Are you trying to start a blog or a business? Wait, you thought those were the same thing? Read this before you do anything else.
So you want to quit your job, start a blog about your passion and travel the world. You’re not the only one. Many try it out for a few months, drain their savings then drag themselves drudgingly back to their old job because their plan didn’t work out.
The problem is that their plan was not really a plan. Starting a blog is not an exit strategy. In fact, some entrepreneurs to tell you not to bother starting a blog. But the real problem is not with blogs (or businesses) themselves. It’s the confusion people have between the two.
Once you’ve quit your job and eventually realize your blog isn’t a business because it doesn’t generate income, you wonder what went wrong. But you can’t blame the blog. You need to blame the expectations you had for it.
Before you leave your job to do something else, ask yourself if you want to start a blog or a business.
Let’s take a look at why you might want to start each:
Benefits of Starting A Blog
1. Create a Voice
A blog can give you a voice. That is to say, it can give you a measure of influence and a growing expertise over a tiny (but potentially huge) audience. You can use your blog to gain the kind of influence you couldn’t get through any other medium.
This can lead to all sorts of other ventures and opportunities down the road for speaking, writing and interview engagements depending on how you play your hand. If you do it right, this can be a huge leverage tool for your career.
2. Improve Your Communication Skills
In my opinion, the best thing about blogging is that it’ll help you grow some great communication skills. Not right away, though—you’ll suck at first, but eventually, you’ll start to realize you can think through your own ideas better and communicate clearer because you’ve improved with practice.
If you want a practical way to teach yourself communication skills, maintaining a blog is killer way to do it.
3. Create a Long-Term Asset
A blog is a long-term investment. If you’re only planning on writing for two months, don’t even bother. However, if you’re willing to stick with it for a couple years, a blog over the long-term can be a powerful marketing tool.
With that in mind, you’ll need something to sustain yourself throughout the process, so make sure you have a few ideas on how you plan to do that.
Keep in mind that a blog provides a lot of avenues for revenue down the road, but it rarely generates revenue directly. In other words, blogs are a great marketing tool, but they do not come baked-in with a product (which is important if you want to generate revenue).
If you want to quit your job and start a blog, it’s worth thinking about how you can make it sustainable and bake a business model into it from the start.
This brings us to the business side of things.
Benefits of Starting a Business
1. Generate Capital
A successful business means one thing: you’re generating capital. If you’re not making money, you don’t have a business. Sure, money is only one measure of a business. And you can do a lot of things without generating a billion dollars.
Ask yourself how people can give you money for your product or service. Because if you’re running a business, you need to have dollars and cents coming in. If you don’t, it’s just a hobby.
2. Create Freedom and Options
A business gives you freedom, and money gives you options. Again, money isn’t the only important thing here. But if you quit your job, you’ll need another source of income.
Blogging might seem like a great option, but unless you’re a blogging superstar, blog success won’t come overnight and money isn’t guaranteed. If you want to be sustainable, it’s a good idea to have a business idea in mind for how you’re going to cover your baseline expenses every month. Once you have a business and a revenue stream established, you’ll have more options to do even more things you want down the road.
3. Quickly Validate a Long-Term Investment
A business is a long-term game, but if your business solves a problem or provides a service that people need, you’ll find out quickly whether or not your business idea is valid.
From there, building your business is a long-term proposition, but you can validate it much quicker than you can sometimes do with a blog.
So, what are you really trying to start? A blog or a business? Make sure you know the difference.
Joel Runyon is the author of Impossible HQ, where he helps people to push their limits to the impossible. Check out his complete guide on how to start a blog here.