Monday, 3. March 2014
My name is Jackie, and by day, I am an IT professional with over 25 years of experience in mainframe systems and web architecture. In the evenings, I change hats, update and run my website, www.FREEISMYLIFE.com, where I write about the things that interest me most – mobile technology, Metro Detroit, and getting the best deals on everything.
This year will mark seven years since I started my blog. And as I look back over my experiences, I would have to say that from my first post back in 2007 to my 4000th post this month, blogging has been a very rewarding experience that I am glad I had the courage to try.
When I think about what I have most enjoyed about being a blogger, or as the now politically correct title of “Social Influencer,” I came up with five reasons why starting a blog is a good thing.
1. Getting Your Voice Heard. I love expressing my opinion on products and services I feel Metro Detroiters should be buying and how technology can be used to save everyone both money and time. Having a blog has allowed me to have a real voice in positively shaping how people view living in Metro Detroit and how people can use technology to make their lives better.
2. Showcasing Your Talent. Running a blog is in many ways a smaller version of running a newspaper or print publication. I have had to learn to write in an organized manner, publish content on a schedule that people find interesting, market my posts using social media to increase my readership, and pitch companies to earn money. My blog is in many ways my living resume and a great way to showcase my talents to the world on a daily basis.
3. Becoming a (Semi) Celebrity. When I started my blog, I had no expectations outside of my posts being read by my frugal friends and family. But as my number of posts grew into the thousands, I somewhere along the way became viewed as a local expert on shopping, technology, and blogging – fancy that! It was kind of strange the first time an organization approached me about doing a speech – and offered to pay me for it! And when I was approached about being featured on the local news, I had to laugh that my blog had brought me semi-celebrity status.
4. Being a Member of the Media. When most people think of the media, the traditional response would be to think of TV and newspaper reporters and radio personalities. But with the spread of social media, now bloggers are being viewed as being just as important as the traditional media. My blog has garnered me invitations to cover the same media events that traditional media attend.
5. Earning a Side Income. Once my blog built up a sizable following, I was able to find companies that were willing to sponsor posts on my blog, which allows me to make money on some of my content. While the income will never replace my day job pay, it is still nice to be able to make money from my side hobby. After all, most hobbies cost people money, not the other way around.
Those are just the top five reasons that I think starting a blog is a good thing. But I could go on and list even more great opportunities that blogging can bring. If you want to learn more about starting a blog, join me as I speak on the topic “Blogging Your Passion” at the Michigan Council of Women in Technology ConnectNet Lunch and Learn Webinar on Thursday, March 6, 2014 at 11 a.m. Not only will I be speaking about blogging, I will also be doing a giveaway on Twitter. Just follow the hashtag #MCWTech on Twitter to join in the fun.
Jackie Harper is an IT professional during the day and by night, the creator and editor of the website FREE IS MY LIFE (www.freeismylife.com), a lifestyle and frugal living blog. Jackie loves to help her readers to spend their money wisely by informing them about deals, discounts and FREE items and events in Metro Detroit and beyond. Now in its seventh year, FREEISMYLIFE.com readership has grown to over 90,000+ readers by Jackie using social media to connect with the frugal and the cash-strapped on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram. Jackie has been featured on WDIV Local 4 News, the Oakland Press and in Real Detroit Weekly as a Hot Blogger to follow.