unexpected blogging benefits

I generally focus on the business benefits of social media but a recent conversation with my friend (and uber blogger) Jeff Bullas revealed that we had both received benefits from blogging that reached beyond mere dollars and cents. For both of us, blogging had changed our lives in some unexpected ways.

To provide some balance to the discussion, I thought I would feature some of the benefits that we don’t often talk about on our blog posts:

Blogging heals

… and by this I mean literally physically and psychologically heals. I discovered that both Jeff and I had started to blog at the same time following tragedies in our lives.  During this difficult time, blogging allowed me to connect with people in ways that lifted me out of the darkness. And I found that the act of blogging lowered my blood pressure during a very stressful period. Writing every day was an important part of healing both my mind and body.

Blogging connects

jon buscall

Jon Buscall, a very tall bloke, and I in Stockholm.

I am not the kind of person who has dozens of friends. I have few close friends that I have held onto through the years. Yet so many people on the blog have have become legitimate, close friends in such a short period of time. And not just “Facebook friends” but “come over for dinner friends.”  When I visited Sweden, Jon Buscall was there to greet me and show me around his lovely city of Stockholm. When I landed in Estonia, Kimmo Linkama took the day off to show me around this beautiful country. And when I visit Ireland this month, Ian Cleary will be organizing a celebratory Tweet-up with my new friends in Dublin. How would this have ever happened without blogging?

Blogging defines

Where do you stand on issues in the industry?  Is Facebook on the decline or on the rise?  What is the best way to measure the success of social media programs? What does Google + need to do to break-out? How do you integrate social media with traditional media? How do small businesses find the time to create meaningful content for the web?

Blogging helps you think through these topics and help clarify your — and your business’s positions — on vital industry topics. Blogging gets my mind organized.

Blogging teaches 

And by this I mean, it teaches ME.  Here’s a secret. I rarely have the answers. But I do have some good questions! Many of my blog posts are incomplete. I may be thinking about an idea or a theory that I’m not sure about. So I’ll throw something out there and let the community hash it out. I learn something from the community every day and I’ve incorporated these learnings into my classroom teaching, future blog posts, and even my books.

Blogging Inspires

{grow} regular Billy Delaney ans Social Slam 2012

{grow} regular Billy Delaney speaking at Social Slam 2012

Two years ago, we had our first Social Slam conference in Knoxville, TN.  It was basically a gathering of the {grow} community and hundreds of the people who have come to know each other through the blog made the pilgrimage.  They came from every corner of the country and overcame many difficulties to get here. They wanted to meet each other, these new connections and friends. I’ve had a great career but this was a real highlight. In inspires me to see a blog as a force that brings people together in a small but meaningful way.

I know this isn’t the kind of blog post you can take to your boss and say, “see, we should do this too!”  But I did want to show that from a personal side, there are other benefits that you might not read about in the business blogging books.

What about you? What do you get out of your personal blogging?

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