The single best business and lifestyle decision I’ve ever made is starting a blog.
I say that with absolutely no hyperbole or exaggeration. Because I started this blog in 2009, I’ve been afforded so many incredible opportunities and experiences.
I recently talked about this and how starting this blog completely changed my life:
But those only cover a few of the reasons I’m still so excited about blogging for beginners.
Why blog? Starting a blog has allowed me to…
- Live on a tropical island
- Build a 6 figure business
- Be able to work whenever and wherever I please for the last 9 years
- Get opportunities to speak at prestigious events
- The pleasure to be able to help hundreds of people create businesses that have allowed them to live happier and more fulfilled lives.
The list goes on.
And in fact, it’s going to!
I originally published this post way back in February of 2010 while I was living in Bangkok, Thailand.
And after reviewing it recently, so much of it still holds true, but the post was in dire need of an update. So here we go.
But first, here’s a video I shot less than a week after moving to Thailand (man I was young), but everything I said here still holds true years later:
And with that here are 56 (updated) reasons to start a blog in 2020!
56 Reasons to Start a Blog in 2020
1) Blogging isn’t dead (despite what some people might say)
I know of few better ways to establish your expertise and influence than to publish blog posts on a regular basis.
Is it as easy as it was in 2010? No. But there is still very much a reason why blog posts can lend to great influence online and in business.
2) Build a support system that will be there no matter what happens in your life
I’ve had all sorts of difficult decisions I’ve had to make over the years, whether it be to quit my job, move abroad, or get involved in new business ventures. My blog readers became the support system I didn’t necessarily have in real life.
And especially in the early days, that’s more valuable than you’ll ever understand.
Even now, with all of the business decisions I’ve made over the last few months, YOU have helped make it easier. Whether it was support or advice or feedback, this community has turned in to a support system that I never expected to gain.
3) Get 100s or even 1,000s of people to hang on your every word
Ok, maybe not every word.
But as you grow your audience, people begin to actually start caring about what you have to say. In a world where so many of us feel like we don’t have a voice, this is a powerful thing.
Your first 365 days of blogging will be critical to your success. Here are the 5 things that were most critical to my success:
4) It gives you a reason to waste time on social media
Let’s face it, you probably spend too much time on social media.
Well, what if you actually had a productive, and profitable reason to be on social media? Whether it be Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or Pinterest, all of these can be assets that will allow you to grow your blog.
So many bloggers have been able to spread their reach from their blog into one major social media channel. Yup, Instagram influencers, and YouTubers have massive platforms today.
Speaking of YouTube channels, check out ours right here. You can find new videos every week.
5) You’ll make friends from all over the world.
I remember on a trip to Bangkok in 2013, I sent out an email to a segment of my email list saying I was going to be at Cheap Charlies (may it RIP), at 7 pm if anyone wanted to join.
There were 15 people that showed up! And half of them were paying Location Rebel Academy members.
At an NYC meetup a few years later, we had over fifty people come. It makes travel so much more fulfilling because in so many cities around the world you have the potential to meet up with someone.
It can be an awesome way to get introduced to a new place and help you not feel lonely on the road (especially for solo travelers).
6) Become a better writer
Writing might be the single most important skill you can learn if you want to be successful with any online lifestyle business. A blog actually gives you a way to practice these skills.
Because I believe this is so important, I’m going to share with you a few other resources for both improving your writing, and starting a writing business (because it’s the easiest lifestyle business to start):
- How to Become a Freelance Writer in 2020
- The Best Writing Tools to Help You Create More Content
- How to Become a Writer
- How to Start B2B Writing (And Why You Should)
- 105 Places to Find Writing Work Online
If you’re able to build up your writing skills and get people really interested, engaged, and entertained by what you have to say the sky’s the limit!
7) Gives you an easy way to add consistency into your life
In a recent video, I said that the single biggest key to success with an online business is consistency.
Sometimes it can be tough to know what to work on. But when you have a blog, and you set a posting schedule, it provides much needed structure to get things done on a regular basis.
And it’s working on things in a step by step way that helps you create good habits every day that can help you see real success over the long run.
8) Provides an opportunity to have unbelievable experiences for free
The larger your audience, the more opportunities that will come your way. And if you work hard at it and grow something really special, the chance for free or sponsored experiences will literally be some of the most memorable times of your life.
None of those (and so many more opportunities) would have happened were it not for starting a blog.
Want to experience these types of experiences for yourself? Check this out.
9) Build web skills
Let’s face it, the internet isn’t going anywhere.
