The blogging benefits — how blogging and podcasting makes you better
One of the great effects of the internet is, that the everyday Joe can get access to the masses. Everybody can put himself out there and reach potentially millions of people.
I like the idea of putting my thoughts on a website and have people decide if they like it, hate it or ignore it. That is why I started to blog 7+ years back.
It has been a hobby since — with mixed results. I had blogs that were (and still are) liked, I had blogs that were ignored. But most importantly, what I always had, was a lot of fun and an outlet for my creativity.
But blogging did so much more for me. It made me better in so many aspects and helps me be better in my daily life.
Everybody will tell you that in today’s day and age, it is important to have an outlet on the internet to create your personal brand. I also believe that this is beneficial.
What I would like to focus on with this post is, the blogging benefits aka. how the process of blogging and podcasting improves you as a person.
1. It is a really fun thing to do
Let me rephrase this. It can become a really fun thing to do.
When you start out, nobody knows you are there. The first blog posts you write or the first podcast episodes you record won’t be seen or heard. Maybe you post it on Facebook. You point your friends and family to it. But the internet ignores you.
It becomes fun, if your content is good enough to kick off some internet mechanics.
Think of a party that you join where you know nobody. You stand in corner of a crowded room and watch the party happen. Then, the first people talk to you. If they like you, they recommend and introduce you to others in that room and slowly the party starts to be fun.
The web is a social place in its own way. When you worked yourself into being an accepted part of that community, the fun starts.
2. It helps you to get clearer
Writing a blogpost or recording a podcasts requires you to think a lot. If you just ramble on and spit various thoughts, ideas and concepts onto a page or into an audio recording, no one will read or listen to you.
To make content easy to digest, it needs to be clear, concise and structured. Like every type of good communication.
The practice of producing content for the Internet teaches you a good portion of it. It forces you to cut the fluff and focus on the most important thing that you want to convey.
A great lesson that will improve your everyday communication.
3. It makes you a better speaker
Having the ability to structure ideas and focus on the main point, especially podcasting improves your skill to communicate verbally.
How often do you hear yourself talk?
We do this exercise way to seldomly because we cannot stand hearing our own voices. But listening to what we say and how we say it, can be a very important feedback loop.
Think about it. Every email that you send, you proof-read (at least that is what I hope you do). But how often do you proof-hear what you say?
Do you know how you talk? Do you use long phrases? Do you speak complicated? Do you have a lot of uhms and ahh-fillings?
Hearing yourself helps you notice and consciously change what you do not like.
4. It makes you a better listener
Ask yourself — do you listen to understand or do you listen to reply?
Great question, right?
No worries, I am not fishing for compliments here. This finding has been made by more research than I an cite here.
But it is so true. You hear what the other person says and are constantly thinking about the next thing that you can say that makes you look good. Either as a person or as a communicator.
We rarely have a genuine interest in what the other person really says and means.
Producing content for the Internet has quite impressively changed the way I listen. The process of converting ideas, point of views or other topics into published content, made me in general more curious. I want to understand how people think and what the underlying contexts are. Therefore I listen with a completely different attitude and it feels great.
How can blogging impact you?
Seth Godin is one of the most well known and popular bloggers of the Internet today. He recently stated that having a blog and writing daily on it, was the single biggest thing he has done his entire life.
Not because of the fame and fortune it provided through building his brand. But because thinking of one thing everyday that you have an opinion about which is worth putting out into the world, is a character building exercise.
Don’t worry. You don’t need to become a Seth Godin to benefit from blogging. Just try it out and see what it can do for you.
Start small by posting on your Facebook or LinkedIn profile. Wrap your thoughts into 140 characters and post to Twitter. But aim to have an own blog where you are constantly pushing new ideas to and build your brand.