, you will feel more of a sense of accountability and intention for what you are doing with your life.
10) Make a Difference
This is the biggest one for me.
When I’m on my deathbed I want to know that I have put in 110% and made as much of a positive impact in this world as I can.
Having a blog will enable you to reach out to and communicate with people that are interested in what you have to say.
You have knowledge and life experience that can benefit others. You have a fantastic opportunity through blogging to be able to impart your knowledge and experience on others and make a difference in their life, whether you know them or not!
That’s a powerful thing.
3 Quick Steps to Start Your Blog Now
Here are the three things you need to get started with a blog right now.
Step 1: Get a domain name and hosting with Bluehost
The first thing you need is to get a domain name and hosting. You can do this all in one go with Bluehost.
It will take you about 15 minutes to get fully setup with your WordPress blog installed.
Simply goto Bluehost, click on Get Started Now and follow the prompts. Easy!
Step 2: Choose a great-looking theme from Studiopress
To stand out from the millions of other blogs on the internet you want to make sure you have great design.
Studiopress themes run on the Genesis Framework. The framework is simply the “skeleton” or backend of the theme. Why is this useful? The Genesis Framework is widely considered the fastest, most responsive and cleanest code available. It’s second to none and with the sexy themes from Studiopress you will stand out like a rockstar and Google will reward you with higher search rankings. You can purchase a theme and the Genesis Framework together.
Step 3: Get an email service provider – Aweber
To be able to capture email addresses and build a community and make a difference in others lives, you need to have an email marketing program.
Aweber is widely considered the best option for starting out. It’s cheap, it’s easy to use and you can start building an email database in minutes.
I have used Bluehost, Studiopress and Aweber from the very beginning and I still use them today. I’ve never had any issues and they have been instrumental in allowing me to build my online platform.
Over to You
Do you have a blog? If so, what benefits have you experienced?
Are you thinking of starting a blog? If so, what is the main reason you want to start a blog?
I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
P.S. Next week I’m opening the doors to my First 1000 Subscribers course. This will give you the proven blueprint to skyrocketing your subscribers. Stay tuned!
Awesome article, Brendan! I could not have said it better myself!
I have started blogging recently and the idea of being vulnerable has sparked a reflective fire in my mind. Since starting the blog, I have become more mindful in any situation in life. Being more present and increasing my self-awareness has helped me become a better communicator as well. Blogging has sparked a “mindfulness cycle” in my life. I am more mindful of my thoughts so that I can share them with others who can relate, but I also blog to improve forge my ability to more present.
Out of the 10 ways blogging has changed your life, which one was the most obvious and why?
I really connected with your statement “I just needed to get started”. I have always been full of passion, ideas, and the ability to inspire. However I previously lacked the venue in which to share these gifts. Blogging is now this venue for me. Thank you for sharing the background of your journey.
I’ve found blogging to be therapeutic. It’s a place I can share my thoughts, experiences, and vent on subjects I’m passionate about. It’s good to get it out. Since I want it to look presentable, I take extra time to analyze my arguments and structure my thoughts. This makes me reflect deeper on my own views and do more research. Blogging has also been a fun project for my daughter and I as I share her YouTube projects on my blog and website.
Thanks for the interesting article.
In Motion to Improve, Achieve, and Create Value
Hey Brendan, great article. Another benefit of blogging is learning new topics. Whenever I want to learn in a new area, I write an article about it. I’m a great believer in ‘teaching to learn’ . Thanks for the post!
It is easy to start and blog but difficult to keep it up.
You’re competing with millions of other people.
I suggest targeting ten other bloggers with whom to build a relationship. Comment on each others blog posts and you’ll be amazed how far it will go.
Good luck and neat article
Blogging is definitely a life changing work. You have to leave behind other things just to invest in this kind of opportunity. Your will be facing lots of problems and struggles while achieving your goal. As long as you’re dedicated to what you’re doing and you’re loving it, you will become successful in the end.