Word and Excel won’t cut it in the new era. Starting a blog is a useful and fun way to learn what the hell you are doing on the internet, and provide you with technical skills that will be beneficial regardless of what you’re doing.
Struggling with how to start? Think of it as creating an online asset for yourself:
These web skills can translate into huge opportunities down the road, freelancing gigs, remote work, and even your own full time business.
10) Make some extra cash
Whether you turn it into a full-fledged business or not, it can be a great way to build a nice side income through affiliate marketing.
And that’s just the start, there’s no shortage of ways to monetize a blog. Learn about all of the ways to monetize a blog or start an online business with our Beginner’s Course.
And check out some of these Location Rebel friendly jobs you can jump into today.
11) Learn how to edit photos
Let’s face it, we live in an Instagram world these days, and knowing how to make your photos a step above everyone else’s? Well, it can go a long way in terms of gaining followers and adding an element of credibility that many blogs don’t have.
This one photo alone has been featured on numerous websites and blogs, including Golf Digest:
12) Become an Internet Celebrity
Ok, not necessarily in a major way.
But the first time someone recognizes you on the street, or you go to a conference with dozens of people clamoring to see you – well? Honestly, that’s a pretty cool feeling.
13) Stop having a boring life
In the wise words of Fitz from Slap Chop: “Stop having a boring tuna, stop having a boring life.”
When you are forced to write on a regular basis, you want to keep it interesting. And a blog can help push you out of your comfort zone and try new things.
Ok…maybe that isn’t the whole reason, but it’s an added bonus!
14) Attract job offers
When you start a blog you’re able to prove you’re someone who takes action and has a certain level of expertise.
By starting this blog, Dan Andrews offered me a completely unsolicited job that took me to Thailand and changed my life.
By starting Breaking Eighty I’ve now worked with the two biggest golf membership sites in the world because of my copywriting and golf background.
Tons of people who start blogs end up getting offers from clients to write for them (or create videos or infographics, etc.).
Wouldn’t have happened had they not found my blogs.
15) A successful blog is more valuable than any resume will ever be
16) Keep in touch with old friends and family
You know all of those people from your past you don’t really want to talk to anymore? Start a blog and let them follow you there, so you can finally unfriend them on Facebook.
It’s also great for letting friends and family know you’re still alive if you’re not the best at keeping in touch :).
16) Support your friends and family
But for those friends and family you do like, maybe that second cousin of yours is the next Salinger, give them a shot at fame by letting them post on your site, or by promoting your sister’s new business venture.
17) Start living the life you really want
The whole reason I started this site, to begin with, was to hold myself accountable for doing the things I really wanted to do in life. My bucket list was the very first post I ever wrote, and I would never have done many of the dozens of things I’ve checked off, were it not for starting a blog.
And I definitely wouldn’t have made it to Cuba:
The first step towards making drastic changes to improve your life is starting a blog. It allows you to sort out your priorities and then meet like-minded people who will support you every step of the way.
Use this site as a case study.
18) Become addicted to stat checking
Provide yourself with a hobby that allows you to see exactly how much progress you’ve made over a period of time. Or haven’t made…whoops.
Blogging is about a lot more than writing, dig into tools like Google Analytics and SEMRush there are all sorts of stuff you can track to see your progress. (And this can help you celebrate some little wins).
Ok, maybe this isn’t a benefit, but it’s certainly a reality.
This guide will teach you everything you need to know about Google Analytics.
19) Hold yourself accountable for just about anything
This held me accountable for leaving my job.
It held me accountable for continuing to travel and living an interesting life.
It provided accountability when I wanted to do a daily vlog.
No matter what hard thing you want to do in life, declaring your intentions publicly is one of the most powerful positive motivators out there.
20) Meet other like-minded individuals
Let’s face it, that girl you sit down next to at the bar probably isn’t going to have the same fascination with that random hobby of yours. So stop searching for likeminded people, and create a magnet for them to be able to find you.
There’s a niche out there for absolutely everything and you can create something that thousands of people would love to talk about.
21) Improve time management
As much as it may not seem like it at times, having a blog and sticking to a schedule, has tremendously improved my time management and allowed me to accomplish much more than if I was just spending my time watching reruns of Friends.
Want to see some real examples?
22) Get opinions!
Want to know how that new hat really looks on you? Add a poll to the blog with that ridiculous picture of you in a fedora.
Note: You can’t pull it off, so maybe just skip that and move straight on to a more useful poll.
Don’t worry, there are all sorts of non-fashion related opinions you can get from blogging too. 😉
23) Brag to your friends that you know what a .htaccess file is
If they aren’t impressed…well, they should be!
Oh, and if you don’t know what this is, good news!
