In this blog post I’m going to share with you why I started blogging. Well, I’ve always enjoyed the writing process, but let’s start at the beginning, ‘What is a blog?’ and ‘What is blogging?’
A blog is an informal website consisting of personal diary entries typically displayed in reverse chronological order. I.E. The last blog is viewed first.
Blogging is the process of writing and publishing blog posts on the World Wide Web.
Long before the internet, I was always in to writing from an early age. This took on the form of poems, lyrics, short stories, scripts, letters and almost a book, but that’s another story!
Back in the day, there was no real way to self-publish and have your work read by thousands of people. Maybe that was a good thing!
I was a reasonable early adopter of the Internet, but it wasn’t until I discovered WordPress that I started to blog prolifically.
When I first got online the only way to publish was to have a website built. It was a little while after I discovered WordPress and I’ve been blogging for business and pleasure ever since.
In case you don’t know what WordPress is, basically it’s a Content Management System (CMS) that allows you to build websites and blogs without knowing any coding languages like CSS or HTML.
If you can use Microsoft Word, you can find your way round a basic WordPress site. However, for more complex and customized sites we use code to add unique features.
I started blogging because it was a logical step to start for me to take to structure my writing instead of scribbling on scraps of paper, carrying a weighty journal around and scribbling on my arm. When song lyrics pop into your head, you got to get them written down on anything before they disappear!
Blogging also gave me more autonomy over my life and a sense of Freedom. No more towing the corporate line or working 9-to-5 (what a way to earn a living).
Blogging to be a Better Writer
Please note, I use the words writing and blogging interchangeably.
Blogging and publishing your words in the public sphere on the net raises your game. You’re no longer writing for yourself. You’re open to criticism, sometime courting it and to greater of lesser degrees, wearing your heart on your sleeve.
This awareness, I hope has made me a better writer, a better blogger, you may disagree!
Blogging to have Better Thought Processes
Like anything you put your mind to, the more you put in, the more you get out and blogging is exactly the same.
Nowadays, many people only communicate via social media and convey their ideas in a sentence or two (I may be exaggerating here, but I think not!).
Politicians and the Media do the same. We can often recall slogans, but what of the meat and potatoes behind the headlines and policies?
When you blog, especially in long form articles, you actually have to engage the old grey matter, plan, construct sentences, paragraphs, a narrative, have a beginning, middle and end, tell a story and educate or entertain.
Where I’d argue social media dumbs us down, blogging keeps the wheels turning and creates a better system of thought processes instead of sloganeering.
Sometimes I’ve started to write a blog post, not knowing how I was going to convey the subject I was about to write about. By starting to plan and structure my thought processes on a blank screen enables to clarify the key elements I aim to blog about to create engaging content.
Blogging Helps to Create a Well-rounded Mindset
Blogging has helped me develop a well-rounded mindset. As I’ve mentioned before, I believe social media is dumbing the populace down to sloganeering and repeating other peoples’ ideas without any additional thoughts of our own.
When you start blogging (photography blogs are the exception) you need to think a little deeper, research the gaps in your knowledge, check out opposing views and counter them with well thought out arguments.
Obviously, this takes a little time and effort and it’s much easier to be offended by something on twitter (140 – 280 characters of less).
Why I Started Blogging for Business and Maintain a Personal Blog
I’ve been blogging now for something like 15 years.
I must have started 100’s of blogs in that time. Some I still work, while others have served their purpose and I’ve let them go.
ThinglishLifestyle.com is my only personal blog right now and I share it with my wife.
It started as a way to document some of the things we find ourselves doing or travel to and a place to document our journey together through this thing we call life.
It’s a record if anything of what we have achieved and when we did it.
It’s also our website and we own it. If we only posted on Facebook and they decided to delete our page for some implausible violation, we would lose everything. Not to mention them selling all our data etc.
ThinglishLifestyle.com also generates an income stream though Amazon Affiliate links, ads and our online store. We are actually going to gut the store soon and will only be selling our moringa and tree to bar chocolates directly from the site.
I also blog for business. My two main sites are:
While I write for both of these two sites, I also employ ghost writers, although I do edit the content, they produce so it’s more in keeping with ‘my voice’.
I also have a bunch of other niche blogs I write or edit ghost writers work. These are purely additional revenue streams for me. Diversification is the name of the game!
