Everyone’s starting a blog these days. The only requirement is that you have something to say, and that the “something” offers actual value to your readers. As an expat who’s experienced career change, the upheaval and relocation of your life, and all the details, tricks, roadblocks, and funny stories along the way, I’m here to tell you: You have something to offer readers. Right now.
Here are six solid reasons why you should start an expat blog – and should do it right this instant.1.You’ll learn something that will help you in the immediate future
A blog isn’t a one-sided conversation. By gathering followers and making connections with other blogs, you’re learning from their ideas and experiences, and getting that pick-me-up just when you need it. But even more importantly, you’re getting on-the-job training and some valuable tools you may not know you need yet. Think of all the tricks you’re picking up on networking, managing a presence online, predicting trends as they’re coming thanks to being well-informed, collaborating with others, scoping out new environments… the list goes on. How this becomes an awesome thing? You could be improving those multitasking skills you need for managing your new job and family life in a new arena. Taking on some social media tasks in your new career could be the extra skill that synchs your position in a company, and you wouldn’t have known that without getting your feet wet now.
2. The audience might not wait for you if you delay
The internet is a really fast-paced scene. What’s hot news one day will be old news the next. The worst part about it? It’s impossible to catch that lightning in a jar. More people are becoming expats than ever before, and there’s a huge outcry for the experiences and advice from people who know first-hand what they’re talking about. Starting your expat blog will give you a chance to lend that helping hand and learn something yourself – and starting it now will make sure you’re joining the wave, not running after it.
Plus you have a unique perspective to share with potential audience, why deprive them of that? Lean a new craft and share the results with the world; share anecdotes about your journey learning a new language; or just explore the wonders of the freshly-acquainted cuisine – French/ Thai/ Chinese or Mexican…. where ever you are in the world, there must be somebody out there willing to learn from your experience.
3. You’ll be embracing more passions
Being an expat proves that you can thrive just about anywhere. It also proves that you’re capable of more than one passion! Passions aren’t like names, something you decide on once and then never change again – passions make up who you are, and you’d be pretty dull with only one. So you don’t consider yourself a blogger? That doesn’t matter! You can embrace this passion along with all your others, and become a blogger. Not only does this keep your excitement level up by trying so many new and different things, but the skills you’re learning now will all stack up to make you even more formidable in the future!
The thing about passions (and yes! in plural) is that they grow, evolve and change as we do. Becoming an expat is a huge change on its own – blogging about it can help you get your thoughts together, sharpen your focus and give you more purpose to succeed abroad.
4. You have something to say NOW, so don’t wait
Take it from someone who knows a lot about procrastination; it’s an easy hole to fall into, and even if you say you’ll do it later and actually manage to do it later, what you come up with then will not be what you can come up with now. The experiences, thoughts, concerns, and awesome ideas bubbling in your head are unique, and that uniqueness will be lost if you wait until next month or next year to dive in.
My first idea from a blog came 6 years ago when I gave birth to my son. I was sure I would become an online mom-blogger sensation. But then… life happened. My friends, my husband, my immediate circles all thought it was crazy to share my story as “I’m not the expert”. And they were right – I was not the expert, I was just a new mom trying to make sense of everything changing… and this would have made me so much more human, relatable, touching, real, funny, ridiculous and likable. I ended up going in a different direction, and I’m not an online mom sensation, but not a day goes by I don’t feel sorry for not pursuing this earlier.
5. You get to call the shots
Expat ladies: this one is for you. You’re a strong expat woman who’s taken control of her life for her own career and success. Come on, quit with the modesty – I know I don’t feel powerful when I’m so afraid of the change that I’m ready to pack up and head home, but the fact remains. You are strong, and you are good at calling the shots. A blog allows you to call all the shots, from what you post, to what you share, who you talk to, the update schedule, the layout and design, so on and so on… You can even tailor the entire thing to fit your busy expat schedule, so you have all the perks and none of the downsides. Starting a blog sounds too scary? It doesn’t have to be – you can customize the perfect blog with the perfect elements for you. It doesn’t have to be flashy, pretty or perfect… you just have to take the first step.
6. You can monetize it
Did your ears perk up when I mentioned money? Just me? Okay. Anyways – a blog doesn’t have to be just journaling and chain conversations. You can actually make money off of your time; and who knows, maybe those extra bucks give you a spa day or maybe they support your entire family.
From affiliate programs, to sponsored posts, from clickthrough ads to maybe offering your own services and starting a business… who knows where this crazy adventure might lead to one day? By starting your own expat blog, sharing your journey and your unique perspective – essentially you will be getting paid for being well liked – isn’t that a sweet deal?