24) Get donations
Chances are if you do this long enough, someone will be thankful for the value you have added to their life. Toss up a donation link and give them a nice sob story about how you’re broke.
You never know what will happen!
Note: I’m broke please feel free to donate here.
Second Note: That was a joke, but the link actually does work.
25) Have a platform to make money in a more meaningful way
Ok, donations may not be the best way to make money.
But when you have a blog, you now have a platform you can monetize by creating your own products or marketing your services. Affiliate marketing is one awesome way to do it, and you can use something really simple like the Amazon affiliate marketing program to start.
Location Rebel Academy has around 2500 members, none of which would be around had I not started the blog.
26) (Constructive) Criticism anyone?
Sometimes you need to be taken down a peg or two.
Here’s what you do: Guest post for one of the largest niche blogs on the web, write about something that doesn’t directly relate to the niche, and wait for the comments to roll in.
I’ll let you judge how constructive these comments really were.
27) Stress relief
Sure there’s some stress that comes with having a successful blog, but the stress relief of getting all of your thoughts out can be more than worth it.
If you’re one of those people who hasn’t started a blog because “you don’t know what to write about” then just treat it as a personal diary or journal.
You don’t even have to make it public. Just write things down and get them off your chest. Chances are you’re going to go back and read them later and find a few nuggets of wisdom or other good ideas.
28) Free therapy!
This can come in the form of simply getting your thoughts out, or occasionally you’ll get reader emails and comments that are truly insightful and helpful.
29) Create a job
Blogging for a living can be a tough thing to do, but these days? Traditional employment can be tough too.
If you’ve been thinking about a career change or quitting your job, then start a blog first. You never know what kind of platform you might have a year from now.
Blogs allow for the potential to create your own job and even start hiring others to work with you.
30) Become a source of influence
Who knew you could be so powerful?
Start a blog, and begin influencing others in any way you see fit. You can share your advice, recommend products, promote living a healthier lifestyle, help people build businesses, the sky’s the limit.
Use your new power with caution. Don’t forget what Uncle Ben told Peter Parker…
31) Share your hobbies
Maybe other people haven’t caught on to the wonderment that is stamp collecting. This is your opportunity to show them how cool it really is!
Or even if you don’t make many converts, luckily, no matter what niche you’re in, there will be others who share your passion.
32) Be different!
How many people do you personally know that have a legitimate blog? When I started I could count the number on one hand. Dare to be different and start doing things your own way!
33) Promote your business
Do you already have an existing business? Great, blogging is a great way to grow your influence, build rapport with your customers, and increase search traffic to your site all in one fell swoop.
34) Track change in your own life
Location Rebel has been an unbelievable way to track the evolution of my own life. From being unhappy in my day job, to quitting, to moving to Thailand, to buying a house, to loving and losing – the list goes on, and it’s all been documented.
35) Beat your kid sister at Words with Friends
With all of the new words, you’ll learn blogging, you will become a Words with Friends or Scrabble master. Just remember that Jo, Qi, and Za are all words.
36) You’ve got nothing better to do
In a rut and need a new hobby or something to pass the time? Start a blog!
37) Depression sucks
Feeling depressed? Millions of other people are too. Use the writing as an outlet, and then start getting help from others who have been there. May seem like a long shot, but you’d be surprised at how powerful this can be.
38) Save Money
Everyone talks about how to make money online, but fail to mention how a blog can save you money. Next time you’re bored and want to go drink away your sorrows, go to a movie or buy a new puppy, just go to your blog instead.
There are so many ways to spend your time working on your blog it’s not even funny. You’ll probably learn a thing or two while doing it as well.
39) Give back
Look at where you are today, how much you’ve learned and all the people that have helped you. Starting a blog gives you a forum to share your knowledge and give back to the community that helped you, whatever that community is.
Or if no one helped you, you can at least rub your success in their face.
40) Get on the cutting edge
The more you know about the internet and technology, the better off you’ll be, so better start practicing! Not to mention many blogs and social networks break major news updates before anyone else, so by being in the blogosphere, you’ll always be in the know.
41) Look important on Google!
When was the last time you Googled your name?
Well, I guarantee that employers and many other people you meet will be checking up on you. So why not make them think you are some super huge internet celebrity?
If you search for Sean Ogle, every single result on the first page is about me.
42) Attain the power to publicly humiliate
No one will ever mess with you ever again…or at least no one that you have incriminating photos of. And in updating this post 8 years later, it means, this photo of my friend Jacob gets to be resurfaced!
It was from when we went backpacking through Europe (without a backpack).
