While bloggers are just one of many types of web workers, any web worker can start a blog.
And even if blogging isn’t what you hope to do for a living, it might be a smart idea to get one going … because if used correctly, a blog can make you productive in many ways.
Leverage the power of a blog and an online audience — even if it’s just an audience of your friends and family — and become more productive. Here are just a few ideas:
1. Post goals. Once you set goals for yourself, whether work goals or personal, the key to success with those goals is finding enough motivation to get you going. One of the best motivations: public commitment, big time. And a blog is a great way to commit yourself publicly. Do a post stating your goals for this year, or your single goal for the month, and tell your readers you are committing to that goal — and that they should hold you accountable. Post it in your sidebar so it’s always visible, and you and your readers never forget.
2. Log progress. Once you’ve committed to a goal on your blog, you should also use the blog to report your progress. A blog can be a great daily or weekly log, and if you commit to reporting your results to your readers, there’s no better accountability.
3. Networking. The more people who read your blog, of course, the better it can be for networking. It’s important to keep your blog professional if you plan to use it as a resume and a way to make connections with others that could pay off in opportunities in the long term.
My blog has been an amazing networking tool — I get emails every day from potential clients, vendors, collaborators, and friends. Be sure to provide contact information, and some information about yourself, along with samples of your best work. And when opportunities present themselves or someone contacts you, don’t ignore them.
4. Ideas. I get great ideas for projects, articles, things to do from my blog readers. If you’re ever short of ideas, post a question to your readers, asking them for ideas. You might be surprised at the results.
5. Get help. Sometimes you have a project that’s too much for you to handle. But with one or more people to help you out, or even dozens of people offering to help, you can accomplish almost anything. If you need help with something, post it on your blog, and don’t be afraid to ask your readers for help. Sometimes you’ll get some great offers. I’ve gotten dozens of offers for help — more than I can even accept.
6. Sell something. Besides selling your services, a blog can be used to sell a product … or even just something you want to unload. Got a computer for sale? You might post it on your blog and see if there are any takers.
7. Crystallize your ideas. One of the greatest benefits of my blog posts is that when I have some vague ideas about something, I can turn it into something more concrete by writing about it. Writing up a post, with a headline, forces me to figure out what I really want to say, what the main point is, what the facts are. Until you do this, a vague idea will never come to fruition.
8. Force yourself to do research. A lot of time I will procrastinate on research for as long as possible. But when it comes time to write a blog post about something, I am forced to do that research so that I can write about it in the post. That’s good incentive, and you can accomplish a lot more research if you post every day or at least a few times a week on your blog.
9. Become a life-long learner. Ever have something you want to learn about? Well, do a series of posts (or an entire blog) on that topic. Writing about it every day will force you to learn it well enough to explain — the best method of learning there is. In this way, you can teach yourself dozens of subjects about which you would otherwise be ignorant.
10. Hone your skills. Writing daily on my blog has honed my writing skills tremendously. Am I perfect? Not at all … but the daily practice has forced me to get better. You can do this with a variety of other types of skills, from photography to design to drawing to coding.
Have you found any other ways to be productive with your blog? Let us know in the comments.