On 4th September 2012, I officially launched my blog. It’s a day that I will never forget because it initiated a massive change in my life.
Thanks to my blog at jordico.com, I was able to work with almost 100 coaching & mentoring clients in 2013.
That is not the only thing my blog did for me. It helped me attract speaking engagements, invitations to hold workshops and seminars, job offers (that I gladly refused) and partnership offers.
In this article, I will show you how you can get started with your own blog and why you must have a blog if you want to create a thriving career around your passion.
Why Everybody Needs a Blog
The world has changed drastically over the last decade. If you have been looking for a new job, trying to attract clients or basically do anything where you need to promote yourself, you know what I am talking about.
The old strategies do not work so well anymore. In some cases, they completely stopped working at all. That’s the reason why so many people come to me for help. They realize that the old systems don’t work anymore in the new world.
If you are still stuck in the old way of thinking and acting, you desperately need to change that.
Why You Need to Start a Blog
Maybe you are looking to get out of your dead-end job and do something that truly fulfills you. Maybe you already started a side business for that reason but just can’t get enough traction to finally quit that energy draining job. Or maybe you are fortune enough to already have started your business but it’s not growing as fast as you expected.
If you are in any of these situations, you need to start putting yourself out there in the most authentic and self-expressed way possible to attract likeminded & passionate people you would love to work with. That’s what a blog can help you with.
There are so many more things a blog can do for you like attracting the things I mentioned in the intro to this blog post.
The main result you get from blogging is to establish a strong personal brand that is uniquely you, so you can attract those people into your life that you are meant to work with.
What Are Your Assets?
If you look at your career, no matter if you are employed or a business owner, what assets do you really have? Your skills? Your education? Your experience?
What are the things that, if everything fails, will get you up and running again in no time? What are the things that provide you with real security?
I believe you have two main assets. Your personal brand and your relationships.
If everything fails, if you lose your job, your business or if the economy crashes (which is not so very uncommon these days), your personal brand and your relationships get you up to speed again and help you to re-start much faster than without them.
What Should You Blog About?
Every week, I have people on the phone asking me that question. Start simple. You don’t have to be the most world-renowned expert in your field to blog. What you need is an opinion. I believe most people have that but few express it enough.
When you work on developing the topic of your blog, ask yourself what you love to talk about with others. What really gets you excited? What topics can you talk about day and night without getting bored?
Once you put your topic together, start sharing your opinion, insights, expertise, experience, stories, vision and beliefs. Do this on a regular basis. I recommend at least once a week. If you can do more and keep the quality high, do more.
My most popular blog posts have been a combination of my expertise in personal branding and building relationships as well as my opinion and beliefs about a very specific topic.
What If You Suck at Writing?
When I wrote my very first blog post, I had absolutely no idea if it was good or not. I trusted my intuition and always tried to write every blog post from as much from the heart as possible.
When I had to write about a topic at school I was not particularly interested in (pretty much most of them), I sucked at writing.
I simply can’t write about something with passion if I’m not interested in it.
When I write for my blog, I choose the topic. I am my own boss and I only write about things that I’m passionate about.
If you are scared that people won’t like your writing and you are more comfortable in front of a camera, perfect. Start a video blog like Gary Vaynerchuk.
No matter what medium you choose, you can always edit things, trash articles and restart. You are not blogging live. You publish it when you are ready. Just make sure you publish it.
What If You Are Not a Native English Speaker?
At the end of this blog post, you will find an introduction to four new and advanced bloggers who are not native English speakers.
I’m pretty sure you have figured out by now that I’m not a native English speaker myself. It does not matter. You can either decide to blog in your native language or if you choose English, review your posts several times and count on the generosity of your audience.
You can also hire somebody to review your blog posts. I’ve never done that myself and I always carefully re-ready every blog post several times and then count on your generosity.
In my case, I think not being a native English speaker even helps me to write articles that people actually understand.