43) Get a book deal
Ever wanted to write a book? Start a blog.
Don’t think you have to get “Internet Famous” to make this happen. Check out this post on how you can create a book from your blog.
44) Gain Google love for your business
With every post you publish, you’re giving users one more avenue with which to find you, and creating one more topic that makes you look like a relative expert.
Who doesn’t love seeing their site pop up to the top of Google?
45) Meet people who are better than you
No, I don’t mean they’re better than you. After all, no one is better than you. But you can meet people who are farther along, have greater expertise, or are simply more well versed in a topic of your choice.
These days social media and blogging has made nearly no one out of reach if you try hard enough.
46) Become an expert yourself
The more time you spend writing about something, the more knowledge you gain.
Thus the more likely you are to be perceived as an expert in your field. And the more likely you get asked to share your expertise in a way that can help you promote your blog. See how it works?
I’ve spent the last 9 years writing about lifestyle businesses and growing one of my own.
Some might even say I’m an expert at it – never would have happened if I hadn’t of published that first post.
47) Free places to stay
Like to travel? Hate paying for hotel rooms?
Think of a blog as your own personal from of couch surfing. In the early days of this site, I stayed with readers all over the world. While that doesn’t happen as often these days, it led to so many memorable experiences.
48) Make new friends
Let’s take this a step further than just meeting people.
I have dozens of friends now that I can honestly say I would not have were it not for my blog. And we aren’t just talking online friendships either, real honest to goodness friends….that I’ve met in person!
49) Do something totally out of the ordinary
50) Create an email list
Regardless of what you’re trying to sell or promote (even if it’s just your ideas), a blog gives you the power to start creating an email list of people interested in what you have to say.
The single most powerful marketing and relationship tool you can have with an online business is your email list.
Don’t have a blog yet, but still want to start growing your list? You still can!
51) Share your art
Whether you are a true artist, musician, photographer or have any number of other talents, a blog can be a great outlet to gain exposure with the masses.
Don’t be surprised if one day you find a link on this site to some kind of awful music I’ve created and put out there for your listening pleasure.
52) Generate passive income
Ever heard of affiliate marketing? No?
Well, it’s the easiest way to start making money online.
And the easiest way to get into it? You guessed it, having a blog.
53) Document your quest
If there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that having a “quest” of some sort, can be one of the best ways to make your travel more meaningful.
As of this writing, I’ve played over 1/3 of the best golf courses in the world.
Having a venue for which to write about and share these experiences has changed the way I travel for the better.
Check out “The Happiness of Pursuit” for a great starting point on beginning a quest of your own.
54) Truly work from anywhere
As I work to update this post, I’m currently sitting in the lobby of the Andaz Hotel in Tokyo. I’ll probably finish it back at a coffee shop in Portland.
Unlike most traditional forms of work or many hobbies, you can truly do it from anywhere.
In fact, here are 20 of the coolest offices I’ve worked from over the years.
55) Makes you take action
The nature of a blog means it needs to be updated and you need to create new posts on a regular basis. So if you’ve struggled actually following through on a project, a blog is the perfect starting place.
You’ll have something that you have to do every week, so it can help you get focused and actually take action. Get in the habit of taking action and tons of awesome things can happen.
56) Allows you to find your “Thailand“
This may sound cheesy, but when I moved to Thailand everything in my life ended up changing for the better. I was able to find happiness, meaning in my work, and it set the stage for the rest of my life.
Starting a blog has the power to help you do the same thing.
A Few More Resources for Starting a Blog:
Have I convinced you that starting a blog is a good idea?
Great, here are a few more resources you should check out:
- How to Choose a Niche for Your New Blog – The tighter the niche the faster you’ll find success…seriously.
- How to Choose the Best Hosting Service for Your Blog – Not all hosts are created the same. Here’s how to decide what is best for you.
- 100 Blog Post Ideas – For when you need help deciding what to write about first.
- Is Blogging Dead? 5 Ways to Grow Your Blog in 2020 – Don’t worry blogging isn’t dead, it’s just different here’s what you should pay attention to.
The Best Resource For Getting Started With a Blog or Lifestyle Business
Have you considered starting a blog or online business, but you feel like “you don’t know, what you don’t know?”
We’ve been there too.
Because of this, we created The Complete Beginner’s Guide to a Starting a Lifestyle Business.
It’s specifically designed for people new to the online world, who just want to see what all of their options are.
This course not only covers exactly how to start a blog, but it also walks you through all of the different business models out there, so that you can find the best fit for you, and then take your next steps to get started.
So check it out, and email me sean (@) locationrebel.com with any questions!