Five unexpected benefits of blogging

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?

All posts

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  • What an inspiring post. I have started blogging less than a year ago, and can see all the benefits you mentioned. The best of all? Meeting some incredible people from all over the world, who share similar interests. Getting feedback has also been unvaluable. In my case, as a travel blogger, I found that if I am feeling a bit blue, looking at my holiday pictures and writing about happier times always works 😉

  • Hi Mark, I’ve always had a huge appetite to learn. I can’t read fiction, it has to be all factual. I love reading about the body, the mind, technology, social media etc. One of the things I love about blogging is that I”m constantly learning more. I have to research, I have to network, I have to structure my thoughts. It’s such a great way of keeping on top of your area of speciality and meeting great people!

    Looking forward to our tweetup in Dublin!


  • Well said Ian! Couldn’t agree more!

  • That’s an interesting perspective. I rarely look back at old posts but I can see what you’re saying about that. Thanks fro adding your perspective!

  • Guest


    I was just thinking about this today! I like to read when I’m on
    the treadmill in the morning – I read blogs, books, quotes, etc. One thing I
    notice is that I am inspired once I’m done reading, which inspires me to write.
    Sometimes, I am fired up about a topic, in which case, blogging is a release.
    Other times, I’m just anxious to share my thoughts with the world and see where
    they stand on particular topics. Like you, I enjoy learning from my community.
    Thanks to social media, the answer to our questions is just a click away!

  • Hi Mark,

    I started blogging in 2004 and wrote about random things I was doing in my life and circulated it to my friends and colleagues. Everyone was scratching their head asking what’s a blog? I used to do it daily and wish I had kept it up, it’s a great archive of life, holidays and obviously seems to be more work related these days. Great post – I rarely comment but I couldn’t help it this time.


  • Rachel Strella


    I was just thinking about this today! I like to read when I’m on
    the treadmill in the morning – I read blogs, books, quotes, etc. One thing I
    notice is that I am inspired once I’m done reading, which inspires me to write.
    Sometimes, I am fired up about a topic, in which case, blogging is a release.
    Other times, I’m just anxious to share my thoughts with the world and see where
    they stand on particular topics. Like you, I enjoy learning from my community.
    Thanks to social media, the answer to our questions is just a click away!


  • Glad you jumped in Ray! That certainly would be valuable benefit. it really becomes a permanent digital footprint, doesn’t it? Thanks for your comment.

  • Yes, I can identify with many of these. The main one for me is to help me think – I suppose the define / teach elements that you mention.

    Another benefit for me is to get a small but tangible and immediate visualisation of what I am producing. As an educator, I don’t really see the main outcome of my work – it’s not about assignments, but it’s about inspiring curiosity in young minds and preparing them to succeed professionally. As a researcher, it takes years to see your work published (a colleague just posted on Twitter that a paper he has been working on since 2008 has been accepted for publication in a journal… which will probably take another 18 months so to see the light of the day).
    However, with blogging, you see the posts building up, the visitors’ numbers, etc… it feels very ‘immediate’.

  • Chuck Kent

    All of the benefits you mention arise when a blogger delves into real content… of character (my own, your own). I blog about issues of brand trust and brand truth, and the subject matter necessarily takes me beyond the parochial business applications to the essential human considerations, which in turns opens up the the opportunities you mention: healing, connecting, defining, teaching and inspiring. Thanks for taking us a bit beyond the expected today.

  • Hello Mark.
    I can identify with many of your sentiments in this post. I too have few friends that have travelled the years with me. Those that do also tend to be life long and deep. Meeting up with you, sharing some time and stories and enjoying your kindness has been a highlight of my recent journey into social connections.
    I now blog four or five times a week, and post a weekly article. Most of this was brought about by your example. You can see for yourself at Thank You!

  • II am

  • Spot on. Blogging has helped me find out what I think about things. It has challenged me to think deeply about issues that had been rumbling about inchoate in my head. It has encouraged me to get in touch with others to find out their thoughts and ideas, and reshape my own.

    Blogging has been a wonderful way to take a risk and share my thoughts. I’m glad to have a very little blog without much in the way of spamming or trolls. As a result I’ve learned to recognize spammers and trolls for what they are, both in the blogosphere and in life, and to be able to respond appropriately.

