Discussing the current economy condition within the United States and the world, my husband and I talked about how blogging and social media can help so many impacted by today’s financial crunch. Imagine my delight while reading the September 16, 2008, issue of Women’s Day Magazine in a waiting room about the number four tip for their “Solutions Your Money” column: Start a blog:
There are millions of them on the Internet and they come in all shapes an sizes. You can write about nearly anything – from what it’s like to be a mom to politics. It’s free to set one up, and once you do, you can place ads, using an easy program like Google Adsense. Each time a visitor to your blog clicks on an ad, you earn money. And once you’ve earned #100 you’ll get a check in the mail for the money you’ve earned.
…You probably won’t replace your paycheck by blogging, at least not at first, but it’s a good way to make extra money.
The example they give is of a second-grade teacher who blogs about coupon savings tips and plans and makes $80 to $100 a month. While few do even that well, it is an additional way to bring in a few bucks to your life when the financial crunch is on, if you play nice and right.
So the number one way blogs can help you survive the current economy is to help bring in a little extra spending cash.
That’s not all a blog can do for you during this economic downtime. Have you thought about all the benefits a blog can bring while the economy dances in the wind?
Number 2: Online Resume and Visual Presence
If you are job hunting or want to prove your worth to a company, why not do it with a visual online presence. With a blog and active involvement in social media, you increase your odds of being found if someone searches for you or your specialty.
Create an online reputation for your expertise and skills with your blog. A blog proves job performance, reliability, consistency, and perseverance. It proves you not only can write but communicate your thoughts and ideas. A blog proves you understand that the world is about who you know who knows what you need. It shows you know how to build a community and network. A blog proves you understand how this “online thing” works, which a lot of businesses desperately need.
Consider your blog your online resume. Consider all your online activities, correspondence, and social media microblog posts and communications part of your reputation. Everything online adds to the story of “you” so make sure it represents you well.
Number 3: Start a New Business
If you could run your own business, what would it be? Have you thought about starting one even though the economy is falling down around its ears? Why not? Especially when the business you start is run from home and has low overhead.
A blog is a great way to promote your business and even sell products and services through. People turn to search engines more than the Yellow Pages today, so having an active blog that establishes your expertise and is “findable” with some simple and good SEO practices could get you found and help you build your business.
Traditional businesses started with a huge capital outlay for office space, business stationery, advertising, marketing, and old fashioned client building techniques. Today’s business needs a corner of your home for the computer, Internet access, mobile phone, and a blog. From there, all the social networks, groups, and the world is waiting for you.
Why not start a business with a blog and get a jump on those business dreams.
Number 4: Social Networking and Support
In these days of downsizing, lay-offs, mergers, and businesses going bust, it helps to have a community of friends and supporters to connect with as well as depend upon during the tough times.
A blog and social networking avenues are a way to build those relationships. Sometimes, a blog comment or email from someone who cares can help you keep going through the next financial crunch. If the crunch is a crush, other people are there to help. Just ask.
Talking about your struggles in this fast changing economy is another way of relieving the pressure. Blogging about them exposes you to other like-minded individuals who not only understand your plight but might be able to help you.
Who knows what new connections can happen when you start working all the connections your blog can bring.
Number 5: A Blog Depends Upon You
When my father was laid off during a really big financial crunch in the ship building industry, he went fishing for a couple weeks. Then he came home and was miserable with the job hunt. I asked him why he just didn’t take a few more weeks to fish, seeing through my young eyes that fishing made him happy and his job and job hunt made him miserable.
He shook his head and said, “There is something important about being somewhere at the same time every day and knowing people are depending upon you to get the job done. I need that.”
A blog isn’t a person, but it is a demanding character. It needs you to survive. It needs your input, your words, your thoughts, your feelings in order to survive. So do your readers. And you need something consistent to keep your thoughts and energies flowing forward and outward while things might be falling down around you.
While blogs can make you money, maybe it is more important to be there every day, knowing your blog, and your readers, are depending upon you to get the job done – at least while you are job hunting or building your business.
Number 6: Free Entertainment
If you and your family are pinching your wallets, it might mean giving up those dinners out, movie nights, and even cable television. Long ago, before we had all these expensive entertainment options, a lot of families found free ways to have a great time. Why not turn to your blog for some free entertainment?
If you are single or just want to entertain yourself, why not start a blog to express yourself in some fashion? It’s an excuse to learn a new hobby or trade, rant your thoughts, or share with the world your expertise. There is a lot to learn about blogging that can keep you really busy, and for the most part, it’s free.
If you have a family, why not make now the time to start that family history or genealogy blog. Dig into your past and interview family members and publish their stories in words, recordings, or video.
Does your family share a common passion or hobby? Maybe you are all stamp collectors or hiking enthusiasts. Why not start a blog on the subject and have the whole family contribute their perspective and experiences.
Like anything you do, you get out of it what you put into it. Fortunately, blogging is free or relatively cheap, and has the potential for some income. Why not explore its potential?
The economy is changing, and blogs are a great way to help you survive the changes. You might find yourself better off than when you started.
The author of Lorelle on WordPress and the fast-selling book, Blogging Tips: What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging, as well as several other blogs, Lorelle VanFossen has been blogging for over 15 years, covering blogging, WordPress, travel, nature and travel photography, web design, web theory and development extensively as web technologies developed.