You don’t blog? 12 fabulous steps to start doing it (1/5)

Wednesday 15 February 2012, 7.50am HKT

Updated 30 May 2013 (formatting fixes: no textual amendments)

SOME GROWNUP OFFSPRING belonging to an ex-colleague was asking me how to start up a blog whilst seeing nothing interesting to write about.

Sound familiar?

Not to put too fine a point on things, I’m sort of asking myself the same thing.

Funnily enough, I get asked quite frequently about how to start up a blog. As if I should know anything about it!

Here’s my response to that grownup offspring.

* * *

Why blog in this day and age?

Blogs are still relevant in the age of social media.

Blogging is probably the simplest way to get yourself a web presence and show off your abilities or knowledge in your field or favourite subject. ‘Simplest’ doesn’t mean blogging is ‘effortless.’ Blogging is bloody hard work.

A. Blogging shows you can think — if you blog what you know

Most people blog what they know. If you can post fairly sensible information and thoughts themed on your favourite subject — and if you can do it well enough and for long enough — a blog is an easy way to publicise your knowledgeability, even recognised as a thought leader.

BUT it takes more than writing the few, occasional thoughts.

You need to write about the types of information that your readers will care or want to know about. Post stuff and links to other articles that are useful for (and usable by) your readers.

The name of the game with blogging is: Time to rethink everything. A blog is where you pose what-ifs and why-nots for all to see.

B. Blogging is your public communications front

In the old days (at any rate, before Facebook), people created blogs to give themselves a forum to express their views or give out information on some topic.

Today, blogs are very much part of the public image of many individuals and companies. A blog allows you to deliver messages in an in-depth setting straight to your readers or customers. Write with that in mind.

Indeed, very many times a person’s or a company’s qualities are judged on the basis of their blogs.

Most good blogs are interactive. A blog allows readers or customers to leave comments or messages to engage you (or some other real person) in the digital space to surmount the facelessness that’s often associated with digital communication. How you deal with your readers’ comments often also shows how well you cope with people in general.

The downside about blogging as a communication front is that many people take to blogging as if it were book authoring (or, worse, textbook writing) on the strength that blogging is chiefly textual in nature.

Lots of bloggers write in solemn, polemic tones with circular phraseology and shoehorned style so highly recognisable in academicised or intellectualised works.

Such writers have a basic misunderstanding about the meaning of ‘communication’ — a blog is where you present your ideas or information in an engaging, personable way, regardless of the formality or informality of the writing style. A blog definitely is the wrong platform for intellectual or literary masturbation.

Realise that blogging is a fast-moving, interactive, topical platform or medium. Ideas and your ‘message’ count for much, much more than language correctness and correctitude.

C. Blogging improves your reputation — sometimes help repair it too

Blogging is probably the most proactive and most transparent tool for enhancing reputation ever available to anyone, short of hiring a public-relations firm.

Blogging is the fastest and easiest way to produce topical content (assuming you know your stuff). The more relevant content you can produce on a consistent basis, the more clout to you on the Internet and in real life.

Blogging is also the most direct way to repair your reputation (or your company’s) if bad press or a negative customer review has damaged it. A blog is the most transparent place for everyone to see what you have to say. Your blog is where you proactively address concerns levelled against you. Your blog is where you show what steps you are taking to fix problems.

The downside is that, as you know, anybody can publish a blog on the Internet. This poses an obvious problem as there is no way to know the credentials of the blogger or to get an understanding of the writer’s level of expertise.

Nonetheless a blog is still the most accessible form of showing your thoughts to the wider world. If you convey your information and views sensibly, in time that will earn you good recognition.

* * *

Let’s hit the ground running then on Part 2


© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2012. Updated 30 May 2013 (formatting fixes).

Images: Brain charm via pnutjewelry ♦ Communication via Toronto Job Classifieds ♦ ‘A good reputation…’ via Nonprofit University Blog.

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