  • Dr. Rae

    Thank you Mark for sharing your “Five unexpected benefits of blogging” with me, and others in your {grow} community.
    My response to your “lead-in questions for conversation” is…
    As result of my particpation in your {grow} community I have been encouraged, inspired, and motivated to refine, refresh, and update my writing skills — thank you! ~Rae

  • Great post, Mark. As a blogger for almost 7 years, I agree with your conclusions. You meet a lot of people with a blog. You share what’s on your mind. Thanks for sharing these great insights.

  • Nice pic w/ you and Jon (didn’t know he was that tall). It is nice to meet in person people we’ve known online for a while; feels more like a reunion.

    I blog for my biz and have felt the benefits professionally and personally. Blogging really cuts through – it forces us to think, to read, to learn and yes to {grow}. When you write – and publish – your thoughts for the world to see you’re becoming part of a bigger world. And it’s a commitment that it helps prioritize and focus; to keep writing, keep learning, keep building? It certainly keeps me on my toes. FWIW.

  • Awesome addition to the discussion Ana. There is that element of instant gratification that is so cool. Thanks!

  • Thanks very much Billy!

  • That’s awesome Dr. Rae. So glad to hear about your progress!

  • You bring up an interesting word — commitment. Certainly an important one when it comes to blogging and putting yourself out there for the world to see. Thanks very much Davina!

  • Sharon Wiatt Jones

    Since my career was cut short by effects of chemo and a concussion, I am able to continue the passion to share about educational and career topics through blogging. If anything, I can expand the reach I once had through public university employment, coauthoring a book, and writing articles for college career counselors and students. Researching and writing about new and emerging careers probably strengthens my cognitive skills.
    I can try to spread my point of view, which may at times be politically incorrect in educational circles, without worrying about what a supervisor thinks.

  • I think that word sums up why so many blogs fade away, why some never get started – blogging’s not some fly-by-night fix, it’s a marathon. Like anything worth doing, it’ll take work, dedication, commitment. Even if it’s like my less-is-more, whenever-I-get-around-to-it schedule. 😉

  • Great post, thank you for sharing. For me blogging allows me to take all the great books I’ve read (including both of yours) and share my thoughts. I also like the thought of having my thoughts out there for years to come. Maybe someday my kids can look at it and go, “that’s why Dad always said that”.

  • That’s so wonderful. Thanks so much for inspiring us today Sharon. And thanks for connecting with me on Twitter and for joining us here in the comment section of {grow}.

  • the internet wouldn’t be the same without bloggers. I don’t personally blog as much but I try and make it up by getting active in the comment section. I get engaged in conversations and for some of the sites there is definitely a community feeling where you run into the same core group commenting on a particular site. Some of these relationships definitely have the potential to turn to offline relationships but even if they don’t – I still feel like I am part of a genuine community and look forward to reading what the community has to write. All of this wouldn’t have been possible without bloggers sparking the conversations with interesting posts!!

  • Hope your Columbus trip goes well and you enjoy yourself.

  • Great post Mark!
    Thanks for your insights on the unexpected benefits and it was so good to catch up last week and share our experiences.
    Some other unexpected benefits for me include1. Co-creation – As you write and share you receive feedback and more information that the blogging synergizes and draws back from the global social web. You then build that into future articles and receive more inspiration. You also help other people create content as they take angles from what they have read and weave it into their articles2. Self-Fulfilment – Blogging for me has been a path to not only to selfexpression but self-fulfillment that has become a journey of self discovery for me. I have found what works for me and what doesn’t. My passions and purpose have become clearer and more focused. I write about topics that resonate with my soul, mind and purpose while striving to keep it relevant. I look forward to meeting in person sooner rather than later. Jeff

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  • I really appreciate your involvement in the community Abdallah. Your comments add a lot to the discussion. Many thanks!

  • Agree on both counts. We just had some co-creation right there, didn’t we? You also make an important point about writing about what resonates with you. Otherwise it would get boring and probably not very “real.” Thanks for taking the time from your busy schedule to comment!

  • Thanks Mark! I really enjoyed meeting you and your wife in Stockholm :=)
    For me, that’s one of the upsides of blogging. It’s also brought me into contact with so many other people. For example, through my blog and then podcast I got to connect with @berniejmitchell in the UK which in turn has led to me interviewing folks like Mitch Joel, Jon Ferrara from Nimble and Neville Hobson.

