Coming up to this blog’s first birthday and time to ruminate on a year in. Where you’re thinking of starting a blog – or maybe abandoning the habit – here’s a take on how blogging can help you:
1. Show you can ship. That you can engage people and deliver content regularly.
2. Build relationships. You lose the limits of your location and find people with a similar take to you on the world.
3. Make opportunities happen quicker. People can look at your blog and ‘get’ you – fast.
4. Help others. Yeah ok, this is goody-goody but if you know useful stuff, why not share it?
5. … clients love bespoke blog posts to add on to what they pay you for, in my experience.
6. Strengthen existing relationships. Friends and clients tell me they read this blog…
7. Weaken existing relationships – what if they’re lying?
8. Where you need it, posting regularly is a helpful discipline.
9. Become obsessed with stats. If you use wordpress like this blog, they’re all there behind the scenes…and if you tend to ignore numbers – well, you can’t.
10. Compete with a niche interest/activity in the widest arena
11. Create proof that your content is useful through guest posting at other blogs.
12. A lapsed baptist, but still-believer in total immersion, I bought Jon Morrow’s guest blogging programme, which was revelatory.
13. Improve your social life: meet-ups like cardiffblogs are full of enthusiasts with a great deal to say for themselves
14. Understand you are in an environment offering phenomenal chances to learn – intensively and rapidly – and often for free.
15. Sharpen your critical thinking skills. To have the part of your brain, tagged ‘highly seductive web content which is actually rubbish’ finely activated.
16. Experiment with different subjects and media and note the feedback
17. Write to blog which is different from other media – notably direct, focussed and relevant
18. Test out the possibilities of your subject cross platform
19. Spot opportunities for gaps within your subject matter – and there probably still are some…
20. Learn to trawl, filter, imitate, personalize and refine to create good content
21. Get get down to the nitty gritty of your subject matter, who you are and what you love – all more relevant when you deliver for free
22. Realize you can help others with their blogs ( proud midwife here to what’s the pont and the square-eyed blog )
23. Understand prevailing blog culture. Don’t big yourself up, use gimmicks, but give us your message straight and practical. With some revealing humanity so we know who you are.
24. Appreciate there are still distinctive cultural norms in the UK. We are messier, less definitive, quirkier than the US…
25. Get into conversation with some amazing people – you comment, they check out your blog, then choose to reply
26. Find some wonderful favourite blogs. Top two here at the moment are: usable learning and the altucher confidential
27. Be reminded of people’s generosity. Any query you have to do with blogging will be answered via an incisive google search.
And now quick mention that your blog is most unlikely to:
28. Get you a book deal
29. Get you a film deal
30. Shift paid for content if that paid-for content is rubbish
31. Fool people that you know your stuff – when you don’t… much better to.go away and learn your stuff instead. (and we can learn with you)
32. It may act as therapy…
33. But the real excitement of blogging comes in pivoting between you and I talking 1-2-1 in one direction – and mass exposure in the other
34. Balancing intimacy and total availability… which requires ballast.
And maybe in the future:
35. Students will choose their university education based on ‘best blogging’ professors. After all, great teaching is about communication – not retention – isn’t it?
36. Patients will be helped to manage health better through other patients stories, en masse, skillfully aggregated and curated.
37. Much of what we buy will be decided upon by blogs featuring ‘best case history which closely matches my own needs’
Thanks so much for your attention over the past year and please feel free to contact me – on blogging or other matters. Some e-books coming soon, which I hope you will like.
Here’s to the year ahead.