Blogging, or its video equivalent, vlogging, have an important role to play in sharing ideas, encouraging feedback and explaining work that might be too detailed for 140 characters.
Blogging tends to be overlooked, because it doesn’t offer the immediate gratification and ease of a social network. On something like Twitter you can publish within seconds and see responses almost immediately.
However, blogging gives you the chance to provide more context and personality. This is really important, in order to show your readers that you exist and hopefully build their interest in your work.
People are put off blogging because they believe it is time-consuming or they don’t think they have enough to say. The truth is, there are no rules to how much time you invest in blogging.
I can’t get motivated
Blogging needn’t be demanding. Do you ever feel strongly about something, hold an opinion, or learn something and feel you want to share the experience? Then you can blog about it, when you feel like it.
Draft the idea first. It might just be a few lines.
Come back to it a few days later.
Let the thoughts percolate.
Flesh it out some more, then edit.
Contrary to what you might hear, there isn’t a rule to how frequently you must publish a blog post. It helps to keep people’s attention if blogs are updated weekly or monthly, but in practice many bloggers cannot manage that.
Paul’s blog proves the old adage of quality over, er, frequency.
I haven’t got enough to make a blog post
Some of the blogs I enjoy most are simply a paragraph of two with a tip or idea. In fact the more simple you keep your blog post, the better.
You can always write a follow-up, or expand upon the original post, at a later date.
One of my favourite bloggers proves you don’t need to write hundreds of words.
No one will read it
People are unlikely to subscribe to your blog or visit it routinely in the hope that you have published something new. Once you have blogged, it’s down to you promote your blog post on other social media channels.
Choose the channels that are most appropriate for the people you’d like to read your blog. Remember, this might be via email, or a community or a forum outside of Twitter or Facebook.
LinkedIn is a great blogging platform, available to anyone with a LinkedIn profile. One of the best features is that your post will be automatically promoted to other people on LinkedIn who are interested in the topic you are writing about – and not people necessarily already in your network.
I don’t subscribe to this blog, despite it being one of my favourites. I wait to be reminded through social media or my inbox.
Overcoming the fear
- Think about what you want to blog about now – don’t worry about what you might blog in the future
- Think about something you’ve learned, a tip or process, and share it
- Or if you’ve had an idea or opinion at the back of your mind, share that
- Only use the number of words you need. There’s no target wordcount
- Write as if it is you. Don’t be tempted to adopt a corporate tone, or as if you are producing a report
- Once you’ve published, promote your post on social media, and ask for feedback