I started blogging way back when I was still at the university (2008). My blog – Still Proud to be Kenyan – was the pride of my life back then. Every free time I had would be spent writing a post and boy did I have a lot to say. I blogged on anything and everything and though there were no quantitative gains to what I was doing, I felt I was accomplishing something and that was what kept me going. My friends asked me what the hell I was doing – putting in all this work yet I am not benefitting – you don’t even have Google ads on the blog, they said. What was unknown to them and me at the time was that the posts I was writing were currency in themselves. Through my blog, I met and became friends with incredible personas like Kaasa (welcome back to blogging K, I missed you), Serina (thanks for being the first person to visit and comment on this website) , and Ryan Visser, the gentle man who introduced me to Social Media from a business standpoint and the reason Socialight Media Kenya came to be.
Way back then, before Still Proud to be Kenyan, I was an anonymous but pretty opinionated young man. I had the respect of my friends and enemies and but remained pretty much anonymous outside me immediate circle. This immediate circle was limited to a geographical location and that was what irked me just because. But I still had something to say and thanks to my Mum noticing my appreciation of Literature quite early and correcting both my spoken and written English as I grew up, I became quite adept at both. She also gave me her tiny Collins dictionary – which is older than me by the way – and which I have possessed for over a decade now. Anyway, having something to say, being confident in saying it, having confidence in my ability to communicate it, and better yet having an online platform to publish it is what has led me to where I am now, an entrepreneur who is pretty much the leading social media voice in the country. My blogging exposed me to people and situations who/which forced me to grow emotionally, socially, intellectually and economically too.
Sometimes you won’t even notice that you are benefiting from your blogging. It may seem like you tirelessly work to write content that people do not appreciate because the comments on your blog can be counted on one hand. But just like me, somewhere along the road, you will find that the benefits both qualitative and quantitative are immense. Take my case for instance; I got my business idea from someone who was reading my blog. And after launching my business just over 7 months ago, my blogging has ensured I rank highest in search engines for search terms related to social media in Kenya. I have met partners in other business projects that will be launching soon from my blog. I get clients because of the posts I write as opposed to the services page on this website. Last but not least, the Newspaper I respect most in this country, The Business Daily interviewed me on the state of Social Media in Kenya. Have I mentioned the conferences and symposiums I have been invited to speak at?
So if you have something to say, get yourself a blog and say it. There are people who are listening and if whatever you are saying is worthwhile, you will see people coming from the woodwork commenting, asking questions, seeking partnerships and the works. Blogs become your platform to develop authority. That is if you are so inclined. With my company blog, my goal has been to develop thought leadership on social media in Kenya which I have done. In my earlier blog, I wrote because I wanted to write and whatever benefits I accrued from it were by chance and not design. But one thing is for sure though, whether by chance or design, no benefits accrue to the non-blogging personas out there especially when you are young and just starting out.
There are people who started out blogging and ended up being approached by publishers to write books. There are people who just from posting YouTube Videos have ended up with record deals. There is a gentleman who just from posting a short YouTube movie has now gotten a movie deal. And just the other day, I saw that the guy behind the hilarious twitter account @shitmydadysays has now received a TV deal for a Comedy Show. And that is the point. You have to get in the game and then see how it all pans out.
What say you? Do you have something to say? How have you benefited from your blogging? Was it by design or chance?