    Your blog has brought me friendships with folks like @jennwhinnem, Jayme @soulati and Michelle over at @NEMultimedia

    I’m so inspired by the way Grow brings so many people together.

  • I have had a personal blog for over six years now! I’ve met so many interesting people through the years! Some of my dearest friends are people I met through blogging.

  • malharbarai

    Agree with Mark, ‘commitment’ is really a very strong word & it does take a lot of passion to stick to it.

    Thanks Mark, I do agree about the teaching part as well and one more thing that I would add is ‘focus’. Blogging does help to focus and learn about areas we never thought of exploring before.

    Great post again!!

  • Writing is cathartic and it builds connections that lead to community. That is something that my friends who don’t blog don’t understand. I think they are missing out.

  • For me, that is the best part of the social web! Thanks Jon!

  • Thanks for sharing that. I feel the same way!

  • I think everybody should at least TRY it. What have you got to lose? And who knows? You might fal in love with it! Thanks Josh!

  • Wonderful article as always Mark. Blogging is a form of self-expression, and it’s an amazing process of expanding your mind. Not only does blogging define your position on industry topics, blogging (or writing in general) can define your very thoughts. This is why I love writing; even though I don’t publish much, writing helps me examine my thoughts. The process of writing helps develop a more streamlined though process. Capturing your ideas and putting them on paper (or on a screen) is akin to having a conversation with yourself. You’re able to get deeper and deeper, realize ideas, and feel accomplished. Writing (and obviously blogging) is a great mental adventure.

    I read somewhere that thinking about a thought in your head is like a dog chasing its tail. By writing down your thoughts, you’re able to built a foundation upon which to build all those subsequent thoughts. This is why I love commenting so much! A lot less pressure than publishing a blog post, but still getting out all my ideas 😀 Thank you for the outlet!

  • Awesome. Thanks George

  • You’re welcome. Thanks for taking the time to comment!

  • Great learning there Laura. Thanks very much for adding to the dialogue!

  • “A Bit beyond expected” I like that! Thanks!

  • Couldn’t agree more. Thanks for being here today Rachel!

  • You always bring so much insight with your comments Pavel. You’re a great thinker and it is always an honor to have you comment here!

  • Amazing post. I have also benefit from blogging in some of the ways that you mention above. That is what keep me going!!!!!

  • Dimitris Ioannidis

    ?xcellent post.
    I am not a bloger yet, but I find it as a unique extension of someone’s communicative side.
    And as I realize since May(when I subscribed for “Grow”), this side for you is not only bright but magic!

  • Rowland John

    Great awareness, was a great read.

  • Great to hear Destino!

  • That is so very kind of you to say! Thank you Dimitris and thank you for taking the time to comment!

  • This really spoke to me. I also began blogging after a tragedy in my life. I didn’t do it intentionally. I just started, and it evolved. So, yes, it was healing.

    I’ve also developed relationships with people I’d never have otherwise met (even in other countries!). So, yes, it’s connecting.

    I’ve taken positions on issues I’d previously not seriously considered. Now I believe some of these issues to be critically important. So, yes, it’s defining.

    I saw it as a sort of sabbatical too, and I truly have learned an immense amount. So, yes, it teaches.

    And it’s inspiring — to me and to others (at least that’s what they tell me).

    Spot on!

  • Glad to find another blogging soul sister out there Claire. Thanks very much for reading the blog and for sharing this story with the community!

  • Nice article. I personally find that bogging enriches my understanding of concepts, usually I come across something interesting and then develop it into a potential article of which I will research further.

  • BTW, I took the liberty of featuring another of your “bit beyond the expected” posts on my blog today. Thank for the inspiration!

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  • I feel bigger when I blog, not in an ego-driven way, but in a way that’s gratifying because I can help more people this way.

  • Great post Mark! I wish I could carve time out of my schedule to blog.

    I’d like to chat with you about Social Slam 2014 when you have a chance.

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  • just found this post. Yes, for all of the points you made. Yes for the glue you provide in making these points stick. And me and my visage in your post, well…

  • Blogs offer your little business with an opportunity to share your experience and data with a bigger audience. a chance to attach with a wider audience and build a community may be a robust profit for consultants and data employees.

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