Imagine being caught on a hamster wheel of life and thinking that was all there was. Imagine you’d failed at work-related stuff and all you cared about was sex and drugs and rock ‘n’ roll … and you were in your thirties. That’s where I was in 2002.
By “hamster wheel” I’m referring to working for someone else’s company or institution, Monday-to-Friday, 9-5, and not enjoying it. A lot of us pretend that working is a good thing (job satisfaction, human interaction, career progression, etc.). Still more, however, have given up on that pretence and work for the pay check and nothing else.
I was one of those people and it showed. I had completely rejected the notion of career progression and was freelancing – swapping hours for dollars.
What shook me out of that? Weekly blogging (and daily meditation).
If you have any sort of problem with your business or work life, I would suggest you try blogging. (If you have any sort of problem with you head or your body, I would suggest you try daily meditation. But, for the purposes of this article, I will concentrate on blogging as a live saver.)
Gary Vaynerchuk (I used to think he was irritating; now I think he’s irritatingly correct about most things) says,
If you’re not putting out stories, you basically don’t exist
… and I tend to agree.
I started getting clients contacting me within 6 months of writing blog posts about my design services. If you’re publishing content that is valuable, good things will happen to you.
It’s almost the Law of Attraction or Law of Reciprocity – or call it common sense. But for God’s sake, be consistent. Don’t write 20 or 30 blog posts and moan that you’re not getting any results. Don’t tell me it worked back in 2006 and doesn’t work now. This is not true, I started a new blog last year and it still works. Blog every week for a year and then come to me and tell me nothing’s happening and I’ll try to help you.
What you learn from blogging
Blogging teaches you how to write a good articles and persuasive copy. These skills will help you and your business.
You gain immediate feedback about what you’re writing. Which articles get the most views, the most shares on social media and the most engagement in the comments – this is priceless information.
Blogging also shows you which subjects you should concentrate on in the future. This information will also point you towards the most lucrative areas for product creation.
Creating products that sell
The more you blog, the better you get at it – yet more blindingly obvious common sense for you. But, think about it, this article may be 1,000 words. I’m writing it in a cafe with a nice coffee by my side. It’s not difficult to write this. It’ll take a couple of hours. The average non-fiction Kindle book is 13,000 words and can therefore be written in a fortnight. You can sell that for $2.99 in the most popular shop in the world – Amazon. Here’s how.
Don’t stick with words. Let your entrepreneurial instinct drive you into other mediums. Do audio. Do video. Video blogging will teach you how to create video courses which you can sell for even more money.
But it’s not all about money. Product creation puts you in a different league. Rightly or wrongly, people will consider you an expert if you have a book in print or a course for sale. But you’ll not be able to do this unless you first cut your teeth with blogging.
Writing makes you happy
But how many times have you written down your thoughts on a piece of paper and felt better about it?
Our brains are awesome devices that help us with sense perception, cognition, communication and all sorts of other things. However, they have one drawback – no off switch. In fact, all human suffering is caused by the unchecked mental judgement that we endure almost 100% of the time. As Hamlet said to Horatio,
Nothing is good or bad but thinking makes it so
Alas! However, writing (second only to meditation) can help us with this.
Writing helps you order and compartmentalise your thinking. Recording your failures, successes and goals provides signposts through an otherwise featureless business landscape. Knowing what you’ve done and focussing on where you’re going “turns off” unnecessary thinking.
Read more about the benefits of writing from Gregory Ciotti.
Building your brand
We’ve touched on it before. Your brand, your authority, your expertise, your audience – these increase every time you create content.
If you want something done, wouldn’t you prefer to ask the person who’s written a book on it?
If somebody arrives on your website after having searched on Google they will see you as an authority. And, if you blog regularly, Google will start sending traffic, even after all the changes to the algorithm and our online searching habits.
From Freelancer To Entrepreneur
If you’re interested in any of these points, I’ve written a new book on how I started working from home on my own business after years of mindless freelancing.
I’ve had some great feedback and reviews.
‘Rob has a free and easy style of writing that makes his books fun to read. I found myself relating to many of the stories in this book and I also found the information to be very helpful.’ TP
‘I like the “warts n’ all” situations he came across and how he tackled them.Very inspiring…’ SW
‘The way he writes is like he’s sitting across from you, telling you his very inspiring story. I highly recommend this book to anyone, especially those who are struggling in life trying to figure it all out.’ AJ
‘Enlightening! Short and to the point, this story of self discovery resonates with me in more than one way. You can read it in one sitting and won’t regret it.’ FH
So, if you’re interested:
- From Freelancer to Entrepreneur: Escaping work and finding happiness in Kindle and paperback at Amazon.co.uk
- From Freelancer to Entrepreneur: Escaping work and finding happiness in Kindle and paperback at Amazon.com
You can do it!
You can leave the hamster wheel or put distance between it and yourself through weekly blogging. Write at least 500 every week and, each time, try to make it the best 500 words you’ve ever written.