Andy Wibbels, an online associate of mine wrote this post and it is powerful one for bloggers and/or writers who might be blocked. He and I both can’t stand Rush, but he does give give the ol blowhard praise.
You have something to say, and blogs provide a place to say it and be heard.
2. To Market or Promote Something
Blogging is a great way to help market or promote yourself or your business, product or service.
3. To Help People
Many blogs are written to help people who may be going through similar situations that the blogger has experienced. Many parenting and health-related blogs are written for this purpose.
4. To Establish Yourself as an Expert
Blogs are wonderful tools to help bloggers establish themselves as experts in a field or topic. For example, if you’re trying to get a job in a specific field or hoping to publish a book on a specific topic, blogging can help legitimize your expertise and expand your online presence and platform.
5. To Connect with People Like You
Blogging brings like-minded people together. Starting a blog can help you find those people and share your opinions and thoughts.
6. To Make a Difference
Many blogs are issue-based meaning the blogger is trying to provide information to sway people’s thinking in a certain direction. Many political blogs and social issues blogs are written by bloggers who are trying to make a difference in their own ways.
7. To Stay Active or Knowledgeable in a Field or Topic
Since successful blogging is partially dependent on posting frequency and providing updated, fresh information, it’s a perfect way to help a blogger stay abreast of the events in a specific field or topic.
8. To Stay Connected with Friends and Family
The world has shrunk since the Internet has become more accessible. Blogs provide a simple way for family and friends to stay connected from different parts of the world by sharing stories, photos, videos and more.
9. To Make Money
It’s important to point out that most bloggers don’t make a lot of money blogging, but the potential does exist to generate revenue from your blog with hard work and commitment. There are many bloggers who bring in big bucks. With patience and practice, you can make money through advertising and other income-generating activities on your blog.
10. To Have Fun and Be Creative
Many people start a blog simply for fun. Perhaps a blogger is a fan of a particular actor or loves knitting and wants to share that passion through a blog. One of the most important keys to successful blogging is having a passion about your blog’s topic, so you can write prolifically about it. Some of the best and most interesting blogs started out as blogs that were written just for fun and to give the blogger a creative outlet.
“Social media can be a scary prospect for small businesses; unlike traditional marketing methods, it puts part of the message in the hands of the customers. But while it’s easy to be concerned that the message will go the wrongway, the benefits can outweigh the risks if you use the available services wisely.”
Business owner, you might want to friend Facebook.
“You need to be where your customers are and your prospective customers are,” said Clara Shih, author of “The Facebook Era” (Pearson Education, 2009). “And with 300 million people on Facebook, and still growing, that’s increasingly where your audience is for a lot of products and services.”
“People don’t mind being used,” says Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC’s TV show, “Hardball with Chris Matthews.” “What they mind is being taken for granted.”
Right on, Mr. Matthews. Every day, people are taken advantage of when their acquaintances need help networking. It’s become such an issue that it might do everyone some good for a little lesson in the networking etiquette department.
“In today’s job market, the old cliché ‘It’s not what you know but who you know’ has become, ‘It’s not what you know but who knows you,'” says Katharine Hansen, author of “A Foot in the Door: Networking Your Way into the Hidden Job Market.” (Ten Speed Press)
Here are 10 important aspects of network etiquette, excerpted from Hansen’s book:
Know your purpose for networking. It sounds obvious, but job seekers waste their contacts’ time when they don’t really know what they want to do, where they want to work or how the contact might be helpful to them. Think about what companies you want to target through networking and how you can identify connections that will lead you to those employers.
Do your homework. Don’t ask your contacts questions that could easily be answered by doing a little basic research. The more you know about your contacts’ companies and backgrounds, the more impressed they will be.
Don’t act desperate. Your contacts will be much more willing to help someone who is confident and capable than someone groveling, whining and desperate. Don’t forget that as high a priority as it is to you, your job search is not so to most of your network.
Listen. When someone is kind enough to offer you job advice, listen attentively. Write your contact a thank-you note and include something that tells your contact you listened.
Respect your contact’s time. Don’t drop into a contact’s office uninvited and when you call a current or prospective member of your network, always ask if he has time to talk. When the situation allows, bide your time before launching into networking conversation.
Ask for help in small doses. Don’t burden your contact with overwhelming requests for help and advice. Ask more questions than favors. You can always ask for more at a later time.
Get permission before using a network contact’s name to approach another prospective contact. Similarly, when you’re scouting for new members of your network, tell prospective contacts how you got their names.
Be careful with your use of the word networking. Some people have grown weary of being networked. Unless you are attending a function specifically earmarked for networking, it’s best not to advertise the fact that that is what you are doing. Instead, think of yourself as making connections, building relationships and seeking advice.
Don’t be pushy and aggressive. Be sensitive to just how much a contact is willing to do for you and don’t push beyond that limit. Be persistent but not annoying.
Remember that networking is a two-way street. The idea of reciprocity is perhaps the most important aspect of networking. Offer your help to your contacts and supply needed information whenever possible. Rachel Zupek is a writer and blogger for CareerBuilder.com. She researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues.
Reprinted with permission from A Foot in the Door: Networking Your Way into the Hidden Job Market, revised.