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5 benefits of blogging

If you're passionate about a topic, whether it be superheroes or sundresses, you've probably considered starting a blog to express your ideas, showcase your photos and connect with other like-minded people. Launching and maintaining a high-quality personal blog can be both time- and energy- consuming, however, which has many aspiring content creators wondering: Is this worth it? Are there any benefits to becoming a blogger?

While blogging is certainly a commitment, the goods news is that it's often a very worthwhile one. So if you were about to click "delete" on your digital space, don't scrap your hard work just yet - these five blogging benefits might change your mind:

1. Sharpen your writing and technical skills
If practice makes perfect, then maintaining a blog will certainly help you polish up your storytelling abilities. The Huffington Post explained that many popular blogs have been started by people with no writing experience who, after creating daily or weekly pieces of content, have blossomed into exceptional scribes. This happened not only because they were always writing, but also because they were always re-reading their posts as well when responding to comments or making edits. The source noted that the public nature of blogs can also help their authors become better writers, since readers will often point out inconsistencies with grammar or information.

Blogging is also an excellent way to learn and enhance web skills, which Income Diary noted are very in-demand in today's competitive job market. Because there are many user-friendly blogging platforms, you don't need to be a coding wiz to launch a page, but you're bound to pick up a few technical skills as you get more involved in the blogosphere. The source noted that blogging can be a great method of teaching yourself elements of HTML, CSS, web design, search engine optimization and content marketing.

2. Organize your thoughts
From the first sip of coffee to when your head hits the pillow, one thing is constant: Your brain is thinking, thinking, thinking. While it might be impossible to wrangle every idea that passes through your thoughts, it can be easier when you have a place to store, organize and share them. As blogger Sunny Trochaniak explained on his site:

"The process of writing your thoughts out also forces you to dig so much deeper. The analysis that's required to actually be able to convert your thought into a sentence or paragraph makes it more than just a thought, but now a solidified theory or belief."

In addition to allowing you to publish thoughts as they come, blogs also act as digital records of your life and ideas. Want to know what was going through your mind in March of last year? Simply scroll to that section of your site and reflect on what you posted.

3. Establish a community online
The blogosphere is vast, and chances are that whatever topics you want to cover on your page are already being discussed on thousands and thousands of sites all over the World Wide Web. While this fact might sound intimidating, don't think of every blog as a competitor - think of them as members of your community. Many bloggers use their digital platforms as places to converse with and befriend people with similar interests, so don't be afraid to reach out to your fellow enthusiasts.

If you're running a health and wellness blog, for example, try searching a few popular hashtags (ex. #FitFam, #Fitspo, #CleanEats) and follow a few sites that pop up. Leaving comments and likes for other bloggers could be the first step in establishing lifelong friendships.

4. Earn money
While blogging definitely isn't a get-rich-quick hobby, it can have some financial benefits for people who gain sizeable followings. You can sell advertising space on your website, promote brands on social media or collaborate with other bloggers on larger endorsements deals.

You can also leverage your blog into a business by selling a product or service you offer. For example, if you're a yoga teacher looking to start a yoga blog, you could also use it as a way to market your classes, gain new clients for private lessons or even sell merchandise.

5. Controlled your digital identity
It's no secret that many companies check out candidates' online presence before extending job offers. This practice can be a make-or-break moment for applicants who look polished and professional on paper, but out of control and irresponsible online. This means that no matter how well you did during your phone interview, that Facebook status about hating customer service could cost you a an amazing opportunity.

The good news is that having a blog allows you to put your best foot forward when it comes to your online identity. By bolstering your blog's SEO standing, you can ensure that your carefully crafted blog shows up first when people Google your name - and that your questionably maintained Twitter page gets buried deeper into the search results.

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