Depending on how you set up your blog and what things you focus on, I would also add another thing to the list: You will learn a lot of new things, not only about the world, but also yourself. I have been blogging for over 3 years now, haven’t made a single cent off of it (instead am losing money with all the hosting fees and the books I buy in order to learn more about the topics I discuss in my blog). However what keeps me going is intrinsic motivation. I use it as a platform to learn about different things, improve my own skills and hopefully have others learn from these things as well.
That’s uncanny! Just wrote a blog post where I touched on that lol
For me it started with an urge to write. I was going through a tough time at work and felt stifled. So I started writing fiction. But I journaled so much more because I needed it.
The blog became a way to structure what I gained from self reflection and research and it is evolving into sharing the perspective I have in order to help others
Wow. I have just started a blog and I think I can already relate to 75% of what you’ve shared. In fact I just formally registered as a business as well. We’ll see what happens next 🙂 Perhaps I’ll end up following a similar path. Have a great weekend!
Now you made me curious what’s the 75% you relate with and what’s the 25% that you don’t 🙂
For me, the biggest benefit is this:
It helps me deepen my learning. Let’s say I read a book on changing your habits for the better. If I just read the book, my understanding isn’t as deep. If, however, I’m writing an article about the book and the process of changing habits… uh boy… then I truly need to understand this stuff.
Instead of just reading about it, I now need to explain it to others through writing. And, according to research on the science of learning, explaining something is a powerful learning strategy.
Ultimately, this helps me improve myself faster. Which is my ultimate goal anyway.
So, in a way, I see blogging as a personal development tool. And that’s imo its biggest benefit 🙂
So true… you learn more about a subject if you teach it… it’s kind of the same principle.
I just came across your blog from a google search on top personal development blogs.
I am so glad to have found you!
I just started my blog a couple of months ago, and I had been struggling to narrow my niche down.
After reading your post, it really gave me clarity as to how to focus my blog.
Personal development is a passion of mine, and I have spent a decade on getting better year by year. The first time I ever discovered personal development was back in 2006 when I heard my first Brian Tracy CD, “The science of self confidence”.
I love what your mission is for your blog.
That’s helping people. Reading how you inspire and help 20,000 people has set a fire within my soul.
I am an entrepreneur and my passions are coaching and helping people. People have always told me to be a motivational speaker but I wasn’t sure if I could do it. It left me vulnerable.
But now, I am going to take massive action and build my blog and set a goal of helping people.
Thank you for this inspiring post. I will be back regularly to read your blog.
Thanks Corey! So glad to have you here!
I believe in it because it really change my life and the way my business works. When I started to have a blog in my website, that’s when I realize that content is still the king. People still loves to read about the company, product or services before they patronize it so if you have a blog, make sure to share and post quality content to persuade group of individuals who can be your targeted market.
You got it! It opened up my eyes to a world of online business.
Hi Brendan, a very inspiring story you had here.
And almost like you, creating a blog and running it has changed my life.
And right now running my blog is considered one of my most important things in my life.
Even though I’m yet to see any remarkable results from my blog, but I know that as long as I focus on growing it and continue to provide value through the blog, it will eventually make it.
Thanks for sharing. Your story has inspired me to go on and drive me to do more. Cheers.
Stay at it! Blogging is definitely a long-term game if you are wanting to build it into something that makes an income.
I’ve started a blog after going through depression, procrastination and financial and personal difficulties.
Through procrastination, I’ve started and re-started my blog, then after reflecting on my life if I had only 24 hours to live (Darren Hardy) I decided to ‘just do it’, whether or not it was perfect.
I agree with the vunerability, at first I did not want my family and friends to know that was me, but I’ve stopped hiding. It still makes me nervous when I’m about to press ‘post’, but I’m getting there.
I would love it you were able to share my blog.
That is so good to hear! Keep it up!
I was attempting to gain access to the free starter kit. It said I would receive a link in email, but I have not received it yet.