Blogging as a Personal Development Tool

by Mark on February 9, 2010 · 1 comment

Many people know that I want to make money from blogging. Why not? I don’t see anything wrong with providing content that people might enjoy for absolutely no charge and then getting paid for it. It’s a win/win/win situation. I win. You win. And advertisers win.

Sure. What’s worth doing is worth doing for money. It’s a bad bargain if nobody gains. And if we do this deal, everybody gains.
– Gordon Gekko, from the movie Wall Street

Honestly though, it’s difficult to make a lot of money from blogging. Most blogs earn very little income. A few make boatloads of money, but those are in the minority. I hope to be in the small minority that earns a  good income from blogging, but even if I don’t, I think it will be worthwhile. The reason is because blogging provides a whole host of other benefits besides blogging income.

Ways that Blogging is a Useful Personal Development Tool

  1. It forces me to think more carefully. I have to organize and clarify my thoughts in order to communicate them to others. I second guess my thoughts before sharing them with the world.
  2. It increases accountability. I have to walk my talk. Anybody can just say what others should do, but it’s kind of pointless if they are not willing to do it themselves. I’m trying to implement pretty much all the things that I talk about on this blog, although I will be the first to admit that I’m not perfect, nor am I trying to be.
  3. It encourages me to take action. It would be pretty stupid of me to have a blog named “Dream into Action” if I’m not willing to take action. Not only is this blog an experiment to help me to put my own dream into action, but I also hope that my successes and failures will be an example that others can learn from to help put their dreams into action as well.
  4. It helps motivate me to take consistent action. Successful blogging takes consistency. If you don’t provide consistent quality content, people will not bother coming to your blog. I also want to be able to share positive changes in my life, which motivates me to be more consistent in non-blog related activities as well.
  5. It increases my willingness to experiment. If I want to really put my dream into action, then I can’t do what I have always done. The actions that I have taken have brought me to my current situation, which I am not satisfied with.  I need to try new things if I want to get new results.
  6. It encourages me to learn. I need to learn in all sorts of areas — blogging, web design, how to be more entrepreneurial, how to get myself to take action in situations that I wouldn’t have taken action in the past, and on and on.
  7. It improves my writing and communication skills. Believe it or not, my writing ability has been vastly improved by the Internet of all things. You are probably thinking OMG! WTF? Everybody knows that the Internet destroys writing skills. I actually honed my writing skills on Internet messageboards. I like to create compelling arguments that are clearly communicated, so I got a lot of practice in writing what in essence were essays. The funny thing is that my essays back in school were awful. The difference in my writing since I graduated is like night and day.
  8. It connects me with others and exposes me to their ideas. The Internet is a powerful tool. The ability to connect people is incredible. If you have a problem that you can’t solve, post it on the Internet, and you will be inundated with solutions. Many of them won’t work, but odds are that you will run across the solution much faster than trying to figure it out yourself or trying to communicate with others some other way.
  9. It provides encouragement. Most people have been great about providing encouragement. A few people have been critical in an extremely harsh way, but that’s to be expected when you are trying to be successful at something. The sad truth is that some people don’t like to see people be successful. Luckily, they are in the small minority. You can’t let it bother you. It has been easily counterbalanced by tons of encouragement and good ideas that I have received from total strangers.

I could go on and on about the non-monetary benefits of blogging. The point is that it provides benefits that you might not think about at first.

Blogging is helping me to re-think everything and take actions towards my dreams. You can’t put a price on that.

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