We live in a world where too many things are overcomplicated and I don’t think the world needs one more blog with overcomplicated language, just for the sake of using sophisticated language.
Keep it simple. Keep it to the point.
I regularly get the feedback from people who are not native English speakers that they very much appreciate the simple language.
Who Do You Want to Reach?
That is probably one of the most important questions to ask yourself before you start blogging about your cat or your most favorite pizza. Ask yourself the following questions.
What group of people can massively benefit from the topic you have chosen? Who would you love to work with? What group of people would you love to know more about? What group do you already know people in?
Asking yourself these questions will help you determine who you want to address with your blog.
General vs. Specific
This is something that I have to constantly remind my clients (and myself) about. If you choose your audience too broad, it either takes much longer to become known as an expert or you will fail entirely.
You need to be specific.
Let’s say you want to target professionals who are about to go into pension. Try to be more specific.
I recently talked to a women who is targeting that group but much more specific. She is targeting women over 60 who want to do something meaningful with their lives. This is already specific but you could go much deeper. You could target women over 60 who are single and have a passion for yoga.
Go as specific as you can be until you feel uncomfortable that the group may be too small. That’s the sweet spot where you either stop with niching down or even go one level deeper.
By the way, the women I mentioned has grown a community of over 40’000 women over 60 who want to do something meaningful with their lives within 9 months. That’s what the power of blogging and community building can do.
What is Your Goal With the Blog?
What do you want to achieve with the blog? Do you want to build a business around it? Do you want to gather likeminded & passionate people to work together towards a higher cause? Do you want to become famous as an expert in your field? Do you want to land your dream job and never again have to worry about the job security illusion?
These are all valid goals and only a fraction of what the blog can do for you. Make sure you write the goal down and evaluate your actions along the way according to your goals.
Why Should Anyone Care?
Now that you have a good idea about your topic and a very specific target audience, it’s time do differentiate.
There are hundreds of millions of blogs out there, probably hundreds or thousands about the topic you have chosen. Why should anyone care about yours? This is a crucial question and at least as important as who your audience is.
Differentiation starts with your Why.
Why do you get up every morning? Why do you do what you do? What’s the bigger cause you work towards? What do you want to achieve in your life? What story do you want to tell your grandkids?
These are all big questions. They are difficult to answer but essential because people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.
If you have a strong Why and can effectively communicate it, you have your differentiation. Your personality plays a big part in your differentiation because it’s unique. There is nobody else out there like you.
Also look at your topic from different angles. What twist can you add to the topic that would make it unique?
A good example is Nerd Fitness. Steve Kamb chose the fitness topic and added the unique twist of the nerd.
4 Inspiring New & Advanced Bloggers
Let me introduce 4 bloggers to you that I personally know. Some just started and others have already established a strong personal brand through their blogs.
Galina is a good friend of mine who is building a community for immigrant women. She just started with her new Podcast and has done lots of interviews to share through her blog.
She is a fantastic example of somebody who leverages interviews for video blogging.
Roy just very recently started blogging. He builds his blog around a topic he is very passionate about, management excellence.
Roy combines his blogging with his studies where he shares his insights and opinions on how businesses can derive value from social media, big data analytics and cloud computing.
Andy started blogging a while ago. He also maintains a Medium blog where he publishes about topics that do not fit into pragmaticleader.net.
He chose the topic of leadership and gave it a unique twist with looking at it from the very pragmatic side.
I talked to Farnoosh a few months ago and it’s astonishing what she has built through her blog. She built a thriving business that grows every day and helps lots of people to achieve their goals.
Farnoosh blogs about many different topics. She has chosen a very specific audience and can therefore talk with them about many topics that interests them and her with a very unique twist of her personality.
How Can You Get Started Now?
One of my mentors, Corbett Barr, created a program that is called Start a Blog That Matters.
I used it to build my own blog into a thriving business within less than 8 months. I highly recommend the program to everyone who is serious about blogging.