Sometimes I also write and publish blog posts for clients, although generally speaking we have a great team, a well-oiled machine to create, publish and manage client blogs.
Make Money Blogging
Is it possible to make money blogging? Yes, but it isn’t easy as some would have you believe.
Like any business, there are no magic bullets for success and blogging for money isn’t any different.
To make money blogging you need to have a niche blog, with lots of long form content (between 1200 and 2000 words), be consistent with your posts, have an intelligent SEO structure and a product(s) people want to buy from you and a whole lot more.
When you get it right, you can make a handsome income, replace your day job and become a full-time blogger.
Once you learn how to approach writing, learn the techniques to write long form blog posts and publish on a regular basis you’ll be on the way to be a professional blogger.
For a new blog however, you’ll be looking at a year or more before you start to see a life changing income generated from your blog.
If you want to fire your boss, start a blog today!
Blogging to Inspire Others
First and for most I blog because I like to record my thoughts and interests and share them online. If what I write or what I do, be it planting a permaculture food forest, grow cocoa or living as an expat in rural Thailand inspires others, then that’s all for the better.
I don’t go out of my way to impress anyone I simply live on my own terms. If that inspires my blog readers to start blogging, planting trees or stick it to the man and move half-way round the world, I’m good with that.
Meet New People Blogging
When you blog in a niche (or a number of niches) you start to be part of a larger community of like-minded people.
New friendships are started through blog comments, emails, social posts and forums. These communities are a great resource for building your knowledge base, exchanging ideas and growing your brand.
Giving and sharing acquired information is fun and one of the many rewards you get from blogging. It always feels good to give, right!
There’s a lot of hate and trolls on social media networks but I find in the blogging communities, there is a lot more support and far better conversations to be had.
Blogging for a More International Life
I’m a pretty seasoned, well-travelled, international man of mystery but blogging connects you with people in the unlikeliest of places.
Before you start blogging, you think you have a good idea who your audience is and where they are from (if you don’t you should!) but you never know 100%.
I’m not talking about Nigerian princes who want to send me $17M, but it’s always nice to hear from people in all corners of this globe!
I blog first and for most for myself. If my words connect with someone half-way up the Andes or in deepest darkest Peru, it’s a good time to pause for thought and marvel at the power of this thing we take for granted called the interwebs.
Being a Lifestyle Blogger
ThinglishLifestyle.com as part of the name suggests is a lifestyle blog (voted 2nd in the Best Lifestyle Blog Awards 2019).
I’ve always been conscious of what I eat and what goes into my body but since I started this blog with my wife, I’m even more aware of the world around me.
A large part of what we do is focused on growing and preparing our own food. This has led us down a rabbit hole on issues like organics, greenwashing, the environment and a whole lot more.
We have always steered away from politics on our blog, but I’m more than happy to debate issues in the real world with real people.
For a lifestyle blog, I find it is the best practice to stay focused on your subject or niche, not lose sight of what you’re all about or get lost in bipartisan politics. It’s all a load of bollocks anyway!
I also Vlog?
What’s a vlog you ask? A vlog is a video-blog! Instead of bashing away at the keyboard to produce words for a blog post you walk and talk to a camera to produce a short film.
We make regular vlogs using the DJI Pocket Osmo camera in addition to our blogs and upload them to our Youtube Channel. If you haven’t subscribed to our channel, click here.
How to Start a Blog
Why I started blogging may not be the reason you should start blogging, but I hope I have I inspired you to start a blog?
You may want to start a travel blog, a blog about your pets or something you are really passionate about, but how do you start blogging?
You’ll first need to decide what niche you are going to blog about and then choose a name.
Once you have a name for your blog, buy a domain name for your blog. I always use Namecheap. Click the banner below and search to see if your domain name is available.
If you are a little more advanced and tech savvy, I would recommend Siteground to host your blog.
Bingo! You now have a blog live online.
Now don’t get distracted with how it looks, what theme you have, or even the layout. Your primary goal now is to blog and blog often to build up the content on your site. You can make it look beautiful later on and also look to monetize it with ads and affiliate links in a year to 18 months down the line.
Build your blog the right way with good quality content and in a little over a year from now you could be walking into your bosses’ office to fire him!
From now on you’re a full-time, location independent blogger!
Why I Started Blogging